Monday, June 27, 2011
A Sneak Peek at our featured performer: JEZEBEL EXPRESS
Well, if you arent shaking it with us Wed. nights at the Delancey, you certainly are missing out on quite a summer. Join us this week when we featured the sizzling hot JEZEBEL EXPRESS with special guests Mary Cyn of Original Cyn Burlesque and Vena Von Cava from Dead Bunnies Burlesque and the House of Yes. Lucille Ti Amore shakes it on the gogo box and Sincerely Yours offers up a special Shaken and STirred debut. As always, brought to you by Team Shaken and Stirred: DJ Jess, Scooter Pie and RunAround Sue. No cover for the show and free huckleberry Vodka shots served after burlesque sets. Win a pair of pasties and an exclusive DJ Jess Shaken and Stirred Mix in our weekly raffle. Upstairs pre-show the Delancey is running a 5$ Roof top Cook Out. Bring your friends, your lovers and everyone in between.
And now - on to the peaking!
1. What does Burlesque mean to you?
I tell students that burlesque is theatrical striptease that often incorporates elements of parody, satire or political/ cultural commentary. That's a good definition for beginners, but burlesque means and has meant a variety of things in different places and at different times. What "counts" as good burlesque in LA isn't the same as in New York or Chicago or Toronto, and burlesque as a performance of sexuality is obviously not the same beast in 2011 as it was in 1950, or in 1868.
All of this is sort of a roundabout way of saying that I don't think defining burlesque strictly or clearly is important. Doing burlesque, and doing it with love and respect for the form and for yourself as an artist, is important.
(That said: "Yes, Virginia, you have to take your clothes off." That comes with respecting the form, and not just slapping the word "burlesque" on your cabaret/ aerobics class/ synchronized water ballet because you happen to own a corset and pair of stripey tights.)
As far as what burlesque means to me personally, I don't think it's overstating the case to say that these people are my family. Burlesque is my home.
2. How did you choose your name?
I love Scrabble and I've won many a challenge playing the word "Jezebel". (People think it's a proper noun, as in the biblical Jezebel, but it's also a word for "loose woman".) When I started burlesquing in 2003, I couldn't find anyone else who was using that name, so I went by Miss Jezebel for awhile. I was the only person doing burlesque in my city, so there was no danger of being mistaken for anyone else. A few years later, when I had a troupe and a school, one of my students found the name "Madame Chairwoman Pantiesparkle Express" with an online burlesque name generator, and we laughed about how ridiculous it was until I realized that Jezebel Express sounded fantastic. "She's going to hell... and fast!"
3. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Jonathan Brandeis. That floppy hair! (Also, he was a very pretty girl in Ladybugs.)
4. What are you reading these days and why?
I just started reading Alberto Manguel's A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader's Reflection On A Year Of Books. Before that, I read Daniel Clowes' graphic novel David Boring, which is fantastic and which should be read by everyone. I'm also dawdling through Derrida's final interview, Learning To Live Finally, but it's making me sad, so I keep stopping and starting again.
5. What is your favorite performance antecdote?
I used to do an act to Teach Me Tiger where I was a schoolgirl with a Tony The Tiger fetish. Once, I did it at this tiny dive bar in Brooklyn with a little catwalk that served as the stage. It was about a foot off the ground, and only about two feet wide. Tiny. You were basically just performing in the corner of the room. The act is messy... it ends Flashdance-style with me leaning back in a chair and pouring a box of frosted flakes over myself. (I'd cleared it with the producer and the beefy biked bartender.)
The crowd at the place was sketchy, and included an extremely inebriated woman with two enormous German Shepherds at her feet. Every once in awhile she'd spill some beer and they'd lap it up off the floor before settling back down into the corner. I was surprised at how calm they were, given the noise, light and flying clothing. Maybe it was the beer.
Anyway, I was closing the show, and everything went smoothly until the Frosted Flake pour. I opened the box, leaned back in my chair... and as soon as the first bit of cereal hit the floor, these super-lazy (and probably drunk) dogs sprinted across the bar and started lapping the Frosted Flakes up off my naked body. I don't think I've ever gotten up out of a chair so fast!
Their owner was furious, and though she was too drunk to get up from her stool and cross the bar, she kept screaming that the cereal would make the dogs sick (as though the beer wouldn't?) and threatening to kick my ass. She tried to get the bartender to return the dogs to her, and he crossed his giant inked arms and said "No way, man. I won't even have to mop now!"
6. Please distill your life philosophy into either a couplet or haiku.
Don't worry, be happy.
Also: the sky is falling!
PS: I'm bad at rules.
7. How can the people find out more about you?
You can always find me at www.jezebelexpress.com.
I'm also producing next week's Liberty Belle Spectacular, which is a huge rooftop Fourth of July party, complete with live jazz, hot burlesque, firework and dancing. So if you want to come celebrate with me, the details are at www.libertybellespectacular.com.