Tuesday, December 4, 2012

First Becky: A Rebuttal

--> The groundbreaking newshound Huffington Post today put forth their stunningly well-researched list of “20 Burlesque Stars To Know And Their Wildest Signature Acts.” It was the single greatest honor of my career – nay, of my life - to be included on this absolutely complete, up-to-date, and non-geographically-biased compilation. In fact, I’m planning on killing myself tomorrow as anything that follows cannot but be a miserable and feeble, pale imitation of the glories that it has been my singular privilege to taste.

To save you the trouble of looking it up yourself (and to keep their page count if possible in the single digits), I include below the particularly thorough “blurb” (like the list itself, the blurb is one of the greatest boons to incisive reporting) that accompanied my own modest entry:

Nasty Canasta
Known for: Being one half of a burlesque power couple along with husband Johnny Porkpie, until they called it quits. Luckily the two were together long enough to found Pinchbottom Burlesque, one of the city's most ingenious burlesque spots.

Signature acts: Performing as her alter-ego Kobayashi Maru, an android creature.

Based in: New York City

I will say this for them: They sure did get my city of residence right.

I mean, what independent artist with nearly a decade of experience, international recognition, and a full-time solo career as both a performer and a producer wouldn’t want to be known exclusively for ‘having been married to some guy?’ And who wouldn’t be thrilled that – several years after their divorce – that guy still gets equal mention in her press? And that the only link in that press is to the company that they co-founded, that she was forced out of, and that has produced no original work since she left? That alone is an artist’s dream.

There’s certainly nothing about my solo career at any point that merits its own mention. Dozens of original and innovative acts? Yawn. Six years of Sweet & Nasty Burlesque? Meh. Runner-up at the 2010 Miss Exotic World Pageant? Piffle. Pioneer of the geeklesque genre, host and producer of Naked Girls Reading NYC, seven Golden Pastie awards,  – yeah, but she was married to that guy! Remember that? That was awesome. And you should totally go see all his shows.

(Although. As the official history of that show would have it that I made no substantial contribution to the theme, creation or content of those productions other than having happened to be cast in them, and as my name and likeness have been Photoshopically removed from images, videos, and works of fiction thereunto associated, it occurs that the “reporter” who “wrote” this “article” actually had to do a modicum of research … and that this is pretty much the only place in print that actually acknowledges my equal contribution in the creation of this show. (And, hey – incompleteness, lazy research and geographic bias aside, it’s a fucking fantastic lineup of legitimately amazing performers.) So score one for you, Random Bloglist That No One Outside Of The Burlesque Profession Really Cares About At All.)

My parents split up in the late 1970’s. My schools wouldn’t let my mother sign permission slips or pick me up after class with a different last name from mine; she was advised that business associates would be ‘confused’ and her career would suffer if she went back to her maiden name. And so she’s been stuck with her ex-husband’s name for over three decades now.

The idea that in 2012 anyone should see fit to define an independent female artist with a legitimate solo career exclusively by a past relationship (professional or personal or both) is just … really dumb. Even in a top-20-list situation.

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