Posts by theburlesqueherald

Martini drinking Editor of a Burly Magazine/Periodical The Burlesque Herald. Also Promoter of The Bollinger Club Burlesque Show, Worthing. UK.

Putting the record straight….An exclusive interview with James Bollinger.

In July 2017. The Bollinger Club made a suggestion via Social Media for feedback about a registration fee for shows. Little did The Bollinger Club know that this was the evening there was a conspiracy to kill the club. We interview James Bollinger for his story….. 

Many promoters/performers were talking about how sad it was that shows were being cancelled because of low ticket sales and how slow things where. Questions were being asked for ideas on how promoters could keep the money flowing and the shows alive.The less well known performers (as I refuse to refer to them as Newbies) need a hand up in getting stage experience and promoted. It is these people that are the very back bone of Burlesque. They perform for passion and fun. They come from all walks of life, some struggle for that much needed stage time and The Bollinger Club gave them the opportunity.  But on the 6th of July 2017  The Bollinger Club floated the idea similiar to other events of a small fee (admin/registration fee) being paid by Performers no more than the audience ticket price which would would be refundable upon ticket sales hitting targets like other promotions charge with no refund The Bristol Burlesque Festival. Ibiza Burlesque Festivals.The Great Western and Cabaret Festival.

A few contacted the promotion privately giving their views some in favour some against. Fair enough and no hard feelings it was just an idea on how Burlesque could be saved for the many !!! Things were very sensible up until then.

Many of our readers would ask what would you do with the extra funds raised from the registration fee ?

That is a the golden question nobody has asked ! The idea is the registration fee may be refundable and only up to an audience ticket price. For example a registration fee of say £2.50 or £5 per performer would raise funds for advertising. The audience We attracted at Worthing was made up of fifty new people who lived locally and they had never seen Burlesque before. We had fifty people in attendance at the show, my aim would have been to attract another fifty and the registration fee would have been used to pay for advertising to achieve one hundred guests in attendance. If We had another fifty, that would total one hundred guests and raise £500. Now, for example deduct £100 for venue hire, £50 for advertising. That would leave £350 for a door split. So if you had ten performers that gives them £30 door split per performer plus £5 refunded registration fee. Nothing for the Promoter !!

It’s interesting earlier in the interview, you reject the term Newbie. Why ?

The term ‘Newbie’ is often used about performers who are new. But, I also found that a ‘Newbie’ is used to fill a gap in the schedule in a show or is sometimes an individual performer who does not get paid or receives financial compensation. I am not sure where the term comes from, but I am of the opinion it is used to apply to someone to categorise or suppress an individual from headlining or charging a fee in line with a performer who who can charge a fee because they have been on the scene longer performance abilities disregarded.

I think it is a complete nonsense, I have seen new performers who have performed as well as their contemporaries. So for me a ‘Newbie’ is manipulation of a performer. The general public will not know the difference. A ‘Newbie’ is there to assist in keeping more ‘senior’ performers safe from losing their fees, but at the end of it all no individual performer is bigger than Burlesque !

There are promoters in absolute denial about their business situation.”  

Cerise Mae ( Real Name:Natasha Jade Rothwell), Promoter of   Cerise May Productions started the derogatory remarks around queuing up of performers and asked her ‘Facebook’ friends what they thought. The knives came out and the friends tagging came into force with further cyber-bullying of what was just an idea and for feedback. The Bollinger Club found all the comments coming in overwhelming as more and more of the so called community ‘weighed’ in. The Bullies’ post reached in excess of fifty six thousand people, 100 shares and 200 comments. We asked James what would be her motive ? ‘I am not sure as We have chatted privately and I have assisted in promoting her events. I read on Facebook She has suffered from mental health issues before.It may have something to do with her company Cerise Burlesque Ltd being dissolved on the 6th of June 2017 Companies House . It is another piece of compelling evidence that makes the case clear not only is the Burlesque industry in trouble, there are promoters in absolute denial about their business situation.’

“Every member of the audience was guaranteed a seat and a view.”

Next up with the cyber-Bullying comments was Dawn Gracie . The self proclaimed ‘Worthingite’ who by her own admission has lived in Chichester for twelve years running a bed and breakfast Northleigh Cottage made her opinion known to The Bollinger Club about using google images to promote an event on an open Facebook thread. We asked James Bollinger about the advice offered by Dawn. James said ‘ Of course Dawn can offer her advice, but it is not set in stone on how you promote yourself. We like to get our events out early so other shows in the area do not double book. We don’t necessarily book performers at the same time.

