Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I hope you have a day filled with the magic of the season, filled with quality time with family, friends and loved ones, and of course, eating too much good food and relaxing! Yesterday my dear friend Joshua Katcher taught me how to make my fave Jewish treat, rugelach, with a family recipe he’s veganized! So delicious. Now that my Christmas baking is all done, it’s time for me to sit back and stuff myself!
I will be working off that delicious baking by attempting ice skating for the first time in MANY years today…now that my giant bruise from learning to ski earlier this month has finally faded. This has been my year for learning winter sports, we’ll see how successful that is, ha! To see pictures of my vintage ski suit, find me on Instagram: @Bettina_May
I’ll leave you with a video of my live performance with One World Symphony earlier this fall. Nothing is more (in)appropriate for the holidays than a burlesque interpretation of the bible’s story of Samson and Delilah, set to Saint-Saëns Danse Bacchanale! Happy Holidays!
Last month’s edition of Behind The Velvet Curtain was so much fun, and I’m so glad Time Out New York sent Filip Wolak to shoot the event! We had a special guest, LA dance sensation Lux La Croix in town, amazing us with her killer choreography:
The always hilarious Albert Cadabra hosted, keeping the crowd cheering
I had a blast doing my fave summertime number, my Tiki Fan Dance!
Thanks also to boylesque star Mr. Gorgeous for his amazing crab dance, and Strawberry Fields making her Behind The Velvet Curtain debut!! Making the night complete was DJ Ceremony, who I’m excited to say will be joining us at next Monday’s show as well! To see the rest of the photos, check out the slide show by clicking here!
If you’ll be in the New York area on Monday, please come down to Beauty Bar to see this month’s lineup, featuring Amsterdam burlesque star Xarah, Go-Go Harder, Maine Attraction, myself, and it’s hosted by NYC chanteuse Dulce De Leche!
So one of the things I like about summer is that my schedule slows down a bit and I set aside time to work on fun creative projects. This week I was finally able to start work editing a video I shot in Las Vegas back during the Viva Las Vegas weekender, when I was having a weekend-long slumber party with Ms. Redd and Banbury Cross and catching up with my dear friend LouLou D’vil. Our friend Jonathan Joffe, who created the film Burlesque Assassins was also in town, and suggested that LouLou and I make another video like our Bettie Page/Tempest Storm tributes we’d made the year before, and so I started working on a plan for something along the lines of a Russ Meyer tribute, with us in our new Secrets In Lace lingerie that we had just modeled in their fashion show at VIva, and with LouLou’s love The Baron as our villain! With music from two of my fave bands, Hank and Lily and The Sandworms adding ambiance, I set to work putting together our fun little romp, and hope you enjoy it too! Thanks to Jonathan for helping me with filming, and to all my friends for being SO much fun!
Actually, I started celebrating on Monday this week with my monthly show at Beauty Bar, Behind The Velvet Curtain, which actually fell on Canada Day this year, my native country’s national holiday! Albert Cadabra, the host, made sure to represent the USA in a big way, and of course it led to a friendly post-show wrestling match with us wearing national team colours! Thanks to Mr. Gorgeous for making my amazing custom Maple Leaf bathing suit!
Tonight starts off a string of 7 shows over 8 days before I head up to Canada for a cross country roadtrip and tour! I’m getting a jump start on the 4th with Dances of Vice‘s Nuit Blanche at a lovely French restaurant in the Meatpacking District called Beaumarchais. Tomorrow I’m excited to be in a Dances of Vice special event for the holiday, the Rockabilly Night Market! There will be a fun photobooth, lots of cool vendors, bands, car show, BBQ, burlesque and more! I hope folks get Friday off so they can recover after this much fun! I’ll be doing two performances throughout the night, so if you’re in NYC come say hi!
I’m going to be in a fabulous show Uptown on Saturday too, Gotham Burlesque! It’s at Stage 72, on 72nd Street, and the cast is amazing! I’m so honoured to be in such company! For more details on these and the rest of my shows, over the next week, go to Bettina.ca.
I was so excited to be coming back to Atlanta! I think it had been over 3 years since I last performed there, and I was looking forward to catching up with the local scene, meeting up with new friends and eating all the delicious food there! I made sure to give myself a couple extra days in town to fit in all the fun I was planning.
