Snakes on a Dr. Sketchy’s!

How can we possibly top the last two sessions with Marla Meringue and Maria Bella?  HOW??!!  After many pickle back shots, the answer was obvious.  Bellydancing and mutha fuckin’ snakes.

Here’s a little bit of info on snakecharming-flying-bellydancer-on-fire Rio from her page

Rio is a certified yoga instructor whose style is ‘prana flow gone orientale’ following the trifecta method of YogaWorks that combines Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Viniyoga methods into a well rounded cohesive practice. She has studied and practiced with Anne VanValkenburg, Eddie Modestinni, Nicki Doane, Elise Miller, Roger Cole, and Natasha Rizopoulos with continuing education around the US and Canada…. Her style is driven by an anatomical approach to individual alignment and creating a personal experience and path for students, no matter what background or experience. Her experience focuses on degenerative joint and tissue disorders and rehabilitation, mobility limitations of EDS, fibromyalgia, MS, and Minears, with restorative yoga and dance for anxiety and depression, prenatal and early childhood bonding, and empowerment through women’s outreach.

All that, AND mutha fuckin’ snakes.

Can you picture it?  (Are you picturing what I’m picturing?  Flaming scenery crashing to the stage, Alexis flailing about with a snake on her head, me screaming in abject terror, Samuel L. Jackson firing warning shots into the foam tiles overhead right as Rio cold-cocks him?  Is that what you pictured, cause, God damn, that’s what I’m picturing.)  I mean, really, how many of you have ever had a chance to draw a snake?  Don’t raise your hands, I can’t see ’em.

Before you ask, I don’t know what type of snake it is.  To be honest, I’m pretty well-versed on snake-lore but most of that info comes from watching SyFy Anaconda movies.  Basically I’m picturing something like this.

Keep in mind that if things get out of hand, they always eat anyone in high heels first, so if you’re wearing those things, for God’s sake kick that shit off if it starts bursting through support beams and gobbling up people like it’s a high school graduation or something.

Oh, and I should point out that snakes are fickle creatures.  If it gets sick, decides to shed, or hijack a plane, we’re just plain out of luck, at least snake-wise. 

What else can I say to convince you?  Oh yeah, Flying Dog Brewery is now a permanent sponsor!  Hot diggity-damn!  Apparently you sweet-amazing-sexy people made a hell of an impression, cause they’re here to stay!  Not only that, but prizes from the coolest-Indy-bookstore-on-the-planet Atomic Books and the “everyonewantstobepublishedby” Baby Tattoo Books. 

Doors at 6, start at 7!

[This message was not approved by Alexis.]

Marla Meringue and 3 years of boozy drawing bedlam!

Best.  Session.  Ever.  Normally, I’ll shy away from saying things like that, even when I know it was, just cause I really don’t need a stiletto to the back of the head one late night out behind the Ottobar or wherever.  If you were there, though, you know it was, I know it was—so why lie at this point?

Why was it the best session ever?

First, it was our 3 year anniversary, which is pretty amazing in of itself.  Hell, I’m pretty sure next session is our 60th session in fact.  (It’s not, it’s the 59th. – Alexis) That’s a LOT of sessions.  Second, Marla Meringue of Sticky Buns Burlesque must have been sore for days afterward cause her poses were downright Herculean—I can’t imagine even attempting one or two of them, much less three hours of them.  Third, Flying Dog Brewery had an amazing special on its Raging Bitch IPA—that, uh, definitely warmed the crowd’s cackles (more on that later). Fourth, Jeff Abell of Fox45 News stopped by and filmed an amazing segment for the 10 o’clock news.

If you didn’t click that link, go back and click it, this page will still be here when you’re done.

Yes, they accidentally forgot to mention the name “Dr. Sketchy’s”, but there’s some amazing shots and interviews in there.  We are eternally grateful to Fred Zeleny, Kerry Brady, Charlotte Bunting Floyd, and Craig Hankin for talking to them—ESPECIALLY for not saying something like, “Did you know I once saw Alexis dropkick a baby through a plate glass window?” or “I’m pretty sure this whole thing is a cover for a counterfeit cigarette operation.  Did you see the bartender’s beard?  That’s obviously shady. I bet he hides knives in that thing.”

Let’s get to the pictures, cause I know y’all aren’t reading this shit for the articles.

