And Now for Something Completely Different!

Bombshell Betty and Fromagique present…
A Burlesque tribute to Monty Python and All Things Ridicul-esque!

We will have killer rabbits, dancing Spam, exploding shrubberies, singing lumberjacks, dead parrot juggling, Departments of Arguments and Abuse, the Spanish Inquisition, a Ministry of Silly Walks striptease and much, much more! You will not want to miss all the fun!

Burlesque acts by:

Bombshell Betty!
Red Velvet!
Pearl E. Gates!
Pickles Kintaro!
If-N-Whendy!
Lezzie McFaggerson!
Andi Stardust!
Mistress Marla Spanks!
Carlita Cupcake!
Velvet Vixen!
Cinnamon Stick!
Baby Blue Boom Boom!
Pyro Pantera!
Laura Borealis!
Plus Burlesqueteers so new, they don’t have stagenames yet!
MC’s Patina DeCopper and A. Randy Johnson

With live musical accompaniment by San Francisco’s cheesiest band:
FROMAGIQUE (Bombshell Betty, Patina DeCopper, A. Randy Johnson, B.J. Johnson (no relation), Ezra Lipp)

* * *

Tues. Mar. 1st, 2011
@ The Elbo Room
647 Valencia St (2 blocks from 16th St. BART)
Doors @ 9PM Show 9:30PM

21+ W/ ID

General Admission $10
Table for two: $35 ($30 at the door if they last)

For presale tickets, go here!

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Even better than New Year’s resolutions: Find deeper joy and fulfillment in 2011!

New Year’s Eve is absolutely my favorite holiday all year long. Yes, I love Halloween because it’s a huge Dress Up Party, and what is more fun for a burlesquer than a Dress Up Party?!? And I love Thanksgiving and Christmas for the family connections. But NYE is my favorite holiday because we think about our lives around the New Year. It’s the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new cycle, and this is the only time of year that everyone in our culture is encouraged to look at their behaviors and take action to improve their lives. It is a mass conciousness focus on self-reflection like none other in our society, and that is very powerful!

This year, rather than making a list of specific actions or New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, which are most often forgotten by February or March, I encourage you to spend the time leading up to and following New Year’s Eve asking yourself a few leading questions:

What do you really want?
What would make you feel happier, live more fully and freely?

Because everything we want, we want for one of two reasons. We either think it will make us feel better, or we want it because we think we are “supposed” to want it.

What actions in your life are motivated by true desire, inspired by a movement toward joy and freedom?

What actions in your life are motivated by a feeling of obligation or “I must want this, because everyone else is saying this is worthwhile”?

Several years ago, I was performing all the time, touring across the US and Europe every few months. It was a fast-paced and fun lifestyle, but I wanted more, although I didn’t know what. I just knew I wanted my work to be more fulfilling. No one I was working with at the time understood my dissatisfaction. I was performing full time. What a dream come true! How could I not be happy with that?

One day, as I was asking myself that very question, I wrote this down on a piece of paper and stashed it in a small bottle on a bookshelf: “I want to help women who have been beaten down by society.” I looked into volunteering at various shelters or call-centers, but my hectic performance schedule wouldn’t allow for me to commit to a regular volunteering schedule. So life kept on moving, and I eventually just kept on working and forgot all about that little note.

A couple years later, I moved to the Bay Area. Shortly after that, I started teaching Burlesquercise classes. Little did I know when I first started teaching burlesque classes that they would be a transformational experience for the women taking the classes, helping them develop confidence and release issues they had held about their bodies their whole lives! Here is an example of women whose self-esteem had been beaten down by society all their lives, and I was helping them shake off the doubt and pain and FLY!

If that’s not a subconcious self-fulfillment of my own little “prophecy” I don’t know what is! Now, with the Everyday Bombshell Scholarship Program, I am starting to reach out to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and women overcoming eating disorders, physical disabilities, economic disadvantages and other intense challenges to their self-esteem… which takes my goal written on that little slip of paper even further!

