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Do you teach classes in the Variety Arts?

I was recently asked where in DC someone could learn the basics of burlesque. I realized that would be good info to collect in one place. That’s part of what this blog is about! So, if you teach burlesque (or any variety art!) and are near the DC/Baltimore Metro area either message me or post a...

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DCVariety

Meet the DC Variety- Indiana’s Jewels – Burlesque

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in burlesque, reviews | Posted on 23-03-2015

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IndianasJewles01I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Indiana’s Jewels last Friday before Ellie Quinn Presents Girls Just Wanna Have Fun at the Bier Baron. We were joined by her boyfriend/costumer.

It was fun to talk to Jewels about Jewels. She works alongside GiGi Holliday in various capacities including assisting her with Studio Holliday. Indiana’s Jewels is also very committed to the local burlesque scene and puts a lot of effort into behind the scenes and burlesque community focused work. Because of this, in the past when I’ve spoken to her it wasn’t about her, it was generally about the community.

Jewels is excited about the upcoming graduation of Studio Holliday’s Budding Burlesque Beauties students. They will be showcased in a show at the Black Cat on April 17th. We reminisced over our first performances. Indiana’s Jewels started performing as part of Capital Tassels and Tease four years ago. Her first performance involved all sorts of props including jewels and a treasure chest to really introduce her Indiana Jones inspired character. She is happy that her performances have evolved to include more tease and less gimmicks. Her biggest piece of advice to new performers is no matter what, DON’T PICK THE WEDGIE. Jewels is excited about the new group of performers she’s helping to get their start and is glad that there are more ongoing classes to help them get stage ready.

IndianasJewles02My favorite aspect of Jewels’s performance career is the support of her boyfriend, who has turned into her costumer. Indiana’s Jewels purchased a sewing machine when her costuming needs demanded it, unfortunately she couldn’t figure out how to work the thing. Lucky for her, her boyfriend was not going to see all that money go down the drain and he figured out how to operate it. Now she conceptualizes an idea, he’ll sew it up and she’ll do the stoning and embellishment. She is very appreciative of being able to have custom costumes where each piece matches exactly, since it was cut from the same cloth.

It was so much fun watching Indiana’s Jewels perform. She is one of those performers whose backstage versus onstage personalities do a total 180. One minute we’re sitting down discussing how it would be nice to see more diversity in burlesque shows. Jewels is telling me how she’s observed that there’s a clear line between shows that are diverse and shows that aren’t. We’re brainstorming ideas to get more participation from less represented groups on stage. Everything is very cerebral. Next thing I know this woman has turned into a total sex kitten crawling on the floor and doing one of the hottest stocking peels I’ve ever witnessed. Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun was a great show to see Indiana’s Jewels in, her acts to Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” and Ke$ha’s “Your Love is My Drug” included Jewels’s signature silliness, but also had a raw sex appeal that was quite entertaining.

I quite enjoyed my conversation with Indiana’s Jewels and her boyfriend and am really glad I had this opportunity to learn more about her.

Chè Monique produces Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret and is a Jill of many trades. Learn more about Chè at www.chemonique.com and Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret at www.chocolatecityburlesque.com .

Meet the Variety: Spinnabel Lee, Fire Artist

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in fire, reviews | Posted on 09-03-2015

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Introducing a new series here at DCVariety.com! Meet the Variety! This week, an article submitted by Chè Monique.

by Chè Monique

Victoriana1.SpinnabelLeeI first met Spinnabel Lee, when I hired her to perform at one of my Halloween parties. She dazzled my friends with a show that consisted of spinning fire poi, dancing with fire fans and fire hooping. I believe Spinnabel is the first person I’ve ever seen wriggle her body in and out a hoop set ablaze. Though I have many friends in the creative a performing arts, I could tell that for many of my friends this was their first time witnessing a show like this. They were absolutely captivated.

Spinnabel has achieved the dream, she is self employed full time doing the work she loves. Spinnabel Lee is a fire dancer and hooper and enjoys taking hip hop dance classes. In fact even though I said she’s living ‘the dream’, Spinnabel’s dream would be to be in a rap video, or even better go on tour with Beyoncè. Spinnabel is a DC variety artist that kind of exists on the fringes of the variety scene.Most of Spinnabel’s performance work is private events, like my Halloween party, weddings, and corporate events. Spinnabel also teaches hoop dance classes and helps organize the FLAME Festival outside of Atlanta.

