Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our Special Year-End Rockit Broadcast will be delivered January 1, 2014 - Stay Tuned -

Stay Tuned for a special edition of the #rockitbroadcast coming to you Wednesday on New Year's Day 2014! Normally it's delivered on Monday, but this one is a bit different. Happy New Year everybody. Let's make 2014 a great one. I know I will.

This is a special year-end issue in the usual five minute format which covers burlesque, comedy, music, and culture in the US region.

Friday, December 27, 2013

What's Out, What's In, 2013/14, A Special Year-End Supplement by Frankie Tease Magazine

Well it's been an eventful year. We've taken the time to stop producing ebooks, start producing audio interviews and entertainment news, and go from covering only Las Vegas, NV, to covering burlesque, comedy, music, and culture of the United States entire region. Sometimes our stories become international because of travelling performers going overseas, and we've covered that too. I've met so many amazing people here in Vegas, and now will be continuing into new territory with phone interviews to keep you entertained coming in 2014. There is so much coming in 2014 from us (me and all my wonderful collaborators and subjects), that I'm very excited to start the new year. Have a great time and safe time seeing this year off, and remember, Don't text and drive. Enjoy this "what's out, and what's in" list from 2013/14 that I've put together (don't worry I know each of you could do better) and this gorgeous photo backdrop of Melody Sweets of the Absinthe Las Vegas Show. Don't forget to bookmark absinthevegas.com and vegaskool.com for more of great stuff in this region, and for more amazing photos from nationally acclaimed photographer Gabe Ginsberg. Happy New Year. Wishing you and yours a very happy and eventful New Year.

Click this photo for a free printable multi-size download at flickr.com

Happy Holidays 
Frankie Tease Magazine

Friday, December 20, 2013

Easter Weekends Will Never Be the Same - Preview of Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender 17, 2014 and a Tom Ingram Interview

Satin Dollz at Viva Las Vegas 2013 by Frankie Tease

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend is swiftly approaching its 17th year. The world-wide rockabilly festival that has only seen it's equal in the UK comes to the Orleans Hotel again in Las Vegas April 17-20, 2014. So many new and expanding things about this festival kept creeping up, I had to email my home town of Long Beach to reach the legendary organizer of this event directly. Tom answered and gave me some good preparatory information on what's cookin' for 2014, in addition to the return of Audrey Deluxe for all burlesque productions. He also told me the details of a new October weekender he's behind, which are contained in the Q&A below. 

FT: How did you choose this year's headliners?
TI: It is always tough choosing headliners. The old acts are not getting any younger so gradually there has to be transition to younger headliners instead of the original acts.

FT: How has the Burlesque Showcase and Competition changed this year, are they two separate producers/productions?
TI: This time they are both being organized and produced by myself and Audrey DeLuxe. The showcase will just have a strong line-up of some of the best performers. The contest is going back to the old system of audience deciding.

Tom Ingram courtesy of IMDB.COM

FT: What acts are you personally excited about bringing to the Viva Las Vegas stages this year?
TI: All of them.

FT: I saw you had a contest to name a new annual event you'll also be holding in Las Vegas, any details you can share about that new event?
TI: At the moment all I can say is that it will be a smaller rockabilly weekend called The Rockabilly Rockout, held at The Gold Coast Hotel October 2 -5, 2014.

Thanks Tom. Other things new this year include two stages at the Saturday concert and car show with amazing headliners like Imelda May (IRE), Los Straight Jackets (CA), and The Chop Tops (CA). Burlesque headliners include: Imodesty Blaze (UK), Dirty Martini (NY), Roxi D'Lite (CAN) and Angie Pontani (NY).  Last year 20,000 plus people attended the car show, 800 cars were on exhibit, and 10,000 plus people had four day passes for indoor vendors and bands. You can attend only the car show with a single day ticket (10-8pm) and also your four day ticket will cover this event. Many vendors come from far and wide to show their best stuff at the VLV car show, and I'm sure 2014 will be no different. In fact, there's even a waiting list to be a vendor.

Tickets for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender are on sale at vivalasvegas.net and at participating retailers around the world and the Orleans Box Office in Las Vegas. 

Official VLV 17 Band line-up flyer as of 12/20/13

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Rockit Broadcast for Dec.16, 2013 - Music, Comedy, Burlesque, Culture, News


Rockit Broadcast Dec. 16, 2013
Voice Narration: Frankie Tease
Writing: Frankie Tease
Production: Frankie Tease
Music:  by George Matoian "On Green Dolphin Street" ('99)

New Music is now available from so many amazing artists that I love. Here are bands with brand new album releases, in no particular order: Frankie Moreno, Si Cranstoun, Moonlight Howlers, Justin Timberlake (double album), Eminem (double album), Reverend Horton Heat (Jan. 2014) to name a few. Wow so much new music, it's time to tell your friends what you want for Christmas. It's a great time of year for Comedy, and here is my quick list of NYE shows in major cities around the US for 2013/14. Do it up right at the Bill Maher engagement in Hawaii, or the NYE Comedy Show in Boston at Central Square in Cambridge. How about the Awesome 5th Annual San Francisco NYE Comedy event at the Marine's Memorial Theater? Of course you should check local listings for towns not mentioned and always, for great happenings on NYE check out Las Vegas. In Burlesque, the end of year voting and submitting is heating up at over at 21st Century Burlesque Mag. Who will be the best of 2013 as submitted by the people? I interviewed two of the top five last year (Perle Noir and Jo Weldon) who are featured in the Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.2 now on iTunes, Amazon, and Nook. Participate by submitting your favorite performers (up to ten) at 21stcenturyburlesque.com (note: the first two letters are #'s as in the #21). In Culture the San Francisco Balfest just wrapped up Dec. 12, 13, 14, and 15. People came together to fancy foot and be judged on it. The "Balboa" was a celebrated dance and I remember hearing about the stories that it started in Orange County during the war in the rich city of Balboa, California. There wasn't much room on the dance floor as soldiers returned from World War II, so they created the hopping in place that can sometimes become a swing out, which takes less space. TMI? Sorry. Go see balboabattle.com to geek out more on the history of swing, lindy, and balboa dances, created in the U.S.

