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!

Gilded Lily Burlesque’s Halloween Show this Sunday!

Hey folks, don’t forget Gilded Lily Burlesque’s Halloween Show is this Sunday at the Ottobar.  That’s pretty much 80% of our models all in one spot in all their pastie glory!

Here’s the info from their Facebook page

Gilded Lily Burlesque Halloween Show
Oct 10th
Show at 9pm, tickets $13
The Ottobar
2549 N. Howard Street
Baltimore, MD
www.theottobar.com

Come on out to enjoy a pre-Halloween vaudeville show with Gilded Lily Burlesque and special guests: Kay Sera from Bmore, femcee Kittie Glitter from D.C.; the candy-coated cutie, Lil Miss Lixx from N.Y.; the vaudeville antics of Mab Just Mab from D.C. and the amazing fire performance of Malibu from D.C. Some of the biggest names in burlesque and sideshow will be sure to bring the glitz, glam, humor and unique talent to entertain and engage you this Halloween.

Stay tuned during intermission and after the show to have your tarot cards read for only $10 by the amazing Venus Out of Bounds! You will also have the opportunity to purchase merchandise from Lil Miss Lixx and Gilded Lily Burlesque, as well as vintage clothing sold by pinup model, Lauren Marleaux!!

– And for God’s sake, don’t forget Dr. Sketchy’s is Monday with Paco Fish!

(photo of Paco Fish courtesy of Twilight Images by Melody Smith, www.twilightimages.net)

La Bellissima Maria Bella

We have a new winner for my favorite photo ever taken at a Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore.  Russell should just go ahead and give Maria Bella his scooter, ’cause honestly, it looks hotter with her on it.

This was our official Two Year Anniversary session!  If you missed it, well, you should just sit down right now and cry like an itty-bity-witty baby because Maria Bella, “Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess” and founder of Gilded Lily Burlesque, was absolutely gorgeous—if she had been a snake, not only would you have NOT missed her in the grass, she would have had her own late-night SciFi Channel movie where she gobbled up an entire village in the Congo or something.

And there were cupcakes from Sweet Sin Bakery!

Before we got the ball rolling, we had a mini-contest at 6:50 for a rail drink.  The question was, “Can you name another member of Gilded Lily besides Maria?”  Some lucky fellow in the back shouted out Sable Syn Cyr, which, while not currently correct, got “old school” points since she was a member until she moved to Wisconsin a little while ago.  Plus, her picture was on the wall, so who are we to be sticklers?

With that, Maria Bella took the stage and the 1 & 2 minute poses began.

Our first contest contest of the evening—well, I guess it was the second—was the good ol’ “If you’re right-handed with your left, if you’re left-handed draw with your right, and if your ambidextrous, your calling is Kung-Fu, not drawing burlesque performers”.

A few more five-minute poses…

Next up were the ten-minute poses.  The first pose was our third contest which was the best incorporation of an accordion with the winner receiving a $15 gift card from Atomic Books in Hampden, on Falls Rd. just off the Avenue.

R. L. May III

lanikei

The second ten-minute pose was the one we dragged Russell’s moped up onto the stage for.  You’d think that wouldn’t be too difficult, but that stupid thing must weigh a ton.  It got up there after a fair amount of cussing though.

Liz Beetem

Next up were the twenty minute poses and another contest which was the best incorporation of a drop bear with the winner getting Visions From Within the Mechanism: The Industrial Surrealism of Jeffery Scott from Baby Tattoo Books.

The weekend before Dr. Sketchy’s, Alexis, Maria, and I took a trip to Asheville, NC for the Asheville Burlesque and Sideshow Festival.  Maria was performing and since my folks live in Asheville, carpooling seemed the cheapest and funnest way to mosey down there.  Not only that, but the ten-hour car ride gave me plenty of time to run on at the mouth at excruciating length about the local fauna, so Maria would be prepared if a wild boar tried to chew off her leg or a snake popped out of her salad.  (She actually saw 4 snakes over two days, though it was probably 2 snakes seen twice—wait, one of the performers was carrying around a snake, so does that make 5?  I suppose it’s not important.)  Anyways, this may sound like Jager-induced paranoia, but forewarning tourists is what stops people’s babies from being carried off by bald eagles and shit.

What we were talking about?  Oh, drop bears.  One of the many carnivorous hazards of my fair home state is the wily  Drop Bearfirocicus.  A sub-species of the normal mountain black bear, drop bears are basically black bears that are soooo fat and lazy they eventually get tired of killing mooses (meeses?), elk, and raiding old ladys’ trash cans.  Instead, the climb up in a tree and wait, sometimes for days at a time, until some tourist, park ranger, or teenagers looking to have sex in the woods walk by and then BLAM, they fall right out of the tree and squish them flat with their big ol’ butt.

I’m telling you, it’s a god-damn zoo down there.

Knowledge is half the battle, folks.

So, best incorporation of drop bears . . .

Ben Carnow (winner)

Liz Beetem

Mike Hasson

Last up for the evening was a final 20-minute pose and a contest for the best incorporation of the World’s Cup with the prize being a slick frame from Artist & Craftsman Supply which is just across the street on the corner of North and Howard.  (They’re open till 8 too, so if you forget your art supplies, for God’s sake run over there and tell them you came from us.)

Liz Beetem

Ben Carnow

Mike Hasson

We’d like to thank Baltimore’s Sicilian Princess, Maria Bella of Gilded Lily Burlesque, for making our second anniversary session a rousing success, and not only that, but driving us down to Asheville with her and for just an over all kick-ass weekend.  We’d also like to thank our generous sponsors Atomic Books, Artist & Craftsman Supply, and Baby Tattoo Books for donating prizes for us give away.  Thanks as well to Russell of the Windup Space for slinging drinks, CDs, and his moped up onto the stage; Jeff for the stunning photos you see above; and to Alexis for being our sardonic host.


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