Con Artist (parte tres)

The hotel was not only full of international glitterati, but the shining stars of the weekend were a few guests of honor who helped push us for more in our art, and well…pushed some tears out of us too.

Julie Atlas Muz is THE force to be reckoned with. No one can do what she does. She is such a smart & sexy performer, she’ll make you cry. Most of the time, with unbelievable laughter. I’ve seen her perform in (Chicago) and she was an absolute riot. I was a bit intimidated when I saw her workshops on the schedule, but I chose to take her class for that reason. I needed to be challenged. I’m not so much the actor, nor a comedic clown as she’s known to be. Though with her interactive exercises spinning off of childhood nostalgia, I learned the most important lesson she brought: Be genuine. No, for real. We may often take the stage acting as a particular character. But capturing that true skill of becoming the character rather than acting like one is the essence of performing. Being able to make your audience believe, understand, and appreciate what you are conveying is the utmost success. Anyway, Julie’s class was one I will always remember. Especially for the fact that she likes mye cnI name, and agreed with its fit saying that I am, indeed, Lovely 🙂 ……..and then Dirty Martini called me charming. Just had to throw that in!

Well, while I’m sharing “that’s what she said!” ….here are some quotes of the key note speakers that seemed to have resonated with me especially after this BurlyCon experience:

Julie Atlas Muz

“Create your performance opportunity. If no one shows up, who cares?!”
“Don’t be identi-kits. Create your own character.”
“Be inspired. Don’t steal….. Okay, but if you do–make it your own!”
“Say YES. People who say yes, say yes to Adventure.”

Dirty Martini

“Listen to the Yes people.”
“Bring burlesque to the people.”
“The most important reward was [not the opportunity to travel and wear glamorous costumes… But] to be in the dressing room with such crazy people” [sharing the experience and building lifelong friendships.]
“Women have to call each other, other names before they call them their sister.” –Oscar Wilde

Lottie the Body

(To Julie Atlas Muz) “You are the epitome of burlesque.”
“Be careful. Be safe.”
“Get on stage and say to yourself, I am the maker of this house.”
“Let this be a world of roses and cheap wine!”

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Superstars of Burlesque

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How lucky are we, to have Michelle L’amour and Franky Vivid as Chicagoans?! For a third year, they along with Studio L’amour brought us a fantastic show that is, Superstars of Burlesque. With a star-studded cast of International Burlesque title holders, lots of rhinestones, tassels, and skin graced the stage at the Music Box Theater. Twice, might I add! Presenting two shows on Friday, September 21st, whereas I attended the encore presentation. And by that time the champagne was flowin’ and inhibitions were lost.

Hosted by none other than “the hardest working middle-aged man in showbiz,” was Mr. Showbiz himself, Murray Hill. Donned in the most ill-fitted custom made suit, Murray performed his signature opening “showbiz” number, this time joined by a slew of Murray lookalikes dancing next to him. But they weren’t just any mini-Murrays (even though they’re taller than him), these were the Chicago Starlets dressed in drag! Complete with tight suits, mustaches, eyeglasses, and dark parted wigs, they pretty much outshined him for a moment as they mocked him, walking off with broken backs screaming “That’s Showbiz!”

Entering through the house aisle, was a too cute performance by the Dolls of Doom dressed as a dragon, a costume we all recognize for Chinese New Year parades. The dragon stripped down for us to find Lola Martinet & Teddy Bear, as they proceeded to display what the flexy bendy Dolls of Doom are known for: Burly Cirque!

Hailing from Windsor, Canada was Roxi D’Lite, wearing a sequined gown with a tiger print, that fearlessly came off to reveal her best assets. Also known as the Bad Girl of Burlesque, whooda thunk she could make a mere piece of sheer fabric, be so damn sexy!

La Frenchie Kiss & Jett Adore, Chicago’s recent pride & joy, proved why they deserved the Best Duo win at at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame. Frenchie gave us a hell of a spin with her tassel skills, while seducing Jett in a comedic tango. Jett Adore, notorious for his facial expressions showed what it’s like to be shocked and satisfied at the same time. Ahh, and their specialty trick of a simultaneous straddle & tassel twirling–don’t understand what I’m describing? Then you gotta see it for yourself.

Las Vegas showgirl, Kalani Kokonuts definitely gave us a sultry earful with her rendition of a sing-talking performance in the likes of Jessica Rabbit. In true cartoony fashion, she slowly revealed her unbelievably hourglass figure! You could only imagine all the wolves in the audience howling, with their tongues wagging and eyes popping out of their sockets.

Julie Atlas Muz of New York is known as a triple threat, but better known as simply a threat. You really never know what she’ll bring to the stage, or rather to the house. Perhaps, half eaten powdered donuts spit and thrown at the audience?! Yes. Oh yes, she did. I can’t even try to describe the rest of her act: police uniform, head stocking, guns, dancing the running man in heels, robbery, smuggling a bag of coke… Ahem, you just HAD to be there.

Ohh and the Chicago Starlets, all dressed as Carmen Miranda, revealing colorful pasties while balancing fruity headdresses; you can’t help but smile from ear to ear, throughout watching their entire number.

Dirty Martini, a handful to drink in, was definitely something shaken–not stirred. She really is quite a beauty, with a tease of her glove she had us screaming for more. And boy did we get more! More gold, more tassel twirling, and more funbags!

The King of Boylesque, Russell Bruner was quite the treat. Wiggling his signature handlebar mustache and dancing with a spinning coat rack, he gave us a truly comical boylesque number at its very best. Not only did he reveal his huge cock…tattoo of a rooster, he displayed his tucking skills, belly dancing, and well, how he wears nothing but his bowler hat on his head–the other one.

The Twin Cities brought down a whole lotta woman, that is Foxy Tann. Accompanied by the Wham Bam Thank You Ma’ams, Foxy gave us a 70’s glam burlesque feel of glittery afros, and the love for green. I mean, who else can wear marijuana leaf shaped pasties, and have her foot licked on stage?

Coming to us from down under, Imogen Kelly of Australia, presented a fun flamingo number with a bit of puppetry and a ton of feathers! The best part was watching her body roll to an opera song.

Guest of Honor, Kitten Natividad graced the stage, showing she still got the moves to strip and shimmy. Projected on the screen behind her were images of her glory days as an exploitation film star & exotic dancer, who actually went to jail for doing what she loves! It didn’t take much for her to receive a standing ovation from the house.

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As usual, the show came to a close by Chicago’s own Queen of Burlesque, Michelle L’amour. It was quite a surprise for myself as I first spotted her panther cage sitting aside the stage, as I anticipated seeing this all night. This was the first number I’ve seen online, when I stumbled upon the name with such clout. I remember sitting at my monitor, breathless in such awe. And it was no different seeing her perform live! She revamped her costume a bit, with a velour leotard and adding sparkly nails to her paws. But that signature paw print vajazzle job was definitely a fave among her fans, other than that famous “ass that goes pow!”

Franky Vivid deserves a standing ovation just as much as the performers did. You gotta give it up to the man who put this show together. He helps provide the backbone to the mogul that is Viv’amour. I mean, it’s gotta be so tough to feed and provide a roof over naked women for a couple days. Not to mention, build and produce stage sets, lighting, security, show marketing; the man does it all!

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The Superstars have descended upon our city, and we can’t wait to experience this again. Perhaps it won’t be another year til the stars align, for a show to come with this stature. Be sure to keep up with events thrown by http://www.StudioLamour.com, as they keep bringing the best to town throughout the year at various venues, including their own at the Everleigh Social Club.