Friday, June 15, 2012

The 2012 Newly Crowned Reigning Queen of Burlesque is: Imogen Kelly of Australia


Imogen Kelly by Derek Jackson

And the New 2012 Reigning Queen of Burlesque is...

On June 3, 2012 the new Queen was congratulated by Imodesty Blaize of London (Europe's Top
Showgirl, Best Debut BHOF 2006, Miss Exotic World 2007 ), with this online Twitter post
(syc): Congrats Imogen Kelly for winning Reigning Queen 2012! Worked with her in '04- innovative,
unique, and old school too. Love her! X #BHOF12 .
Sunday night I spoke briefly with the new Queen of Burlesque to ask about her plans for her
reigning year. I wanted to know how she planned to handle the year of duties as the new Queen,
like the Queen's Tour, here in the states? She told me: "We are talking about spending a year in
the States." When asked what has been the best part of performing here at BHOF12? Imogen
Kelly said "The dressing room was amazing, thanks to Coco Lectric."
RELATED LINKS
For more about this event visit BurlesqueHall.com
Photos for this story were provided by Blue Hair Media
For more about this Australian Performance Artist visit http://www.imogenkelly.com.au/


This story is available in Frankie's ebook. Please see http://www.frankietease.com/p/ebooks.html 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Burlesque Interview Michelle L'Amour at Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012


Michelle L'Amour by "Time Out"

I took a chance at my final opportunity to interview Michelle L'amour (Chicago - Miss Exotic World 2004, America’s Got Talent, Naked Girls Reading) Sunday night about an hour after her headlining performance at the Icons and All-star show at the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012 event (Las Vegas Orleans Hotel June 1-3 ). She had just performed as one of the few closing acts, almost the closing act of the weekend. Her act was gorgeous and dramatic. Herself and Franky Vivid are listed as the Executive Team members of nightly show production, a big deal when handling an 800 person room for four nights of two-to-four hour variety shows. I put aside my sense of star-struck long enough to eek out this interview, and Michelle was so kind and charming to accommodate me as she was just about to have supper. Here is what the 'Duchess of Chicago' (Chicago Reader) had to tell me about her performance, and the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2012.

FT: How was performing here tonight?
ML: It was amazing. I was holding onto that energy all weekend, so I was just ready to let it go. This weekend was fantastic.

FT: Your performance was so beautiful. I'd never seen it.
ML: It's brand new.

FT: What's it called?
ML: It's my 'Atlas' number.

FT: When you disrobed and then picked up the world, I thought "This is
so symbolically awesome." You were literally carrying the world nude.
ML: It's about the struggle and acceptance of your own power. It's about accepting your own power and how difficult that can be.

FT: Hallelujah. How many times have you performed at the Burlesque Hall?
ML: Let's see, I've been coming here since 2004, I think this is the 9th year (turns to Franky to ask), yeah Nine years.

FT: Going on a decade.
ML: This is a great year. It's so exciting to see where it's come, from the Goat Farm, to now. This weekend was the best weekend of shows, ever. 


Find all about this magnanimous Chicagoan at her web presence michellelamour.com. Find out about the Burlesque Hall of Fame current exibit and future events burlesquehall.com. 

This story is now only available at eBook retailers near you via
The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol. 1

Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview Bites with Frankie Tease - Burelsque Hall of Fame 2012- Bastard Keith, Banbury Cross

BASTARD KEITH (NY)
Sunday June 3, 2012


I was able to drag Bastard Keith away from his wife for just a minute and we stood outside Big Al's Lounge at the Orleans post events Sunday night. This is what a skilled host and MC had to tell us about introducing all those renowned stars.

FT: Is this your first time hosting the BHOF (LasVegas)
BK: Yes it was. It was amazing, It was an honor. It was so much fun. It was oddly relaxing because it was like being in a living room with a bunch of friends. A very dirty, naked living room, with very dirty naked friends.
FT: What were some of your highlights?
BK: One of the highlights was actually making it on stage. I've been kind of in recovery from a little bit of illness and exhaustion. So, just the fact that I was able to get up there and not pass out was great. After the song I almost passed out, I started seeing light. Talking about highlights is almost impossible with this show, because it was such a sustained crescendo of talent and awesomeness. There was no weak link - it was so close to too much awesome.
FT: Where can we follow you? 
BK: On Twitter I'm @BastardKeith, or check out my website at BastardKeith.com.
FT: There is a theme here. 
BK: I make branding very easy.
FT: Where are you out of?
BK: I'm out of New York.
FT: That's why you're so fabulous. It's been a pleasure, thanks for the interview. 