After having completely forgotten about it for years, I found that little slip of paper recently, and it was like a window opened in my mind. When I wrote that note to my subconcious, I had no idea of the HOW or WHERE or WHEN of fulfillment of that desire. So I let it go, and a few years later, here I am! It feels like magic to me, how the perfect circumstances came along for me to use the skills and interests I already had in order to fulfill that deeper goal.

So I encourage you to  take some time for yourself; maybe sit in a park, take a long bath or shower, walk in the city or along a trail, whatever helps you still the chatter and really hear yourself. Take some time and think about what you really want from life. Go deep and find that desire that fills you with joy when you think about it, maybe even a secret joy that you’re too embarrassed to share with others. Whatever comes to you, write it down and either stick it on a mirror (or board or refrigerator door) where you will see it every day, or hide it from yourself for a while. Forget about it for a few years, and let your subconcious do the work to get you where you want to go. Let the universe create the perfect circumstances for you. And let’s see where your life takes you in the New Year and beyond!

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Announcing the Everyday Bombshell™ Scholarship Program!

If you have read my recent “mission statement” blog posting, you know that I am focused on stepping up my commitment to Body Image Activism. I am excited to announce a big step I am taking in my business to promote those goals.

Because I feel very strongly that everyone deserves to feel sexy and develop confidence, I have decided to launch the Bombshell Betty® Everyday Bombshell™ Scholarship Program to provide self-esteem enhancing classes, services and products at no charge to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and women overcoming eating disorders, physical disabilities, economic disadvantages and other intense challenges to their self-esteem.

Since 2004, I have watched my programs create positive changes in the lives of thousands of women across the country and around the world. I am looking forward to teaming up with local shelters, treatment programs and support groups to expand the scope of these services through this Scholarship Program.

To find out about the program and to learn how you can help by donating or becoming an Everyday Bombshell™ Ambassador, go here!

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Sci-Fi Burlesque!

Our Sci-Fi themed show at the Elbo Room on Tuesday, September 14, was out of this world! We packed almost 250 people into the upstairs to see the approx. 25 burlesque acts, featuring the debut performances of the most recent Burlesquercise Intensive I graduates! If you missed all the fun, we will be repeating the event with most of the original acts plus a few new ones this Monday, September 20, at the Uptown in Oakland! More info here:

http://www.bombshellbetty.net/shows.html
http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=128675187181761

Well bless my Star Wars! All that tassel twirling and shimmy-shimmy of burlesque, at times it seems you can’t turn around with a eyeful of curves hitting you at full speed in this town. Not that I’m complaining. But I must admit, I’ve always been concerned – when do the sci-fi aficionados get  their very own night of burlesque beauties? …Leave it to Bombshell Betty to heed my heart-felt cry for our darling and economically life-affirming nerds (you know we’re a cradle for Tech 2.0 or whatever, right?). Strutting the stage on a very special night at the Elbo Room (Tues/14) will be any number of ladies loving the heroes, the bad guys, the technology, the far-fetched cleavage of the sci-fi genre that you would think just begs for a little more spec-ta-ta-tacular exploitation…

Caitlin Donohue
SF Bay Guardian’s “SexSF” blog

Here are a few photo highlights! You can see many more fabulous photos by SF Station of the show at the Elbo Room here.

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I’m back! With new enthusiasm and projects!

I have not written much here in the last couple of years. I certainly haven’t shared anything personal here in a really long time, and I am nervous and excited today because I am about to break that silence.

The last few years have been fun and challenging, and it has been very exciting to take my business in new directions, work on so many fun projects, and meet so many lovely new people. At the same time, I have faced some attacks against my business and my person that have seemed very close at times to derailing my whole career. Lies have been spread about me by people that I loved, lies that made me out to be a very different person than who I am – someone I wouldn’t want to know. These lies affected me, and continue to affect me, both personally and professionally.

