Oh my. I’ve been meaning to tell you about my USA trip but I have only just recovered. In brief it was all, Boobs, Bums & Booze.
I’ll try. But this is the edited version what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…
My trip started in LA and after a long flight preceded by little sleep due to a gig the previous night, I hit LA exhausted. A cat nap and I was ready to go out and hit my first burlesque show!
It was a pleasure to finally meet Mercury Troy and Mae Lust who I knew from facebookland. Mae was performing at Victory Variety Hour and I was placed in the hot seat and given a lap dance by the cute as a button Squirrel. Such a delight. Jessame Thunder was on fire with a 70s inspired number which made my heart rate go up. But my heart was stolen by the one and only Hedo Luxe. Such a character and costume. I won’t describe his act as it would ruin the surprise but he comes onstage to a wow, and it just gets better and better…
The next day Mercury and Mae took me shopping to the LA Fashion District. A combination of jet lag and excitement had me completely overwhelmed! It was amazing. So much fabric and trimming and so cheap! Despite it being a holiday weekend much was open, but I vowed to return!
On Monday I decided to play tourist for a day and did a tour of LA. To me it is a place of wealth and despair… One area abundant in riches and a few miles away dozens of homeless people.
That evening I joined up with the Diamond Dahlia, Strawberry Siren and then Alyssa Kitt flew in and we went to Monday Night Tease. It was wonderful to see Alyssa and hear all about her tour and to see many of the performers I had enjoyed seeing at VVH. One addition was Russell Bruner . He and did a marvelous routine to 2 ladies with his lovely ladies and then he did a solo- the very number that won him King of Boylesque later that week. Such a lovely charming man as well, he had many a heart a fluttering that week
The next day the 4 of us set out shopping firstly in Hollywood then returning to the Fashion District. Many a pretty thing was bought!
Then I took the intrepid step of hiring a mini-van to drive us and our luggage to Santa Ana. The hire company would not hire us a GPS though!!! &^*&%^%)!!!! so we had to rely on maps as our phones GPS would not work. I did it ! even with LA’s notorious traffic jams (6-8 lane highways getting traffic jams!! that is 6-8 lanes each way too!!!) and getting a little lost. Totally crazy.
On Wed Alyssa, DD and I made a pilgrimage to Wal-Mart! Oh the fun. So many cheap things in such a huge building. I stocked up on makeup, allergy medication and other tidbits. The difference in prices made me really question how the retailers in Australia justify the prices. A Loreal lipstick that costs $18 in Aus for $5? moisturizer that costs me $34 in Aus here cost $18. It really makes no sense, even with our smaller market and expensive rents. I think retailers will really have to take on the wholesalers if they want to survive.
That night we got all dressed up in our new Betty Page dresses to celebrate Alyssa’s birthday and to see Dita Von Tease’s Strip Strip Hooray! I was curious to see Dita live as I had never enjoyed videos of her performances. AND best of all I got to see the absolutely fabulous Dirty Martini!!!
I went in with lowish expectations of Dita and have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. I was not a fan of her last act but her cowboy act was a lot of fun. The costumes and production values were of a level I’ve never seen before. It was also one of the most diverse shows I have ever seen. So much so that it must have been planned that way. It is really a credit to Dita that she puts on a show of that caliber. I can’t say I am a fan, preferring her photos, but it was a worthwhile trip.
After the show Dirty came up to us and after hellos and hugs gave us wrist bands for the after party. It was wonderful to meet most of the performers from the show, talk to Dirty (mostly about clothes!) and even Dita. Yes I must admit to getting a little celebrity struck. When she walked into the room all eyes were on her.
Bleary eyed we woke up ready to head to Las Vegas! Our chauffeur arrived and miraculously packed all our suitcases into the van and we were off! Doc from Dr Sketchy’s Byron was surrounded with some of the Eastern seaboards loveliest performers: The Strawberry Siren, Bella de Jac, Alyssa Kitt, the Diamond Dahlia and I. Lucky man. He teased us with pictures of baby animals and Alyssa dared him into mean game of Rock Paper Scissors. I mostly enjoyed the view, the Desert landscape can be beautiful in its desolation.
A highlight of the trip was a stop at Peggy Sue’s Diner- saur Park.
We arrived in Vegas and scattered off to our rooms to get ready for the first night of BHOF.