Elstabo

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Shawn Adomanis

Elstabo

We took a quick break after the 1-minute and 2-minute poses so Marla could change and folks could refill on beer—which reminds me, don’t know if you noticed, but our friend Eliza helped out at the door.  Eliza actually helped out at the very, very first Dr. Sketchy’s way back in the day at Dionysus where we had only 9 people show up, 4 of who were friends.  We were a little nervous having her this session just in case we triggered some sort of cosmic symmetry a la “I was there for the first one….and I was there for the LAST.”  Luckily, at least of this writing [knockonwood], that seems to not have happened.

While Alexis and I were talking to Jeff Abell, I overheard the following interaction from the door,

Eliza – That’ll be 8 dollars.  By the way, Flying Dog is one of our sponsors tonight and you get a Raging Bitch, the first pint for $4 and all the subsquent ones for $2…”

Someone I didn’t see – What?  What’d you say?

Eliza – Umm, Flying Dog has a beer special tonight on their Raging Bitch beer . . .?

Someone – Oh, whew, I thought you called me a Raging Bitch.  Thought I was going to have to whoop ya.

That’s paraphrased by the way.  Like, a lot.  But it was something like that.  Pretty sure I saw some brass knuckles flashed too, but it’s a little hazy now.

Anyway, the first 5-minute pose was the opposite-hand contest where if you’re right-handed you draw with your left and if you’re left-handed you draw with your right.  If you’re ambidextrous, you can go home cause no one likes you.  The two winners got mystery drinks from Russell behind the bar, who by the way, was kind enough to show up an hour early that day to let us set up all this crap.

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

Shawn Adomanis

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Shawn Adomanis

BTW, this was the point where the pint glasses started to hit the floor.  Two managed to escape from their table-tops in under five minutes.  I didn’t pay it any mind at the time—shit happens, especially when you’re maneuvering in a mine field of art boxes, book bags, sketch boards, beer, and other artists.  Little did I know this was the canary in the coal mine, the first pebbles of snow bouncing past your nose right before you turn and look up the hillside and say, “Oh shit!”

Jeff Abell and his camera man (who was apparently quite popular with the ladies, whether he knew it or not—“I’ll let the camera guy mic me any day.”) filmed an interview or two while everyone stocked up on pint glasses (ominously in retrospect) and it was time for Marla’s performance, bits of which you can see in the Fox 45 news segment linked above.  Jeff (our Jeff) got some pretty good photos as well, which are honestly amazing for the facial expressions alone (something you don’t often get during static drawing poses), so I’ll toss a few of those in here too.

The 10-minute poses . . .

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

Shawn Adomanis

Lisa Doll

The second 10-minute pose was our second contest of the evening, which was the best incorporation of Marla in Las Vegas.  The prizes were an issue of Retro Lovely and Jim Silke’s Pinup: The Illegitimate Art from the bad-ass Atomic Books, which is in Hampden on the corner of the Avenue and Falls Road.  (You can see Marla perusing Silke’s book while Alexis explained the contest.)

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

Another break and it was 20-minute pose time, with the first being a random noun contest, which, uh, someone called out the adjective “edible” for.  Don’t judge, we were approaching pint-glass armageddon.  The two winners received a giant stack of art supplies from Artist & Craftsman Supply right across the street on the corner of North & Howard.  There were paints, pads, pencils – a whole mess of stuff.

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Shawn Adomanis

. . . and we broke for the last break of the evening, which unleashed a storm of pint glasses upon the Windup’s floor, the like of which I’ve never seen.  I’ve done door at the Blarneystone in Fells Point during Fells Point festival and I’ve never seen so many spilled drinks in my life.  Everyone was having fun, Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch was flowing like a river (with eddies around our feet, apparently), and, well, it’s the most fun I’ve had at a Dr. Sketchy’s (or while mopping).

The last contest of the evening was another random noun contest, which ended up being “twins” or “Gemini”—I *think* because Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore would have been a Gemini if it were a person and the anniversary was its birthday.  Or something like that.  The prizes were John Watkiss’s Sparrow #11 and Visions from Within Mechanism: The Industrial Surrealism of Jeffrey Scott from Baby Tattoo Books, who runs the LA branch of Dr. Sketchy’s as well.

