You could have seen our recent (un)coverage on the cultural phenomenon often called nerd burlesque. (Or Nerdlesque as some have taken to calling it). Nerdlesque is a subgenre of a bigger motion that you will have additionally seen, Neo Burlesque, which is the revival (over the previous few a long time) of the vaudevillian striptease hybrid that everybody has come to know and love particularly in our nice metropolis.
Being each a self-proclaimed nerd and fan of burlesque, I couldn’t assist however discover Nerdlesque sauntering onto the scene.
The primary present I attended and wrote about for GeekWire was videogame-themed — ingeniously referred to as JOYstick. The second was based on all things Joss Whedon. Now, with one other present tonight, Geeklesque Unites! (tickets out there on the door) that includes Portland Burlesque troupe Vital Hit and Seattle’s personal nerd performers, I’m sensing a pattern.
So what’s with all these nerds taking off their clothes? I requested three Seattle Nerdlesque aficionados — JoJo Stilleto, Vanadium Silver and Iva Handfull — to reveal it all. Listed here are excerpts from the dialogue:
For many who don’t know what Neo-Burlesque is, what’s it? And the way does Nerd Burlesque slot in?
JoJo Stiletto: Neo burlesque is a motion. It’s the dream of the 90s. It’s about taking a traditional artwork type, burlesque, and molding it to our fashionable sensibilities…[it’s] dance, efficiency artwork, cabaret, circus arts, striptease, drag, and just about anything thrown right into a our blender-like glitter-filled brains and put out into the world.
The last word aim is leisure and pleasure however with thought and care. Oh, and glitter. Did I neglect to say glitter? Nerd burlesque is an element advertising software and half bona fide motion. It’s an evolution of area of interest neo-burlesque. In my thoughts, nerdlesque is creating acts or complete reveals targeted on nerd or fan tradition. Miss Indigo Blue’s act on Surprise Lady is just not new. She’s been performing it for a lot of a few years.
However, our general tradition has shifted. There may be an viewers now for reveals with nothing however comedian e-book associated acts. In truth, virtually demand for it.
Vanadium Silver: It’s the conclusion that one’s love of Deadpool could be expressed past a easy assortment of comics. It has its roots within the cosplay group.
For years, folks have painstakingly recreated costumes and characters from the issues that they love. Nerd burlesque combines that cosplay side with the burlesque artform.
The Neo-Burlesque scene is large within the Pacific Northwest, some might argue that it’s one of the cities main the motion, identical goes for Nerd Burlesque. Is Nerd Burlesque massive elsewhere, or is it extra of a Pacific Northwest factor?
JoJo Stiletto: New York has many self-identified nerd troupes, some have been round for some time now together with D20 Burlesque and Epic Win, who is definitely being voted on as Time Out New York’s Greatest Burlesque Troupe. A troupe in Chicago, Gorilla Tango Burlesque, has already received that title from the Chicago Reader. Toronto and Orlando has been making waves too. It’s the brand new scorching pattern in burlesque. I simply made contact with a model new troupe in New Zealand. Plus, it’s the primary time we’re discussing nerdlesque at BurlyCon, a conference devoted to skilled growth and training in burlesque. Boston, Vancouver, DC..it’s nearly all over the place now.
Iva Handfull: Primarily, the Pacific Northwest (Seattle and Portland) caters to true nerd burlesque audiences. Our producers, and audiences, is not going to stand for performers exhibiting up in a personality costume and their act solely contain them eradicating mentioned costume, with out context or a storyline behind it.
What drew you to burlesque after which extra particularly, nerd burlesque?
Vanadium Silver: My nerddome has by no means actually been hidden. I’ve tattoos devoted to Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams amongst others. It was a pure evolution for me to try to specific this on stage as a result of it represents a lot of who I’m. My first time on stage really was in a Batman costume.
JoJo Stiletto: I’m just lately totally embracing my “nerd self”. I’ll share my X-Recordsdata motion determine diorama with the world and my love of Fort Fanfiction with out regret. It’s additionally a type of publicity and is considerably terrifying. However, just like the evening I first stepped out onto that stage, the viewers has embraced me for who I’m. I really like Joss Whedon and I don’t care who is aware of!
Iva Handfull: I don’t learn comics, I don’t watch television present collection that comply with a plot, I don’t play video video games, and I don’t do cosplay (within the conventional sense)…I’m a self-proclaimed geek ally. Vanadium Silver instructed me I wanted to be Ivy Valentine from Soul Caliber for Joystick! He introduced the online game over so I can see who this character was, and I couldn’t imagine how a lot I seemed like her, in coiffure and physique. Jo Jo Stiletto requested me to be Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Whedonesque Burlesque. Spike is fierce himself, with a comfortable edge. My look is just like his and I may impersonate his mannerisms nicely. Since I knew nothing about both character, I did in depth analysis on-line, watching folks play the online game, sport play on youtube, many seasons of Buffy on netflix, fan movies on youtube, and so on. One factor I knew is that followers of Ivy and Spike wouldn’t put up with somebody who wasn’t a fan simply waltzing out on stage and taking off clothes. I ensured that each transfer, look, facial features, costume piece, and tune embodied the character I portrayed, whereas sustaining who I’m as Iva Handfull as nicely.
You’re a male in what’s a predominantly feminine scene. Nevertheless, one of the elements I respect about Neo Burlesque is the all inclusiveness (all races, ages, genders are welcome) Do you see extra males approaching the scene? Are you usually embraced by the gals of Burlesque?
Vanadium Silver: Very a lot so. The group relies on being open on stage and so they embrace everybody with open arms. There are additionally many many male performers within the scene who do what is called boylesque.
Iva Handfull, on getting issues “excellent” for followers: I really like the eagerness our geek burlesque audiences convey to a present, not all audiences are that excited simply to be there, some audiences should be entertained first, earlier than they present their pleasure. Nevertheless there’s a lot of strain for performers to get the character or scene proper, since followers are fanatical about element. instance is once we posted the photograph of me within the Ivy Valentine costume. Somebody talked about that it was an “okay” costume however the place was my armor?
If I’m a full-fledged geek, and I’ve by no means been to a nerd burlesque present, why ought to I’m going see one?
Vanadium Silver: As a result of it’s an expertise like none different. There’s something particular about being in a gaggle of like minded people, it’s the identical logic as behind the enormous conventions we see. You get to see not solely followers take pleasure in themselves however the performers as nicely.
JoJo Stiletto: It’s adults who’re drained of the “Disneyfication” of all of their leisure. It’s for males, ladies and all expressions of gender and sexuality. It’s of us who wish to socialize with like minded folks and wish to be entertained by like minded folks and have their mind exploded.
In case your urge for food has been whet, maintain your eyes peeled for upcoming nerdlesque reveals like Black Lodge (a David Lynch impressed present), “An Night at Merlotte’s,” for True Blood followers, Burl-X-Recordsdata (Mulder and Scully the way you’ve at all times needed to see them) and JOYstick! Stage 2!. Plus, you may verify here for native burlesque happenings.