Got some burning news about burlesque, comedy, music, or culture? Got a slick back-track for us to feature on the broadcast? Tip us off by email at rockitbroadcast[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm Frankie Tease, see you next time on the Rockit Broadcast.

End loop back track by the Moonlight Howlers

Friday, December 13, 2013

Burlesque Assassins Director Jonathan Joffe of Canada Interview

Xara in Burlesque Assassins - Director Jonathan Joffe

This story was first published June of 2012 in the Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol. 1 ebook still on iTunes, Amazon, Kindle.

Canada’s highly anticipated period-piece film showcasing actual current burlesque stars from all over the world, started simple: a man and an idea. Now, the Director is currently busy scheduling screenings all over the world. After a few minutes chatting with Jonathan Joffe of Canada, Oh Canada, I came to the conclusion he has done his homework. See what this Calgary up-and coming writer and director had to say about this project, the amazing talent he worked with on the film, and why it’s the perfect time for a burlesque spy film. 

FT: When did you first conceive of the story for Burlesque Assassins, and where did it originate?
JJ: As I started to see burlesque grow in the media and the public eye, I thought it would be a great idea for an easy sell. And the more Burlesque performers and organizers I got to know, the more I realized that the thing to do was to do not just a movie about [he pronounces it "aboot"] burlesque performers, but a movie that would appeal to what burlesque performers would want to do in a movie, which I thought was to be spies.

FT: How did this particular fiction story get chosen as your first feature film?
JJ: Um, I've written quite a few screen plays, I had several options waiting to go. I pitched this one to the Canadian funding agency which is called Telefilm. I think even though it's a very difficult first feature, because it's a period piece, and it's action, and there's people from all over the world in it, so it makes it difficult to do, on a low budget. But the Telefilm very wisely recognized how important it is to have a community like the Burlesque community behind us, and they recognized the opportunity for a small Indie film to have a support network that meant the film would get seen across Canada, U.S., Europe and Australia, all of that, which was a real kind of ace-in-the-whole. Once they came on board, you know - you don't say no to a project once it gets started like that. We would have loved to have easily four times the money that we had, but it was still too good an opportunity to pass up for both a career level, and a creative level as well. It's just such an amazing project to be on.

Armitage Shanks in Burlesque Assassins

FT: It looks like a nexus of all the things we love in vintage.
JJ: That was the hope. There are a few things I wasn't able to get, I would have loved to have had zombies in there, or you know, there were more performers that I wanted to have in there, that I couldn't have, we ran out of time and money.

FT: What was the reaction to a racy material, like partial nudity, in the storyline? What was the Canadian market's reaction to having Burlesque in your film? Was it an issue in getting support?
JJ: It's interesting there's a misconception that people have about Canadian funded films, that isn't just outside of Canada but inside as well. They are exclusively art house films, or dramas. But, when you talk to Telefilm, while they are interested in films succeeding in many ways, and that can be awards, and that can be critical acclaim, they also, they very much want to see films succeed financially by finding an audience inside and outside of Canada, and they want to see film-makers succeed and move on to move their careers forward. So, in fact, the racy subject matter wasn't an issue at all for them. In fact, they saw the opportunity that having a Canadian film-maker take on this International topic and the serendipity of having Roxy D'Lite (Burlesque Queen 2010) the Canadian Burlesque star at the same time. She actually wasn't the Queen of Burlesque when we got the project going, that happened after. They still saw that there was this world-class Burlesque star from Canada who could be in the film and the Canadian tie-in. There was no resistance what-so-ever.

The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.1: Jan. - June 2012, Las Vegas

FT: Hat's off to you Canada. What was your relationship to or knowledge of Burlesque a few years ago, when this project began?
JJ: My knowledge of Burlesque when I very first started the project in early 2009, was very limited. I had, of course, an ongoing interest in retro culture, pin-up culture, and the icons of the burlesque world like Bettie Page, Tease-O-Rama, and also I'm a swing dancer, and I love Jazz and Rockabilly. But to me, my knowledge of the scene was pretty limited. So before I committed anything major to the film, I went to the Toronto Burlesque Festival in 2009. This was sort of a research trip to see if I thought if there was anything worth pursuing here. What a life-changing trip. I went from someone who thought maybe they would be interested in doing something with Burlesque, to someone who the last three years of my life have been entirely centered around that community. It happened for three reasons. The first reason was, I loved the show. Burlesque is so beautiful, and the talent level blew me away. The second reason was I loved the people. A Burlesque festival just feels like the world's best International house party, a feeling of coming home, even though I arrived not knowing a single person. I left that weekend feeling like I made friends that will last a life-time, and they have lasted.

Kitten Deville in Burlesque Assassins

I'm in contact with people I met the first opening night of that festival, I sat behind two random beautiful women, who I didn't know. I said 'hey I'm new to this, do you know anybody?". Those two women are in the film, and it's Kellita, and Kitten De Ville. The third thing that is so spectacular about the community, is it's an art community that understands the importance of the business aspect of things. That was part of the reason that it was so important to me. At it's core, a film is both an art and a business. Everybody involved needs to understand that. So because of the nature of Burlesque and the fact that you're putting out money and packing in an audience and promoting, there are people who could inherently get what I'm after.

