Saturday 20 June 2009

Guest Blogger: Bella De Jac

I hope everyone that came along on Saturday had a fantastic time.

Festival of Sins. Gluttony was a riot!

My favourite part (I have to say) was Nathan Shame dressed like Ronald MacDonald how he would really look after scoffing all those cheese burgers. Very evil!

I get up to London quite frequently as so much of the burlesque work is centered there. What doesn't always happen is that I have enough spare time before the show to get in something to eat that isn't picked up from Victoria station between National Rail and the tube.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to fit in a quick catch up with my friend and burlesque performer Duchess Divine at The Diner in Camden. Diners are a bit of a weakness of mine and friend of mine introduced me to this gem late last year. There is something fabulously kitsch, American and comforting about diner food. I mean American diner food, not truck stop diner food. It fuels my ever increasing fascination with certain elements of the vintage US culture.

I figured an enormous milkshake before a performance was not such a hot idea so I ordered a soda float and hot dog as we babbled about the hot topic of the moment. Camden Council and their determination to stomp out low budget burlesque night. See any of the online communities for the full story, in particular Burlesque Women's Institute is documenting it pretty well.


The curious part, I find in English buildings and transport is as Summer slowly creeps in, the temperature inside soars up. Backstage areas particularly become little sweatboxes. Trust me, trying to pat translucent shimmer powder over your entire body when you're as sticky as the inside of a toasted marshmallow proves counterproductive at best.

Aside from the relentless heat, the atmosphere backstage was friendly and fun and I took comfort in the fact that at least I didn't have to lie down starkers while being covered in prosthetic makeup and sweets to look like a garroted victim of some evil sweetie fairy, like one brave lass was.

My other distinct pleasure of the evening was getting to meet the unfairly gorgeous Mr Mistress, and Vicky Butterfly with her divine costume. My act went off with a few minor hitches, in fact it was the first time I'd ever had my music stop dead in the middle of my act before. Not to worry, the audience didn't seem to be bothered and after a bit of cheesecaking from myself the DJ got the music back on before too long.
Burlesque tip: there is nothing that can go wrong on stage that can't be handled. If the music stops just ham it up until it comes back on.

As it stands, everyone I spoke to after I did my bit was gushing in their praise so it can't have been too bad!

Bella de Jac can be found at and has performed for BABC in Brighton.

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