The adventures of a traveling showgirl...
July 9th, 2017
Over the past six months, I performed in numerous top-notch local shows including Gilded Cage's To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything Love Ru Paul, two equally enthralling Zircus Erotique productions in Santa Fe, and the always sensational, one-of-a-kind, Rockabilly on the Route, where I was given the great honor of judging the Pinup contest and WINNING the color tattoo competition; thank you Hunter Spanks of Read Street Tattoos (shout out to BMore)!
I have befriended the gorgeous and uber-talented Marlo Marquise who graciously agreed to teach me the historic sideshow art of glass-walking! Needless to say I love her and I love glass-walking, so I am just tickled to bring it to the stage next weekend at Rebelle Productions' Doc Wilson's Traveling Medicine Show! So much has happened in such a relatively short period of time (my birthday par example!), that I am simply happy to be sharing another year of myself with you on this great international stage!
January 24th, 2017
In what feels like a blink of an eye, Vivian and I are homeward bound. The past week has really flown! After leaving Holly's, Shane treated us to some fancy pants cocktails at Standby in Detroit, which were incredible. I'm talking centrifuges, liquid nitrogen, and cigar tinctures, incredible. After that, we went to Shane's after-shift spot, an industry favorite called The Keep. We had cocktails and Shirley Temples served by the aptly-named Handsome Dan (unf). And because we couldn't get enough of these special local spots, we also went to the lovely Lushes Lamoan's bar, Grand Trunk, and the Painted Lady, a sweet dive. VIvian did some gorgeous tattoo work on Shane and Lushes and in return, we received laughs, baked potato pizza (that's right), and snuggles from their wrinkle cat, a Sphinx named Niko.
After Detroit, we crossed the border into Canada and crashed for a couple of nights in Chatham where we met some locals, patronized a strip club called Spanky's, and had a lovely Italian Dinner. It was so beautiful and warm as we left Chatham, that we shed our coats and made a pit stop in Tecumseh Park to stroll and take in the magic of the Thames.
In Toronto, I performed my bed of nails and razor blade act on Saturday and Sunday respectively for the Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival. I got to spend time with my old (as dirt) friend, James Taylor, and meet so many other performers doing strange and unusual things. I saw a Guinness Record Breaking nail bed act, ventriloquism, magic, and Vivian MirAnn left the audience awestruck with her Voodoo Burlesque Candle Wax Act. She was both enchanting and absolutely terrifying. Mysterion certainly amassed an incredible collection of Freaks for this great production.
To celebrate the last show of our tour, we took the Canadian Wolfman to Shameful Tiki for PuPu Platter and Tiki cocktails. The Volcano was a particularly exciting drink as it served the three of us and came with its own soundtrack and special effects- truly unforgettable. And, because we were practically in the neighborhood, we made a last-minute decision to visit the Canadian Niagara Falls. Viv and I found a kitsch 1950's motel called The Sunset Inn and took advantage of their honeymoon suite to avail ourselves of an over-sized heart-shaped jacuzzi tub. We talked and soaked and steamed and really had a lovely honeymoon. The Falls were of course beautiful and we even found Nikola Tesla admiring them.
After a pit stop in Detroit for more tattooing and wrinkle kitty kisses, we are now in Illinois chasing the sun toward our home in the Wild West.
Of love and blues...
"Sophia Sunday is riveting, daring, and sexy." - Madeline Sinclaire, award-winning burlesque entertainer and luxury event producer
January 17th, 2017
Kiss Kiss Cabaret was fantastic! Such a tight production on both Friday and Saturday night and both shows featured an incredibly talented cast. I was honored to make my Chicago debut alongside such stellar performers and people at Uptown Underground.
Off-stage was just as wonderful. Vivian and I got a sneak peek of Bazuka Joe and Ray Gunn's latest collaboration which was nothing less than phenomenal. I definitely had a tough time quelling my inner fan-girl. And if this wasn't delightful enough, Bazuka and Ray spoiled us rotten with great food, conversation, and snorty Boston Terrier kisses for a couple of nights. I am also excited to say that I've got some act conceptualization and choreography workshops on the horizon with Mr. Gunn for my next big-prop-act!