FT: How did you meet Johnny Summers and the Vagabond Opera who are involved in your film?
JJ: In two very different ways. A friend of mine of many years in Toronto named Shannon Martin works in the music industry and she got me in contact with Vagabond Opera, as well as a Calgary band called the Ramblin' Amabassadors who appear in the film as well as have their own music in the film. Johnny Summers was an entirely different thing. I was trying to find someone who could do that kind of swinging dirty jazz, that is horn-heavy, and can emulate the Burlesque style Jazz of someone like Sam Taylor, and went to a swing dance in Calgary and they were the band. Johnny Summers had an eight-piece band and my swing dance instructor knew him and we were introduced. When Johnny came to the sort-of interview about composing for the film, I knew he was the guy. He brought his trumpet, and five different kinds of mute. So that's it, he understood. He didn't come with a synthesizer, a cd. It was a very interesting experience, and he put a lot of hard work into composing the music for this film.

FT: I'm impressed with your selections. Where was the film shot?
JJ: Calgary, Alberta Canada. It's very difficult to shoot a film that takes place in the 1950's in a city that was built in the 1970's-one of our many challenges. We couldn't move the cast and crew to locations very far from the area, so we had to have some very creative set decoration. We're hoping we did a fantastic job with limited resources. We're hoping we can do a second one with an even better location and have more fun.

FT: So there is a sequel planned?
JJ: There is a possibility. We have to make enough with the first film, to fund a second one.

FT: When will the film be in wide release in U.S. or other countries?
JJ: The film premiers on July 18, 2012 around Canada. Then after that, the film's theatrical marketing strategy is to let individual Burlesque producers host screenings. We have quite a few scheduled already, all over the world. Australia, the UK, Europe, and the U.S., and possibly a couple screenings in Asia as well, depending on how things go. We started approaching people a few weeks ago, so it'll be a while before we know all the dates. People just need to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and go to our pages and see when screenings are coming. It's not Hollywood, you can email us and say I live in Dallas, Minneapolis, Fargo, what's going on? (It is now as of the time of this article on demand at burlesqueassassins.com).

FF: What is your favorite moment in the film now that you've seen the finished version?
JJ: I would say my favorite part of the film would be - that's a good question - I'm going to go with, it has to do with my personal taste in comedy. There is a scene where Bourbon Sue is fighting a group of henchmen. That would be my favorite scene.

FT: How has all your body of work of short film and documentaries prepared you for this full length feature action film production?
JJ: Like any job the more you do it, the better you get at it. Every film adds something, and of course I met cast and crew on those films, some of which would go on to be a part of Burlesque Assassins. That was of course incredibly important. I have TV, documentaries, and short films, like anyone in film you take all the jobs you can get. One of the things that's really prepared me is I run a workshop in Calgary called Upstart. One of the difficulties in being a Director is you may only work a few weeks out of the year. The same is true for Actors. So, it's very difficult to compete with Actors and Directors that have many many hours on set. So this program allows us to be practicing as Actors and Directors every week. I've personally Directed well over 100 scenes there. So that means the amount of time on set means I can quickly come up with solutions to problems, or I can think on the fly and change things quickly, or accommodate when something is not going right. That was important because the film was very low budget and you need to be able to run the marathon, which is also an obstacle course.

Vegas's own Renea LeRoux and Director Jonathan Joffee

FT: How did you accomplish casting such a relevant (to current burlesque stages) and high quality cast of stars?
JJ: I made three trips to Burlesque festivals. Toronto Burlesque Festival 2009, New York Burlesque Festival 2009, and the Amsterdam Burlesque Festival 2010, to cast the film.

FT: You're the casting Director?
JJ: Yes. I also had a lot of help from the community who I could go to and ask, "I love all of these people, who do you think would have the time? Who has an acting background? Who would look at this project as a fun time, and who would be stressed out in a major way?", because they're going to have to enjoy it. Being the casting Director for your own film, I'm thrilled with the way the cast came together. Something you can hope for, but we never expected was the relationship that the cast and crew formed. Because we were working 12-15 hour days, many days in a row and half of them living together - people were spending all their time together. They lived together in a house, because we couldn't afford hotels, so we rented a house for a month and all lived together. At the end of the day, everyone was exhausted and they would all go together to drink, and hang out. All I can tell you is the cast formed a very strong relationship, and occasionally an intimate relationship.

FT: Any final thoughts?
JJ: I would just say the film would not have been possible without the support of the Calgary film community and the support of the International Burlesque community.

You can now see the film Burlesque Assassins directly from their site via streaming (Distrify) or you can buy the DVD. Visit burlesqueassassins.com

This interview was by Frankie Tease

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Rockit Broadcast for Dec. 9, 2013 - Music, Comedy, Burlesque, Culture, News


Rockit Broadcast Dec. 9, 2013
Voice Narration: Frankie Tease
Writing: Frankie Tease
Production: Frankie Tease
Music:  Jagga (PNW-USA) "Movement" and end loop Moonlight Howlers

In Music- this time of year always brings a Brian Setzer tour and 2013's no exception. He's all over Washington, Cali, TN, KS, and more from now until new year. View briansetzer.com/tour. He's the swingingest holiday guy I know. Also the big band swank of Frankie Moreno inside the Stratosphere in Las Vegas is going strong in their remodeled showroom. It's a fun and 13 + show you won't regret seeing. He's got the voice of a cherub, the hands of Harry Connick Jr. and the hips, they're like Elvis, Elvis the Pelivs. It's a great family or date show especially for the holidays. In Comedy- The LA Comedy Club inside Bally's Hotel in Las Vegas is going strong with shows six nights per week. Look up Bally's Hotel online and see what's crackin' there. Pete Holmes is playing in Los Angeles at the famous Troubadour theater December 17th for a special charity holiday show. He's bringing funny friends, and you can depend on that. Now on to Burlesque- I did my first podcast interview now (on frankietease.com) with Kalani Kokonuts who just came back from a whirlwind trip to Germany. You should listen to that. Also the deadline for entering the Viva Las Vegas Burlesque Competition is nearing for 2014's weekender. Go directly to vivalasvegas.net to get the scoop.  A burlesque show is hitting Texas called the Prohibition. It's featuring amazing performer and bodice of a goddess Donna Hood. That'll be a December show as well, which shouldn't be missed. In Culture- The only film featuring the voice of Bettie Page herself (the most famous American pinup and bondage model of all time) and the only authorized biographical documentary is in wide release USA, and what a film it is. Thank you Director Mark Mori for being tireless in getting this film together. Hearing her voice with the footage really was an amazing experience as a long-time Bettie fan. Check out bettiepagerevealsall.com for more dates in your city and information on pre-ordering the dvd or perhaps bringing the film in wide-release to your town. Meanwhile Kinky Boots the musical featuring the adapted songs of Cindy Lauper and the tone of 'sexual freedom for all' is making waves. The show is selling out seats in New York, while the Macy's Day Parade featured this provocative theme in prime time TV. Go Macy's I say, it's not the depression era, just because we're in one. It's 2013 for Pete's sake.

