Movies That Made WE (queer) vol. 2, part 15: Truth or Dare

Viktor Devonne asked some of his favorite nightlife personalities for some of their formative queer movies and they narrowed them to 3 each. Each segment features discussion on that film from the entertainer, in addition to further notes from those who were there at the time of the recording session. These are by no means meant to be a comprehensive expose on each film, but features notable memories, scenes, and analysis on them.

Part 15 (video version) features the second selection from Viktor Devonne who chose Truth or Dare (1991) directed by Alek Keshishian as documentary filmed during the time of Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, and featuring her backup dancers and singers behind the scenes and live music performances, and interactions with Sandra Bernhard, Warren Beatty, Antonio Banderas, and others.

This video version segment is presented as a standalone piece, and may also be enjoyed in audio form as part of the overall “part 2” which contains the 1st film selection of all of the participants including Miss Violet Deville, Noctua, Esmerelda May, Lewd Alfred Douglas, Oliver Swisskey, Mr. Valdez, Mimi Hurricane, and Lucky Charming. For video ease, each film has been highlighted as a standalone video track, available freely to watchers.

Listen to all of part 2:

You may support the podcast network via Patreon.com/WEBurlesque. At the minimum $1 pledge, you will have access to multiple video exclusives including the longrunning Music That Made WE and last year’s full-length video versions of The Movies That Made WE. The Movies That Made WE (Queer) is a creation of WEBurlesque Podcast Network, produced by Viktor Devonne.

  • Your panel today is… Viktor Devonne (@viktordevonne on everything)

[Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act in 1976; Allowance is made for “Fair Use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. All rights and credit go directly to its rightful owners. No copyright infringement, while likely, is intended.]

You may also find us at @weburlesque on all relevant platforms and weburlesquepodcast.com to find your preferred audio listening platform.

Movies That Made WE (queer) vol. 2, part 8: Jeffrey

Viktor Devonne asked some of his favorite nightlife personalities for some of their formative queer movies and they narrowed them to 3 each. Each segment features discussion on that film from the entertainer, in addition to further notes from those who were there at the time of the recording session. These are by no means meant to be a comprehensive expose on each film, but features notable memories, scenes, and analysis on them.

Part 8 (video version) features the first film selection from both Miss Violet DeVille and Esmerelda May, who both by happenstance chose The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) directed by Jim Sharman and starring its creator Richard O’Brien, Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf, and Tim Curry as the indelible devious bisexual Dr. Frank N. Furter.

This video version segment is presented as a standalone piece, and may also be enjoyed in audio form as part of the overall “part 1” which contains the 1st film selection of all of the participants including Miss Violet Deville, Noctua, Esmerelda May, Lewd Alfred Douglas, Oliver Swisskey, Mr. Valdez, Mimi Hurricane, and Lucky Charming. For video ease, each film has been highlighted as a standalone video track, available freely to watchers.

Listen to all of part 1:

You may support the podcast network via Patreon.com/WEBurlesque. At the minimum $1 pledge, you will have access to multiple video exclusives including the longrunning Music That Made WE and last year’s full-length video versions of The Movies That Made WE. The Movies That Made WE (Queer) is a creation of WEBurlesque Podcast Network, produced by Viktor Devonne.

  • Your panel today is… Viktor Devonne (@viktordevonne on everything)

[Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act in 1976; Allowance is made for “Fair Use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. All rights and credit go directly to its rightful owners. No copyright infringement, while likely, is intended.]

You may also find us at @weburlesque on all relevant platforms and weburlesquepodcast.com to find your preferred audio listening platform.

151. Mae Lust and the Ritual of Vulnerability (season 6 premiere)

Released: March 21, 2022
Recorded: February 8, 2022

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Mae Lust is a producer of Lusty Kitten in the Los Angeles area of California. A Portland, OR native, Mae headed to Southern California for film and theatre school. Inspired by the local scene including Monday Night Tease and Lili VonSchtupp, Mae took on her own feathers and rhinestones in 2010. A magic caster, member of the kink scene, and sexy goofball, Mae Lust charms and delights in the season six premiere of WEBurlesque the Podcast with Viktor Devonne, and speaks candidly about triumphs, tragedy, and the worst year ever. [recorded February 8, 2022]

… Website: http://www.MaeLust.com
…IG and Twitter: @maelust
…Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maelust

— WEBurlesque Podcast Nework is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Episode 151 call hook by Grandmafun. 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.

