S6E177: Like A Person w/ Xena Zeit-Geist

One of the great shapeshifters of New Orleans, scream queer extraordinaire Xena Zeit-Geist joins Viktor Devonne to discuss their passion for the macabre, on stage and screen–and off.  Topics today include beloved horror icons, gender expression (going from ‘creepy lady to old man’ and beyond); costume as armor, and producing the Society of Sin before and after covid. (this conversation was recorded 9/24/2022)

— WEBurlesque Podcast Network is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 177 call hook by Coco Rosé. Podcast artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Theme song, “On a 45” by This Way to the Egress, used with permission. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode. Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help. All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

MusicThatMadeWE #31: Mary Widow (Season 2 Finale)

1 hour, 35 minutes (audio only version)
2 hours (Patreon exclusive version)

Released: October 1, 2022
Recorded: April 6, 2022

Actual rockstar, Boston’s Mary Widow is a true creature of the night, from performing with Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, stripping in ridiculous and glorious costumes in burlesque shows, and recently completing the horror film MAIRZY DOATS. She goes into her catalog of musical memories, from playing Magenta in Rocky Horror, her dizzying adventure as backup cheerleader for Weird Al Yankovic, and icons like Bowie and Gene Kelly who influenced Mary as a triple threat.

The Music That Made WE is a creation of WEBurlesque Podcast Network, produced by Viktor Devonne.

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On this episode of The Music That Made WE, Viktor talks to Mary Widow.

“Jump” by Van Halen

“Moses” from Singing in The Rain feat. Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly

“Time Warp” from The Rocky Horror Show feat. Raul Esparza, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Kristen Lee Kelly, and Dick Davett

“Oh, Donna Clara” by Max Raabe

“Emerge” by Fischerspooner

“Snip Snip (Suck-a-Thumb)” by Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys; from Shockheaded Peter

“Smells Like Nirvana” by Weird Al Yankovic

“Magic Dance” by David Bowie; from Labyrinth

“Behave” by Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys

“Mairzy Doats” by the Pied Pipers

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Produced by Viktor Devonne, reigning Mr Hollywood Burlesque WEBurlesque Podcast Nework is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Podcast Network logo artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode.

Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help.

All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

Special thank-you to Raina Sinclair for transcription services.

S6E176: Kiki Mustang in the Land of No Pants

Kiki discusses her storyline in burlesque, its relationship to her Latine heritage, her friendship with burlesque legend Gina BonBon, what inspires her, queer identity, the shocking truth behind her stagename + she and Viktor swap stories about living in New Jersey, pizza and diners, and their personal stories [content warning for timestamps 16:30-34:30] of September 11th, 2001. (this conversation was recorded 9/14/2022)

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— WEBurlesque Podcast Network is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 176 call hook by Miss Spent Youth. Podcast artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Theme song, “On a 45” by This Way to the Egress, used with permission. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode. Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help. All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

S6E175: Miss Spent Youth Wastes No Time

Miss Spent Youth is a glamorous vixen in Los Angeles County, performing with Babylon Cabaret, a sing and strip revue.  A model, and dancer, and a breathy talker-in-rhythm… doer, Miss Spent Youth–a mentoree of Hollywood’s Lili VonSchtupp–has charmed audiences for seven years. She has taken on the exciting new task as producer of The Hollywood Burlesque Festival (applications open as of this recording), which hits the stage in March of 2023. With all this going, somehow she found time to talk about all of these productions, her journey from pinup to dancer, and her dedication to the field. (recorded 8/30/2022)

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— WEBurlesque Podcast Network is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 175 call hook by Gigi Praline. Podcast artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Theme song, “On a 45” by This Way to the Egress, used with permission. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode. Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help. All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

MusicThatMadeWE #30: Oliver Swisskey

1 hour, 41 minutes (audio only version)
2 hours, 4 minutes (Patreon exclusive version)

Released: September 17, 2022
Recorded: July 20, 2022

Oliver Swisskey, known as the Boy Next Door… to the Brothel, hails from New Jersey and provides ten selections necessary to his development. Mr. Swisskey won the Silver Tusk Award for Most Marvelous Muppet in 2020.