Sunday, Vivian and I said goodbye to our hosts and made our way to Detroit for Miss Holly Hock's Speakeasy Sunday at Cliff Bell's. The venue was constructed in the 1930's and has maintained all of its heyday glory. It is probably the most beautiful venue I've performed in! Nothing but charm, ambiance, and classic cocktails. The show was top-notch and the audience was enamored. Again, Viv and I were treated to puppy love from Holly's furry family alongside great food, drink, and conversation. Not to mention that her house is *lovely*. Being surrounded by beautiful and talented people, this tour has become not only an adventure, but also a reminder as to how supportive, creative, and inspiring the burlesque community is.
Now for a couple of days of R&R, sightseeing, and prep for the Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival in Toronto!
January 12th, 2017
Vivian MirAnn and I have departed for our next showgirl adventure! Yesterday, we drove from 72 degree Albuquerque, NM to McPherson, Kansas. We had a proper dinner of boxed wine and bundled up in our sleeping bags for some very chilly truck stop car camping. It was 15 degrees when we woke up! The condensation from our breath in the night turned to a sheet of frost on the inside of our car.
Tonight, we expect to be in Chicago for Kiss Kiss Cabaret this Friday and Saturday. Sunday, we will be in Detroit for Speakeasy Sunday. Next week, we will make our way to Toronto for the Something Strange Circus and Sideshow Festival.
Let the adventure continue!
December 1st, 2016
Time has just slipped away from me, friends! The last time I wrote you, I was gearing up for Carnivale de Sensuale's 2016 Halloween show in Denver and it was a smash!
I had a wonderful time performing on both nights of Carnivale. It was such a stellar production from producers to casting to stage management and tech. Creme de la creme for sure. It was also humbling! I had unexpected problems with each act that I brought which is so frustrating; but also very grounding. Overall, a really lovely time with some incredible performers.
On 10/30, I joined gorgeous Queens for The Goth Ball at the Soch. I love this venue for so many reasons. It is one of my local haunts and a personal safe space. And, having the opportunity to perform with these beautiful people is just an added bonus.
For most of November, I was performing abroad! Juliette Dragon and Seb Le Bison gave me the warmest welcome in Paris. I feel nothing but gratitude for the gift of newly-cultivated friendship with this fantastic duo. And let me tell you, they are just as fantastic on stage, rocking their f%*king asses off as members of the band, RIKKHA as they are off stage talking politics, touring, and rock -n- roll.
I was asked to teach vintage hair-styling to a classroom full of gorgeous french women, performed burlesque/sideshow with RIKKHA live alongside some of Paris' best, and headlined at La Java, the oldest dance hall in Paris. I did a sensual photo shoot over the rooftops of Paris (watch for the pics!) and can certainly die a happy showgirl now.
After the obligatory touristy sight-seeing, my guy and I hopped a plane to Ireland for some quality time with my Spirit Animal, Bella Agogo, Armitage Shanks, and the Dublin Burlesque Festival produced by the sensational, Dominique DiVine. It was an entirely classy production with a truly vintage flair and every moment was enjoyable from pre-festival cocktails to Sunday tea and fashion in historic Edwardian digs. Dublin nails 'really cool ambiance.'
Before we left Ireland, I was able to meet with a genealogist and trace my roots in County Mayo to find my ancestors' village; where everyone, incidentally, looked like me! I drank the best Guinness I've ever had and Jameson Whiskey. I danced old-school Irish soft and hard shoe in bustling pubs with traditional musicians, saw bog people, and visited places of Pagan worship. I kept asking around as to whether or not they were accepting asylees from the US but couldn't get a straight answer. What a strikingly beautiful country!
After some R&R with the family in Tucson, I am stateside and back to work planning for Gilded Cage's Yule Logs and Jingle Balls, where I'll debut a new sideshow act! Then, I'll visit my family and friends on the East Side for Burlesque For the Holidays in Shepherdstown, WV at Opera House Live; all the while finalizing details for another international tour in January! YES!
There is never a dull moment! Thanks for following along with my adventures and feel free to drop me a line!
