I’m never hanging out with Maria Bella again.

Photo by Jeff Schock
Photo by Jeff Schock

Maria Bella of Gilded Lily Burlesque is not only one of our best models and performers, she’s one of the best out there in our opinion.  At any one time, she’s got more heart for her craft, and the world in general, than most folks have in a lifetime of striving.  She’s clever, kind, funny, and strip-the-paint-off-the-walls sexy.

Here’s a dollop of advice with your Dr. Sketchy’s blog, though.  Don’t talk to her.

“What?” you say.  Let me tell you how it’ll go.  You’ll talk to her, and because of how cool she is, you’ll become friends (if you’re not an ass, mind you)–and once you become friends, then the calls will start.  It’ll be, say, 1 am in the morning, and your phone will ring.

“Hey, what are the two of you doing?”

“Umm, going to bed?”

“You should come have a beer with me.  It won’t be too bad, the bars close in an hour.”

“We can’t.  By the time we get a cab and get wherever, it’ll be 2 o’clock.”

“I’m outside your door.”


And so you go, and you think, “Oh, this couldn’t go too badly…” and [wiggles fingers and makes the Wayne’s World ‘twiddley dooo!  twiddley dooo!” sound]….and you suddenly come to, butt-ass naked, covered in glitter and someone else’s blood, wearing Maria’s pasties, standing in a wheat field in the middle of Georgia surrounded by an ATF SWAT team with a helicopter circling overhead.

And no Maria.

That’s how she rolls, folks, that’s how she rolls.

While you dwell on that thought, let’s watch Maria do her thing.

Was that a bulldog?  IT WAS.  That was the friendly and eternally sleepy Preston the Bulldog, favored ward of one Beth Rainier, a good friend of ours (who you should never drink with either, btw).  Doesn’t he clean up nicely?  I don’t even think I have a tie that nice.  Though it turned out doggies don’t do too well at sitting still for ten-minute poses, Beth gets mad props for bringing Preston by so we could give it a shot.

One of our sponsors this session was Canine Clique, Baltimore’s leading positive reinforcement dog trainers, run by Debbie Shepardson and our good friend Kiely Kyte (Don’t hang out with her either.  Actually, don’t ever bend an elbow with ANYONE (past, present, or future—especially any of those shady mf-ers on the door—associated with Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore.  They’re all a bad lot, to the core. Well, that’s not entirely true.  I’m a fairly good egg, I’ll keep you on the straight and narrow.)  In any case, the amazing Canine Clique donated a gift basket for one lucky soul who won one of our weird contests.

Our other sponsor for this session was Atomic Books, probably the best independent bookstore on the planet (and we’ve been to a lot of them).  If you live here and you haven’t checked them out up in Hampden on Falls Road just off the Avenue, you’re doing one of those “Oh, I live in Baltimore but I’ve never watched The Wire” things.

Thank you to Tim Kelly and Craig Hankin who sent in the drawings below (which in my opinion the videos would suck without) .

Special thanks to Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess, the spectacular Maria Bella of Gilded Lily Burlesque, for being an awesome model and muse; thanks to Preston the Bulldog and his super-cool owner Beth Rainier; thanks to our generous sponsors Canine Clique and Atomic Books; thanks to Holly of the Windup Space for slinging drinks for our merry artists; thanks to Jeff Schock for taking some of the pretty pics you see below; thanks to our hula-hooping helper Maeve for holding down the door and helping with the hellish of all Dr. Sketchy tasks, the setup and takedown; thank you to my perty fiancée Alexis for being our emcee; and last but not least, thank you to all the folks who came out that night and bent an elbow (drawing or otherwise) with us.

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