Spinnabel Lee Fire FansSpinnabel fell in love with fire dance after being mesmerised by a performance she saw at a party in Guatemala. After failed attempts at self instruction, she found a friend to teach her the basics and Spinnabel Lee was born. Over her years of performance, Spinnabel has had quite a few snafus from wardrobe malfunctions to dropping her props and of course numerous burns. From her perspective the possibility of things going wrong, potentially dangerously wrong is what makes live performance so thrilling.

I’m really glad I decided to reconnect with Spinnabel, I was reminded of her blog which I’ve perused occasionally. It is a really great resource. I think there is content in it that everyone will find useful. Spinnabel posts lots of great business tips for performers and entertainers as well good solid life advice. More information about Spinnabel including booking information, her calendar and the incredibly informative blog can be found at www.spinnabellee.com.

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che-moniqueChè Monique produces Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret and is a Jill of many trades. Learn more about Chè at www.chemonique.com and Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret at www.chocolatecityburlesque.com .

 

Adding central calendar!

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in blog biz | Posted on 28-12-2012

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Hi folks!

One thing about calendars is we don’t want to have to update 17 places for every event, but we want one place to see all the events coming up.

To that end, we set up the DCVariety website to import as many events as it can.
If you have a google calendar, and would like your shows and events to show up on the DCVariety website, (http://dcvariety.com/events/), email your info to mab@dcvariety.com or post it in the comments section below.

If you are a performer, and do not yet use google calendar, I highly recommend it.
1. You can import it to show up on your website
2. Other people/fans can add your calendar to their feed and see what shows you have coming up
3. And it syncs with yor phone and desktop and is accessible from nearly anywhere.

If you are interested in having your google calendar feed to the DCVariety.com website, we need this info!
Performer/group name: (as you want it to appear)
Brief description: (one sentence)
Tags you want associated with your event, in this case, Burlesque, Sideshow, etc. try to pick one as it will be associated with all your events.
And the ical url

HOW TO FIND THE ical url:
In the calendar list on the left side of the page, move your mouse over the calendar you’d like to export from.
You’ll see a drop-down arrow appear next to the calendar name. Click the drop-down arrow and select Calendar settings. (Alternatively, click the drop-down arrow next to My calendars and select Settings, then click the appropriate calendar from the list.)
click the “Calendar Details” tab on the left
next to Calendar Address: there are three options
xml ical and html
click the ical one and copy the url
that’s the url I want. send it to me or post it here
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November Open Mic is going to AWESOME!

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in burlesque, circus, comedy, events, open mic, palace | Posted on 22-10-2012

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Mab, Just Mab has been working with some amazing folks to keep DC’s ONLY Variety open mic going. We had to skip October, but we are back in November. And we are back, stronger than ever!

All the way from Richmond, VA – Moxie LaBouche from “Those Freaking Weirdos” always brings a creative and slightly odd spin with her burlesque.

Fresh off her rocking Figment, you loved her at the Intergalactic Speakeasy, DC’s darling songstress, Abby Nightingale will show you she’s more than just a pretty voice!

I recently met the lovely Dainty Dandridge at the Wonder Brunch at the Red Palace, and I instantly fell in love with her. I think you will too! She’s been charming darlings with her sultry tunes and sweet burlesque at Phase One.

Also new on the DC burlesque scene is the sweet Adora Coquette. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us!
And back for more, Glam Gamz couldn’t stay away! But you’re not crying, this girl lives up to her name!

And you can’t do a variety show with some sweet tunes. But we are gonna do it DCVariety style. Frankie & Betty are an acoustic duo that will leave you short of breath from dancing and laughing.

The Clown Cabaret exchange brings us the incredibly talented Mandy Dalton! This lady has trained by Ringling Brothers, the Moscow Art Theatre School, and Cirque du Soleil, and now she’s hanging out with us! wow!

I cannot believe how awesome this month’s show is going to be! And the cover is still only $8!!! Any ~one~ of these acts alone is worth that! And you are getting more than 7 great acts! Plus the DCVariety Open Mic audience participation where you can win fabulous prizes!