Craig Hankin

Shawn Adomanis

Tons of thanks to Marla Meringue of Sticky Buns Burlesque for being the star of our anniversary session; thanks to our wonderful sponsors Flying Dog Brewery, Atomic Books, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and Baby Tattoo Books; thanks to Russell for slinging drinks and tunes; thanks to Jeff for the amazing photos; thanks to Paco Fish and Maria Bella for being on hand to answer any questions about burlesque for Fox 45; thanks to Jeff Abell and Fox 45 for the great segment they did on burlesque in Baltimore and your humble Dr. Sketchy’s branch; thanks to Eliza for being our menacing head of security and door guardian; thanks to Alexis for what has to be one of the best hosting jobs she’s ever done.

When’s the next Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore?  Oh shit, it’s tomorrow, Monday, June 27th!  And it’s with Maria Bella of Gilded Lily Burlesque!  Maria posed for our anniversary session last year – which means this year, it’s like getting two anniversary sessions in a row!

Doors at 6, start at 7, AWESOMENESS at 7:05.  Dollar off your alcohol-esque drinks between 6 and 7!

Roma Mafia, the Rapture, Butterflies, and Labyrinth.

Wow, the camera really likes Roma Mafia of Sticky Buns Burlesque.  Like, a lot.  The photos always look great, but this batch looks especially amazing.  Our photographer Jeff was in some sort of photographic zen-like zone and Roma was a CLEAR violation of Russell’s “don’t set fire to my stage” rule that he gets so strangely upset over.  (As a side note, Roma kicked ass Saturday night too along with Sticky Buns Burlesque and Gilded Lily Burlesque at the Planned Parenthood Benefit at Area 405.  Hope you went; you pretty much couldn’t throw a rock without hitting someone who’s modeled for Dr. Sketchy’s before.  Don’t throw rocks though.)

Here’s the 1 & 2-minute poses.

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

A quick break to so everyone could powder their noses and top off drinks and it was time for the 5-minute poses, the first of which was ye ol’ opposite hand contest, where if you’re right-handed you draw with your left and if you’re left-handed you draw with your right and if you’re ambidextrous, well, you’re disqualified and probably shouldn’t be here anyway and should be at a ninja academy or something.  The two winners got mystery drinks from Russell behind the bar.

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

Another break and it was time for the 10-minute poses, the first of which was a contest for best incorporation of the Rapture, since that whole “End of the World” nonsense was going on around then in the news.  The winners got to choose between a Strathmore Charcoal Pad and a pocket-sized leather-bound sketchbook from Artist & Craftsman Supply down the street on the corner of Howard and North.

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

The first 20-minute contest was best incorporation of the butterfly effect or Chaos Theory since it was Edward Lorenz’s birthday, the fellow who coined the term.  The prize was Rubber Duck by Karen Hsiau from Baby Tattoo Books.

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

The last pose of the night was best incorporation of the movie Labyrinth.  (The previous weekend Alexis and I had visited the Raleigh, NC branch of Dr. Sketchy’s, which hosted a special session at a Labyrinth-themed burlesque show.  It was pretty damn neat.)  The winners got their choice of either the latest issue of Retro Lovely or Hi Fructose and Bachelor Pad from Atomic Books on the corner of the Avenue and Falls in Hampden.

Brian Dugan

Thank you to Roma Mafia for a stunning session; thanks to our sponsors Atomic Books, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and Baby Tattoo Books; thanks to Russell for slinging drinks and tunes and letting us use the Windup Space; thanks to Jeff for working his camera magic; thanks to my beard for not harming any small children, and thanks of course to Alexis for MCing.

So, when’s the next Dr. Sketchy’s?

Oh, it’s tomorrow.  Monday, June 13th.

Anything special about it?  Not really, no big deal or nuthin’, it’s just

OUR FUCKING 3 YR ANNIVERSARY!

Marla “So Cute it Hurts” Meringue of Sticky Buns Burlesque will be modeling!  Boom!  [John Stewart fist-pump]  And what’s that new logo up there?  Flying Dog Brewery?  There’ll be Raging Bitch on tap, $4 for the first pint and $2 for every pint after that – which is like, INSANE, and not only that, they’ll be giving other stuff away too!  Atomic Books, who’s been with us almost the entire 3 years has a bunch of cool stuff, Artist & Craftsman Supply loaded us up with art supplies, and Baby Tattoo Books stuff too!  And the stage is getting a makeover!  Boom!

If you think you’re coming, for God’s sake confirm on the Facebook event – doors will open at 6 with the start at 7.  Don’t be late, this really, really is the big one.