Dawn made references as with other facebook bullies that the Bollinger Club was ‘laughable’, do you agree with her ?

‘I don’t find it funny at all. The Bollinger Club offered a show that was accessible to all at £5 per head for a ticket in the heart of the Worthing community which is a charity run community centre.  And We were proud to book performers from all areas including Disabilities, Queer, LGBT and POC. How many Promotions can make that claim ? Every member of the audience was guaranteed a seat and a view. ‘If She had any sincere advice to offer She should have arranged to meet us. I think Dawn needs to look at her shows as I have read reviews and know guests that have paid five times as much as my ticket price, don’t get a view and don’t get a seat, now that’s laughable !!’

The third instigator was Madeline Soleil (real name Sandra Shawyer)  who did not delay in cyber bullying the suggestion, who can be quoted in Facebook’s South Coast Burlesque Society as ‘it’s been so disheartening the past few weeks hearing of shows having to cancel due to low ticket sales.’Of course I read this statement and took it seriously. Let me explain to the readers that We attended Madeleine’s Rock with the Foxes shows regularly. Two of the performers successfully applied to perform at our shows and just for the record Madeleine Soleil did not even show up to any of our shows to support her own performers !! Instead She elected to go to one of Dawn Gracie’s events on the same night. She even went further by making derogatory remarks on her profile page, which one individual asked her not to do .

 

The Herald noted also other ‘Foxes’ joined in with the bullying. James went on to explain ‘Clare Oram went on to making remarks, but I put this down to her not being selected to perform at one of our shows in her hometown of Portsmouth.’ However, She did attend our event in Portsmouth dressed inappropriately and watched our line up in awe. She also made a comment that I handed out flyers at one of the Foxes’ events, it was agreed prior that We would bring some to their shows and We would take some foxes’ flyers back with us to hand out at our shows and media.’

‘It is Ironic We attended a Rock with the foxes Newbie Event last year held in a Public House in Portsmouth and spoke to the Landlord. He told us about how unorganised they are under the stewardship of Madeleine and that on the very evening He had no prior knowledge if there was going to be a show. In fact He went on to explain there was no promotional flyers or posters on display in the pub in advance. I would like to clarify that this was an event where guests would make a donation after the show and then the money is divided up between the performers. It was evident that the promotion was poor as there were more performers then guests in the pub !  At the end of the evening a donation jug was passed round the pub for the show, I donated £20. They could not have raised much to pay the performers as the promotion was so poor !’

I cannot remember which charity it was for, but there was no declaration online…….

‘I even attended a Foxes’ event at Christmas time at The Buckland Community Centre in Portsmouth. There was a charity event being run and naturally I purchased some raffle tickets. I cannot remember which charity is was for, but there was no declaration online as to how much was raised. I find this odd !!’

James told the Herald, that He felt now He had seen the industry in its true colours. ‘I am so pleased that this is not our only income. Imagine if it was and just on one Facebook comment your business is discredited .My comment was conveniently taken out of context and organised into a drive against us on social media.  I think these and other individuals need to take a long look at themselves and their behaviour. Not only have they damaged our brand ,they have not exactly put themselves in any great light or moral high ground. There are more cyber bullies and I have records of all of them, but these three are only some of the main instigators.’

…the cheek of it….

‘There was even a performer We had paid, who claimed We did not. Lady May (real name Natalie Booth) Lady May made the allegation during the viral thread.  James said ‘I emailed Lady May explaining We had paid her fees to her agent even though She did not perform because of the show being cancelled.’ I offered in the email that I would meet her in London and show her the evidence that She was paid and whom it was too. Lady May needs to take her issue up with her agent.’How did you feel ? ‘I thought The Cheek of it !!! To date She has not replied to my email sent on the 8th of July 2017.’

We asked James what will happen to The Bollinger Club ?

I think there is no community for the concept to operate and it’s one more show that has gone to the wall and for the wrong reasons really. Many Promoters and Performers are in denial. They don’t want to look at the financial balance sheet and address it. They wish to ignore it. They know they are running at losses and their promotions are running financial losses. The demand from the public is not there. So instead of collectively looking to save Burlesque they look to save themselves. However, We have proved you can put on a show for a fair price with a guaranteed seat and view.Our Worthing show attracted fifty guests who had never seen a Burlesque performance before and our second Performance in Portsmouth attracted a similar number of guests who had never seen a Burlesque show before. We had 5 star reviews left by these guests too.  We proved despite who you are you can perform without prejudice. But that did not wash with the establishment, who are only interested in the few and not the many.