Got some burning news about burlesque, comedy, music, or culture? Got a slick back-track for us to feature on the broadcast? Tip us off by email at rockitbroadcast[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm Frankie Tease, see you next time on the Rockit Broadcast.

End track by Moonlight Howlers

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Burlesque Performer and Pinup Model Kalani Kokonuts Interview Dec. 5, 2013 - a Frankie Tease Magazine Audio Interview

Kalani Kokonuts by Jeffrey Alexander

Download above or at soundcloud.com and reverbnation.com.

I sat down with five-time Playboy pinup and "Showgirl of Burlesque" in our new little home-studio in Vegas. Kalani talks about coming to Vegas years ago, her recent trip to Germany doing 12 shows in two weeks, and where you can see her weekly in fabulous Las Vegas. More at KalaniInVegas.blogspot.com.

Host Frankie Tease, produced by Frankie Tease from her new home studio set-up. With a MXL VO-1A mic, Behringer Preamp and Acer laptop. Get involved in our broadcasts with an advertisings spot at the beginning middle or end of future interviews or weekly newscasts. Just email missfrankietease[at]gmail.com to inquire. Reasonable rates and a high niche audience await you.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stay Tuned for an Exciting Audio Interview from Kalani Kokonuts!

We will return to our regular Monday Friday format next week! Thanks to all our listeners and followers.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Rockit Broadcast Nov. 25, 2013 - Music, Comedy, Burlesque, Culture


Rockit Broadcast Nov. 25, 2013
Voice Narration: Frankie Tease
Writing: Frankie Tease
Production: Frankie Tease
Music: Chase Frank and end loop Moonlight Howlers

Music- As of now, "Smokehouse Sessions by one of my all time faves is out and ready for you to buy. It's brand new music from the Jackie Wilson sound-alike Si Cranstoun. He's the sensation from Surrey (that's London England) and there is no sound like his. Go directly to sicranstoun.com, that's S-i C-r-a-n-s-t-o-u-n. The new double album by Eminem is also available now entitled the Marshall Mathers LP 2. Em stated recently that his album is not a sequel to MMLP1, but a revisitation. The new album has 21 tracks of his mean lean and clean rap stylings. Many say he has lost no edge but improved in this effort. I haven't got the album yet, but it's on my to do list.  Comedy- In comedy, Conan O'Brien just celebrated 20 years of late night television. NBC even lent or rented him clips of his previous show. That guy is my hero. So few actual redheads have made it in showbiz, and the ones that I used to think were so imagine were redheads from the bottle. C'mon, you guys don't have to get all the side-effects, sunburns, growing up uncool. Conan Conan Conan! Looks like he's not only survived his transition to TBS, but has flourished. Burlesque- The Iowa Burlesque Festival just wrapped up and it featured the one and only legendary Tempest Storm. (I have no idea why more Vegas don't have her as a guest - This magnanimous performer still turns heads and makes headlines. She's back in Vegas now, and back to filming the new documentary about her life. She says she wants to leave a legacy for all her fans, that have stood by her all these years.  Culture- In culture there's been a lot of 50 anniversaries this week. We've just passed the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. The, there was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who, and last but not least the 50th anniversary was reached this year by the James Bond film franchise. Incidentally, if you like addictive free games, Doodle Googles made fun one to honor the Dr. Who anniversary. My best time was 12 minutes. Let me know if you can beat that, it's really fun. Just search Google Doodles Dr. Who. 

This week's backing track is by my sister Chase Frank. Listen and buy her music at chasefrank.com

Got some burning news about burlesque, comedy, music, or culture? Got a slick back-track for us to feature on the broadcast? Tip us off by email at rockitbroadcast[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm Frankie Tease, see you next time on the Rockit Broadcast.

Friday, November 22, 2013

International Burlesque Sensation and Performer Perle Noire Makes Herstory

An In-Depth Interview  
by Kaylin Idora

This article was originally published world-wide in "The Best of Frankie Tease Vol. 2" ebook, August 2013.

The first time I encountered the magnanimous performer known as Perle Noire was at Dita Von Teese's "Strip Strip Hooray!" show in Las Vegas, May, 2012. An eye-level stage while standing, I remember looking up and saying "Love you Perle" and she looked back and said "love you too". Not only is her act distinct, she is a powerful dancer with a natural and subtle command of the audience, and the musicality of a goddess. The body? Well, hers leaves nothing to be desired with tone just about everywhere you can imagine. The good thing, is you don't have to imagine, because she'll show you. Her topless acrobatics are a high point for any show she is involved in, bar none. She leaves nothing but ovations in her wake as the audience cries for more.