BANBURY CROSS (LONDON)
Sunday June 3, 2012

I'm talking with Banbury Cross just outside of the Orleans Showroom post "Icons and Allstars" show Sunday night at the Burelsque Hall of Fame 2012 Weekend. Here is what this British Burlesque performer had to say about her style, name, and what it was like to perform for this discerning audience.

FT: What does your name mean, for us Americans? 
BC: It's the name of a town, and it's also mentioned in a nursery rhyme.
FT: How did you enjoy performing here at the BHOF ?
BC: I thought it was quite possibly the most magical and wonderful experience in my life, so far.
FT: Wow. That's something. Is the energy from the audience different than other places you've performed?
BC: It is. There is 700 people out there which is - you don't really get at a cabaret. You've got that many people giving you that energy and that kick in the ass that you need.
FT: Is this your first time performing in the states?
BC: Yes!
FT: What is the highlight of the festival been for you?
BC: The highlight has been meeting people that inspire you.
FT: For example?
BC: Kitten DeVille is a BIG inspiration. I absolutely adore her. I had never seen her perform live. Meeting her, and being told "hey good job", that was pretty spectacular. Just seeing such talent all around is so amazing.
FT: It's kind of overwhelming.
BC: It really is.
FT: This was my first time seeing anyone from across the pond perform Burlesque live. I noticed that London performers seem to move a lot faster than American performers on stage. Is that a trend?
BC: That's something that's very unique to Kitty (Bang Bang) and I. In London it's the same as it is in the U.S. There is a wide range of styles of performers.
Banbury Cross performed in the 'Best Debut' category on Saturday's Tournament of Tease, and was introduced as London's Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque.

See more of this beauty at missbanburycross.com
This article was written by Reporter/Performer Frankie Tease

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interview Bites with Frankie Tease - Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012 - Foxy Tann, April O' Peel

FOXY TANN (MN)
Sunday June 3, 2012
FoxxyTann.com

I ran down Foxy Tann after her performance Sunday night at the Icons and Allstars show during the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012, Las Vegas. What an Icon she is. This is one of the sassiest most comical ladies I have ever met, and had the pleasure to interview. She's also super easy on the eyes. She sat at a slot machine chair chatting with me, wearing her HUGE afro, surrounded by her friends. I asked her a few Q's and here they are.

FT: So you go by Foxy Tann. Tell us more about you.
FxT:
I'm known as the Boss of Burlesque, and the Original Triple Mocha Latte.
FT: Where are you out of?
FxT: The Twin Titties in Minnesota.
FT: [crowd laughs] How many times have you performed at BHOF?
FxT: I have performed six times at Burlesque Hall, four of them were competing for best troupe. We won the first time out. We're Foxy Tann and the Wam Bam Thank You Ma'ams.
FT: Who/ what is the inspiration for your act, Foxy Brown?
FxT: I named myself after Foxy Brown, but I'm bi-racial, so the Brown became Tann. A lot of blaxploitation films have been my inspiration. Those women like Cleopatra Jones, Tamara Dobson, Coffy, all those guys who are just bad-ass bitches, bad-ass hoes in huge platform heels going around kicking ass.
FT: What is one of the highlights of (performing or attending) this year's Burlesque Hall event for you?
FxT: I can give you my moment. I can now die a happy person. I got to come out of a Vegas stage from an elevator with fog. It was my 'Showgirls' Gina Gershon moment. 
FT: Is there any closing thought I can quote you on?
FxT: I think the BHOF is quite probably one of the rare treasures in American Tourism. I think people would get so much freaky weirdness from this weekend that they could put it on 'hidden planet' and it would go beautifully. I fuckin' love it. They've made my life good, and I hope I can help make their life good.
FT: You're already makin' our lives great by performing. Thank You.
FxT: Thank you very much Frankie Tease.
FT: My pleasure.
APRIL O' PEEL (CANADA)
Sunday June 3, 2012
FrankieTeaseFoto of April O' Peel
April O' Peel won the 'Best Comedic" award at the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012 Weekender. I found her with a group of friends in the cafe' and sat for a couple minutes to ask her a few burning questions about her delightfully funny act, Sunday night our final night at the event.
FT: Your act was simply adorable. There wasn't a timing or cue missed. Congrats, and what did it feel like to perform on that stage?
AOP: Amazing. It was a thrill of a lifetime.
FT: How long have you been doing the Chicken Act?
AOP: It's been around almost a year.
FT: It shows. How amazing was it to get that ovation today from the Legends? (Some of the legends of Strip Tease at the Q&A, brought up and praised her act as an example of great Burlesque, and it received a round of vehement applause by all, and partial ovation). 
AOP: That was better than winning the 'Best Comedic' award. That was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, I cried. It was so nice.
FT: What a career-making nod. So, now you'll go back and continue doing Burlesque in Canada eh?
AOP: Yes. I don't know, this was... the big one. I don't know what all is next.
FT: So what has been the highlight for you this weekend?
AOP: Obviously the Legends Panel. I love all the stories, they're hilarious. They warmed my heart. Find out more about this Canadian performer at http://www.aprilopeel.com/


