Los Angeles’ La Cholita, the Latina Queen of Burlesque, talks motherhood, medieval torture tactics, her new band, rhumberas, body image, and childhood bedazzling.
Interview: Divertida Devotchka
Congratulations on your baby boy! (He’s your first, right?) Regarding your pregnancy, you mentioned in a recent interview that you were “excited and thrilled but also terrified at the same time.” Now that he’s here, do you find that you’re still slightly terrified, or has instinct kicked in and taken over?
Thank you so much!! Yes he’s my first and the best thing that has ever happened to me. Having a baby is an immensely joyous occasion but nobody talks about how scary it can be too. Aside from the fact that you are growing a tiny person inside you, all of these crazy things are happening to you physically, emotionally and mentally, then there’s this stigma like you are just going to drop off the face of the earth. Suddenly everyone is treating you like you’ve been stricken with some terrible disease! Even some of my closest friends stopped inviting me out or calling because they just assumed that I would no longer have a social life but that’s when I needed them most. All I kept hearing was how this was the end of my career as a performer but I think the most terrifying aspect was that it was a serious reality check. It made me really reevaluate my priorities and my life. It was a year of intense transition for me, I had to look closely at myself, my career, my relationships, and be brutally honest with what changes needed to happen. That was hard, especially letting go of people and accepting the things I couldn’t change. Dealing with heartbreak, devastating post partum, and all the new changes in my life there were times I wanted to crumble, but then I would look at this amazing gift I’ve been given (my son) and all the hardships I faced suddenly turned into artistic gold. I stopped whining and feeling sorry for myself, grabbed a pen and started writing music and finding ways to channel those emotions into creative outlets.
Valentino has been the biggest blessing in so many ways, he is the ultimate love of my life, he’s so inspiring, just an endless source of light and happiness that pushes me to strive harder and be the best I can possibly be and as a result all these amazing things began happening. I’m more successful in my career than I’ve ever been: traveling around the world, headlining tours, performing with my idols. It’s been the most challenging yet most rewarding experience of my life but I feel like a fucking warrior now. He has awakened a strength and unconditional love within me that I never knew I was capable of there’s nothing in the world that compares to motherhood!
You’re fresh off headlining a European tour. Tell us all about it! Care to share some of your fondest memories from the tour?
This tour was an epic experience on so many levels. I love to travel, and Europe is incredible because there is so much history which is an element you really aren’t exposed to living in L.A. In Ireland I explored abbeys, Victorian gardens, lush country side and saw a knight sarcophagus that was just mind blowing. In Belgium I visited a castle and learned about all of the brutal torture tactics used to punish prisoners in medieval times and although it was disturbing it was fascinating. Each country was more interesting than then last. It was amazing to be half way across the world and in every country have fans, some people driving as far as 5 hours to make it to see a performance.
I am so incredibly grateful to each and every person that comes out to my shows and I really enjoyed the European audiences because they were so enthusiastic. They just do it the way they feel it and aren’t afraid to go crazy and I LOVED that. At one show in particular there was a girl who I noticed kept looking at me but looked really nervous so I smiled and said hi and she came over with a little piece of paper. She didn’t speak any English so before the show she had looked up all the things she wanted to say to me and printed them out on a piece of paper. She read each line to me and I melted, Is that not the sweetest thing ever?!
Another big highlight was fulfilling my long time dream of dancing in Paris; it was magical. Paris is enchanting, breathtakingly beautiful and the whole city is blooming with love. It’s just in the air and you feel it. I’m a big time romantic so I fell madly head over heels with the entire city. I cried as the car took me to the airport, I didn’t want to leave and definitely look forward to returning. Everyone was asking about my band which was really exciting for me too since it’s a fairly recent endeavor for me, we’re working on a European tour next summer so I can’t wait to get back!
Currently this is the project I am most excited about and of which I’m most proud! It’s like a new romantic relationship, everything is fresh and thrilling like a constant natural high and you want the whole world to know about it. Our sound is influenced by psychobilly, surf and garage rock. I sang with a few different bands but never really felt like I could let go and be me; I was always upholding this kind of glamorous image. Although I do identify with it, there’s also a part of me that wants to trade my heels for creepers, get in a pit, get rowdy and dance and sweat like a wild woman!