September 12th, 2016
In the face of multiple challenges over the past couple of months, I made an effort to use the art of burlesque and sideshow as a personal healing catharsis.
I dared myself to think more creatively, tested my limits, and went out on several limbs. The result, I think, has really enabled me to become a better performer and I can see the fruits of this labor.
I am in particular, so happy to announce that I will be performing on both nights of the acclaimed Carnivale De Sensuale show this October and will be making my international debut at the Dublin Burlesque Festival in November!
*jumps up and down and then rolls all over the floor squealing*
Oh, and it is also my Burlesque Birthday! Happy Burlesque Birthday to me!!
August 27th, 2016
Today, I'm going to be performing with Mena Domina's Zircus Erotique at The Palace in Santa Fe! I am very excited to visit a new performance venue and share the stage with some incredible ladies. I will be bringing my signature razor blade burlesque/sideshow act and may even eat a little glass for you! Please come! I'd love to see you there.
Earlier this week, I had a virtual meeting with my sisters of Gilded Lily Burlesque and let me tell you, there are some exciting things afoot. I'll just say that the east coast may see me for another tour in the Spring of 2017! Stay tuned!
August 23rd, 2016
#ABurlyQ2016 was a wonderful whirlwind. This is the first time I've been behind the scenes for a large festival production and I've gained a whole new level of appreciation for the amount of dedication and hard work that went in to making this possible. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ms. Vivian MirAnn is a POWERHOUSE. I had a difficult time keeping up with one weekend and she's been busting her bustle for several months to bring this to fruition. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it and to perform in it. I'm honored to share the stage with the likes of these performers and to learn from you as a mentor and friend. You are brilliant in every possible interpretation of the word.
Domenic Castelli, you are a stellar stage manager and person. A true professional and kind heart. Mike Wilcox, Possum (Jacob), Lana Montreese, and HP (Jeremy Ball). You all worked so incredibly hard. One would never know that this show was produced by so few people.
I was so inspired by every single performance I saw and each moved me in a particular way. The few that come to mind at this moment are Jacqueline Hyde - your FACE on stage is so expressive and so passionate, not to mention that impressive duster manipulation. Burning Loins Boylesque - your wonderful personalities on and off stage, your choreography, you are all so bold, talented, and utterly fabulous, Mena Domina - you oozed pure sex on stage and that costuming was righteous. Gigi O'Lovely, I thought your "Most Classic" act was one of the most beautiful and creative classic acts I've ever seen. You were sublime. Ave Kateri Machina and Annie O'Roar, your partner balancing and the aesthetic that you brought to stage were just stellar. Sherry Bomb, I believe that you could sink a battleship with your swarovskis. Your costuming is incomparable; they became the icing on an already beautiful performance. Lola Couquette and Joy Coy, THANK YOU for bringing some great comedy to the stage. That performance was somehow adorable, endearing, and sexy. And holy CRAP, Joy, I can't believe that you learned that choreography in one day... on TOP of knocking out a perfect and powerful solo performance. Egypt BlaqueKnyle, you are undoubtedly the Goddess of the Nile. You embodied that on stage and were awe-inspiring. Monica May, you move in all the ways I wish I could. Total inspiration and your award was so well-deserved.Ariella May DeWitt, you are strikingly beautiful and bring to the stage the perfect balance of sweetness and sexiness. Kyle Kastner, you truly captured the complexity of Buffalo Bill and it wouldn't have been done so perfectly without Kevin Copenhaver's brilliant costuming. Jiji De Luge, I love your juxtaposition of pure creepiness and classic glamour. I definitely am pushing for a cat lady act (hopefully with tons of kittens on stage).
Christin Pertel, lady, you have such a special place in my heart. I am so moved that you took so much time to teach me some sideshow secrets. Breathing fire was a personal highlight for me this weekend and I am so glad to have found yet another sparkly showgirl sister in this crazy wonderful life.
Pearl Robledo, thank you for volunteering at the last minute (I'm sorry I missed your act but I'm quite certain you killed it). Kate Reynolds, you drove all the way from Amarillo to do a wonderful job kittening with nothing but grace and class. Thank you! I love spending time with you gals on and off stage. I hope to see both of you on stage next year.