Come out and see the Variety of DC!

Resource: About Corsets…

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in resources | Posted on 12-10-2012

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As a sideshow performer, I’m often asked a lot of questions.  “How did you get started?”, “Does it hurt?”, “where did the balloon go?”. All good questions, with equally good answers. But hardly a show goes by without someone asking  me about my corset and where to get good ones. So I decided to write this article.  * This is being reposted from my website, MabJustMab.com

I tend to wear corsets that are suitable for “tight lacing”. They are sturdier, have better shape, give great reduction, better boning, etc. I personally prefer the “underbust” or “waist cincher” styles.  Other folks perfer the “overbust” cups, but they ~never~ fit right without serious customization, and even then, there are good days and bad days. I like the Victorian style a little better. Renascence styles do not feature the curves as much.  The 1950’s styles are rather industrial looking, and I have to admit, they look kind of cool too.  All of the corsets I wear use front busk closures and lace in the back (lace to the middle!).

A lot of times you will see cheap “corsets” that offer no reduction at lingerie/goth shops. They tend to buckle and crease and do nothing to accent the dead sexy shape of a woman. There is a time and a place for those types of garments, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

My old corset (that survived 4+ years of rough wear) came from Brute Force Leather/ Fallen Angel Fashions.   His corsets use solid steel boning, (which I like), and have a good shape. The customer service is touch and go/crap-shoot. His corsets are at the high end of pricing, so I decided to shop around till I found better for less, which I did.

I also have a black and white pinstripe that came from Isabelle’s: http://www.corsetmaker.com. She uses spiral steel boning which is more flexible than solid steel boning. The cut and her pattern for the underbust is excellent, and gives a good reduction. It was an off the rack job, on sale, and around $99. It looks great, fits great, and feels great.  Great deal!

You can’t discuss corsets shops without mentioning Timeless Trends. They are the McDonalds of corsets. They have a standard formula pattern, not much variation between the cut of their corsets. Since they cut/build in bulk, most of their corsets are $99. I have seen them on some people and they look stunning. I tried one on and it didn’t look/feel right at all. It has a center peak to separate the boobs (not a flattering look on me) and a high back. The waist of the corset didn’t offer much reduction either. So try on a timeless trend before you buy if you can, but if they work for you, they are a good deal.

My latest and most stunning current corset is from Clockwork Couture. It took almost 8 weeks to get to me, it’s not custom fitted, and has flexible boning (even the busk!). All of these features usually lead to unhappy Mab. But lo! I tried it on, and the cut of the corset is beyond stunning. It offered the greatest waist reduction of all my corsets. I suspect if I ordered a smaller size, I would have been able to get a few more inches out of it.  The corset was in the high end of mid-level price range. I was lucky enough to catch it on sale. They run between $200-$250.

Someday I hope to get one of the ~really~ nice ones, specifically a Delicious custom job. (Actually, anything from their shop would delight me to no end.)

If you are getting a corset, a ~real~ corset, expect to spend up to $300 for a basic, well made piece. (Unless you choose to go w/ timeless trends). If you can find a well made/custom for less, ask a lot of questions. Boning used, lined? lacing? busk? etc. There are a lot of people out there that will sell very bad corsets for a lot more than they are worth (but a lot less than you would expect to pay for a nice one).

My current favorite corsetry resource is this corsetry discussion group on Livejournal, which is full of great suggestions, corset sales, and “stay away from this guy!” tips. You can scroll through and read past topics.

Hope this answers some of your questions, but certainly feel free to ask any others. Apparently, I love corsets.

DCVariety November Open Mic!

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in burlesque, circus, comedy, events, featured, juggling, magic, music, open mic, palace, puppets, sideshow, spoken word | Posted on 12-10-2012

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DCVariety Open Mic Night @ the Red PalacePSA: CALLING ALL VARIETY ARTISTS!
I’ve been working with some amazing folks to keep DC’s ONLY Variety open mic going. We had to skip October, but we are back in November. and I want to come back stronger than ever!

This month I’m gonna focus hard on the more traditional variety arts, meaning: Magic, Burlesque, Sideshow, and a juggler if I can find one willing to work at the palace. acrobats and hoopers, some bellydance, and I would love a variety music act too! I’ll even take some clowns!