Some of you may know what I am referring to, but I have no wish to go into detail here. What I really want to talk about is what I have learned from this situation. As a result of this, I have asked myself repeatedly, “Do I really want to do this any more? Why am I doing this? Isn’t this supposed to be fun?” And each time I have considered this, the universe has answered my questions in the form of emails and conversations with my students (or sometimes even people I have never met) telling me how my classes, workshops, events and products have changed their lives for the better. They say that my programs have changed the way they see their bodies and their selves, changed the way they relate to others and live in the world, and brought joy and self-acceptance into their lives where they had previously questioned their own worth. Now that is work that is worth doing!

This is why I do what I do. I do this because I love people, and I truly want to be of service to those who can benefit from my programs. I want to see every one of you shining with confidence, secure in your own sexiness, going after your dreams. I want to see you all living your lives at your full potential, working on expanding that potential until you have come so far that you are amazed when you look back at where you started out. I want you to amaze yourself with your own fabulousness. I want you to feel sexy and sassy and stylish and present your best self to the world every single day. Why? Because it feels so good! When you are feeling confident, the world opens up to you, and you can accomplish anything! This is what I want for you.

This is the motivation behind everything that I do. There is absolutely nothing more satisfying to me than watching you step beyond your previous comfort zone and accomplish things that you didn’t dream were possible. I want you to feel like a goddess, a celebrity, a star. I want to see you express yourself as the beautiful, brilliant genius that you are. This is how I see you, and nothing is more thrilling for me than to watch you begin to see this in yourself, even just letting the awareness seep in through a small crack in your shell at first before really letting it in.

I have been calling myself a Body Image Activist for a few years now, and I really do feel that this is my calling, my true life’s purpose at this time. As a result of all of my questioning, I now feel refocused and re-energized toward this work, and I am working on more than one project to step up my work as a Body Image Activist!

What does that mean? That means I will be launching new resources and programs, based on the confidence and body image exercises from the classes I have been teaching since 2004 as well as practices and techniques that I have learned through my own quest for self esteem and confidence throughout my life. As Mohandas Gandhi recommended, I am going to be the change that I want to see in the world, because that is the only way to create lasting positive change.

Today, I have unveiled a new blog project: “All Kinds of Sexy: A Bombshell Betty® Everyday Bombshells™ project celebrating sexiness in all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, and backgrounds – because there are All Kinds of Sexy in this wide, beautiful world we live in!” I will be posting articles and links to other articles on the web that are relevant to self esteem, positive body image, and representations of ALL kinds of sexy! I will also be posting photos, profiles and interviews of Everyday Bombshells and media icons that fit the bill. I hope you enjoy the project!

With love and laughter,
Betty

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Too Many F&$#ing Bunnies and photo fun!

Our April shows are going to be SO much fun. The theme is “Too Many F&$#ing Bunnies” and the acts that are scheduled are going to be so much mayhem and fivolity! Join us at the Glas Kat on April 28 for our 5th “Bombshell Betty Burlesque Bailout” show, benefiting local out-of-work, under-employed, and recently-laid-off actors, comedians, dancers, musicians and performers of all kinds!

Also, here are some photos of my act with Patina de Copper at the “Awards Show” Hubba Hubba Revue at the DNA Lounge on March 19. I am very excited about my new costume for that act! You can’t tell from these photos, but this act was Patina’s striptease debut. 😉

Patina helps me remove my gown...

I love these underpieces! Unfortunately, all the rhinestones don't show up in the photo!

Myself as me, Venomous Veronica Voom as a paparazzi, and Red Velvet as Joan Rivers for the Burlesqueteers 'Red Carpet Schtick.' Photo by Hanna Quevedo for SF Weekly.

 

Photo by Hanna Quevedo for SF Weekly.

Photo by Hanna Quevedo for SF Weekly.

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Combining Clownery and Burlesque: How funny should Clown Burlesque be?

Here is another question about clown burlesque from Angel:

I never knew about clown burlesque, but watching your numbers interested me in it. I guess my question is how do you combine the two, clownery and burlesque- but still be funny yet sexy and still teasing at the same time. Cause Im thinking that if you did too much of one, the idea wouldn’t really come across.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions I appreciate it so much.

