Friday, June 17, 2011

A Sneak Peek at our featured perfomer: NASTY CANASTA!

This wednesday we are living the good life and you, my darlings, are invited to join us. Nasty Canasta, the girl with the 44DD brain, will be showing us exactly what that means as our featured performer at Shaken and STirred. Each wednesday at The Delancey (168 Delancey St) we have the pleasure of dancing with our favorite people. Joining us in the cast as our super special guest performers are FRANNY FLUFFER and GO-GO HARDER. Revving up your engines on the gogo box is BROWN BETTY and making her Sugar Shack burlesque debut is LUCILLE TI AMORE! 3$ huckleberry vodka shots are served from 12-1 with a pre-show rooftop BBQ starting at happy hour. Join us, won't you?

And now for last week's recap, brought to you by Scooter Pie:

Wednesday night is the best night of the week. Didn't you know? "Humpday" is NOT a derogatory term. It's more like a promise.. This week I had the pure pleasure of being surrounded by a plethora of pantingly, pants-wettingly HOT performers here at Shaken & Stirred. Airin de Skies truly kept things moving as the evening's gogo sensation, Evelyn Vinyl was super gorgeous, Gal Friday tied up the night as our bootylicious caboose, and featured performer of the night Velocity Chyaldd brought the beauty.. and the blood. We had TWO bachelorette parties in the house, and I hope (and am quite sure) everyone involved had a great night (they sure offered some excellent audience participation). Join us next week early for rooftop barbecue before the show, and stick around- we've got good show for ya all the way til 2 am. Coming soon: NEW GAMES!!!

And on to the Peeking: NASTY CANASTA

Internationally-renowned artstar (and reigning Cheese Queen of Coney Island) Nasty Canasta is frequently hailed as a genius of the neo-burlesque scene. A "burlesque queen" (The NY Times), 2nd Runner Up at the 2010 Miss Exotic World Pageant, and "Brooklyn's greatest burlesque star" (The Brooklyn Paper), Nasty is host and producer of Naked Girls Reading NYC - "New York's Best Story Hour," (The Village Voice) - the impresario behind Sweet & Nasty Burlesque, and was an original co-creator of Pinchbottom Burlesque ("Best Burlesque in NYC" - NY Magazine, "Most Innovative" - Burlesque Hall of Fame).

Nasty began her performance career as a stage actor, studying theatre and costume design at Brown University. In 2005 - after too many years of horribly embarrassing (though, fortunately, horribly-attended) off-off-off-Broadway shows - she discovered her true calling on the burlesque stage.

1. What does Burlesque mean to you?

After a lifetime in the theater, I frequently say that burlesque is the most fun I've ever had on stage, and it's true - not only because the idea of burlesque, the glamor and humor and cheekiness, is inherently fun in and of itself, but because for the first time the entirety of the performance is my own. As burlesque performers, we get to create our own acts, start-to-finish; and though the collaboration with other artists in, say, traditional theatre was always a wonderful thing to me, I always envied painters or songwriters the ability to create a piece of art that was completely their own vision.

That being said, I absolutely love the variety of acts and types of performance that are encompassed by "burlesque," and seeing and working with people from so many different artistic backgrounds is constantly inspiring to me.

But at the heart of it all: my job is to get naked and entertain people. And that's incredibly cool.

2. How did you choose your name?

It's actually the name of a Chuck Jones cartoon character from the 1950's - he's a giant, surly Western outlaw with permanent five o'clock shadow and a whiskey habit. All in all fairly appropriate, I think.

3. Who was your first celebrity crush?

It's a 4-way tie between Bob Barker, William Shatner, Neil Diamond and Michael York. (Wow, I'm certainly dating myself, aren't I?)

4. What are you reading these days and why?

Though I've always been more of a fiction reader, it seems I've been reading mostly non-fiction lately. I picked up the Peter Sellars biography "Mr. Strangelove," since I've always been a fan of his work and I'm a bit fascinated with the man behind it. I really enjoyed Wil Wheaton's "Memories of the Future," which is a sort of memoir of his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation (I'm a huge sci-fi geek); and I've been obsessively re-reading Dariel Fitzkee's "Showmanship for Magicians," an absolutely incredible discourse on stagecraft that applies to any sort of performer, and should be required reading for anyone who gets on the burlesque stage. (Interesting - I just realized that most of my reading lately has been by or about performers.)

Also, as the producer of the NYC branch of Naked Girls Reading, I get to look at a wide variety of sources as I'm choosing pieces for our monthly events. That's been a wonderful excuse to go back to scripts, medieval lit, comic books, and of course lots and lots of science fiction.

5. What is your favorite performance antecdote?

In 2007 I had the chance to perform at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Miss Exotic World pageant on the Strip in Las Vegas; my grandmother, who was living in LA at the time, decided to drive in and see the show. When I was studying theater in college she would send me postcards of the showgirls in Las Vegas with notes like, "You should come out here and design costumes!" It was one of the most fabulous nights of my life: doing one of my favorite acts on stage in Las Vegas for a crowd of thousands, and I swear I could see my grandmother from the stage. (She had a great time, by the way. And to this day she speaks fondly of "that sweet gentleman, Tigger," who helped her find a seat.)

6. Please distill your life philosophy into either a couplet or haiku:

Breathe, have fun;
The work will get done.

7. How can the people find out more about you?

Since this is the digital age, you can always find me online at ... though if you *really* want to learn all about me, then check out Naked Girls Reading: I think you can find out a lot about a person by what she chooses to read naked in public!

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