Her love of the bygone era is not only evident, but brought to stage. She was just voted number five for the 2012 top 50 Burlesque figures on 21stCenturyBurlesque.com (along with Dita Von Teese, Dirty Martini, Jo Weldon, and Michelle L'amour). Let Miss Noire tell in her own words what she has done, is doing, and will do, related to her many talents. Her adoring fans across the nation and globe expand with each performance, so it's time for everyone to get to know the one and only Perle Noire.

FT: When did you start performing on stage and what was your first genre? What is your stage background?
PN: I started performing at the tender age of two. My mother said I was a dramatic actress from the beginning. When I was a child I would dance everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. For example, my mother would take me to Venice Beach (CA.) and I would steal the show from the break dancers. I was a ham. I had aspirations of becoming a world renowned actress, gymnast, pop star, and ballroom dancer. Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to study the art of entertainment properly, but you can't keep a passionate artist down. I taught myself how to dance by imitating Janet Jackson and the glamorous ballroom dancers featured on PBS. As soon as I graduated from high school, I moved into a hotel and saved up money to pursue my dreams. One day I woke up and decided to move to Las Vegas with a back-pack and ambition. The rest is herstory.

FT: Did you grow up in New Orleans?
PN: Not in my present life. I'm originally from Dallas, Texas. However, Perle Noire was born in NOLA. I am proud to say New Orleans adopted me and the creative process began there. I crossed paths with some of the most creative and loving characters in my life. I'm truly grateful to the creator for sending me to the beautiful city. New Orleans became the heart beat of the creation that is Perle Noire, The Black Pearl.

FT: What or who drew you to burlesque and when?
PN: I like to tell people burlesque chose me. I had an unwavering avidity to become an actress and a ballroom dancer. Luckily for me the stars had a different path aligned. Burlesque chose me when I moved to New Orleans. I was focused on becoming a proclaimed thespian and singer, and as fate would have it, I saw an audition for a burlesque musical called "Backstage at Da Fonky B" in the Gambit. The musical was about a famous TV host (Oprah Winfrey type) named Brownie Glendale, and a tenacious reporter looking to uncover secrets of her scandalous past as a burlesque dancer. I was fortunate enough to join the ensemble of the urban burlesque musical as the witty, animated, free spirit, Lolli Fedicci. I was truly dedicated to this role. I spent countless hours reading about vaudeville, the Chitlin' Circuit, and the burlesque starlets from the past. This is where my infatuation began. I fell in love with the art form and for the first time in my life, I felt at home. I love burlesque because it encompasses so many styles of artistry and entertainment. Burlesque features dance, comedy, music, glamour, thespian art and showmanship. Burlesque is also one of the oldest forms of theater and I'm proud to be apart of the preservation of the art form. I'm grateful for the gift bestowed upon me.

FT: How did you align your path with the legendary performer and NAACP star Josephine Baker? 
PN: During my research for my roll as Lolli Fedicci, I was re-introduced to Josephine Baker (along with many other talented black vaudeville and burlesque entertainers). I was captivated by two photographs of Josephine Baker. The first picture featured the great Josephine Baker in black face and the next photo showcased a costume so ornate, Liberace would be green-eyed. I finally had someone to identify with. Josephine was poor, uneducated, illegitimate, and she wasn't a proper dancer. She was ridiculed because of her skin tone and was constantly teased because of her appearance. While reading her story I was overwhelmed with the familiarity and moments of deja vu. Her story was my deliverance. Growing up, I spent most of my adolescence poor, misunderstood, and an exiled outcast. I was severely bullied and cast aside like a peasant. However, I always had a ravenous desire to become a star. Josephine's perseverance, vitality, bountifulness, exuberance and her down right bad-ass attitude inspired me to become more than my circumstance.That's why it's important for me to keep her legacy alive.

by Tonya Armbruster

FT: How many countries and states have you performed your burlesque to date?
PN: I'm proud to say I've been invited to grace the stage with every burlesque queen in the world and at nearly every state in America. I've traveled abroad to Canada, London, Tokyo, Madrid, Milano, Melbourne, Rome, Sydney, to name a few. I'm pleased to announce that I'll be featured in the 2013 Australian Burlesque Fest.

FT: How do you stay in such amazing shape, and perform your high-energy acrobatics?
PN: Thank you for your kind words. My high energy acts have become one of my trademarks that has brought a certain level of success, particularly overseas. I don't want to disappoint the audience so I prepare for my performances each day. I like to rehearse daily to keep my body limber and to maintain my momentum. When I'm preparing for a show or tour I tend to eat a lot of fish, brown rice and vegetables. During my performances I believe La Baker's spirit is the driving force behind the energy that exudes from within. Along with my passion and gratitude to the audience.

FT: What is one of the most outstanding audience moments for you so far?
PN: I've had so many captivating moments with the beautiful faces in the audience from city to city during the years. However, some of my most memorable moments happened this year. I performed my tribute to Africa at the 2012 Burlesque Hall of Fame Pageant. After my performance, I received a text from the legendary Kalani Kokonuts, informing me that I received a full house standing ovation. I couldn't believe it. I was proud of that showcase because the act represents my vision of Africa. I was overjoyed by the warm reception. Later that night I received the Most Dazzling Dancer award. 
Another memorable moment happened in New Orleans at the House of Blues during the Bustout Burlesque show. Some man convinced his girlfriend to come to our show and let me tell you, she wasn't having a good time. This woman sat in the front row and made snide remarks to her friend during the show. She sat with her arms crossed and gave every performer the piercing Sour Puss Stank Face. By the time I graced the stage she was still relentless. I called her out on her behavior during my performance. To prove my point I jumped off of the stage and walked up to her and said "They're just breast!" She finally had to give in and have a good time. The video is on YouTube. It's a hit. 

