Roulette Rose
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Aug 8, 2010 Roulette Rose commented on The Burlesque Shoah.
PS...A good place to start for some history and fun pictures of the revival of burlesque in the 90's and beyond can be found in "Burlesque and the New Bump and Grind" by Michelle Baldwin, as well as some great personal insight about the earlier part of this revival through Jo Weldon's new book, "The Burlesque Handbook".

Aug 8, 2010 Roulette Rose updated the link to his or her website.
Aug 8, 2010 Roulette Rose joined My Stranger Face
Aug 8, 2010 Roulette Rose commented on The Burlesque Shoah.
Roulette Rose from New Orleans here....

I appreciated your push to look at ourselves with a critical lens, but really- what can one do besides just mind their own business, and I mean business literally. It will all work itself out, and survival of the fittest will take over. You know how that is- you work in a sea of bad writers who could use the same advice you are giving.
If a show/performer actually sucks bad enough, people will stop showing up- I've seen it happen.

But maybe you aren't aware of something since you talk like an expert on the subject- the fittest have survived the last 20 years, not seven like you stated ("The burlesque revival is going strong—we're in year seven with all the books, documentaries, and classes").

The burlesque revival started at different times for many individual performers, many of who were performing burlesque but 1) didn't know that their performances were called "burlesque" or 2)they were strippers who were consciously influenced by historically known burlesque performers and vintaged personas.
My records date the revival getting its jump-start in the early 90's and hitting a peak a couple times since then, and not in all cities at the same time, at that.

For example, there was a New Orleans troupe from the 90's that left a big name for themselves and then kind of just disappeared, and (without any specific record to refer to to say this...) it SEEMS like it might have been another 5 years until burlesque shows left the dive bars to hit bigger stages and triple digit attendance numbers like some of us are seeing now.
And then- we have this lady who tauts herself as the "Burlesque Queen of New Orleans in the 1980's" but I can't find any archival data on her, but it leads me to understand that someone was doing something.

So, I just wanted to say that I think you might be jumping the gun in using this "seventh year" idea, and I love your columns, I've been a follower since I lived in Portland and read "The Mercury", but I think you are missing some historical information to back up your criticism and you are also looking at it from the point of view of an audience member that is seeing a lot of burlesque, too much burlesque (there is such a thing). I would get sick of seeing my favorite performer too many times in a row, and you kind of just made yourself watch a few things that were similar too many times in a row!

While each burlesque troupe/show/performer has their return audience, there is constantly a new audience coming in as well, and if they are too square to be a regular patron, at least many of them look back on it fondly, as the first time they go to see a burlesque show, or a girly show, or their friend the burlesque dancer- and those stories are told often.

Thank you for your insights, they are taken to heart.
Roulette Rose