Let me know if you or anyone you know anyone who would be interested in performing! and spread the word!

This is a great opportunity to try out new material, get some video on the Palace stage, meet other performers in the area, and if you haven’t ever been to the Palace before, be seen by them!

Let’s keep new blood in the variety arts! Let’s keep the community growing stronger than ever!

Sign up here: http://www.dcvariety.com/sign-up-to-perform-at-a-dcvariety-show/

We are an open mic!

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in blog biz, featured, open mic, palace | Posted on 29-08-2012

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UPDATE!

With the closing of the Palace, we have been diligently scouting new venues to support a Variety open mic.  Until we find a space that is a perfect fit, the regular show is on hold.

But feel free to fill out the sign-up form and we will send out an email as soon as it’s up and running!

Thank you for your support!

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Did you know that the famous Red Palace had an Open Mic night?  Well it did!  We here at DCVariety are working hard to create a space for variety artists to try out new material, meet new performers, or even take the stage for the first time!  We need YOU! Sign up here!

DCVariety Open Mic Night @ the Red Palace

Comic Strip!

Posted by Event-bot | Posted in events | Posted on 10-02-2012

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The beauties of Twisted Knickers Burlesque and Black Tassel Boolesque bring you an evening of sultry sass so hot your pants will smolder! The Twisted Knickers will serve up titillating treats on stage as burlesque’s good girl Stella Sweet, tap-dancing diva Tapitha Kix, brassy BeauJolais NouVeau, and slaphappy sexpot Spanky Roundbottom stir up just the right stuff! And Black Tassel Boolesque’s Queen of Halloween Eyrie Twilight, Mourna Handful–a handful in more ways than two–and the Va-Va-Voom Vixen Valeria Voxx are ready to steal your soul with their spooky shimmy ‘n’ shake. And no date night would be complete without MC Hot Todd Lincoln and sexy stage kitten Flora Bush. Bringing together the sweets and the sours of Valentine’s Day, this burlesque coupling is a match made in heaven and hell.

18 and up to enter. VALID ID required.

COMEDY: DOORS 7 PM – SHOW 8 PM
BURLESQUE: Show 10:30 PM

First Ever DCVariety Open Mic night! Feb 9th, 2012

Posted by mabjustmab | Posted in events | Posted on 24-01-2012

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Hey DC! You’ve got some talent!

DC’s Own Sideshow Girl, Mab, Just Mab, has teamed up w/ Cheeky Monkey Sideshow‘s original Sideshow Geek, Swami YoMahmi to form the first ever DCVariety Open Mic night at the Red Palace!

Now, we say “open mic”, and it is, in fact open, but you HAVE to let us know ahead of time that you are coming to make sure you get a spot! Comedy! Burlesque! Sideshow! Music! BRING IT!

Send us an email at DCVCMSS@gmail.com or fill out the sign-up sheet here:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/embeddedform?formkey=dFRXSi16Z0NOZG9JRkE1UHVTemRGbHc6MQ

Event listing on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/198623093568573/
DCVariety Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/DCVariety/157279780950396
DCVariety Social Aide Society: http://www.facebook.com/groups/245103548846328/

See you at the Palace!

Clown Cabaret Monday night!

Posted by Event-bot | Posted in events | Posted on 08-01-2012

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Clown Cabaret Need some post-holiday Pick-Me-Up to cure your after-Christmas blues? We have the cure!

Clown Cabaret’s first show of 2012! Join us and witness:
• Hilarious spins on juggling with Paolo Garbanzo
• Ingenious Entomology with Jim Frank — his fleas will dazzle you with acrobatic poignancy!
• Matthew the clown and his piano playing “skills?”
• Nebbishly quirky Graham Pilato
• Hamlet presented by Matthew Pauli (trained classical actor), Karen Beriss and Rich Potter (also your host for the evening).

A surprise guest or two may show up…We never know, so you never know!

See you Monday…

Tickets: $10.00 (that’s right, *still* only Ten Measly Bucks
Where: 607 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC
T-shirts? Get ‘em at the door or wear yours to the show and be cool
after the show? Busboys and Poets. Come hang out with us.

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