Stripper Talk #1: Who are your major influences and why?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello there!

Welcome to my burgeoning Stripper Talk series! I thought that it would be fun to get questions from other burlesquers around the world, and answer them, “Dear Abby” style.

The first question is from Bobbie Baltimore, from Las Vegas, NV:

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The gritty lens and the art of Kevin R Kauer

He’s awfully cute, isn’t he?

Sweet and seemingly quiet, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this creative man in various fun shows, bars and places quietly holding his camera in hand, simply watching for the next moment to make magic. Small in stature but big in quiet quirky personality, so many people in Seattle (and hopefully beyond) have been privy to his art, which, I think, is fucking genius.

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A favorite: Miss Astrid Von Voomer

Photo  by Austin Young

Miss Astrid has been called “the true weimar fraulein” by Mel Gordon, author of Voluptuous Panic with “Enough attitude to sink the Bismark”, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Arguably, the best emcee in the US, she is known for her deadpan delivery, impeccable timing and razor sharp wit. -quote from http://www.Pinchbottom.com

“The vagina is natures purse”, she said.

And I fell in love. Since 1997, Kate Valentine-aka-Miss Astrid has been telling her audiences what’s what. My first introduction to one of the most unique burlesque personalities I’ve ever heard of or seen happened at Miss Exotic World (Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend) 2006. Along with El Vez and Margaret Cho, Miss Astrid and her eye-patch made her mark all over that magical weekend, showing all of us what excellent character development, wit and shiny, shiny boots on stage can be.

Miss Astrid is what a host should be. Entertaining and able to hold her own-as a producer you trust that if there’s any stretching of time needed, Miss Astrid will get it done and the audience would have no idea what was going on backstage. In fact, they will want more of her. They will be sad that the show is ending. Her name will be on the tip of their tongues. As it should be.

One of the many reasons why she is on my list of favorite performers is her phenomenal humor and her exceptionally warm heart. I was lucky to get my nickname, “Miss Yum Yum Gimme Some” from her while I was bent over on stage with her on the mic in Seattle. In Las Vegas, during the Burlesque Hall of Fame weekend we chatted until the early morning and watched the sun rise from their suite with Tigger and Julie Atlas Muz. It was truly one of my favorite non-performing moments of the year. Good people and good times.

Miss Astrid’s hosting of BHOF weekend 2009 held many moments and highlights, from simulated (?) sex with El Vez at curtain opening, to performing the hilarious and touching marriage of Michelle L’amour to Frankie Vivid on stage in front of the entire burlesque audience. From the audience you can tell that she cares about her art. She wants you to be entertained and gives it her all with her hilarious hosting abilities.

Even if the performers were under-par but she was hosting (this is an unlikely thing-but go along with it) it would be a show to not miss. I really hope that she does a one woman show and brings it to Seattle.

Based in New York, and a very busy international performer- she’s a few thousand miles away, but Seattle can’t wait till she comes back and hosts another show.

Miss Astrid at the Slipper Room

I was lucky to have Miss Astrid agree to answer my silly questions in my desperate attempt to see what makes her tick.

What inspires you?
unrepentant women, and anyone who is able to self-define happiness and success


What would your best friend say about you?

I am a good listener



What is your best quality on stage?
Being present and quick



Name a person that’s on your top 10 list of performers in your field that you adore:
Too many!! today i will say, Simone De La Getto.



Do you have a process in creating your act/art? Care to share it with us?
Yes, I have a process and I highly recommend getting a process, children.



What do you love to see on stage? What’s your least favorite thing?
I love to see someone who is there for the right reason (the audience) and despise watching people there for the wrong reason (themselves/body/psycho/daddy issues)



Do you collect anything?
I try to collect money but I am not very good at it.


Any hidden talents?
Tons 😉 ( erm, i am a professional dancer even though i do not do in on the bq stage…)


What is your ideal day?
Sex in the morning, work all day, theatre at night, & a home cooked meal with my love.


What’s your favorite performance moment so far?
Jeez, too many to mention! i was honored to marry Franky & Michelle.