 

 

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The Burlesque Herald Reviews….

The Burlesque Herald reviews The Sub-Aquatic Steampunk Weekend, The Submarine Museum Gosport, Hampshire. As We had toured in the earlier part of the year the Historic Dockyard, We decided it would be an ideal time to take in the education of the Submarine Museum. The added bonus was The Gosport Steampunk Society was holding their Sub-Aquatic Steampunk Weekend at the venue. What an opportunity !!

 

So it was on with the Tweed and the reliable Bowler hat with the two tone shoes for an excursion to Gosport. A group ticket was purchased in advance for £28 with single and whole weekend tickets available which included access to the museum and acts.

 

The headline act was Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer singing his very finest of chap hop tracks.  There was also readings and tea duelling and walkabout story tellers too on the stage and around it , as well as in the tent stage. It is also worth mentioning parking was free.

 

The usual car park was taken up by Fast food outlets, a cocktail bar (I would recommend The Pain Killer Cocktail) and a Gin Citréon bar. We were warmly welcomed and there was stalls scattered in and around the Museum, as well as models by the Steampunk community and the Museum as one strolled further around the museum.

 

Many people were in Steampunk attire and looking Super !! In the main building opposite HMS alliance was more stalls selling various Steampunk paraphernalia, I purchased a rather interesting  bottle of Honey Rum. There were other stalls selling canes to pistols to ear rings to hats and even a photography stand.

Next door was the Turtle submarine owned by the museum one of the first subs ever constructed, this was surrounded by a large selection of Steampunk Models such as the Nautilus (featured above).

I understand that this was The Gosport Society’s first Weekender and I can see the potential. It was situated on a great venue. The Gosport Society provided great entertainment. The parking was free and there was plenty to do. HMS Alliance is well worth a look in itself. The Steampunkers all looked awesome in there attire. The Stalls where reasonable priced and had a large choice of goods. One stall had two very eccentric Steam Punks outside HMS Alliance that kept the crowds entertained.

The Aqua-Sub Weekend come highly recommended and I can see it’s potential and The Gosport Steampunk Society will only grow, so here it is until the next one which no doubt will be bigger and better.

Credit to Mark Winterford and RN Museums. National Museum of The Royal Navy.

Burlesque in Decline ? Editorial Comment.

Burlesque in decline seems to be a subject matter grabbing the Burly threads of debate so far this summer.We constantly read show cancellations, as promoters and producers struggle to pull in the punters. But is it around to stay or a seasonal blip ? Some promoters have appealed to their peers to kick start the slump in ticket sales to support each others’ gigs.

Paid performers perhaps need to command less of a fee ……..

Arguably the Burly family by making visits to other promotion’s shows will help, but promoters are the forgotten lot. Frantically making bookings and finding venues acceptance and tolerance to Burlesques is a thankless task leaving promoters out of pocket.

 

Also and this is the contentious part  performers fees can also stretch the promoters budget into deficit  following on from advertising and promotions. Paid performers perhaps need to command less of a fee or assist in promoting their worthy presence at a show regularly in advance instead of leaving it to the ever last minute. In comparison to a performer who charges no fee, but advertises and brings a following are more appealing to Promoters budgets in breaking even.

…the general public may be put off by anything more than £5……

Attracting audiences is a strategic importance. Promoters having to be diligent in thinking to ticket price and location. The austere whipped general public are looking for a cheap night out on their doorstep. A low ticket fee is favourable and makes shows accessible to the many not the few. Of course a plush venue is attractive, but the general public may be put off by anything more than £5 for acts they know little about and sometimes not announced until the last minute. On the other hand venues at the heart of the community may be more in tune with the general public and with an night out accessible to all filled with performers from all over the country who are genuine Burly performers simply for the love.

Only time will tell if Burlesque is in decline, possibly dictated to by a hot summer as the public prefer to be outside instead off in front of their devices finding something to do . Choosing BBQs, festivals and holidays over shows.  A hot Summer may prove to long for Burlesque.

Bringing Burlesque to Orange County by Lillian Dujour.

The Burlesque Herald took a long haul flight across the pond to Los Angeles for an exclusive interview with Lillian Dujour. We joined Lillian during rehearsal of her new Whispering Sisters Burlesque & Cabaret Show in Orange County, California.

Lillian how did you come up with your stage name and whom was your inspiration ?   