150. Offwhite w/ Viktor Devonne

Released: October 18 2021
Recorded: October 18, 2021

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Viktor Devonne is a producer, performer, and podcaster who hosts the WEBurlesque Podcast Network projects, The Podcast, Music That Made WE, Movies That Made WE, WE-Boo-Lesque, and more.  He is the current Mr Hollywood Burlesque, and has celebrated fifteen years in the biz as director of White Elephant Burlesque. He talks to Viktor Devonne on the pod about the oddness of hosting a pod in 2020-2021, the differences season to season, and missing the stage. Included are questions submitted by listeners, plus the famous James Lipton Bivot/Proust questionnaires.

The Music That Made WE #9: Seraphina Wilder

1 hour, 41 minutes (audio only version)
2 hours, 22 minutes (Patreon exclusive version)

Released: September 18, 2021
Recorded: August 21, 2021

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Seraphina Wilder is a thrilling entertainer based out of Los Angeles.  She discusses the soundtrack to her life, from discovering industrial music, bizarro dance club pop, solemn jams, and what inspires her on the burlesque stage.

You may listen to this playlist featuring Aaliyah, Deee-lite, Depeche Mode, Everything But the Girl, Frank Ocean, and more at:  https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1s3anUVJMfeVGi4WPhkPkN?si=a41615d2fb714f43

This is an abbreviated audio edition with a full length version available at Patreon.com/WEBurlesque at the Summer special of $1 pledge, with access to all of the newly renamed “…That Made WE” content, including the audio commentary series “The Movies That Made Us (Queer).”

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

[Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act in 1976; Allowance is made for “Fair Use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. All rights and credit go directly to its rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.]

– Produced by Viktor Devonne, reigning Mr Hollywood Burlesque, and celebrating15 years in burlesque.  White Elephant Burlesque recently closed a five year residency in Manhattan, and continues to produce White Elephant Burlesque virtually. Visit weburlesque.com for details.

#137. Veronica Voss Adds it Up

1 hour, 33 minutes

Released: July 19, 2021
Recorded: May 21, 2021

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Ms Hollywood Burlesque 2019, Veronica Voss, tells tales before and after the sash. Viktor Devonne’s queen to his king, these crownheads of Southern California compare notes from similar Rocky Horror origins, self doubt and imposter syndrome, and inexplicable success and community support.

  • Veronica on IG: @veronica.voss

#132. Bite Sizes with Bitsy la Bourbon

1 hour, 10 minutes

Released: June 14, 2021
Recorded: March 30, 2021

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Bitsy la Bourbon is the force behind More Than No the anti-rape campaign thru the arts, and Cabaret Consensual, the powerful activist-entertainer showcase in Los Angeles.  She and Viktor Devonne chat about the complications of making a heavy show like that inviting to the everyday audience member, performing to problematic musicians, and her triumph over addiction.

#129. CrazySexyCool with Tito Bonito

1 hour, 40 minutes

Released: May 24, 2021
Recorded: March 19, 2021

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Cuban Missile Crisis of Burlesque, Tito Bonito is a dancer, emcee, and instructor currently living in Los Angeles. With many accolades to his credit, he is further noted as “Most Comedic” at the 2017 Burlesque Hall of Fame and has appeared in film, television, and music videos.

On this edition of WEBurlesque The Podcast, Viktor has a discussion with LA-based performer and producer Tito Bonito.

While some stumble upon burlesque through word of mouth or a random show, Tito has his friend to thank for helping him find his calling in nightlife:

TB (5:38-7:20) “I was studying theater in Chicago…and I was horrible at acting. I didn’t know how to live through a character. So, I quit college and just started living life and going to parties and meeting as many people as possible. And Jeez Loueez was one of the people I met in college who I stayed friends with after and she showed me (burlesque)…once I saw (the male performers) I turned to her and said ‘Are you kidding? I could have been doing this this whole time?’ “

Now known for his comedic performance and artistic takes on gay male sexuality, Tito had only just come out a few years prior when he started getting into nightlife. As someone who had grown up in a conservative Cuban community in Miami, coming out felt like something you just weren’t supposed to do. Ultimately though, it gave him the freedom to be the most honest version of himself:

TB (17:32- 19:45) “My energy is still the same, I just think that coming out and acknowledging that I’m gay…has made me even more outgoing…(In highschool) I was very much like I’m never gonna come out I’m gonna keep it to the grave and all this shit…I didn’t have the best examples of (being out) growing up because people were a little more closeted…The minute I realized (gay men) were just regular fucking people…it just really opened my eyes up…The minute I came out this weight lifted off my shoulders and I just remember understanding I could do whatever I wanted…”

Though Tito has a reputation as an advocate for bringing burlesque to queer spaces, he says he simply wants to open the door so that others have the opportunity to continue the work he started. He would rather focus on performing then having to hold the reigns of a show’s production:

TB (40:25) “My hope was to develop these shows to the point that other people could take them. Because I do not enjoy producing. I appreciate producers so much because I know how much shit you’ll have to deal with on the regular…I just wanted to put burlesque in spaces that were queer and didn’t have burlesque before for the most part.”

