Friday, August 28, 2009

Make Like the Go Go's ...

... 'cause it's all about vacation.

Don't worry, The Candy Pitch hasn't lost its sweet tooth. We're going to take a little recess, but will return after Labor Day with lots of saucy treats. Stay tuned this fall for Candy Grams with stars like Gentry de Paris, how to tips and great pix from Don Spiro.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

On or Off?

Is it time to button back up?

How To Burlesque

In our monthly column How To Burlesque, Miss Frankie Tease, left, brings you tips and advice on a mishmash of burly topics. Today, she dishes on how to apply false eyelashes.

Whether you have thick eyelashes or not, applying a false eyelash set can perk up the face for your photo or performance. Lashes come in strips, pre-made from human hair, or individual lash sets, which are great for accenting your already existing lashes.There are also metallic and colored falsies out there. Practice applying the falsies so they look as if they are part of your own lash line. You'll need a tube of lash glue, usually called lash grip. This can also be used to apply body jewels or pasties in a pinch, so it's great to keep on hand.

Squeeze some of the glue on to a tissue or small palette. Dip a toothpick into the adhesive and spread liberally onto the fake lash line on the side that will cover your natural lashes. Wait a few seconds for the glue to get tacky so that it adheres readily. Stare straight ahead into your mirror, with your brows raised to allow easy access. Follow the curve of your own lash line when you push the fake lashes. Do not push them onto your eyelid, but into your actual lash line. It may take a few tries, but this is a task that quickly becomes second nature. When you've got it down, try adding small rhinestones to the base of your lash line for an extra accent. Pretty soon you'll be carrying a spare set of false lashes and glue and won't be able to live without them.

Removing False Eyelashes -- powered by

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Revealing Images: Valentina Violette of the Velvet Hammer

In Revealing Images, photographer Don Spiro dishes up sweet photographic treats and the stories behind them. Today, Don aims his lens at 2008's Miss Exotic World Valentina Violette of the Velvet Hammer.

I’ve worked with a lot of people in various subcultures, and one of the most interesting and influential has to be Michelle Carr, who in the mid 90s co-founded the Velvet Hammer Burlesque, the troupe that inspired many performers around the country to become burlesque dancers or create their own troupes. Michele had already gained notoriety in the in Los Angeles as one of the owners of Jabberjaw, a coffeehouse that served as a venue for musicians like Beck, Kurt Cobain, Hole, and many others. The Velvet Hammer started because she wanted the glamour and tease that were missing from modern LA strip clubs, and wanted a show that would entertain her and her friends. At the time audiences and club owners did not know what burlesque was. Heavily immersed in nostalgia and vintage culture, she re-imagined it to develop her own lifestyle.

Michelle’s stage persona was Valentina Violette. This shoot was for promotional material for the November 2001 show at the El Rey in Los Angeles. We were all excited about it, we had just returned from the first Tease-O-Rama convention in New Orleans where the Velvet Hammer had joined forces with its east coast sisters of New York’s Va Va Voom Room. It was the tail end of the swing revival, which meant that audiences were still dressing up in suits and ties and vintage dresses to have a night out on the town.

Unlike many performers in burlesque, whose big reveal is a pair of pasties, Michelle often removed her top early in her dance. Her big reveal was her thick black mane of hair that cascaded down past her waist, often held in place with chopsticks until the climax of her number. The image we shot is just as risqué, heavily teasing the viewer into enticement while still being tasteful enough to display in public. All she wore as Valentina were gloves, stockings, a feathered hairpiece and a small bolero vest. Otherwise, she was nude, to best show off a body covered in ink.

This was a group shoot. You can’t tell from the photo, but I had just finished shooting one performer and several others were just out of view, talking, rehearsing, adjusting wardrobe, putting on makeup and getting ready for their turns in front of the camera. Music blared, as it usually does during my shoots, but everyone was focused and dedicated to creating art.

Michelle sat in front of a dark grey background on a small stool facing just to the right of camera at forty-five degrees. Her jacket was revealingly open and her hands were crossed over her knees, discreetly covering herself enough that the viewer could see she wasn’t wearing anything. I used two lights with no diffusion, one very high off to camera right, directly facing her, and one on the left side of the camera, very low. She lowered her head into shadow. I exposed for her face, bringing out details in the blacks of her costume and hair and letting her exposed skin go almost white. The final resulting image has a terrific range of contrast. It has a tone that reminds me of a fin-de-siècle print.

~Don Spiro

Friday, August 7, 2009

Candy Gram: Kitten Deville

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 Tanya Cheex a line at t.cheex AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello Miss Exotic World 2002 Kitten de Ville.

What is your hometown?
Downey, CA.

How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
I've been performing since 1995.

How many pairs of pasties do you own?
Too many to count, but I only wear a few.

What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
I don't want to list because too many people will copy. (ha ha)

What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Mac lipstick, Derma blend, Danskin fishnets.

Who had the biggest influence on your career?
Iggy Pop and Lux Interior

Who is your favorite burly queen?
Lilly Christine

What is your favorite item of clothing?
A sexy dress.

What’s on your must-see-TV list?

What book is on your nightstand?
Too many to name. My nightstand is a book case!

If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
France, I want to move there!

If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
To fly. I've had so many nice dreams where I can fly/swim through the sky.

Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Miss C, Immodesty Blaize, Nasty Canasta, Vivienne Vermuth, Scarlett James, Tura Santana, Tatah DuJour, Susie Caboose, Gigi La Femme, Kitten on the Keys, Virginia D'Vine, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Champagne Sparkles, Selia Carmichael, Pyra Sutra, Roxi Dlite, Scarlet O'Gasm, Bombshell Betty, Foxy Moxy, Bambi Galore, Mis Rosie Bitts, Sahara Dunes, Mimi Rockafellar, Baby Le Strange, Rose Darling, Satan's Angel, Ophelia Flame, Panache La Plume, Ginger Valentine, Madame Rosebud, Little Brooklyn, Victoria Veneance, Sauci Calla Horra, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, HoneyLu, Kimberlee Rose, Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, 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.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Dude Gets Saucy

This September, Vaudezilla does it up with Rollin' Outta Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque, a show in which all of the routines are based on the movie. Red Hot Annie, a huge fan of the flick, explains the film inspired the troupe because the first burlesque shows would "take something from pop culture and then create a spoof/parody of it. I love parody, and Rollin' Outta Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque is just the first in a series of parody-style theatrical burlesque shows Vaudezilla plans to create."

Monday, August 3, 2009

All The News That's Fit To Strip

Holly Madison stars in the Vegas strip show, Peepshow. Former flame, Hugh Hefner brought in his new girlfriends to support his ex. He said:

"I was delighted, it was wonderful. I really enjoyed it, I think everyone did, it was really enjoyable!"

In other news...

Penelope Cruz admits the audition for Nine, the musical adaptation of a Federico Fellini film in which she plays a burlesque dancer, was the hardest one she's ever done.

City officials in the London Borough of Camden have made it quite difficult for producers and dancers to put on burlesque shows thanks to their new strict regulations. Venues that host burlesque shows must now apply for a special adult entertainment license. Dancers marched in protest last week.

For readers in Sydney, Australia, you can catch The Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2009, Miss Angie Pontani at the Vanguard Aug. 13 and 14.