#131. Number One Search Result w/ Eric Jaffe

64 minutes

Released: June 7, 2021
Recorded: March 25, 2021

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Entertainer, songwriter, and a favorite host in Philadelphia’s queer scene, Eric Jaffe talks makeup, masks, beards, composing, and being the #1 Google result for “drag queen.” A genderless glamour monster Mx. Jaffe has been thrilling folks with their satirical sendups of your favorite musicals and pop hits, and recently claimed the title Drag Queen of the Year at the annual Philadelphia Drag Awards.

On this edition of WEBurlesque the Podcast, Viktor talks to Philadelphian drag performer, singer, and producer Eric Jaffe.

After more than a year of getting used to staying home and creating digital content, Eric is back out in the world of live entertainment post-quarantine:

EJ (5:28) : “So I am working again in person. Right before the pandemic started I was supposed to start a residency at this new club called Fabrica up in Fishtown….the week that I was supposed to start there everything shut down. The summer goes by, I haven’t really heard anything. I sort of reached out to them because I didn’t know if that job offer was still going to be on the table or if this place was even going to reopen…I’ve been working there a couple months in person and luckily I’ve been fully vaccinated…for a month now, but before that it was scary.”

Like many people in nightlife, Eric’s love of the performing arts started young. Though they grew up wanting to be an actor, drag was the art where they found they could take the parts of themselves which were considered negatives in a traditional theater setting and embrace them fully:

EJ (15:35-17:28) : “Theater has always been my first love. If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was a child, my answer was Broadway star…when I was in school I had a really interesting experience with my theater department. They basically told me that in order to work as a working actor I would have to do things like deepen my voice and make sure I can pass as a straight person…you either need to be two things as a “male working actor”: you either need to be a really thin dancer chorus boy and you can be as femme as you want or you need to be the masculine leading man or best friend who can be on the heavier side, but you have to be able to pass… When I left school I realized I didn’t want to do that. And so I just started doing cabaret work and realized I could be as queer as I want. The things that I was told would not get me work were the exact things that would get me work in the cabaret/drag scene.”

While Eric may not be what many people think of as a “classic” drag performer, they have found their own brand of success in the Philly scene and are actually the first Google result when you look up the term “Drag Queen”, even beating out the likes of Rupaul.  For them, drag isn’t a set of standards one has to meet to be a professional performer, but an outlet of artistic expression that can help you show off your gender with pride:

EJ (19:45) “I am a nonbinary person and I feel very strongly about the construct of gender and how beauty standards have led us to believe and think certain things and I love the idea of throwing that in the garbage where it belongs. I think you can still be a beautiful feminine person and still have a beard and a mustache and there’s nothing wrong with that. “

Known mostly as a singer and songwriter, Eric’s work often involves racy parodies of musical hits and show tunes. Though this type of drag performance can be shocking to more traditional audiences, Eric believes it’s all about knowing your crowd and trusting them to be in on the joke:

EJ (35:15) : “If I’m asked before an event to keep it family friendly that is totally fine. And if I’m ever booked somewhere where I don’t really know what the crowd is like I will always ask because I don’t want to go somewhere where there is a family audience and be singing about getting peed on. But, I do think whether an audience who is an adult audience maybe don’t love that kind of humor or they are the type of audience who doesn’t think that’s for them, I think they can appreciate the parody and the jokes. There is something to be said for nuance….”

Digital shows during quarantine did teach Eric how to use a green screen and edit their own content, but they are very happy to be back at a club performing live again. Even with the anxiety factor, one of the things they missed most during the pandemic is just the ability to content with their fellow queer performers:

EJ (53:10) “It’s difficult especially when I came to realize how many beautiful queer people I had the privilege of being around every week without even having to plan it or think it. Just being in the work that I’m in puts me in the lap of a beautiful community four to six nights a week. And having that taken away from me and having that sense of community completely stripped it was so jarring in the beginning. I didn’t understand why I was feeling so empty and it was because my interaction with people just went from 100 to 0.”

With Philly nightlife slowly coming back, Eric wants to continue producing shows and writing musical parodies. Along with focusing on their own craft, they want to take some of the community wide conversations the Philly scene has had about diversity and inclusion and continue their efforts to hire other performers with broad representation in mind. For Eric, making an effort is the only way forward for a better nightlife community:

 EJ (56:55) “I feel like I’ve always been part of that conversation as being someone who produces shows and someone who casts inclusively. Especially when it came to putting on these larger productions. It was always a focus of ours to include everyone in these shows and to highlight trans people, POC, and queer people in general….I’m glad there is now a more noticeable action plan around that. Especially in Philly….I think people need to be held accountable for what they choose to do with whatever power they have.”

