NYBF Memories

I love my review from NYBF 2013 on 21st Century Burlesque

Dolly Berlin’s performance provoked a mix of amused, surprised and faintly disgusted responses. Let’s just say that too much Sprite during an act makes for a pretty original, not to mention gaseous, routine. Initially presented as a wholesome, pretty pinup, it would have been easy to produce a safe, possibly forgettable act. Instead she was fearlessly coarse, and she certainly stands out in my memory two weeks later.

dolly-angela-650I was really happy to be accepted to New York’s 11th Annual burlesque festival with “Dolly Pop,” one of my favourite acts about a pop-shoppe pin-up gone wrong. I’ve been lucky enough to perform a handful of times in the city before at Under St. Marks Theatre and The Slipper Room, so I was glad to not be popping my entire NYC cherry, but it was my first time performing on such a large-scale event in NYC, with many ‘elite’ performers in attendance.

Truly I was pretty nervous, partly because I was still shaken from having had my phone stolen the night before my flight to New York, right after being robbed at work. Yikes! An ominious feeling of ill-fate still hung over me, and when I took out my hair in the tiny hotel room I was sharing with Mysterion for the weekend, my wet-set hadn’t turned out how I like it (always a stress-inducing moment in ‘showbiz’).

But when I got to the awesome underground venue, things started jiving and I felt a lot more comfortable and eager to get on stage. It being the Teaser party, there were many a hello, lots of hugs, handshakes, and smiles. New York is truly an amazing circuit and everyone is super friendly and approachable. I perused the vendors (and picked up a Dangrrrous Designs cage panty as well as pair of Cheeky Cheetah Glorious Pasties), watched some of the show, then slipped backstage to get ready. I was still internally stressing about my hair, but after observing another performer backstage who had forgotten her ‘phony pony,’ absolutely KILL IT on stage, I felt a bit more inspired to just focus on my attitude and facial presentation. The point of the act is in fact comedy, rather than sex appeal anyway!

“Dolly Pop” is a pretty personal act; for those who know me, you know I have a tendency to produce the occaisonal surprise and robust burps. In the act, I am flirtatiously sipping a soda a la 1950s teenage diner hangouts. The soda provokes me to belch uncontrollably. Embarassed, I hurry to remove my constrictive corset, and for a brief time think I’m in the clear, but then after a bout of shimmy and dancing, the burps return! That time, my shock and shame turn into pride, and by the end I’m forcing out a series of insanely loud and revolting belches while spinning tassels. I personally find it hilarious, and although it’s produced a few head-shakes, every time I perform it I find a number of people that share the humour in it and it makes my heart glow! I can’t stick to just humour, or just glamour. But I love both and I’m glad to have the opportunity to do both within the same artform. Always do you!

The rest of the weekend was an amazing and inspiring blur, much too much for me to ramble on about here. But you can read up on it through the detailed reviews by the good people at 21st Century Burlesque here;

Thursday @ Le Poisson Rouge

Friday @ Brooklyn Bowl

Saturday @ BB Kings

Missy/Ink Burlesque Spookies and Pageant Recap

The third installment of the “Dolly trying new things” series was especially nerve-racking: HOSTING. Yes, I recently popped my Femme-Cee cherry, hosting not only burlesque, but also a pageant! Missy/Ink Magazine entrusted me to be the mistress of ceremonies at their first ever Pin Up Pageant and “Burlesque Spookies” Halloween show.

 Larissa from Blonde Moxie Makeup, who was on the judges panel, helped professionally make up my face for the occaision, and I wore a Patricia Field wig, which I’d purchased especially to wear that evening.

dolly purple
I took a quick second to snap a selfie backstage!


With 15 gorgeous and talented pageant contestants and 6 burlesque beauts, there was much to be said. GCB’s resident host, Wolfman, gave me some pointers ahead of time, and I adopted a touch of his rhyming scheme for some of the burlesque girls. The challenge with this show was mainly during the pin-up pageant portion, where I felt it neccesary to both be encouraging and positive with the contestants without seeming to favour any one girl. I think in future any hosting I do will be a bit smoother if I can do it off-the-cuff style, but with everyone’s image and introductions being so important, I opted this time to stick to my prepared notes.

 The most fun part of the pageant portion was the question round, where I got to interview the top 3 pageant contestants; Pastel Supernova, Laura Desiree and Corey Major. Seeing the girls parade and perform their talents was great, but hearing them all answer surprise questions with grace was amazing. I really appreciate that they were all so eloquent (if the roles were reversed I guarantee I would stammer through like a bafoon!) Trombone player Corey Major took home the evening’s big title, I can’t wait to see her spread in Missy/Ink’s first print issue coming out early 2014.

pageant girls altovenue
Laura Desiree, Corey Major, Pastel Supernova
Photo cred: Altovenue

On the other end of the show, the burlesque girls really did an amazing job ringing in the Halloween season touching on themes from ghosts to trick-or-treating to plague doctors. It was the perfect mix of sexy with a dash of humour and horror, and was a huge honour for me to present.

Stay tuned to Missy Ink & Photolena‘s facebook page  for more photos and coverage of the event!

Congrats to all the ladies, I can’t wait to see and work with you all again soon