What’s next on deck for you? When’s your next show?
Working in Europe, but first stop Baltimore!

If you had to pick a song that defines your mood today, what would it be?
Big Pimping


Thank you, Miss Astrid and your eye-patch, for bringing us delightfully funny, raunchy, clever and entertaining shows all over the world. Safe travels!!

a favorite: Catherine D’Lish

Over the next few days I’m going to polish up my burlesque chops by writing about some of my favorite burlesque personalities throughout the world. I’ve been extremely lucky to share the stage with all except for two, but even more lucky to have had conversations and wonderful moments with every single one.

Without further adieu, please meet my first burlesque influence:

Catherine D’Lish

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Catherine D’Lish, the “striptease virtuoso” perform, and for most of us on the burlesque circuit, Catherine D’Lish is a constant delight and favorite. From her fantastic costuming (she also makes Dita Von Teese’s costumes), her fan-work, to how she can take off one glove and leave you literally hanging off your seat (this has happened to me at her Triple Door show earlier this year) Catherine’s act is a force to be reckoned with. She holds over 30 titles, including Miss Nude USA, World’s Performer of the Year, Miss Erotic World, Showgirl of the Year, Miss Exotic America, and Miss Nude International, she is one hell of a world class performer.

Catherine D’Lish is known for her classic burlesque work, and whenever I think of my favorite act of hers, I always come to an act that involves her epic black dress. I swear there’s 200 yards of tulle on the skirt, and the rhinestones almost put me into a seizure. Black and sleek, she slinks and teases the entire audience with a grace that can only make you think of old Hollywood glamour.

At BurlyCon 2008 I was one of the lucky few to get a private session with her and I was so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to get to know her. Even now as she is on tour in Europe we keep in contact, and she’s always eager to answer any questions I have. She, and the others on my list are a true embodiment of burlesque. During the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas, I even got to sing “I’ve got a crush on you” while sitting on a gentleman’s lap with the Legend herself. Thank you for slinking into my heart, Catherine.

For more on the virtuoso, check out her website: http://www.cdlish.com/

Below is a link to her video of the act and the dress that drive me wild (Please excuse the commercial prior. Shimmy around for 30 seconds or something). For such a petite lady, Catherine’s aura takes up the whole stage!

http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/sexy/watch/v16365826Cp5fStjZ

I apologize for it not being here on the page. It simply refused to embed!

xo

Sydni Deveraux


J. Von Stratton designs.

http://www.jamiestratton.com/

Over my performing career I’ve had the pleasure of performing with Lucky Penny, and for the past 2 years I’ve begun having things made for me by her for the stage, as well as continuously swooning over her day wear and party wear designs she makes for J. Von Stratton Designs.

If you live in Seattle, you can check out some of her ready to wear stuff at the Pretty Parlor off of Olive (near broadway) or, if you have bit of patience, have a wonderfully creative piece made just for you (she’s super busy). If you’re curious to see some of her stage designs, you only have to check out The Atomic Bombshells, as she’s their main costumer/designer. A true burlesque professional in every sense of the word, she also is a main cast member of the famous troupe as well!

Walking into her work space makes a girl or lucky boy instantly jealous of the fringe, rhinestones, sequins and ruffles per square foot. I can’t help but try to touch everything and gush over a pink number she made herself for her Valentine’s day act. You just keep saying in your head “I want a pretty dress too!”

One of the reasons why I’ve chosen to share one of my secret people with you all (she’s not so secret) is because it’s awesome to know that wildly creative and fun people do exist is costuming still.

This talented lady also makes unique and fun wedding dresses, perfect for a dame who wants to be the center of attention!

So whether you’re a burlesque gal or a gal who loves to look amazing in a unique and playful design, check out

http://www.jamiestratton.com

Land of the Sweets: Burlesque Nutcracker

Sydni Recommends:

Almost sold out, I can’t wait to see it this week!

http://landofthesweets.com/

It starts today and runs until December 23rd. This wildly popular show is not to be missed!

Starring some of my dearest friends and most innovative figures in Seattle burlesque, this show will blow you away!