Grandma, what big eyes you have!

That costume is easily one of my favorite of all time, not to mention the burlesque routine it accompanies.  I think the first time I saw it I spit Natty Boh all over the floor of the Ottobar.  (Don’t tell them that.)  To be honest several of my favorite routines belong to Little Luna of Gilded Lily Burlesque—and trust me, with all of our traveling, I’ve seen a lot of burlesque at this point.

(As an aside, Baltimore, with MAYBE the exception of of Seattle, has some of the most creative burlesque acts anywhere we’ve been.  New York is edgier, but for sheer creativity and class, Seattle and Baltimore are the best.  Believe me, I’m not an expert—I’m really, really, not—so take it for what you will, still, that’s what we’ve seen.)

Anyway, Little Luna rocks.  Let’s get going with the 1- and 2-minute poses.

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

Shawn Adomanis

After that, a breather was called for.  When we got back from said breather, it was time for the 5-minute poses, the first of which was the opposite-hand contest.  If you’re right-handed you draw with your left, if you’re left-handed you draw with your right, and if you’re ambidextrous we poke you in the eye with a stick.  The two winners got a mystery-something in a glass from Russell, which to date, has only emptied the winners’ stomachs once, maybe twice.

Next were the remaining 5-minute poses.

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

Brian Dugan

Everyone took a break to refill their drinks and then it was 10-minute pose time.  The first pose had a contest, the best depiction of “Disney Princesses Gone Wild,” with the prize being a Trikky mini vinyl DIY toy from Atomic Books.  Atomic Books is located on Falls Road just off the Avenue in Hampden.  If you haven’t been there before, you’re honestly missing one of the best indie comic shops in the country.

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

A quick break and it was the first 20-minute pose of the evening with the contest being Random Noun, where folks in the audience shout out something until we all hear something amusing.  It was ALMOST “Doctor Who”, but a last-minute shout of Charlie Sheen won out, though a sonic screwdriver managed to sneak into Little Luna’s hand anyway. To appease the geeks who were, for once, outnumbered that night, we gave extra points for drawings incorporating both.

It’s not important why we happened to have a sonic screwdriver.

The prize was a 12-pack of Prismacolor colored pencils from Artist & Craftsman Supply, which is across the street on the corner of Howard and North.  They’re open late—pretty much perfect for picking up any last-minute art supplies you left at your ex’s last week.

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

Zachary Alexander

Lois Borgenicht

Shawn Adomanis

One final break later and it was the last 20-minute pose of the evening with my favorite contest to date.  The prize was Rubber Duck by Karen Hsiao from Baby Tattoo Books, who also runs the L.A. branch of Dr. Sketchy’s.

Why was it my favorite contest to date?

Cause it was about my damn cardboard tree, that’s why.

Oh, sit back, pour yourself something bitter, and let me tell you the story of me and this damn tree.  (If you have any sense, you’ll skip this nonsense and scroll down.)  For a while now I’ve been trying to figure out ways to decorate the stage in more and more elaborate ways.  Though ostensibly an easy task, it’s made a lot more trying by the fact that neither Alexis nor I own a car.  Why do we not own a car, you ask?  Cause we’re dirty hippies.

Okay, Alexis says we’re not dirty hippies.

Well, the whole benefit of living downtown in a city and putting up with the shootings, the peeings (someone tried to pee on Sabrina Chap when she was here, I mean, honestly, what the hell?), the parades, the marathons that bring the entire city to its knees, the more shootings, the stabbings, the people shooting people who are stabbing people who are shooting at people, ALL THAT STUFF—is that you don’t need a car.  You can walk everywhere, save thousands of dollars doing so, and, well, stay somewhat in shape from all the running (see above sentence about shootings & stabbings).

Unfortunately this doesn’t work too well when you’re trying to dress a stage twice a month.  Yes, there are always friends, bad-ass cool-as-hell friends, who will pitch in with their cars—but in the end, you can’t expect them to do that twice a month, it’s just not fair to  ’em.  So I’ve been looking for “collapsible” stage dressing which can be stored compactly.

Cue the cardboard tree.  I first noticed it at a Halloween store when we were planning the zombie session with Viola Van Wilde.  It was love at first sight.  I ended up traveling to the store (somewhere outside the city) twice to eyeball the thing, driven by two different sets of kind people, and each time I chickened out, not sure if this tree and I were true love or if our love was just a trick of desperation and hormones.  Finally I stiffened my resolve and took the light rail out to acquire the tree, hauled it all the way back to the apartment (during which a transit cop mauled it on the light rail, even though it wasn’t in anyone’s way and there wasn’t anyone on the light rail ANYWAY).

And when I got the poor mangled thing home I discovered the store had only given me half of it. It was horrible. It was like building up the courage to ask out the checkout girl, and the moment you do, and she says yes, somebody a-hole runs up and chops her in half.

Well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that.

Anyway, I then had to trek out to the store for a FOURTH time and acquire an all new second tree. Four trips – that’s, like, a week of my life where I could have been writing sonnets, hunting the Buffalo Man (a.k.a. “The Phantom Pee-er of Mt. Vernon”), or God knows what.

In the end, it was worth it though.  Look at these amazing drawings of a cardboard tree and marvel.

Brian Dugan

Catherine Evans

Zachary Alexander

Shawn Adomanis

Many thanks to Little Luna of Gilded Lily Burlesque for doing a smashing job;  thanks as well to our sponsors Atomic Books (especially to Ben for dropping off the prize at the last minute when we ended up not being able to go pick it up), Artist & Craftsman Supply, Baby Tattoo Books, and What Katie Did; lots of thanks to Gilded Lily Burlesque for donating to free tickets to their show to give away;  thanks also to Russell of the Windup Space for slinging drinks and songs, Jeff for the ninja-camera-work, Alexis for manning the microphone, and last but not least, to Viola Van Wilde, Brian K., and Scott for multiple trips to get that damn tree.

Our next session is Monday, March 28th with the Junkyard Dolls roller derby team.  Wait, did you say “team”?  Why yes, we most certainly did.

Doors open at 6, drawing kicks off at 7.  If you show up before 7 you get two drink tickets good for a dollar off a drink, and you might want to get there early too—the Junkyard Dolls have some rabid fans, so who knows how quickly seats might fill up.


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