Also, thanks to Dave Dell, Match Stickmon, and William Turner for making sure that images of this extravaganza will be immortalized for all of our future crazy, beautiful, talented performers so that they may find inspiration.
Lastly, Jacqueline Hyde, Madeline Sinclaire, David Clarke, and Armitage Shanks. The education that you offered me this past weekend was invaluable. Thank you for empowering me with the knowledge and resources to challenge myself and develop as a performer.
I am sorry if I've forgotten to tag you. Performance crash is no joke.
August 5th, 2016
I've just returned to Albuquerque from the Carnivalesque East Coast Roadshow Tour; joint production of Armitage Shanks, The Carny Preacher, and Maria Bella of Gilded Lily Burlesque. What was initially an emotionally exhausting week, turned out to be a really wonderful visit to my hometown. I got to spend a lot of time with longtime friends and met some very talented new ones!
The show was phenomenal. Bella Agogo was sensational (and hysterical) both on and offstage. She twisted my arm and I applied to the Dublin Burlesque Festival. Hopefully, I'll be crashing on her couch in November. Healther Holliday was an inspirational sideshow performer. Watching her swallow swords on stage and discussions with her have really stoked a desire to take my own sideshow performances to the next level. Swami YoMahmi introduced a wonderful new act that actually made me a little squeamish (well done, sir). Mourna Handful's Firefly act is so charming and creative. I never grow tired of watching it. Nona Narcisse brought all of her signature grace and elegance as our Queen of the Cooch. And, it felt really good to revisit our Working Women group act with Cherie Sweetbottom and Valeria Voxx (whom also made for an amazing stage manager). Mab is a consistently excellent performer and person. Her Mobile Midway draws people in and you can actually see childlike excitement and fascination manifest on their faces... not to mention Minnie Moi, THAT DIVA! The world's foremost authority on sideshow, James Taylor of Shocked and Amazed educated the masses and to say I feel "honored" is an understatement when he compliments my sideshow performances. "Damn girl!" is an acceptable compliment as well, James. Thank you. Your approval means the world to me. Armitage Shanks sets high standards for his productions and I am grateful for any opportunity I have to perform in them. His professionalism, razor sharp wit, and attention to aesthetic detail always result in an extraordinary show. Last but certainly not least, Maria Bella, words cannot begin to describe the gratitude I have for our friendship and for my great fortune of having you introduce me to this wild and wonderful world of burlesque and carnival. These frienships and experiences are enough for several lifetimes.
So, WHAT IS NEXT?!
I'm debuting a new sideshow act at The Beautiful Ones, A Dirty Deeds Burlesque production at the Launchpad in ABQ this weekend! I designed and constructed my very first bed of nails and I am in love! My husband wants me to emphasize that he helped, though I genuinely did most of the work. I am so excited to christen this baby on stage among some of my favorite local burlesque performers. Eddie Brewer of The Despots is going to be crooning for us too and that is something I am genuinely looking forward to.
Rehearsals have begun with Connie Adovada for the Nearly Naked Cabaret on August 13th and my list of people whom I adore is just growing longer. I am going to be surrounded by fabulous and utterly exquisite Drag Queens. What more could a showgirl want?
All of the grandeur that is ABurlyQ! begins on August 18th and extends throughout that weekend. And, let me tell you, Ms. Vivian MirAnn is a POWERHOUSE. I cannot even fathom how much work she has done to bring this enormous festival to fruition. She has me awestruck. The whole of Gilded Cage Burlesk & Varieté have been busting their butts to make this event amazing and I guarantee you that it is a show not to be missed. Armitage will be hosting the show and Sweetpea and Madeline Sinclaire are headlining Friday and Saturday nights respectively. I've gotten some behind-the-scene glances as to how this festival is going to shape up and I am stoked. I feel so lucky to be a part of this production and Viv's stage family. Albuquerque is definitely feeling like home!
Stay tuned for more showgirl adventures and keep a lookout for new merch on my "Shop" page!
Photograph by Atomic Cheesecake Studios