This article was written by Las Vegas Reporter/Performer Frankie Tease
Please visit the Burlesque Hall of Fame website to see details about shows, and donate at BurlesqueHall.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Interview Bites with Frankie Tease: Scotty the Blue Bunny at Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012



Scotty the Blue Bunny at BHOF12 Craig Jackson Photography 
There was one person you couldn't very-well miss in the halls of the Orleans during BHOF 2012, that's Scotty the Blue Bunny (San Francisco). Wearing a shiny blue ultra-fitted suit, complete with over-sized bunny ears, The Blue Bunny owns whatever area he's entering, without a hare of a doubt (har har). He manages his six inch (at least) clear stripper heels with ease, and this is what he told me about what it was like to host the 2nd half of the Tournament of Tease on Saturday at the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012 Weekender.
FT: What was your highlight in hosting the Saturday event, and how did you enjoy it?
SBB: I loved it, and I'm honored to be here. I would have to say that I achieved my goal of not introducing the performers by gender, but introducing them as Performers and Artists. That was my goal was to sort of 'queer it up', sort of bring in a little... try and push the artist side of all this. We don't live in the girly age- I wanted to keep it on that level, and avoid any misogynistic accidental- just to keep it: Artist Artist, Artist.
FT: And who were you most excited to introduce?
SBB: Miss Indigo Blue is a good friend of mine, so it was an honor to introduce her, and to be there for that transition. And, to announce the Queen, is a coveted position: to say the magic words. I have to say, I saved the piece of paper that had her name Imogen Kelly (2012's Queen of Burlesque) on it, and it was my pleasure to walk up to her and give her that piece of paper back. Also, she was late giving me her bio, her introduction. She hand-wrote me a page-and-a-half, which there was no way I could have accommodated- and I gave that back to her as well. It was nice to contribute to someone's scrap-book, and give that back. I really felt like, she'll look at that piece of paper forever, knowing the tension that went into writing it. She wrote it with such energy, right before she won. It was really nice to give her that, to start her own archive. It doesn't mean anything to the world, it doesn't help a starving person... but it's a person's life. 
FT: Ephemera. That's a great story.
See what the hilarious Scotty the Blue Bunny is all about at http://scottybunny.com/.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Interview Bites with Frankie Tease the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012 - Hank, Dr. Shocker, Red Hot Annie, The Shanghai Pearl

- by Frankie Tease -
On Saturday, I was roaming the festival before the Tournament of Tease at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. I caught a few interesting interviews ranging from Organziers, to staff, to Performers. Here is what they had to say about who they are and why they love the yearly event.


HANK THE BARTENDER (NV)
Saturday June 2, 2012 
I'm talking with Hank the Bartender (HBT) at the Orleans. He's a show-biz son, and here is his story. He's no stranger to Burlesque or stage.
FT: So tell us about your showbiz parents.
HBT: My mother and father moved here in 1948, and toured with the Follies Berger. They were original cast members that opened the show here in Las Vegas at the Tropicana. I'm a showbiz son, I have two left feet. That's why I worked in theater backstage. I hung lights, did audio and stagework.
FT: You were a workin' stiff.
HBT: Yes I was. My father called me a few weeks ago and said "Are you still doing that crap (bartending)?" and I said "yes Dad, it pays the bills". 
Hank is a friendly bartender at the Casino floor bar nearest the Orleans Showroom. 


DR. SHOCKER (CA)
Saturday June 2,2012 
Dr. Shocker has been involved in the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend for many years. I caught up with him to have a drink, get my press pass, and find out what he's all about. He wore many smoking jackets and Fez hats over the weekend following my interview, to which I say "nice job, Dr. Shocker".