All glammed up we headed to the first show of the weekend- Movers Shakers and Innovators. Our own Briana Bluebell was performing which made the night extra exciting. I finally also got to meet the lovely Vava Vunderbust and April O’Peel, two performers I had seen only on You Tube but admired. I sat amongst them with their Canadian contingent and almost went deaf from their enthusiastic whoops and hollers, especially when a Canadian was onstage
The rest of the weekend was an absolute blur. There was shopping, eating and drinking as usual, and so much burlesque!
Friday nights show was The 55th Annual Burlesque Reunion Showcase. It was amazing to see so many legends get up on stage and the next day I got to meet some of them in person, including the riotous Camille 2000. I hope I am so fabulous at that age!
Saturday night was the big night where our own Imogen Kelly was competing for Miss Exotic World, 2012 Queen of Burlesque. It was a fabulous night full of amazing performances. So many great performances. When it was finally time for the Queen to be announced we all held our breath and then I almost fell over when Imogen’s name was called out! It was so exciting to be there all us Aussies were so proud of Imogen. I gave Imogen the little koala I had put swarovski crystals all over and we celebrated to the early hours.
My final day in Vegas was taken up mostly by the pool party. You have never seen a more colourful, glamourous pool party! SO much fun and not to be missed. The last show Icons and All Stars had a dream lineup, including our own Mark Winmill (Captain Kidd) farewell performance as King of Burlesque. It was a wonderfully enjoyful weekend.
If you’re going to San Francisco they say to wear some flowers?? Well we were bright enough when we arrived at the Vegas airport, but 3 hours of delays and a flight and we arrived bedraggled and tired. We checked into the lovely San Remo guesthouse, and napped. I spent a lot of this holiday grabbing a nap where I could!…
We all got ready in the confines of our cute but tiny rooms to head to Hubba Hubba to perform. It was my first international performance! Jim who runs it had been super friendly from the moment I wrote to him asking to perform and it was exciting to be there. It was a lot of fun, but I discovered that the bar staff free pour spirits!!! So I was a little less steady than usual but made up with it by being even more outrageous
When the bar closed we all headed off to another bar. Who proceeded to give us free drinks… All night! Heading home as the sun rose I was glad I had already been to San Fran before! We all slept off monstrous hangovers and a few of us headed out to the touristy (but I like it) Fisherman’s Wharf area for needed foods. In and Out burger was a godsend! I met up with an old friend for dinner and drinks that night and headed back for more sleep.
On Wed Bella and I made our way to Guiardellis for some chocolate then headed to Haigh St for some shopping! San Francisco is so beautiful that a tram ride was a delight.
That night we all got ready to perform at Red Hots at the El Rio bar. I had met Dottie on Facebook and had got to know her in Vegas. She had also been super welcoming and the night was a blast. Fabulous crowd and a lot of free drinks came my way… Do you see a theme forming here? Hmmm Yes that night I went to the airport drunk, not having eaten. And could find NO food places open!!! I ended up begging one of the shops that was closing to buy some food and then something strange happened- I found a bag of Cherries. Beautiful sweet California cherries someone must have left behind. It seemed providential!
So with a belly full of Cherries and booze I headed to NYC on the Red eye…
I arrived in New York and headed straight for my accommodation to sleep off the over night flight.
It was soon time to get ready for The Peel New York City! I went for a walk along the boardwalk before the show and took in some of Coney Island. It is a mad little world!
The show was too much fun. Lauren La Rouge and Holly Ja’ Doll held the Peel away from home, and having performed at the very first Peel it was an honour to be there. Joined by fellow Sydney Sider Ember Flame, it had the fun of the Peel with the quirk of Coney Island.
The New York ladies were lovely and RayVelenz was a hoot.
We all went onstage at the end in our Peel T-shirts and poured wine over ourselves in a giant bath!
That night I went with some of the audience members to one of Brooklyn bars. It is a fab place really, lots of great places to go.
The next day after a little sight-seeing and shopping I met up with Holly Lauren and Ember. We found a bar that served 5 shots for $10. Then a tiki bar, with a vintage photo booth. Once again the bar tenders free poured and taking a liking to us all we had way too many drinks.
As you can imagine the 20 hour flight home the next day was not much fun.
But now my liver had recovered I can’t wait to go again! But can someone please shout me a first class ticket next time