Content notice: Child death discussed at approx the 48 minute mark for approximately 10 minutes.

The Music That Made WE is a creation of WEBurlesque Podcast Network, produced by Viktor Devonne.

  • Oliver Swisskey on WEBurlesque
  • Oliver Swisskey on Twitter and IG: @oswisskey

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On this episode of The Music That Made WE, Viktor talks to Oliver Swisskey, member of White Elephant Burlesque and winner of the 2020 Silver Tusk for Most Marvelous Muppet.

“Carol of the Bells” by Mykola Leontovych
Oliver says: “That was a song I sang every year in choir from 6th grade through senior year (of high s school.)… Aside from easily being my favorite Christmas carol, it’s just one that has been part of my creative life. I can’t escape it.”

“Dulcinea” from Man of La Mancha feat. Simon Gilbert
Oliver says: “This one is from the very first musical I ever saw… It holds a very very special place in my he art… My dad had it on and I kind of just sat down and watched it. My friends will joke that when I watch musicals, I tend to gravitate towards the ballad or the love song to a groaning degree. I love love.”

“Everybody (Backstreet’s Back” by Backstreet Boys
Oliver says: “This is my bonding with my older sister moment. She is three years older than me… and she was just a big old Backstreet Boys nut… This was just kind of one where the video is great [and] the music is great… Whenever I hear Backstreet Boys, it’s that kid nostalgia of hanging out with my sister and things being more simple.”

“Stop” by Spice Girls
Oliver says: “There were so many [Spice Girls] songs to choose [from]… The thing about this song… is that it has a bouncy sounding retro feel, but being very modern. I love hearing this…It is iconic and I love [SpiceWorld] so much.”

“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” by Johnny Mathis
Oliver says: “One of the first queer movies I ever saw was Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. The thing is, I remember easily watching this at around 5, 6, or 7 [years old.] I remember being little and watching this movie…My absolute favorite song from it was Johnny Mathis’ ‘Hold Me, Throw Me, Kiss Me.’ It is still a song that I go to [when I have] romantic thoughts… But I will always just remember me and [my sister] Shannon quoting the movie to each other here and there. And of course not realizing some of the things we were saying… ‘Sometimes it just takes a fairy.'”

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol
Oliver says: “My older sister got pregnant and had my niece, Kaylie, and during the course of my high school years the baby’s father was not a reliable person so my sister lived home with me and my family and we all kind of had a hand in raising Kaylie. After I graduated, one morning, Kaylie passed away at home. A Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child, the older equivalent of SIDS, so no real explanation besides that… This song is special to me because it was one of the first songs that Kaylie would react to. She would hear it and start dancing. I debated putting it on the list because it’s such a bummer to listen to, but the bad parts are just as formative as the good parts.”

“If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot, feat. Robert Goulet
Oliver says: “For all the talk we had of theatre earlier, I didn’t really get into it until high school. And the first musical we did was Camelot. And the thing with this show, is that it started me doing Renaissance fairs because the person who was the stage manager did the now defunct New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom… From there it kind of went to doing the show, to that summer volunteering [at the Renaissance Faire[], to then the next year doing fighting, and that eventually brought me all the way up to this year… It is my favorite song of the show.”

“O nata lux'” from Lux Aeterna, by Morten Lauridsen
Oliver says: “I consider myself very lucky that the select choir I was in in high school… We got to perform at Carnegie Hall three times… It was such an undertaking and such a fun thing to look back on. I can’t help but smile every time I think back to being on stage in the hall for the first time looking out and seeing the whole thing. First time we did this we actually did the piece that I chose, called Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen. To me the piece has always been haunting. It just has this tone to it… It just seems ethereal. And it’s one that my brain will always go back to when I think of stepping off that stage for the first time and just the awe of the moment.”

“Blood On My Hands” by The Used
Oliver says: “This one is actually at the beginning of my burlesque career… I did this for [an event called] Vixens and Villains… Up until that point I had been a stagehand… And as a huge Batman nerd I told myself I have to submit something… So I came up with the idea of doing The Red Hood… And I was riding in a car with my cousin and his girlfriend and this song came up… And after it was over I asked them to play it again. So yeah, I sent it to you and look where I am now.”