FT: I am sitting with Dr. Shocker, aka Mr. Rum and Coke. Tell us your role in the Burelsque Hall of Fame Weekend event.
DS: I am the Volunteer Co-ordinator. Basiclly, if it goes wrong, it's my fault. 
FT: What do you do when you're not at the BHOF?
DS: I am a lobbyist for smokers rights, I am a Graphic Designer, Marketing Guy, and professional Drunk.
FT: What consecutive number is this for you, being involved in the BHOF Weekender?
DS: Five, or six. I can't even remember. Years ago I was at a show in L.A. called Ula L.A., and Dixie (Evans, co-founder BHOF) and Tempest (Storm) were there. Dixie looked at me and said "Are you coming out to BHOF?" I said "I'm not sure I can afford it". She said "Show up". That was my first and I've been back every year. Dixie was unable to be here this year.
FT: Is there anything else you want to add? 
DS: Send money to the Burlesque Hall of Fame. BurlesqueHall.com 
Let's give it up for Dr. Shocker showing us his sock garter. He gives nice leg. Find the man at Dr.Shocker.net


RED HOT ANNIE (IL)
Saturday June 2,2012 
I'm speaking with Red Hot Annie of Chicago (in the Movers, Shakers, and Innovators Show BHOF12, Voted #34 in 2010's 21stCenturyBurlesque.com), and it's Saturday before the Tournament of Tease at the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012 (Orleans Casino Las Vegas). We're at the entrance of Big Al's Comedy Club - the social go-to venue for the weekend. She agreed to chat and here is what this wonderful performer had to say about the weekend's experience and some of her fellow Chicagoans.
FT:How long have you been performing Burlesque?

RHA: I just celebrated my four year anniversary.
FT: What is your favorite act right now?
RHA: My favorite act to perform, that's completed, is my 'Artiste' act. It's a painting act where I come out dressed in a canvas and paint my clothing. 
FT: How have you enjoyed the Burelsque Hall of Fame 2012 Weekend?
RHA: I am actually completely overwhelmed by it. There is so much to watch, and so much to see, and the stage is gorgeous to perform on.
FT: How do you find the Burlesque scene in Chicago Illinois?
RHA: I love the Burlesque scene in Chicago. There are about 100 performers, many of who are starting to burgeon forth as professional performers. Jeez Louise is from Chicago, Stage Door Johnnys, Dolls of Doom, all of these great performers are all from Chicago, Michelle L'Amour. There is this large source of talent. It's a great community, really a fun one, and very talented.
FT: What is one quote I can take away from you about your Burlesque Hall experience for 2012? 
RHA: I wasn't sure what to expect. I've been to a lot of festivals, and so I expected it would be similar, but the feeling is a lot different here at Burlesque Hall. Everyone has come here and they are coming here to relax and enjoy each other's company. 

Thanx Annie for the chat-up. Please check out this fun performer on her site at RedHotAnnie.com

POC Photo 


My apologies to The Shanghai Pearl (Washington State) as our brief interview was completely inaudible from background noise. Miss Pearl was one of two Titans of Tease Outreach Co-ordinators (along with Tigger of NY) for BHOF 2012. She has long been involved in the Weekender Annual event through the Academy of Burelsque in Seattle.
Please find Miss Pearl at http://www.facebook.com/TheShanghaiPearl






The Burlesque Hall of Fame is held the first full weekend in June annually. Announcements of winners and honorees can be seen at the official site BurlesqueHall.com, where you may also purchase tickets to next year's events, find out about the Las Vegas museum, and donate money to keep it all going. 


See more stories by Frankie at FrankieTease.com

Interview Bites with Frankie Tease: Masuimi Max at Viva Las Vegas 15



As I wound my way around the Viva Las Vegas 15 car show Saturday April 5, 2012 (Las Vegas Orleans Hotel) I approached the Pin-Up Girl Clothing Boutique Model Lounge, where Masuimi Max and other amazing models were available for photos and autographs with fans. The line wound around the pink and white tent, because this woman has both men and women fans all over the world who admire her. I jumped in and fought off her fans long enough to get a very brief audio interview, and this is what the international fetish pin-up model, who looks haute in latex, had to say about the Viva Las Vegas 15 Rockabilly Weekender, and her long love affair with the camera.

