Friday, October 26, 2007

The Candy Gram: Bloody Belle

In our ongoing Q&A series --"The Candy Gram"-- we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque's various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop us a line at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to Bloody Belle, the B-Nudie Queen.

What is your hometown?
Cleveland, OH (no, it doesn't "rock" and yes, the river did catch on fire; vote Kucinich!)

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
Well, I was choreographing little numbers for notable moments in my parents' lives, like returning home from grocery shopping or after-dinner wine-guzzling, from about age six. Favorite songs of the time were Words of Love sung by Mama Cass, Walk Like a Man, by The Four Seasons, and Copacabana by Barry Manilow. My little sister was in charge of lighting, which basically involved repeatedly turning the light switch on and off.

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
In working condition? None. I bronze them like baby shoes after each performance.

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
The Final Countdown, Goldfinger, and Love Buzz.

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Rubbery face (a la Carol Burnett), legs (apologies if I've offended any legless performers out there), and my all-natural, amateur breasts.

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
John Waters. Jim Henson is a close second. Unfortunately, they haven't directly influenced my "career" (which I place in quotation marks for a reason), but they've influenced my general aesthetic and moral compass.

Who is your favorite burly queen?
Favorite high-profile perfomer: Julie Atlas Muz;
Favorite Chicago performer (all so overlooked): Clare de Lune
Favorite legend: Blaze Starr

What is your favorite item of clothing?
Period underwear. The grannier, the better.

What's the last movie you saw?
Hannah Takes the Stairs - a new feature in the ridiculously dubbed "Mumblecore" genre. (Spoiler: Hannah doesn't take the stairs.)

What's on your must-see-TV list?
Um…I really hate to admit this, but America's Next Top Model.

What book is on your nightstand?
I have a few—I'm currently reading The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind by Chuck Barris, and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Over the edge of Niagara Falls in a barrel. Paradise!

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
I'd like to have the power of attaining anyone's language by frenching them, and then using said language to learn their jokes. Why? I'd feel better about getting quizzical looks from people after delivering punchlines in, like, Tagalog.

Photos by Ted D'Ottavio and Tod Seelie

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Scarlet Letter, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini,Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.


Anonymous said...


Bloody Belle is one of my favorite performers EVER! New York is a lucky town to have her.

And let me second Clare de Lune... she used to be a Belmont Bombshell and still performs with us from time to time... she's the most imaginative burlesque dancer out there!

MarkBraun said...

The two most original performers in burlesque in Chicago's scene are and were Bloody Belle and the mezmerizing Clare de Lune. And Belle mentioning Julie Atlas Muz: Julie did a beating, freshly-torn-out heart-pumping blood number that was a wholloper. If burlesque is hard to define, then these three fine ladies are why: they are the names above the title on a marquee who I go to see.

No shit: if there's a MacArthur grant for a mime like Bill Irwin, there's GOT to be one for brilliant burlesque: Belle, you got it, baby!

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