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
Oliver says: “This one is also a little bittersweet, but also a reaffirmation of why I do burlesque, my queerness, a lot of different things just molding into one. This was right after the shooting at Pulse in Orlando… and we had a show at Rockbar. I remember being there and it was such a somber atmosphere… The show was fun, but there was also this tone of darkness. We closed out the show with ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ by Whitney Houston and I remember singing my heart out… looking around and thinking ‘We will get through this.’ It was such a feeling of family and togetherness and solidarity… It was such a good memory to replace the horror that came before.”

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Produced by Viktor Devonne, reigning Mr Hollywood Burlesque WEBurlesque Podcast Nework is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Podcast Network logo artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode.

Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help.

All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

Special thank-you to Raina Sinclair for transcription services.

S6E174: A Splash of Coco Rose

Atlana-by-way-of-Memphis Coco Rosé chats with Viktor Devonne about her work in burlesque as a Black queer woman for the past six years, from frustrations in the scene to joy in the art form. Cute, funny, and quirky or the sultry slow burn seductress, this 4’11 glamazon continues to command the stage on her own terms.

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— WEBurlesque Podcast Network is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 174 call hook by Tutu Toussaint. Podcast artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Theme song, “On a 45” by This Way to the Egress, used with permission. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode. Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help. All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

S6E173: The New Chapter of Tutu Toussaint

Brilliant dancer Tutu Toussaint is also a healer and herbalist now living in Chicago.  Closing a chapter in New York City after a whirlwind success as member of Perle Noire’s Gems (including winning Best Group at the Burlesque Hall of Fame).  As a spiritual herbal teacher, Tutu continues to incorporate movement and sensuality in her work, looking forward. She and Viktor Devonne talk about life during the pandemic, visiting Africa, reconnecting with family, and considering what’s next.

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— WEBurlesque Podcast Network is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 173 call hook by Jacqueline Boxx. Podcast artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Theme song, “On a 45” by This Way to the Egress, used with permission. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode. Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help. All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

MusicThatMadeWE #29: Juicy D. Light

1 hour, 6 minutes (audio only version)
1 hour, 33 minutes (Patreon exclusive version)

Released: September 3, 2022
Recorded: March 16, 2022

Juicy D. Light is the performance artist, burlesque dancer, and speaker out of Oakland, CA. Providing a glimpse into her eclectic inspirations, Juicy selected 10 songs that mean the world to her.

The Music That Made WE is a creation of WEBurlesque Podcast Network, produced by Viktor Devonne.

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In this episode of The Music That Made WE, Viktor talks to Juicy D. Light, a burlesque performer, dancer, and performance artist based out of Oakland, CA.

“Golden” by Jill Scott
Juicy says: “This song is me feeling myself. Coming into my own, starting to breathe life into this big body. And seeing another big black woman sing about that was just inspiring to me…It’s the kind of song that if I hear it once, I want to hear it one more time.”

“Chains/Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness
Juicy says: “Sounds of Blackness had become really big in the 90s and I had just moved into my own apartment in San Francisco… In Sacramento I was really alienated. To put it as gently as I can, I was surrounded by whiteness. I hadn’t found my tribe, I hadn’t found my blerds, I hadn’t found my Black theater people, all my circles were very very white… So I moved to San Francisco… and started meeting people like me. And at that time there was also a resurgence in Black pride and African pride… This song to me reminds me of that time and coming into my Blackness and feeling solid in it.”

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
Juicy says: “I was having my first really bad breakup and I heard this song [and just thought] ‘That’s exactly right.’ … it was the song where I just acquiesced that if [they don’t love me] there is nothing I can do. Besides sit here and pine, and cry, and eat Ben and Jerry’s Super New York Fudge Chunk… But as we have all learned from our first breakups, it was the best thing that could have happened. Because it led me to Oakland and my life here and who I ended up becoming–who was the person he was afraid of me becoming in the first place.”

“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette
Juicy says: “Same breakup, and the first one is the hardest… you’re young, it’s the first time you put yourself out there like that, you think you’ll never love again… You think nobody will ever understand you and you are full of failings… At the time there was a Virgin Megastore, where you could go in and listen to an entire album…and I would just go in and blast this song and cry and dance in the aisle and all that kind of stuff. I think the whole album is lovely and she takes us through the breakup.”