 My stage name is Lillian DuJour and as you know it can be quite a process to develop a burlesque name and persona.  It actually took me about 2 months to finally decide on my stage name.  I had a great-great aunt who was a young girl in the 1920’s. I remember my Mom and her sisters talking about ‘how risque’ my Aunt Lilly was.  After she passed away, they found several ‘very sexy’ lingerie items in her bedroom and shared a lot of laughs as they reminisced how strong, feisty, independent of a women she was. During WW2 she lied about her age (told them she was younger) so she could work at the aircraft factory!
Viola!, a perfect match to use her name for my Burlesque name.  I was struggling with my Burlesque last name and one day in my doctor’s office, he had a magazine in the waiting room that was called DuJour!  That was it!!!!   Lillian DuJour was officially born.

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I remember dancing and singing all the songs from Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical when I was 5 yrs. old.  Let Me Entertain You and You Gotta Have a Gimmick were my favorites.  I don’t think my parents ever thought that someday I would be on a burlesque stage!
At 7 yrs. old, I started competitive figure skating.  As an elite ice skater, I hold double gold medals in the US and Canada, I was a principal ice show performer, and coached & choreographed for over 40 years.
Inspiration;
The first burlesque act is saw was while I was looking burlesque up on my computer. When I came across Charlotte Treuse’ video from the 6th annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival…her rocking horse act.  I thought to myself  she performs like I would like to do/or what I knew was my style….playful/sexy/confident/can laugh at herself etc. and her costume was amazing.   OK if this is burlesque, I want IN!!!!!!

 

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Where do you live and how do you think burlesque is received ?

I live in Newport Beach which is located 40 miles south of LA/Hollywood.  Orange County where Newport Beach is located.  There are very few things to do late at night throughout the week.  I am hoping to help make a difference with what burlesque can bring to it’s audiences.  Positive female body image, along with learning how to laugh at one’s self and help educate the public about this art form.  My tagline is “sexy at any age”!  I offer lessons & workshops to help women find and own their Jeni se qua!
After hearing that so many women over 30 to 40 are going through depression and feel like life is over; I did not want to fall into that category!
What can I do that’s new, challenging, and a lot of fun with the experiences I have had in my life?
AH…BURLESQUE   Perfect fit as I am a showgirl at heart and I am passionate about living life fully and being ‘sexy at any age’!
So I have officially jumped from ice skating into Pasties a year ago.
“I’m 61 yrs. Right now and married to a man that I met when I was performing in ice shows…we reconnected in 2010…he’s 15 yrs. my junior!”
I believe being silly and sexy has kept me young at heart.  When people say I don’t look my age, I alway laugh and say “it’s because I have been on ‘ice’ my whole life” LOL referring to being in an ice arena!   But it stems from my attitude, I believe…I hang out with and relate more with younger people.
I’m coming up to my 1 year anniversary in Burlesque…and I have had amazing opportunities.  A friend asked me to be an extra in his  Indie, full feature film, Wine Tasting.  The day I was on set the director, Josh Mitchell of Wickid Pissa productions found out I was Burlesque Artist and he said “come back tomorrow, I am writing you into the story line!”  What an experience for this old lady!…Josh was and continues to be so supportive. Keep an eye out for his work.
Street Motivation Magazine has also recently interview me and I have met so many wonderful and supportive producers and artists this past year. I am truly grateful.
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Have you or would you like to perform in Las Vegas?
LAS VEGAS funny you should ask.
My parents started taking me there when I was only 3 yrs.old.  That was back in the days when kids were not allow at all in the casinos.  So I did grow up seeing all the different show names lit up as they drove me down the Strip.  Can you imagine being able to see all those lights as a little girl?  Perhaps that is where I got the love for glitter & glam.
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Las Vegas is about a 4 hour drive for me and I still love to go visit and see the shows.  Several of my ice skating friends live there. After our ice show days, they moved there to work behind the scenes of the different shows.
During my ice skating days I was invited to skate at an opening, but now I am happy to leave performing in Vegas to all the young talented and long legged showgirls these days.
Thank you Burlesque Herald for coming across the pond to support Burlesque and my New Show!
I have 2 passions in life;
To make a difference in people’s lives, by helping them become the best they can be and performing.  What a perfect find…Burlesque.  Empowering Women & I’m back under the spotlights!
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Our Editorial Comment General Election 2017.

The 8th of June is General Election day here in the UK. Never in recent times has there ever been such a clear choice of policies presented to the people of the UK. Many of us in the Burly world have a daytime job and many of us have families to look after young and old.

