Tonight was actually the “official” opening night for the festival and what a packed night. All the action was still at the Gladstone Hotel. Upstairs there was the retrospective of Dr. Sketchy artwork - if you don’t know this series, check it out – Life Drawing sessions made sexy! In one of the main bars, everyone got together to meet each other, have a few drinks and start the eve – and, wow, what an eve…
We started with a press conference, discussing the future of Burlesque. I was on the panel that included Dirty Martini, Roxi Dlite, Michelle L’amour, Jo “Boobs” Weldon, Satan’s Angel, Tigger!, Julie Atlas Muz, Sauci Calla Hora and Tanya Cheex. A few good questions were asked and I was able to make my point that new media offers many exciting new possibilities for Burlesque, in both how it’s conceived, presented and distributed.
After that, the shows began – In one bar were Teaser Performances by some up and coming talent, and in the ballroom there was the Rising Star Showcase. The wonderfully entertaining Keith Cole (who is a front-runner in the 2010 Toronto mayoral candidate race) hosted the first half and the very cool Indigo Blue of Seattle hosted the second. I really dug the overall quality of these new performers and have to give special mention to Mahogony Storm and Johnny aka Claire Ness.
There was also an art-bra auction, with proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research. Different artists and designers created these and a couple were outstanding – so much so that the final piece, a double CN Tower tipped metal representation of Toronto incited a bidding frenzy between yours truly and Sauci Calla Hora. I was secretly bidding to gift t to her and she was bidding to gift it to Burlesque legend Satan’s Angel (whom I heart greatly). In the end, Sauci won out at $245, which we both shared and the bra went to Angel – Can’t wait to see it on her