“One” by Metallica
Juicy says: “There is a lot of rock in my life that I love… I had a friend; we would go places and he always wanted to listen to his music and I loved it. It was a break from the music I listened to all the time. So I just kept going down that path of listening to hard rock and really grew to appreciate it a lot… He started me off with Metallica and this is one of the songs that got me because I love anything that tells a story.”

“Forever Young” by Juicy D. Light
Juicy says: “I love this song! This was high school. There is just something kind of whimsical and sad which is what teenage girls do… For me its just a very sweet song; this is connected to those
memories of just discovering theatre… A very sweet discovery time in high school for me.”

“Why Not” by The Manhattan Transfer
Juicy says: “I was in color guard…we were all really into Manhattan Transfer. And then one of our
favorite troupes did a really amazing number to this song…this is really just a fun, showtuney, jazzy ass song that I thought about [when making this list.]”

“Smokin'” by Boston
Juicy says: “I threw this in because I really love Boston. I really love classic rock. Classic rock is one of my favorite genres. Boston was always a band that I thought ‘Boy, I bet you partying with them would be fun.’ They just seem like a fun party band. This is just one of those songs I really enjoy.”

“Baby Got Back” by Ph8
Juicy says: “I remember wanting to do something that would be fat positive in the case of Rubenesque Burlesque, my troupe. Something that was fun and fat positive, but something that wasn’t expected of us. So I went on the hunt and somehow Baby Got Back crossed me and I went ‘Oh that’s a great choice’ but I didn’t want to use the Sir Mix-A-Lot version because that’s what they are expecting. That’s why I chose the music I chose when I was running Rubenesque Burlesque; I didn’t want to choose what would be expected… This is the number that we did at Burlycon that got us on the map; it got people to know who we were.”

“September” by Earth, Wind &Fire
Juicy says: “I was a little girl and they were just amazing to me…I think this is the quintessential Earth, Wind & Fire song. They were just joyful and Afrofuturist before such a thing as Afrofuturism…they were all of that in a time where I was discovering Star Trek and the thing that Star Trek did particularly for Black people…was that we were included in the future. We would survive to see the future. Because until then, sci-fi was just white, white, white. Earth, Wind & Fire represented all that and joy and hope.”

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Produced by Viktor Devonne, reigning Mr Hollywood Burlesque WEBurlesque Podcast Nework is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Podcast Network logo artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode.

Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help.

All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

Special thank-you to Raina Sinclair for transcription services.

S6E172: Jacqueline Boxx– This Is My Throne

The extraordinary Jacqueline Boxx has been dazzling stages with her brand of Miss Disa-burly-TEASE– being recognized as one of the most visible disabled burlesque stars in North America.  A talent refusing to be novelty or tokenized, Jacqueline talks to Viktor Devonne about burlesque, before and after That Moment that changed her forever, competing for the Burlesque Hall of Fame, wheelchairs used in stagework for funzies, pushing back against authority, the difficult truth of  inaccessibility in nightlife, people saying the wrong thing, Lizzo, and the passion that has taken her to great heights, and stage lights across the country and beyond. (recorded 8-6-2022)

[[ Viktor’s Birthday Show on September 2nd! Zoom Only, Pay what you can:  WEBURLESQUE.WELLATTENDED.COM — with special guest Lili VonSchtupp and featuring Mimi Hurricane, Mr. Valdez, Faggedy Randy, Abby Fantastic, Jed Ryan, Esmerelda May, Rocco Chanel, Gwen Ruby, and Warumono. ]]

[[ SPECIAL SPONSOR: NEOBURLESQUEDECK.COM — The Neo Burlesque Deck is a unique poker sized deck of cards for the pin-up burlesque photography fans, & playing card enthusiasts. ]]

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— WEBurlesque Podcast Network is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 171 call hook by Mr. Valdez. Podcast artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Theme song, “On a 45” by This Way to the Egress, used with permission. Incidental music via pixabay.com under fair use. Visit weburlesquepodcast.com for notes on this and every episode. Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via patreon.com/weburlesque or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help. All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.