Society needs more love and peace within its fabric. Over the years We have seen our public services put into neglect and decline. The NHS, Royal Mail, The police, The Arts, civil and workers rights has been eroded away. Take a walk along Brighton, Bournemouth and Worthing, what do you see ? The homeless ! We are one of the richest countries in the world and yet We see more homeless camped outside in the elements than ever before. This is a result of housing benefit cuts over the last seven years.

Massive profits have been made of workers’ back in exchange for very little job security. Many companies such Sports Direct have and continue to make huge profits off the back of poorly paid workers on zero hour contracts. We even have skilled staff in teaching making and shaping youngsters for Britain’s future on zero hour contracts ! We have NHS staff over worked and absorbing vacancies in our hospitals and We wonder why We have to wait for operations. All this for lack of funds, but there is always money for bombs and tax concessions to tax havens.

The Burlesque Herald see’s no justification in supporting a conservative Government, who has neglected its duty of care to its people through relentless cuts to our services and at the same time We pay more tax and more people are relying on foodbanks than ever before.

The Burlesque Herald urges all its readers to exercise your right to vote and vote to elect a Labour Government for a better life ! Vote Labour.

The Burlesque Herald exclusive with Seren Dippity.

The Burlesque Herald was really excited when We had the opportunity to interview Seren Dipity learning how She was introduced into Burlesque, who her influences are and of course her classy, sassy and alluring acts. This is our exclusive interview with Seren Dipity.
“…Andrea made it so much fun, that I stayed…”
We asked how Seren how She begun her journey into Burlesque –
I got started in Burlesque in August 2013, when I began classes with T&A Burlesque. I love to try new things and always up for a giggle. The teacher Andrea made it so much fun that I stayed and progressed onto doing solo work.

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Seren tolds us about her acts and influences….
My influence in Burlesque is every performer on the circuit working their beautiful bottoms off to create and innovate. We are all working hard to do something awesome and we are fighting a battle everyday. To idolise someone is good but to idolise a community means good can be done.
I perform an array of acts. Mostly because I am a curious person and when the inspiration hits me I run with it. I have 5 acts at the moment, but my strongest one is Tech Me Out! Which is my story in a simplified way.
It’s about a backstage technician who becomes a Burlesque star because she is dazzled by the spot light.
My acts, I love comedy and being fierce. I have spent the majority of my life in the background helping people, which is also a passion of mine. I love making people happy.
Tell our readers about some funny stories in Burlesque.
“Don’t be a Dick !!!”
Some funny stories… well I have a few but whether they’ll make it onto the blog is a different thing. I do some stage managing work for Hoots  ‘n’ Hooters. I work closely with the MC Dis Charge one of the fiercest Queens I know. When Dis tried to help me once I yelled ‘Don’t touch my sh*t!’ I don’t know why, it felt right. And it went down a storm.
And Miss Pin Up UK when I embarrassed Mr Dippity when I brought him up on Stage to show off the tattoo he had done of me.
Just remember to quote one of my awesome friends and it is a valuable life and work lesson. ‘Don’t be a dick.’

A walk on The Wild Side with Zelda Wilde as The Burlesque Herald plays its cards right.

The Burlesque Herald  takes a walk on the wild side with Zelda Wilde She a bad witch who captures the audience with  high energy, emotive performances. She has been described as very “bouncy.” Zelda has travelled around the world with her deck of tarot. Currently she teaches yoga in Brighton when she is not shimmying on the stage.
” When I went to a burlesque show to see a friend perform, I was enchanted.”
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How did you become interested in Burlesque?

I grew up in a very eccentric artist family. My father is a painter and my mother is an actress and a tarot reader. Outside my home I felt very out of place most of my youth. When I went to a burlesque show to see a friend perform, I was enchanted. I loved the variety of people performing and how all the performers seemed to embrace what made them different. Since then I fell madly and deeply in love with burlesque.


Where you have performed ?
I started modelling when I was 18 and eventually I got into go go dancing in various nightclubs. I got into burlesque later on and have been lucky enough to perform internationally since then alongside extremely talented and amazing performers.
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Which performers are your inspiration?
I feel inspired every time I watch someone perform burlesque. The creativity doesn’t cease to amaze me! For my own shows I get inspiration from beautiful glamour ghouls like Morticia Addams, Vampira,Elvira and I love the playfulness of Betty Page and of course glitter.
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Do you have any Shows coming up Zelda where you are performing Gory & Glam ?
Infinitease 4 Heat 7.
Uncaged London – Naughty on 8:00pm Tue 13th June