I arrived on the Friday before my scheduled Pin-Up Class, and met up with amazing burlesque photographer Derek Jackson, who was working at the Atlanta airport. Always a gentleman, he helped me with my bags and waited with me until my ride came to get me, and we finally had a chance to chat! We always run into each other at burlesque festivals like Burlesque Hall of Fame and conventions like Viva Las Vegas, which is like a feeding frenzy of catching up. There are too many people to get a chance to have a decent conversation (or often, to complete a train of thought) with anyone individually, so it was nice to talk in the relatively calmer milieu of the Arrivals passenger pick-up.
Grant from Switchblade Betties Pin-Up Studio came to get me and kindly drove out to a random strip mall where a cornucopia of asian restaurants were housed, so I could get my fake meat on at Harmony Vegetarian. YUM! What I won’t do (or make someone else do, in this case) for some delectable Buddhist vegetarian food. I ate myself into a food coma, and gladly sank into bed in the freshly painted guest room at the lovely mid-century home that Grant has turned into a Pin-Up studio!
Class was great, with two gals who had driven up all the way from Florida to attend! I was ably assisted by Tiffany who also designs her own line of hair accessories called Pin-Up Headgear. I love this photo of Amanda, reminds me of when I had a blonde streak in my red hair. So pretty!
After class, I got to swap sides of the camera and pose for Switchblade Betties! Here’s one of my faves, showing off the vintage stockings Richard fitted me for at Endless Indulgence back in Utah and Bernie Dexter garter belt with my favourite Melissa mules!
After class, I dragged Grant over to another fave local eatery, Soul Vegetarian! I used to dream about
this place when I toured constantly, and would always stock up on their amazing food for the road. I just about ate myself into a coma with their amazing vegan ribs, collard greens, yams, and gravy. And the staff are so nice, one fellow even remembered me from a few years back! I made sure to get their cinnamon roll for the plane ride the next day.
You might think all that in one day was enough to tucker this tour-weary gal out. And you’d be mostly right, but I couldn’t miss the burlesque showcase happening that night with Talloolah Love, Ursula Undress and their fabulous students at Studio Burlesque. I love to check in on local scenes, and it was great running into a few gals I hadn’t seen since my FIRST time performing in Atlanta back in 2009! I also got to hang out with Derek Jackson again for a little bit, and meet the rest of the local performers.
I crashed hard that night, and was so happy to be flying home the next day. I love touring, but I left my heart in New York City and was eager to be reunited with it. I did very much enjoy being driven to the airport in Rita, Grant’s ’55 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, in coral and cream, just like my complexion! I’m back in New York for a few more weeks, but will be heading on a Cross-Canada trip soon! More on that next week!
After an early morning flight from Oklahoma City, I was so glad to be greeted by a familiar face at the St. Louis airport two weeks ago: Jeez Loueez! She took me straight to a Trader Joe’s so I could stock up on some fruits and veggies, bless her heart – a nice change of pace after all the dried airplane snacks I’d been living on so far that day. Then we were on to Van Ella Studios, local burlesque star Lola Van Ella‘s burlesque class studio and my home for the next 24 hours! The headmistress was out of town, being a jetset performer herself, so I didn’t have a chance to catch up unfortunately. I’ll have to come back again soon! I just had time to eat lunch and set up for class, and then the lovely ladies taking my class started to arrive. Perfect! One of the studio’s instructors, Greta Garter was there to assist me with roller sets, thanks girl! Here’s one of my favourite pics from this class, of smoldering Jennifer Pipas:
Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the last leg of my Pin-Up Class tour, in Atlanta!
After my more relaxed visits to Montana and Minnesota, it was a real tease to only get to be in Oklahoma City for a mere 24 hours! I arrived to town shortly before class started, but with enough time for my gracious host Lana Teaze, owner of Teaze Dance and Fitness to give me a mini tour of some of the pretty architecture of the area. Fortunately the area I was in was spared from the recent tornadoes, though my poor mother breathed a sigh of relief when I moved onto the next town safely. Fingers crossed that they have blue skies for the rest of the season, and recover quickly.
I had a great group of students in my nearly-full class, with help from another instructor at the studio, Aubrey. The dance studio was a beautiful setting for pin-up photos, and I was able to get some really lovely shots of the girls.
After class, a bunch of us headed out for some food and really surprises the hockey fans in their jerseys when we sashayed in wearing heels and pretty dresses and victory rolls! It takes a lot of sass to take those eyes of a game in overtime during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but we had our work cut out for us. It was all over far too soon, and before I knew it I was up for another early morning flight to teach the next day in Missouri…but more about that tomorrow. I will leave you with this picture of lovely headmistress Lana: