Master of her craft: Julie Atlas Muz

Just watch. I don’t really want to fuck it up with words…..just. fucking. watch.

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: Miss Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini, Miss Exotic World 2004, international performer and New York burlesque royalty, spun into my radar during Exotic World 2006. I’d never seen any one like her before. She is brazen, bold, bawdy, sexy and so effing graceful that I immediately fell smitten with her style. Named the “best body in burlesque”, Dirty is a monument to what female empowerment should look like, curvy, playful and sinful on heels. One of my favorite acts is “The Spider”. The music, her dress, the web…it all comes together to make one of my favorite acts. I’ve seen it about 5 times live, have it as a favorite on Youtube but I can’t wait to see it live again.

Now based in New York, which is a veritable Mecca for burlesque today, Dirty is a facet on the burlesque diamond that shines bright there. A versatile performer, Dirty Martini also makes for a wonderful model. Having just been photographed by Karl Lagerfeld for V Magazine on the one and only epic Chanel staircase in Paris, us more curvaceous burlesque girls should be excited that maybe, one day burlesque will be just one of the places that our empowered, strong and soft bodies belong. I take my pasties off to you Dirty Martini!

Along with her very classic looking movement on stage, Dirty Martini also is one of the most innovative performers in burlesque today. From her boundary pushing act that deals with America’s consumption issues while dancing to the ever wholesome Dolly Parton, to her classic balloon pop act with a cigarette twist, Miss Dirty has found the best way to make a Dirty Martini, and that’s simply by being a dynamo on stage.

Funny little story, I had the good fortune of doing Seattle’s Tease-O-Rama, which had an amazing cast. I had been asked to open the show, which thrilled me, since I got to help rev up the audience, and I could watch the rest of the show from the darkened windows above the audience. This little area had been jammed full of burlesque beauties, and I had leaned over and rested my gloved arms on the table surface to make sure those in back of me could see the show. Suddenly, the table moved…I looked down, and realized that I had been resting my arms on the mostly bare and glorious backside of Dirty Martini. At first, I was horrified, but she was more than a darling and thought it was hilarious herself. I giggled about it for days afterwards.

And that’s what makes a true entertainer.

To find her most current schedule of events, check out:

http://www.myspace.com/dirtymartiniburlesque

http://www.missdirtymartini.com

Photo from http://www.gregking.ca/burlesque/TBF/2008/IMG_17959.JPG