FT: How did you become cast for "Strip Strip Hooray!" with Dita Von Teese, and what has your experience been like on tour?
PN: Dita Von Teese tweeted to her followers that she was in search of a local burlesque performer for her upcoming show in New Orleans and my beautiful fans kept singing my praises. She saw my video on You Tube and decided to feature my La Baker act in her burlesque concert. The show was also in association with my long time friend, Rick Delaup. I can't reveal too much about the tour but I will say that the experience has been priceless and filled with countless shenanigans. I'm on tour with burlesque royalty. It's validating to say the least.

FT: What type of music are you drawn to perform to?
PN: I have to admit I'm drawn to big band standards, jazz and juke-joint blues. I believe that I'm at my best when I'm jamming onstage to a live band. I love to feel the vibration and energy from the musicians. Every now and again I'll explore music of this generation but my heart is in the old school standards.

FT: What type of music do you listen to for fun, and what do you listen to for pre-performance times?
PN: My iPod as everything from Etta James to Edith Piaf. Before my performance I listen to a mixture of gritty blues, rhythm and blues and rap. To date my pre-show playlist includes Biggie Smalls, Miguel, Mikumari, James Brown and Jay-Z.

FT: Who is inspiring to you out of the current International or U.S. burlesque performers?
PN: All of the people in my life are the motivational forces who inspire me to become more than I am. I'm surrounded by intellectuals, artists, entrepreneurs and loving mothers. If I have to name a few people within my circle who aren't in the burlesque scene it will have to be Thias Mills, Kali Red, Mikumari Caiyhe and Terry McDermott. Ms Thais Mills is a painter, poet, actress and the founder of The Literacy Online Magazine LipService Ink. Another extraordinary woman inspiring me is the New Orleans socialite and humanitarian, Kali Red. Ms. Kali Red is an advocate for stopping the violence and promoting domestic abuse awareness. She's constantly giving back to the homeless and taking an active stance in supporting her community. 
These woman are entrepreneurs and they're constantly creating new ways to promote business, philanthropy, and leadership in the city of New Orleans. Terry McDermott is a long time friend and now a local hero. Terry is a recording artist who sings in the band Lotus Crush. He is currently featured on the hit TV series "The Voice". To date, he's made it to the top four and he's hit number one on the iTunes Rock charts. And last but not least, my current muse, Mikumari Caiyhe. M.C. is an established actor, emcee, spoken word poet, and arts educator. Terry McDermott and Mikumari Caiyhe albums are available on iTunes. These people (to name a few) motivate and captivate me. I want to do more for my community at home and abroad. I have to surround myself with men and woman who inspire me to reach new heights. It's the only way I can survive. 

FT: How hard is it to have personal or romantic relationships with the high profile life of a performer?
PN: Well, I've been single for eight years, so I have to say it seems like an allegory or game of chess that I haven't learned to master. I hear about these women who have a career, a supporting lover, and children but I'm starting to think it's simply an urban legend. I know if I were a man I would have lovers on stand by but I'm not a man so I have to deal with the price of my divine gift. I also have to admit that I'm extremely shy and men rarely approach me. I lead a beautiful, glamorous life but it's also a life of solitude. I would love to find someone crazy enough to walk with me in this colorful labyrinth I call life. I hope to have it all one day but until then I will cherish the constant love from my friends, peers, fans and the stage.

FT: What is your most coveted award or accomplishment to date?
PN: I've been blessed with an abundance of opportunities and memories with my talented burlesque sisters Dulce De Leche & Gin Minsky, along with every burlesque queen known to man. However, my most coveted accomplishment to date happened in 2009. I had the pleasure and honor to grace my idol's chateau in France. It was surreal.

FT: Would you expound just a bit on visiting your idols chateau in France? 
PN: There I was in France with Immodesty Blaze and Kalani Kokonuts, standing at the entrance to Château de Malmaison (Josephine Baker's home). My legs frozen, I stood there for a moment to catch my breath while fighting back the tears of joy. I was overwhelmed and anxious to experience the glorious event. When I finally worked up the nerve to walk where my idol walked, I could feel her spirit throughout the space. The mood was intoxicating and serene. I took another step slowly to take in the air, & the extravagance. And then I saw her . The museum showcased a beautiful nude portrait of the Black Venus. She was a vision. 
People were walking around, talking, laughing and I stood still, in a trace, mesmerized by her physique, beauty, and resilience. Soon after, I made my way to the showroom featuring the historic banana skirt. I was looking at an idolized piece of history. The skirt represented so many beautiful, dark fantasies & realities. I remember feeling proud and inspired. Proud to be a woman. Proud to be black. Proud to be a part of the burlesque community. In that moment I knew I had a purpose and a calling from Josephine. I knew I was the chosen one.
After I wiped my tears, I found myself in her dainty baby blue bathroom. It was so exquisite. I turned towards the window and saw the view. Oh, the view! Acres of land, trees and beauty. I sat there for awhile. Pondering. Praying. Talking to Josephine. I felt at home. And just when I thought I had seen it all, I walked into the opulent costume showroom. My goodness she was the most grand peacock of them all! Silk, crystals and feathers were displayed on petite mannequins. I was in burlesque utopia. The museum showcased her lavish lifestyle and I was reminded of the many reasons why she was one of the most influential women of all time.
One of the last rooms featured her medals for her service as an intelligence liaison in the French Resistance during World War ll. I was in awe. She was more than an entertainer. She was a ground-breaking business woman, civil rights activist, and a loving mother. I was in my idols home. How many performers can say that?

FT: What are your life-long goals or immediate goals now in your life?
PN: I have so many dreams to fulfill for the future. For example, I plan on starting a dance program for abused and under privileged children around the world. I'm currently focused on my autobiography and of course I would love to work with producers in Paris to create a burlesque revue inspired by La Baker. In the near future, I plan to study abroad and receive my Masters in Psychology to transition from burlesque performer to dance therapist.

