Don’t know if you know this, but Maria Bella, “Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess” and founder of Gilded Lily Burlesque, is one of our favorite people on the planet. (Of course, you are our favoritest person . . . don’t get jealous, I don’t want this to turn into a thing.) She’s pretty much a superhero-nurse by day (she SAVES LIVES while I’m, I dunno, shooting rubber bands over the top of my cubicle), burlesque dynamo by night. Actually, she does both of them at night, so I’m not really sure what she does during the day.
That’s not the point.
The point is she’s cool—cooler than us mere mortals anyway. Oh, and she can hold her liquor. I’ve never really been much of a drinker [cough], but on that rare occasion I’m feeling a pint, she can be counted on not to let an old soldier stand alone.
Last session was a little hectic—our photographer Jeff had an emergency that Monday night and wasn’t able to make it—so Alexis and I pretty much ran around like mad and did our best with what we had. We aren’t professionals—well, actually, Alexis is pretty good; I, though, am not. Unfortunately I’ve been coasting through life on my good looks and never bothered to figure out which end of the camera is which, so if you see a crappy photo or two, I took those and Alexis took all the good ones.
To be honest, I haven’t even looked at the photos yet. Let’s take a look together, starting with the 1- and 2-minute poses.
We took a break so folks could get a drink, smoke, whatever (I don’t pay attention, as far as I know they were fighting with bottles out back), and then it was time for the 5-minute poses, the first of which is the opposite hand contest where, if you’re right-handed you draw with your left hand, and if you’re left-handed you draw with your right, and if you’re ambidextrous you get heckled by Alexis on stage, you freak.
The two winners received mysterious concoctions from Russell behind the bar. Nope, I have no idea what was in them. Probably something nasty.
Next up were the 10-minute poses, the first of which was, to go with Maria’s fabulous black widow costume (made by Marla Meringue!), the best incorporation of Maria eating her lover’s head. The winners received sketchbooks and calligraphy pens from Artist & Craftsman Supply which is just down the street on North & Howard. (By the way, this was the last session A&C was going to sponsor—they’re a great shop and we wish them well. 🙂 )
The 20-minute poses were next up on the docket, the first of which was the best incorporation of something J.J. Abrams-related since it was apparently his birthday. The winner received a gift card from Atomic Books on Falls Rd. just off the Avenue in Hampden. If you haven’t been there, you’re being silly. It’s pretty much a geek Mecca.
The last 20-minute pose of the evening was an “I Dream of Jeannie” incorporation, with bonus points for the inclusion of Peter Falk or Columbo. Yes, I know, it’s weird—we blame the alcohol.
We’d like to thank Maria Bella for an absolute amazing session (and horrible hangover the next day); our amazing sponsors Atomic Books, Baby Tattoo Books, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and our brand new sponsor Flying Dog Brewery(!); Stiger and Fred for helping me with all those pesky chairs; Tiffany, who tried (all the way from Houston, Texas) to find us a last minute photographer; the many folks who let us know they could help in the future if there’s ever another emergency; Russell for slinging drinks & tunes; Little Luna and Lauren Marleaux of Gilded Lily Burlesque for keeping me company at the bar; and Alexis for deftly wielding the microphone on stage.
So what’s next? What’s tonight, July 11th?
Snake-charming flying belly dancer on fire Rio!
Well, no fire. Russell gets pissed every time I set something in the Windup on fire. But, there really might be a snake!