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.”

Sonuvabitch.

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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Femme 6’s Poetry in Pasties tonight!

Okay, so we’ve slacked off a little (hey, we’re technically on break, so that’s okay, right?) and haven’t finished the recap of last month’s session with Femme 6. But you can catch her—along with other Dr. Sketchy’s models, specifically Maria Bella, Paco Fish, Marla Meringue, and Roma Mafia—tonight at Mobtown Theater, in Poetry in Pasties. Here’s a bit about the show:

There will be gravity-defying feats of breathtaking beauty, original writings by the performers themselves, retro beat poetry with a twist, classical poems re-imagined in acts of striptease, comedy and drama, a special tribute to Charm City, and many, many more surprises to stimulate you– intellectually! 😉 All of this for only $10?? WOWEEEE!

Write this down where you won’t forget it:

THIS SUNDAY, August 14th
DOORS AT 8:30, SHOW AT 9!
only $10 at the door, and there’s booze!
Mobtown Theater at Meadow Mill
3600 Clipper Mill Rd
Hampden, Maryland

Do yourself a favor and come satisfy your craving for a mind-body experience like no other. Poetry in Pasties!

We’re sure your weekend could use a little more culture and hotness, so end it right with some literary striptease.

So, since we’re been taking our sweet time to put up the recap of Femme 6’s session with us, consider this the last call for sketches of our lovely model from that session, folks. Scan (or shoot with your camera phone) your drawings and send them to us at drsketchysbaltimore(at)gmail.com, or post them on our Facebook page’s wall. If you haven’t liked our page yet, do yourself a favor and go do that now: we update that page more often than the blog, so if you’d liked us already, you would have gotten a reminder about Poetry in Pasties before now, and you would have seen photos from our last session. (You could have also seen photos earlier if you followed us on Twitter.) But, since you’re reading this blog and we like you, here’s a photo from that night.

Other awesome stuff happening this week: Maria Bella will be a guest performer at Trixie & Monkey’s Summer Camp show at the Creative Alliance, and Baltimore Comic Con is next weekend. If you’re going to be geeking it out at the con, be sure to stop by Paigey’s table in the artists alley to say hi and check out her work. And we’ll update the Calendar O’Fun with more stuff as we learn about them, just so you aren’t starved of burlesque goodness while we’re taking a breather.

Speaking of our summer break, you might be wondering when it’ll be over. We’ll be back in little less than a month, on September 12, with Dahlia Derriere as your muse for an evening we’re calling “Dahlia Derriere Does Desert Dames”. In case you missed it, here’s a photo from her last session a little over a year ago:

See the rest of the photos plus artwork from that session here. We’ll post a flyer here soon—but it’ll probably be on our Facebook page quicker (hint, hint). Check back this week for that and our Femme 6 session recap, but while you wait for the photos, remember to see Femme in the flesh at Poetry in Pasties tonight.

Ciao Bella!

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.




Jeff Lance

Jeff Lance

Brian Dugan


Jeff Lance

Brian Dugan


Jeff Lance

Brian Dugan

Elstabo

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.

Brian Dugan

Jeff Lance

Brian Dugan

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. 🙂 )

Jeff Lance

Brian Dugan

Brian Dugan

Hallsi Killian

Marjan Al Hameed

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.

Jeff Lance

Elstabo

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

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.

Hallsi Killian

Kathy Daywalt

Paul Moscatt

Elstabo

Kilumal

Jeff Lance

Brian Dugan

Craig Hankin

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!