For Tito, what makes burlesque important is developing your artistry and enjoying yourself.  Accolades may come with that, but focusing too much on a prize can also be your downfall and discourage further development:

TB (65:40) “I love the Burlesque Hall Of Fame with every fiber of my being, but the only thing that is unbearable about it is the competition aspect of it. I understand the idea of it,  but I just don’t think it’s the best thing for burlesque in the sense of keeping people invested in it who give so much of their life to it…When people allow the competition aspect to hurt them so much, it breaks my heart.”

Rather than give into the media’s assumptions of what burlesque is, Titio believes there has to be an outlet that shows the “true” objective of the artform:

TB (76:55) “I think people need to understand that burlesque isn’t a bunch of white men paying women nothing to strip… the idea of women reclaiming (this concept) and queer people taking this art form and creating something vastly different even though it’s similar. I think that the heart needs to be sold to people more. And there just needs to be one really successful documentary…that can hopefully push that forward…”

The pandemic may have changed the type of venues Tito has performed in in the past year, but his dedication to burlesque and to its place in queer culture has remained unwavering. He looks forward to his next projects and remains thankful for all that he has already been able to accomplish:

TB (96:50) “I do believe that following my dreams and being my authentic self has allowed me these opportunities that I never would have been able to experience. “

#124. Broad Shouldered Broads feat. Lili VonSchtupp

1 hour, 40 minutes

Released: April 19, 2021
Recorded: March 20, 2021

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Viktor Devonne is joined by showgirl, educator, and producer extraordinaire Lili VonSchtupp, who produced the longest running burlesque show in Los Angeles.  We talk her experience grinding on Norman Lear as Bea Arthur, being banned on TikTok, and restructuring the Hollywood Burlesque Festival in 2021 to celebrate the video vixens.

On this episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, Viktor chats with Lilli Von Schtupp, legendary burlesque performer and the producer of both Monday Night Tease and The Hollywood Burlesque Festival.

Though Monday Night Tease has since been retired for several years, Lilli claims that running that weekly show for over a decade was some of the best work she has ever done:

LVS (12:30) “I managed to put a show together on Monday nights for enough years that everyone who wanted to take a shot at this had a chance to do that. If you remember anything, remember Monday Night Tease. Because that put hundreds of different performers on its stage.”

While the pandemic has been rough for all performers and nightlife folk, Lilli is happy that the internet has provided a new platform for burlesque. As someone who lives with disabilities and chronic illnesses, digital shows have given a new lease on a career that she was afraid she would have to end:

LVS (18:40-20:00) “I have some health issues..all of these things came to the point where it is a struggle to be on the stage, either to perform or emcee. And so I decided to take a step back and figure out what it is I wanted to do with my life…as I watch people return to venues, I’m extremely happy for them and I applaud them…but I’m also so happy that I have found something I can do online that I think will still be viable for me as an art.”

This new way of performing has not only influenced Lilli to start a digital series, Dinner and A Show Girl, it has also helped her make the decision to produce a Hollywood Burlesque Festival even during quarantine:

LVS (55:10) “So I made the decision that I am not doing a festival. And then I made the decision that that is not fair…so I decided to do a Hollywood and Southern California Film Festival…people went into a new industry, let’s validate that. For a year, people stepped out of their comfort zones and tried something new. “

Such open support of the community is something that Lilli is famous for. She makes a point of trying to cheer for everyone and insists that no matter your style, burlesque has a place for all if it is something you are interested in pursuing: 

LVS (91:20) “There are so many ways to look at burlesque and there are so many different facets of it…but the idea is what is it you wanna tell? What is it that you love? For me, the only key thing is that clothes are probably coming off. If that’s happening, it’s burlesque to me. “

Despite the many challenges she has faced, Lilli still loves burlesque more than anything. She is thankful for all that she has experienced and hopes she will get to continue to do what she does best a little while longer:

LVS (94:20) “I can tell ya, if I never got on a stage again or performed again after the next show I have…I can tell ya I look back on this with some of the fondest, happiest memories I have of amazing people that I got to do really cool shit with. It’s been a ride, and I hope I never lose that perspective or joy.”