With Summer Groove just around the corner, we felt it was time to introduce you to another new member of our collective…
But before we get to her interview (and gallery! Shazam!) let me tell you a little bit about our upcoming show. We have a craaaazy lineup in store for you, and this show is all about the groove. Burgundy Brixx and I will be performing, as per usual, and Miss Fitt will be lending her sweet voice for the show, but in addition to that we have fierce burlesque vocalist Miss Kiss, and Vancouver’s high energy sweet-heart from Sweet Soul Burlesque and the Vancouver Burlesque Centre, Cherry On Top! We’ve never performed with her before and we’ve been dying to for a long time! And with Cherry in the mix, you know there will be lots of booty groovin music abounding. Have I mentioned how hard we work our musicians? One month it’s all 1940s and classic jazz, the next month we make them do funk and soul. And they switch gears like nobodies business. NBD.
Alright. Let’s get to know Miss Kiss. And let me give you a disclaimer- this little kissing bandit is much more likely to throw you down and kiss you than wait for a knight in shining armour to come deliver one. She’s fierce. Read about her. The lady is gettin naked for you, so get to know her!
What is your performance and training background?
After being out of school for a year, my Mom said I better get doing something, so I thought, okay, I like to sing and express myself and dress up in costumes – how bout musical theatre? So I auditioned for the Capilano Musical Threatre Diploma Program. So that is three years of training which includes, but was not limited to: singing, acting, jazz, tap, ballet, film, music theory, and a lot of masterclasses! This does not mean I am a pro at all these things, but I have lots to draw on for performances should I need them! I learned that you can really disguise how terrible you are at tap if you learn to smile…ha! I was the rocker girl dressing up as Alice Cooper for first year ice breakers and not having a clue who Sondheim was. I quickly learned though! I have performed with many local theatre companies since graduating, including Gateway Threatre, Theatre Under the Stars and the Arts Club Theatre.
I also started getting into Marilyn Monroe around Grade 9. My dad bought me a Monroe lunchbox as a gift for good grades and I started watching her films and wearing red lipstick everyday – with my doc martins and bondage pants. So I have always had this mix of rock n’ roll and glamour. I also found out I make a terrible blonde and could not be Monroe.
Enter Bettie Page and the burlesque world. “Oh my gawd! So amazing! Where can I find this world?!” I asked myself as a little girl from Surrey. Well thank goodness for The Purrrfessor!!! We were in a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” with TUTS in 2008 and he told me about Kitty Nights, that I should come out, and maybe Go-Go sometime. Thank you Jesus! Ha! Here are all these amazing women who come in all shapes, sizes and colours just kicking ass on stage being sexy and fun and strong! Love love love at first sight! So needless to say, I did Go-Go, and went on to start doing my own numbers. Burgundy Brixx really showed me how it is done and has always been someone who inspires me as a performer, teacher and friend.
So more on the “why burlesque”: it is a medium where I feel I get to truly express myself and my vision how I choose. It gives me a chance to be my own character instead of one already created in a script. It also has helped me be more comfortable with myself. Miss Kiss does not have body issues or insecurities – she just wants to have a good time and entertain!
We’re really stoked to work with Miss Kiss. She has a massive voice, as you may have seen during our “Night Owl Revue” production for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, or in Blue Morris’ Beatles Burlesque. With the amount of skill she has, it’s no wonder we’re all trying to get a piece!
Enjoy the photos!
okay, take two…
(wordpress ate the entry the last time I published it, sending it into nowhere….*shakes fist**prays it doesn’t happen again…*)
Heat Wave! with Pandora and The Locksmiths is when we’re officially introducing you to our newest contributors to the collective…
You’ve seen them setting up our microphones and picking up our finery while dressed to the nines, perhaps you’ve popped some of their balloons while they’ve paraded around, classic showgirl style, and you haven’t seen them while they’ve been backstage helping us get ready and organized in between acts. Sweepers or stage kittens, ladies and gentlemen, are incredibly valuable to a show. In fact, totally invaluable. We’ve done a couple shows without sweepers (or hosts) and in addition to laughing wildly at ourselves for making such a decision later on, it’s made it really apparent how much on-the-ball energy goes into this facet of our production. A f*cking lot.
Since September 2010, we’ve been utilizing various talents in the community. First it was our good friend Voracious V, and she’s moved on to do her own performing with us every few months. Next to sweep for us was the bombshell Ruthe Ordare, one of Burgundy’s students from the School of Tease (Vancouver Burlesque Centre). We took Tease II together, actually! After Ruthe, we worked with the striking Ava Lure, a student of Melody Mangler’s at Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society. And the newest addition is the magnificent August Wiled, another of Burgundy’s students. So the next series of blog entries until I come up with some new idea (just gimme some time!) is all about them, starting with…
We’ve enjoyed working with this fox since last August, and as we watch her develop as a burlesque performer we just keep getting more excited! We can’t wait to have her debut with the band in the future- date to be announced…
Read the silly Q&A I made her do!
What is your performance and training background?
I grew up doing theatre in school and was in a pre-professional dance program outside of school as a teenager, and after that I got my diploma in theatre from Douglas College where I got to work with some of the most amazing people ever! I’m now going into my third year of the BFA Theatre Performance program at SFU School for Contemporary Arts. How many times can I say “Theatre” in one paragraph?
How and when and why did you get into burlesque?
In 2009 I went to my classmate’s graduation from Screaming Chicken’s Becoming Burlesque class and immediately enrolled in the next one as an “acting challenge.” I graduated in March 2010 and have been performing part-time (alongside full-time theatre school) ever since. I have always been fascinated by the idea of the “showgirl,” or “exotic dancer” in the olde-timey sense of the word, and had watched Moulin Rouge a billion times and could quote it off the top of my head. After taking Burgundy’s Elements of Tease, I fell in love with the history of burlesque. The most fantastic thing I discovered about the art is how much freedom is possible within a seemingly basic form.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
50s and 60s music ad dresses, the early 20th century fascination with beauty, Ziegfeld and Berkley glamour, Vladimir Nabokov’s exquisite perversion, Frank Miller’s femmes fatales, and Shakespeare’s open heart.
I’m really excited to attend the Veiwpoints Training Workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts in July!
Don’t you just wanna pop some balloons off of her? You do? Perfect! July 10th at Guilt and Co is the date you’re looking for.
See you there!
While you’re anxiously awaiting our Heat Wave! production at Guilt & Company……
we’ve got a delectable stash of photos for you to enjoy in the meantime. Omnomnom!
Here is Act 2 of our most recent show at Guilt, photographed by Cameron Brown.
PS- congratulations to the new board of directors for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival– directors continuing on include Roxette Starr, Mike Cooper, Blue Morris, Sparkle Plenty, and April O’Peel. The board has welcomed Stevie Lix and Nicky Ninedoors into the sparkly workaholic fold! Let the world domination begin!
The videos are trickling their way onto Burlesque Stars, and since Voracious V is performing with us tomorrow it seemed appropriate to post a video of her.
This one, in particular, is from her solo performance at The Vogue. Naughty.
So, who’s coming to Guilt and Company Tuesday night?
Doors 7 pm, show starts at 9 pm.
Suggested donation $10.
plus the five piece music sensation The Locksmiths
Hosted by Mama Kay
with help from August Wiled
We’ve been very fortunate this festival to have amazing photographers left right and centre!
Today, dearest viewers, you get to see some of the best photos that WeDo Photo took of Pandora and The Locksmiths during the first two nights of the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.
Note- not all our members are featured in these photos. We had fantastic performances by Burgundy Brixx, stage help by Ava Lure, Ruthe Ordare, and Callio P. Cock, a rainbow fest by Miss Fitt, that foxy Carole Brunette, Rebel Valentine and Miss Kiss helping out on vocals… but hey! These were the photos I got, and they are damn good!
In case you didn’t notice, our blog is going through a slow transformation into the land of less black and red, and more colour. Also, you can expect to see a whole lot more of our members featured on the main page in the next couple weeks. We’re also going to start featuring our most trusted designer, Messica Demolition, in “costume creation” themed blogs. And we’re going to feature our musical machine. Sean “Brother Keys” Bayntun, in a blog showcasing how he breaks down each track and charts it out like the crazy talented motherf*cker that he is. As a live music and burlesque collective we have a large team of people to keep the fabulous standards high! We feature professional singers, professional dancers, burlesque artists, and, of course, five (or more) absolutely stellar professional musicians- not to mention relying on a few very talented designers to make our custom costume dreams come true. At our shows you can always expect to hear smokin music and see variety in with top-notch tease artists. That’s just how we like it. No element is more important than the other. It’s all about quality entertainment, baby!
Our next show is on June 11th (we’re on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Guilt & Co) and our lineup is Burgundy Brixx, yours truly, Miss Fitt, Voracious V, and the newest Pandora and The Locksmiths member will be keepin us all (and our costumes) in line, August Wiled! Doors 7 pm, show 9 pm. Admission by suggested $10 donation. (In addition to bringing you the best quality, we like to be accessible, so you can still have a wonderful scotch to accompany the show without breaking your wallet!)