FT: What was your first time performing in Vegas like, and when was it?
PN: I competed in 2008 in the 'best debut' category (Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend) and I was terrified . Even though I started my burlesque career in 2003, I was unknown in the community and at the festival. I never expected to win. I was pleased to finally encounter acceptance and applause instead of scrutiny and ridicule. The community welcomed me with open arms.

FT: When can we expect you to perform in Vegas next?
PN: I hope to have the opportunity to present my Satin Doll act next year. This act is a tribute to the one and only, Toni Elling. Toni Elling was Duke Ellington's protege. The song "Satin Doll" was inspired by this enchanting lady. I hope to present my act at the 2013 Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. This will be a slow, elegant and delicate performance - well, my version of slow.

View @msperlenoire for Perle Noire's tour dates and updates, what a woman.

Art by Olivia De Berardanis

Related Links:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rockit Broadcast Nov. 18, 2013 - National - US - Burlesque, Comedy, Music, Culture News


Rockit Broadcast Nov. 18, 2013
Voice Narration: Frankie Tease
Writing: Frankie Tease
Production: Frankie Tease
Music: Jennifer Keith Quintet and
End Loop Moonlight Holwers

Hey welcome to the Rockit Broadcast for Nov. 1i, 2013, I'm Frankie Tease. In Burlesque- Several American stars of stage and screen performed for "Peepshow at Paradiso Tanzbar" in Munich Germany. Names included: Vegas's Kalani Kokonuts, New York's Stormy Leather, Lou Lou D'Vil, Dirty Martini, and Armitage Shanks for a few mentions. It's actual German title is Peep Show Fünf Jahre Paradiso Tanzbar which is also the name of its facebook page. Good luck with that, the photos are worth the search. The extravagant competition is set as mentioned in our previous broadcast to judge who's the best in Burlesque (nationally). They have a site and its Burlympics.com. The date is set for the Burlympics as Sept. 7&8, 2014, at Club Fais Do Do, a burlesque stronghold in LA. In Vegas the David Saxe Productions Group just put together Zombie Burlesque, a new show. This guy is a real pro at bringing his shows value, including live orchestras, amazing dancers and choreography, and bedazzling show sets. I guess it made an impression on him that his mother was one of the original Vegas showgirls. He also offers "Vegas the Show", about the founding of the city, filled with showgirls and plumed head dresses. In ComedyJR DeGuzman (Feature Comedian), Scandal (magician) - Chris Randall, Mike Reynolds (Headlining Comedian), Buttercup Delight (burlesque) all make up the Sapphire Comedy Hour in Vegas. See SapphireComedyHour.com for more - and remember sapphire has two p's. In Hawaii, the always hilarious and politically and religiously edgy Bill Maher will be in Honolulu New Year's Eve. Gabriel Iglesias (of Long Beach!) will be performing at the Tempe Arizona Improv. Tickets are really going fast and start at $40 for the Dec. 27 show. "Fluffy" is his nickname, and he's known for his food humor, latino humor, and today's culture humor. Fluffy is fun to follow on Twitter too @fluffyguy[+Gabriel Iglesias]. I learned from the Colbert Report what a "trucker bomb" is this week. It's a plastic bottle that has been urinated into which is tossed from a moving truck to the side of the road. Thanks Colbert. And lastly in comedy, Legendary Comedian Bill Cosby has announced his first stand-up special in decades - to be aired November 23rd. Filmed in July according to USA Today, the special entitled "Far From Finished" will air Nov. 24th on Comedy Central. Seek that out.  Music- One of the best well-balanced musical soundtracks I've head in a while came in a Netflix streaming British film called "The Heavy". I highly recommend it, for a fun action film. The City of Las Vegas now has a performing arts center, have you heard? It's called the Smith Center (in it's 2nd or 3rd year of existence) and one of its recent engagements caught some national attention. The Las Vegas Dance Theater Fall Concert Series involved the Alvin Ailey Group and music from composers alive in 1910, such as Igor Stravinsky. Las Vegas is trying to compete and show that it's actually got world-class entertainment. It's not just with Cirque De Soleil on the Strip. The Smith Center is located in old Vegas, in Downtown. Culture- The only official Bettie Page Film documentary that involved Bettie herself is in United States wide release all through the end of the year. See BettiePageRevealsAll.com for the theater times and dates near you, and don't miss the wide screen expereience of the film you also can own on DVD. That's BettiePageRevealsAll.com Blythe Stephens and Mareva Minerbi are two featured classical dancers who perform “Blue-Green,” as a part of Kennedy Theatre’s “Look Back: Move Forward” production at UH-Manoa (Hawaii). There are still Nov. 22, Nov. 23 and 24th dates available. The cost is $5-$25 and more info is at etickethawaii.com as well as at the University of Hawaii at Monoa.

This week's featured music is by the Jennifer Keith Quintet entitled "Sentimental Journey", and is arranged by Tenor Saxiphonist Mando Dorame. More can be learned about them at JenniferKeith.com and remember Keith is spelled k-E-I-t-h.

Got some burning news about burlesque, comedy, music, or culture? Got a slick back-track for us to feature on the broadcast? Tip us off by email at rockitbroadcast[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm Frankie Tease, see you next time on the Rockit Broadcast.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tidbits and Teasers, Winter in Venice, Neon Museum, Vinyl at Vegas Hard Rock

This article was originally published July of 2013 in 
"The Best of Frankie Tease Magazine Vol.2"
"Winter in Venice" at Venetian spares no expense with elaborate 
costumes, strolling carolers, nightly skate rink performances, 
concerts, and VIP appearances. It's winter in the desert.

Winter in Venice at the Venetian 
(Las Vegas) For the third year, the Venetian Hotel will transform itself into "Winter in Venice". The Italian-themed hotel has an L.E.D. tree spectacular, a nightly parade with the White Winter Queen, and her royal court, and a polymer skate rink (fitting for the desert). Beautiful winter white is dominant, as will be roving holiday carolers throughout the front free nightly show and the entire hotel property. Mmmm, hot chocolate anyone?