  • Eric on IG: @theericjaffe
  • theericjaffe.com
  • facebook.com/jaffe123

WE-Boo-lesque No. 5 – Let Me In

Burlesque Ghost Stories, a special bonus episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, hosted by Viktor Devonne

54 minutes

Released: September 30, 2020
Recorded: 2020

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In this edition:

a) Let Me In

C’etait BonTemps is Pastel Priestex of Burlesque & Drag who traveled from Orlando to Brooklyn to be known as an emcee and entertainer who specializes in the dark and spooky, going so far as to win the Silver Tusk Award for Strangest Thing.  He made one mistake while summoning a guardian angel, however.

b) At Least it’s Just Uncle Bernie

Margot Starlux began her career in Philadelphia as a modern dancer who turned to lindy hop & go-go between performances with the Peek-A-Boo Revue and the Looking Glass Revue.  Before she was shimmying in fringe, she was in a house with several unnatural occurrences.

c) The Many Hauntings of Miss Vivian

Miss Vivian is a dominatrix, model, and sideshow burlesque performer who has been touched by the supernatural most thoroughly through the years.

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#107. The Great Upheaval w/ Satine S’Allumer

1 hour, 5 minutes

Released: September 28, 2020
Recorded: August 30, 2020

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#105. JZ Bich, International Provocateur

1 hour, 25 minutes

Released: September 14, 2020
Recorded: August 23, 2020

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WE-Boo-lesque No. 2 – The Man in the Top Hat

Burlesque Ghost Stories, a special bonus episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, hosted by Viktor Devonne

45 minutes

Released: September 9, 2020
Recorded: August 26, August 27, August 30, 2020

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In this edition:

a) The Old Woman in the Mirror / The Man in the Top Hat
Noctua has been known to stages as “The Empathy Smackdown of Drag and Burlesque” while living in New York City. Back before the wigs, the eyelashes, and the heels, they experienced two silent figures in their grandmother’s Brooklyn home. While these visions are shared experiences by others in their own homes, we have only just begun comparing notes to discover the commanalities of our visitations.

b) The Unphotographable Forest
From the city of angels, she is dubbed the “existential party girl of burlesque.” Seraphina Wilder, known for “legs so long it’s gotta be a sin,” has performed nationwide as an experienced and unique burlesque dance. Before she took on nerdlesque, and work as a DJ, she had a unexplainable experience alone in the woods.

c) The Lady on Fire 
Incorporating song, dance, drag, and gender exploration, Satine S’Allumer has appeared on stages from Philadelphia to Brisbane to New York City. Long before they were burning up stages, they had connections with the supernatural—and they would follow Satine for years to come.

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WE-Boo-lesque No. 1 – Ghost In the Strip Club

Burlesque Ghost Stories, a special bonus episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, hosted by Viktor Devonne

38 minutes


Released: September 2, 2020
Recorded: August 18 & August 22, 2020

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In this edition:

a) Ghost in the Strip Club
Maggie McMuffin is a professional performing artist who holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Montana and combines her theatrical training with her experience as a professional sex worker.  Her skills as a clown, sketch, and physical comedian have enabled her to create memorable characters for ambient performances in burlesque, cabaret, and as a go go dancer.  Before she came to new York city, she was a stripper in Missula in 2012.  This is her story.

b) Haunted Hallway in Bosnia
JZ Bich says they erupted from the malting Balkans and was washed on the shores of the New York City  to become one of its night creatures.  They have been performing in NYC for over a decade, as well as nationally and internationally.  For 11 years, jz was a producer and a host of HyperGender Caburlesque the influential monthly, post neo burlesque show.  While living in Bosnia in the mid-90s, they had an experience.

c) The Rotting Hand
Dewie Decimator is an entertainer currently living in Massachusetts.  Long before she joined Rogue Burlesque and became, as she refers to herself, Boston’s worst drag king, she grew up in New Haven, Connecticut and had this terrifying experience.

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#98. Confessions w/ Icon Ebony Fierce

webu-icon1 hour, 13 minutes

Released: July 27, 2020
Recorded: July 10, 2020

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#91. Perceiving Munroe Lilly

webu-munroe1 hour, 7 minutes

Released: June 8, 2020
Recorded: June 3, 2020

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