Here’s hoping these photos will tide you over until we get our next batch of glory in from one of the talented photographers that we’re so lucky to encounter in our performances!
Nicky Ninedoors – and the whole Pandora and The Locksmiths gang!
Well, I decided that I’m going to take a day off tomorrow, so you get lucky and get the last photos from William Stewart today!
Continuing on in the back story…
So, a little while after our first meeting, I was sad to discover that I wasn’t able to take the burlesque course that I wanted exactly when I wanted, and that I was going to have to wait until the next session. BOO. How would I continue my friendship with the mysterious little pinup with the helmet-wearing friend? Displeased! But, to be honest, it gave me time to warm my mom and dad up to what I was doing anyways. Don’t get me wrong, my parents now come to every show and sit pretty much front row whenever they can, but there was a famous quote uttered once…
“What, are you going to do burlesque as a career?”
“Well… why not? I’m good at it.” 🙂
It only took a couple shows for them to figure out where this was all coming from, and how it was actually preeeetty much what I’m made to do (ie. make a spectacle of myself), so I won their undying support in short order!
So, in January, I went to my first class…. and who walks in, but that quirky lady again! Turns out we were completely on the same page and fate decided to keep us together!
That’s pretty much it. We went through Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society’s Becoming Burlesque together, then decided we would hang out all the time, then Pandora & The Locksmiths was formed, and the rest is history in the making.
Oh yeah… hope to see you at our next show at Guilt & Co on June 11th. Voracious V is performing, and we’ve got a new naughty duet we’ll be debuting….
Where did I leave off last time? Ahhhh yes. So, we were dancing at The Lamplighter. I was already very curious about this quirky lady who was going to be going to burlesque school. Our group decided that they wanted to go somewhere else… I don’t know. Somewhere fairly pretentious/douchey. Whatever. So, we went along, and met up with her friend Karen, who had just arrived via bicycle. Upon finding out where we were going, Karen decided that no, she would not check her bicycle helmet, and that she was just going to wear it all night. For protection against douche-boys. The theory didn’t exactly work, but was absolutely hilarious. I was pretty convinced that these people, at this point, were definitely A.O.K.
Story to be continued…!
Here! Now you’ve listened to my drivel, enjoy some pretty photos by William Stewart!
Ahhh, more photos of myself and Voracious V from William Stewart.
Here’s a little backstory about how Voracious V and I came to be friends.
Back when I was working as a waitress, there was a girl I worked with whom I would occasionally go out and party with. I was kind of over the club scene at that point (I no longer really drank and that killed it for me) but every once in a while I definitely needed to dance. One night we were out at The Lamplighter and she introduced me to V, saying “She is going to do a burlesque course!”. I was really surprised, because I thought I was definitely the only person to have such a cool idea. No, not really, but to be honest I hadn’t come across anyone else who was like “I AM GOING TO STRIPPER SCHOOL! YAY!” and I was incredibly intrigued. Who was this little lady, with her super curvy body and her quirky mannerisms? WHO WAS SHE?
As I was going to do the same thing, I said “Me too!”. We proceeded to discover that we were signed up for the same session with Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society! WHOA.
There’s more to this story, obviously. But, just in case you didn’t know, I’m a professional tease. You’ll get more. When I say you’ll get more. Now, for some photos.
I’m a big fan of contrast. So imagine my delight when I discovered I could get my hands on photos of myself and Voracious V taken by William Stewart for The Straight from The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival. Ummmmm, I’m not sure if you were there to witness the two acts we did, but we were VERY different. Both ended up pretty damn naked though (in custom made underthings by Messica Demolition, obviously, and our own hand made “naked” crystal pasties- very naughty!)
So, in the next few blog posts I’m going to be posting photos of both myself and my lovely purple friend Voracious V. Enjoy!
So, see you at Guilt & Co on Tuesday the 8th (tomorrow!) for our monthly show, right? Doors 7 pm, show 9 pm!
This past weekend with the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival has truly been out of this world. The performances were incredible, the attendance was fantastic, and the festival is just getting bigger and better every year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!
I feel very blessed to have this woman in my life. Having Burgundy Brixx‘s expertise, creativity, and professionalism to look up to has really inspired a “the sky is the limit” belief system in me, and I am forever grateful. Her guidance for the festival since she moved here from New York four years ago is evident in its evolution as one of “the” entertainment events of the year to be at. The combination of talents across our community- diverse, inspiring, multifaceted performers and producers and enthusiasts- have made the festival what it is, and continue to make the festival what it’s becoming. Glory!