Neon Museum Gets New Digs
The Neon Museum, though established in 1996, has been growing steadily in its procurement of signs and acreage. It's newer location includes the lobby building of the famous Las Vegas La Concha Hotel designed by the first prominent African American Architect in the United States, Paul Williams. The La Concha was created in 1961, and housed the hotel lobby until 1963. In 2005 it was stopped from demolition and cut in three parts to be moved to its new location. The Neon Boneyard tours run 45 mins. 10-4pm M-Sat. $18, $12 Students, Seniors, Vets, Nevada residents. Children under 6 are free. (Begins Oct. 27, 2012). The La Concha Visitors Center is open 9:30-5:30 M-Sat. NeonMuseum.org, 770 Las Vegas Blvd. N., Las Vegas, 89101.

Vinyl at Hard Rock
The new venue at the Rock Hotel has been hosting DJ's, novelty acts, and rock and roll legends. The brick and wood floor Chicago looking interior doesn't seem very Vegas, it's a welcome throwback. The sound and lighting are amazing, and it's already been warmed by the likes of Santana, The Who, and more. The 600 person standing rock venue has its green room decorated in vinyl records. It's amazing that they host artists here that actually release vinyl albums. Welcome to Vegas Vinyl. Hard Rock Hotel is located at 4455 Paradise Road. Visit hardrockhotel.com

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reverend Horton Heat - Let Me Teach You How To Eat

Scott Churilla, Jim Heath (aka the Rev) and 
Jimbo aka Jim Wallace photo by Frankie Tease (Vegas 2012)

Today the Revernd Horton Heat released his new music video leading to the forthcoming album entitled The Rev, to be released January, 2014. It features the Duchess of Chicago, Michelle L'Amour. Oh yeah. Visit reverendhortonheat.com for details and tour dates near you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rockit Broadcast Nov. 11, 2013 - National - US - Burlesque, Comedy, Music, Culture News


Rockit Broadcast Nov. 11, 2013
Voice Narration: Frankie Tease
Writing: Frankie Tease
Production: Frankie Tease
Music: The Moonlight Howlers

Hey welcome to the Rockit Broadcast for Nov. 11, 2013, I'm Frankie Tease. In Burlesque- Viva Las Vegas opens its submissions for the VLV Burlesque Competition. Victoria Danger and Tom Ingram are back as co-producers of the show, and back to more audience voting in the procedure (according to Tom). The annual festival in Seattle called Burlycon took place Nov. 7-10. Organizer Miss Indigo Blue has long been a go-to burlesque figure in Seattle and works with Jo Weldon (a burlesque author and professor) in New York and other committee members to make this 6th annual event possible. Some may be surprised that it's not a weekend of performances, but of learning and meeting peers and idols. Learn more at burlycon.orgIn Comedy- The Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin Texas just wrapped up. It was a combo of music and comedy, an excellent pairing. My sister said it was a hit in those parts. They even featured hip female comedian Sarah Silverman. Ok. Comedy Central's Up Next talent search semi-finals are in progress. The contest has gone through Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Boston and San Francisco and is now ready for your vote to bring it on home. The online voting begins Monday Nov. 11, 2013, so if you have a vote to cast on some new national comedic talent, do it at comedycentral.com and search for "Up Next". The All Jane No Dick comedy fest wrapped in Portland OR. end of Oct., but it's still got a great website to find out about headliner level female comedians. You know we need more of those people, and I mean the good ones please - see alljanenodick.comMusic- has The Rev releasing new music Nov. 11. This week you can hear the single "Let Me Teach You How To Eat" featuring a fully produced video with burlesque starlet and Duchess of Chicago Michelle L'Amour. (I've rarely seen anyone bring down the house with skills and surprises like L'Amour). So I wonder what the album will be like? So many rev fans are in anticipation of his new tracks. With the sarcasm usually involved in the Rev's lyrics, I can only imagine what "Let Me Teach You How To Eat" is about. Dang. Go to reverendhortonheat.com. He's on Victory Records now. Oh, and since we all call him that, he went and named the album "The Rev". It's his 11th album in 25 years of entertaining. On a quick note: Moonlight Howlers put out their album and are heading to Europe for a tour. But not before they got their equipment stolen at a Flagstaff hotel this weekend according to Mother Howler. I just hope whomever stole all their equipment rots in hell. Check Facebook for Moonlight Howlers or Raf Weatherly. Vintage Trouble has a new video out that's sexy as hell. I was watching this thing they posted on their YouTube and had to bite my knuckles. Get on and use search words Vintage Trouble Jezzebella (Official Music Video). There is milk involved. It really does a body good. Culture- The new Bettie Page movie and official narrated documentary by Bettie herself was done by Director Mark Mori out of (NY). The film is now hitting wider release in theaters and you can see if your city if you're ready to hear the story of the most famous pinup girl of all time, in her own voice narration before she died Dec.of 2008, visitbettiepagemovie.com. You can also search its title: Bettie Page Reveals All. Don't miss it in your town, for me it's coming to Vegas soon, yipee. Voting for the People's Choice is in progress now and I think Conan O' Brien is in the running. See who else is getting votes and cast yours at peopleschoice.com. The creator of Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend is casting actors for his new film entitled "Rockabilly: a Cinematic Music-Driven Comedy. Want to be considered ask Tom or navigate your browsers to kickstarter.com and use keyword search rockabilly or Tom Ingram - until Dec. 8, 2013. I can't wait for that film to come out. Impressive Tom, impressive. This week's back track is by the Moonlight Howlers.

Got some burning news about burlesque, comedy, music, or culture? Got a slick back-track for us to feature on the broadcast? Tip us off by email at rockitbroadcast[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm Frankie Tease, see you next time on the Rockit Broadcast.