FT: What is your favorite part about Viva Las Vegas?
MM: The people. Everyone is so excited. They're here to have fun. They're not here for any drama. They're here to dress up, listen to good music, meet people, and have fun. That's what life is really about.
FT: I've seen you do Burlesque in Portland, but how long have you been into the rockabilly scene?
MM: Let's see, I was 18 in 1996. My first photo shoot was with Mamie Van Doren by Julie Stray, so I've been in this a while.
FT: So Mamie is one of your inspirations? 
MM: Yes. Mamie Van Doren, Betty Page of course. The art of Olivia is what turned me on to these people. I lived a very sheltered life, my parents were very religious.
FT: All the suppressed girls have the fun later in life.Thanx for chatting with me Masuimi Max. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Las Vegas' Absinthe Brings World-Class Burlesque Singer Melody Sweets to Audiences Nightly

Melody Sweets photo by Frankie Tease

Dirty, crazy, adult circus, and Burlesque show Absinthe celebrated its' 500th April 1, 2012. That's no small feat for people that fly through the air, croon, and do just about everything one can imagine in a small time-period under a big white tent out in front of Caesars Palace Las Vegas, nightly. The show begins with Maxime Popazov climbing and balancing on wood chairs to an incredible height. He gives way to the Green Absinthe Fairy from the sky, Melody Sweets who while descending says, "Maxime, what am I going to do with all that wood?" Sweets begins singing "I've got what you're cravin', for your misbehavin", and begins working the very intimate 500 person tent. If you are at the show, you're practically in the show, thanks to Producer and visionary The Gazillionaire's close-up sight-lines, and in-the-round seating. Acrobats Men of Atlantis stacked each other, which gave way to the Trapeez act Ssens Duo. Oxtana Solamanchuck suspended from a rope above contorting and The Skating Kerkorians scared, stunned, and amazed us with skate aerial acrobatics, and we were relieved to see 2012 cast addition Angel Porrino delight us with her Sally Rand Bubble Dance tribute. The three tightrope walkers put our hearts in our throats while calmly slinking above a small wire. Outlandish sexual host and Producer The Gazillionaire and assistant Penny Pibbetts broke all the tension with laughs between acts. While the tightrope was set-up, I was pulled up on stage by Gaz and made to tongue kiss a Republican Wife. It was insane. But I stayed focused on the one interview I was here to get, Burlesque Star: Melody Sweets. Post-show to the sound of chairs folding, I got the interview and was impressed that Sweets was charming, enduring, stunningly gorgeous, and is also a self-made woman. 

FT: Are you originally from NY?
MS: I grew up in California until I was around ten, and then I moved around a lot. East Coast, West Coast, and then I moved to New York in 1999, because I wanted to party like it was 1999 like Prince said.

FT: Can you tell me about the Rome connection? I heard you did a performance there. That's exciting.
MS: It was amazing. It's one of my most favorite places in the world, because my family is from Italy. It's very interesting, because they're very conservative also. But, it's all the rage. When I performed out there for the Burlesque Fest, Dirty Martini's photo was on all the buses. I was so proud of her.

FT: I saw your tweet to Julie Atlas Muz. Are you friends with a lot of Burlesque performers in the New York scene and elsewhere?
MS: New York Burlesque performers are a pretty tight knit community. It's also a growing International Community. It's phenomenal because everyone for the most part helps each other, and really supports each other.

FT: You're speaking about the top echelon of Burlesque performers in the world when you speak about New York. So how many Absinthe shows are you doing a week ?

MS: Six days a week, two shows every day except Wednesday and Sunday. Ten shows a week. That's a lot of pastie tape.

FT: So you don't use spirit gum? 
MS: Oh my god no.

FT: For our Burlesque performer readers, Melody Sweets does not use Spirit Gum, she uses pastie tape. So did you first start doing Burlesque in New York?
MS: Yes, it was a happy accident. My band Goodfinger had gone into the studio to do our debut album. We started doing live shows, and a friend of mine was like "do you want to be part of our Burlesque Show?" and I said "as long as I can sing". I wrote the song 'Slice of Heaven' which you heard tonight. I write all my own music.


FT: You're an impressive woman. A Singer, a Dancer, a Composer, and a Star. So what can you tell us about your exciting upcoming new solo album?

MS: It's called "Burlesque in the Black", and you're the first person I've told the album title to. It's a compilation of songs I've written that took me all around the world to do Burlesque and get naked to, which is fun. Each song is a story, and each song has a Burlesque act. I can't wait to release it, I'm so excited. 

Please check for the sweetest of haunting melodies to be released in album form at Melody Sweets' site MelodySweets.com, and follow her sweet tweets at @melodysweets

This exclusive interview with Melody Sweets  of Absinthe is also available at eBook retailers near you via iTunes, Amazon  Just click below for more info The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol. 1. There are several more photos from the amazing show included in the ebook.