Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A burlesque beauty reveals her secrets

by The Advertiser

Miss Burlesque SA

Chrissie Brown and Radha Leigh will compete for the Miss Buelesque SA title next month. Source: Supplied

DANCE beauty Chrissie Brown has burlesque to thank for putting her on the right path.

Chrissie, aka Lyra la Belle, says her desire to perform on stage in the retro art form was born from body image issues in her teens.

"Burlesque to me is an inclusive art form, it doesn't take into consideration age or size," she says.

"It is about being comfortable in one's body and sensuality rather than sexuality. As a teen I suffered from shocking eating disorders and had a really distorted sense of self related to my body image."

While as a back-up dancer in London she mingled with Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Jamiroquai, Blue, Kate Moss and Geri Halliwell, she says her love will always be burlesque. The former local will be performing in the Miss Burlesque SA competition on June 4 at Nexus Cabaret with a bevy of beauties hoping to get through to the grand final.

Chrissie, whose boyfriend is theatre actor Andrew Bongiorno, is a familiar face in Adelaide during the Fringe, recently bringing a bunch of sassy girls to town to perform stage show Burlesque Beauties. Since moving into the world of vintage tease, she hasn't looked back.

"As a back-up dancer in London, the scrutiny on your body and competition can be very unhealthy," Chrissie says.

"Burlesque is all about feeling good about you. It is also incredible fun and I love dressing up!"

Oh and she also met The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year, which she says was a "massive highlight".

X Burlesque University helps novices shed inhibitions

By Sonya Padgett
Posted: May 1, 2011 | 2:10 a.m.

It's hard not to be captivated, and a little intimidated, by a tall brunette wearing little more than high heels, a G-string and a microphone, especially when you're standing next to her.

But the seven women on stage with Shakeera Onstead pushed their trepidation aside as she showed them how to tap their inner burlesque.

For 75 minutes on a recent Thursday, they soaked up every lesson and tip offered by the showgirl in Bugsy's Cabaret at the Flamingo Las Vegas. They learned where to buy G-strings and how to decorate them. What to do with a feather boa. How to strip while dancing and use glitter to make them look more alluring and sexy.

By the time the women graduated from X Burlesque University, they had been well-schooled in the art of the tease.

"I actually have a boa at home and, finally, I know what to do with it," said Christine Washburn, 42. She was visiting from Salt Lake City recently and had tickets to see "X Burlesque" at the Flamingo with her boyfriend. Washburn heard that the dancers from the show taught classes on how to dress and move like a burlesque showgirl, so she signed up.

"I thought it would enrich the experience to see how they do it," she said. "And I wanted to get on stage. It may be my only opportunity to play a Vegas showroom."

Producers started offering X Burlesque University in May in response to audience feedback, Onstead said. Classes, which are taught by dancers from "X Burlesque," are offered at 3 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and cost $35. They've had as many as 27 students in one class.

"We always have people come up and say, 'How do you do this?' " Onstead said. "The class is doing well. Burlesque is so hot right now and so popular."

There is no one reason people take the class. Some want to do something distinctively Vegas or learn a few showgirl moves; others are fascinated with burlesque.

Tomi Watkins, 63, came from Atlanta to Las Vegas to celebrate her 16th wedding anniversary. Since she teaches voice and piano to Georgia beauty pageant contestants, she thought the class might enhance her skills.

"I took a dance class from a choreographer who taught Catherine Zeta-Jones," said Watkins, who studied opera in Italy. "I wanted to compare the stage and moves and see what I know."

Since she's representing Kentucky in the Ms. Senior America pageant later this year, Watkins also wanted to get a few makeup tips for herself.

The class started off with makeup. First, they applied fake eyelashes: "Oh, it feels really weird," Washburn noted.

Lipstick and glitter came next, with Onstead showing them how to rouge their cheeks with lipstick instead of powder blush. It lasts longer, she explained.

Then they coated their lips with red lipstick and blotted them with red glitter, making their mouths the color of a juicy red apple.

"If you get the glitter in your mouth, the only thing that's getting it out is brushing and flossing," Onstead warned, too late. Sounds of polite spitting were heard around the showroom as some women learned that glitter is neither tasty nor easy to work with.

Next came the stage, where Onstead gave the women costume tips and showed them some classic burlesque moves with a feather boa.