Angel B.
Wethersfield, CT

Great question! If you’re gonna be a clown, you have to really go for it!  I read an article about Tina Fey in a magazine recently where she talked about some advice she got from Steve Martin. He said that if you are at all funny, you have to kill every time. So don’t hold back! Take risks! There is nothing entertaining about a clown without a punchline!

Clown humor is often self-effacing, so you need to be able to be silly without feeling embarrassed. The clown clothes and makeup are a great way to seperate your clown character from your normal self, freeing you from your inhibitions. As a clown, you can really do anything and get away with it. People will just look at you and go, “Of course. She’s a clown.” You can use this as a way to explore subjects and expression that may be too awkward or embarrassing when not in clown face and costume.

When encorporating comedy into your act, the original definition of burlesque comes into play.

bur·lesque (bər-lěsk’)
n.

  • A literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject either by presenting a solemn subject in an undignified style or an inconsequential subject in a dignified style. See Synonyms at caricature.
  • A ludicrous or mocking imitation; a travesty: The antics of the defense attorneys turned the trial into a burlesque of justice.
  • A variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, dancing, and striptease.
  • v.   bur·lesqued, bur·lesqu·ing, bur·lesques

    v.   tr.
    To imitate mockingly or humorously: “always bringing junk . . . home, as if he were burlesquing his role as provider” (John Updike).
    v.   intr.
    To use the methods or techniques of burlesque.

    [From French, comical, from Italian burlesco, from burla, joke, probably from Spanish, from Vulgar Latin *burrula, diminutive of Late Latin burrae, nonsense, from burra, wool.]
    bur·lesque’ adj., bur·lesque’ly adv., bur·lesqu’er n.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    It’s important to be concious of that fact that in Clown Burlesque you are presenting the clown archetype at the same time as the showgirl archetype. For a really effective performance, I always consider my clown showgirl character to be a clown first, showgirl second. A clown uses exaggeration and humor to present and comment on ideas and experiences that are universal. As a clown showgirl, you would use exaggeration and irony to explore ideas or experiences relative to the showgirl character. I think of it as “burlesquing the striptease.”

    For example, you could play up the showgirl’s natural interest in appearing sexy in at least a couple of different ways:

    1. Come out dressed as a totally ridiculous-looking clown, but never break character as a showgirl. Keep all the movements and face expressions sexy and “classic showgirl” even while removing crazy clown garb and props. For example, you could play up the classic clown gag of the never-ending scarf from the pocket by removing a glove that just keeps getting longer and longer, removing boas tied together from oversized pants, etc. You could also remove whoopie cushions, balloon animals, etc. from hiding places within your costuming, all the while keeping a “straight face” and maintaining your showgirl presentation.
    2. Play a clown character that is overly concerned with her appearance. Use exaggerated, clowny face expressions to express concern and make it obvious that the clown character is aware that she is not really cutting it as a “classic showgirl.” Perhaps have her pull out a mirror to check her face and hair, maybe fussing with a hat that doesn’t stay in place or something along those lines. You would want to use exaggeration and repetition on the same theme to make it clear to the audience exactly what you are playing on and that you are doing it intentionally!

    These are just two examples of different ways to play on one aspect of the showgirl archetype, which I pulled from your question. There are so many other facets and ideas that you can play on, so have fun and get creative.

    I think playing on the showgirl archetype is a natural starting point for clown burlesque, but of course you can explore any themes that appeal to you. You can always play on experiences that are universal to your audience, women, or humanity in general, not just to the showgirl archetype. You could also choose to be a character clown, layering another archetype or stereotype on top of the clown/showgirl combination, which creates whole new ideas to explore. For example, you could be a clown/police officer/showgirl or a clown/housewife/showgirl. The options are limitless!

    The main thing to remember when putting together your number is to have fun! Pick an idea that makes you giggle. Entertain yourself! The more fun you have while creating and performing the act, the more fun the audience will have watching you. Your enthusiasm is what will enthrall your audience, so have fun, explore, and play!

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