"We make all our own costumes for the show," Onstead said. "We bought lingerie from Frederick's of Hollywood, cut the boobs out and (decorated) it (with rhinestones).

"This G-string I'm wearing," she said, gesturing to her black, fringed garment, "I got it at Walmart. I sewed the fringe on myself."

Onstead gave a quick lesson in how to undress to music and move like a dancer -- "Walk with pride and self-confidence. Hold your chest, if not out, at least up." -- before wrapping up the class by posing for photos with her students. They all received diplomas and goody bags to commemorate their experience.

"I'm so excited, it was fun. It was out of the box for me," said Chrissy Elms, 33. A member of a charity burlesque group in Augusta, Ga., Elms usually sings. "Now I have some dance moves to use."

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

ALT Creative Communications Contest for Burlesque Performers and Models!

ALT Creative Communications



Media Contact:
Amber Elle Turner



CINCINNATI...MARCH 13, 2011...Are you a burlesque model or performer in need of a press release, media alert, and/or a carefully crafted bio for your press kit or Web site? ALT Creative Communications wants to help one lucky individual or troupe compose their marketing materials for $10!

ALT Creative Communications is a freelance writing business owned and operated by Amber Elle Turner, creator of the blog Simply Burlesque (http://simplyburlesque.blogspot.com). ALT Creative specializes in press releases, business letters, copyediting, ghostwriting, newsletters, blogging content, private writing instruction, book reviews, proofreading, college essay help, and other technical, creative, and literary writing.

To enter this contest, either visit ALT Creative Communications (www.altcreative.org) and fill out the form in the About Amber section or go to Simply Burlesque and leave a comment on this release. Your entry should have your name, Web site or blog address, e-mail address, a contact number, and a brief bio detailing your involvement in the burlesque scene, why you feel you’d be the best candidate for discounted press materials and what you need written. If you already have media contacts that you would like your materials submitted to, include that information as well. ALT Creative Communications will submit your materials to your contacts free of charge!

No entries submitted to Simply Burlesque’s Pinup Lifestyle page will be counted.

Amber Elle Turner has written for newspapers, magazines, and online publications. She has also served as an editor on newspapers and a literary anthology. She was the winner of the 2005 Kathleen Collins Roberts Memorial Scholarship for excellence in writing and received a Certificate in Writing and Publishing in journalism from Drexel University.

In 2007 & 2008, Turner interned at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau where she honed her marketing communications skills writing press releases, media alerts, and a photojournalism series for the bureau’s e-newsletter. In 2009, she interned at the Drexel Publishing Group where she worked on the literary magazine Painted Bride Quarterly reading and evaluating manuscripts for possible publication.

Turner holds a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in global journalism from Drexel University.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Favorite Things: Immodesty Blaize

This short video showcases one of my favorite burlesque performers, Immodesty Blaize, and perfectly encapsulates the art of burlesque. I dare anyone to watch this video and not come away loving the form in all its over the top glory.

Canadian Burlesque Show on March 10!

Time: March 10, 2011 at 8:30pm to March 12, 2011 at 12pm
Location: Club Soda
Street: 1225 St Laurent
City/Town: Montreal, Canada
Website or Map: http://www.grandburlesqueshow…
Phone: 514 699 6620
Event Type: burlesque, cabaret, and, champagne!
Organized By: Scarlett James, The Countess

Pretty Things Peepshow Event on March 10!

Time: March 10, 2011 from 7pm to 11pm
Location: The Jefferson Theater
Street: 110 East Main Street
City/Town: Charlottesville, VA 22902
Website or Map: http://www.prettythingspeepsh…
Phone: (434) 245-4980
Event Type: show
Organized By: go-go Amy
Latest Activity: Jan 26

Event Description

The Pretty Things Peepshow traveling burlesque sideshow is coming to
town with their unique blend of vivacious vaudeville variety. In This
nonstop thrill ride of a show no two acts are the same and each one is
more amazing then the next. See Miss Heather Holliday, The Sword
Swallowing Sensation, Lil Miss Firefly The Midget of Mischief, go-go
Amy Burlesque Bombshell and Donny Vomit The Dapper Dan of Danger. The
common thread in this tempting tapestry of a show is that each an
every act is performed by one of the worlds most splendiferous
specimens of the female form. When talent and tantalizing temptresses
collide you’ve got The Pretty Things Peepshow.

Reminder: UK's Silvestri Studios Contest

Win a chance to have your own professional photo shoot!