Showmanship is really important to me so I still approach each performance with The Kreeps the same as I would a burlesque performance. I’m always thinking about new costuming, hair, makeup, props, etc. If fans are coming to see us I want them to feel like they got their money’s worth. My favorite performers are those who really dive in and are 100% in the moment giving it their all, they don’t even have to be great singers it’s just that raw passion. I hate when I go see a band and he/she had a great voice but they just kind of stand there or walk back and forth I could have just bought the CD. The thrill of performing live is that exchange of energy that happens between you and the audience because no two are alike.
I was really nervous at first because I had already made a name for myself doing burlesque, so on one hand it was good because I had a fan base on my own and people were curious, but I also knew they would be more critical. It’s like you are only allowed to be talented in one capacity. But if you are an artistic creative soul by nature chances are you are probably good at a lot of things.
I know that not everyone is going to like me but I can’t sit around and not live my life out of fear of what other people think. So far we have been REALLY lucky, and the response has been tremendous we had our first show in May and things have just taken off it’s incredible. We’re playing places like The House of Blues in Hollywood, The Las Vegas Shakedown and opening for legendary acts. One of the biggest music magazines in the UK just featured us as what’s new in music, which is insane and awesome.
You recently performed with Dita von Teese in the “Strip Strip Hooray” show in L.A. Since seeing Dita was your first ever burlesque show when you were about 19 years old, that must have been quite the accomplishment to see things come full circle. Did you ever expect that things would turn out that way when you first began performing?
It was very emotional for me because when I got the invitation I instantly went back to the night 9 years ago when I was watching her perform on stage for the first time and thinking to myself, this is what I want to do. I have always held her in the highest regard, and have a deep respect and admiration for her work. To have your idol tell you they love what you do and ask you to be in their show is just beyond, words cannot express. I was pinching myself all the way until my heel hit the stage the first night and even then thinking to myself, “WOW is this really happening?” On top of that I just had my son 3 months before and hadn’t performed in a year so it was the ultimate comeback! Being on stage again at a historical venue was like reuniting with an old friend, I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. It was overwhelming. It was very exciting to perform for a whole new crowd and to have such a positive reaction from them. I was over the moon and remain grateful to Dita for the opportunity. As far as whether I expected it to turn out this way, not necessarily I mean I always set goals with the intention of fulfilling them and I always give my all when in pursuit of those goals but this was HUGE and I feel really lucky. It is definitely a moment I will cherish near and dear to my heart forever.
Speaking of your first burlesque show, you said in a recent interview that your mom took you to that first show, and you said of that experience, “it felt like I had been training for it my whole life without knowing it until that moment.” First of all, let me just say- your mom sounds AWESOME! Second, I think many performers had that same epiphany (I certainly had the same feeling) but I’ve never heard it described so perfectly. I’d like to know more specifically the things you were doing that were “training” before you realized that’s what it was. Do you have dance or theater background? What about costuming?
Yes my mother is awesome. As an artist herself, I think she understood what it was like to dance to the beat of your own drum so she has always supported and encouraged my interests .I always say that I tap danced my way into the delivery room because performing has been an innate instinct for me for as long as I can remember. I started Ballet and Tap when I was about 2 or 3 but I knew I wanted to do more. I became involved in theatre and music first by putting on shows in my living room for family members and house guests, then in the yard recruiting neighborhood kids as my back up dancers which evolved into me joining community theaters and playhouses.
In middle school I wrote all my school’s plays and was obsessed with makeup and costuming. I played a lot of male roles as well as crazy people and villains; I loved the transformation and challenge. I was also born with a deep rooted lust and fascination for elaborate decadent costuming. I would watch old Mae West films and Ziegfeld Follies girls and just be in awe day dreaming of being a modern day version of that. My mom bought me my first Bedazzler and I Bedazzled *everything*!! She also had an extensive collection of gorgeous vintage rhinestone jewelry that I would wear to preschool. I don’t think anyone in my family or who has known me since then is surprised one bit by my career choice now. It’s funny because when I’m working on costumes and acts sometimes I have flashbacks and it will remind me of being a little girl, bedazzling my dresses and imaging they were big beautiful showgirl costumes that I would be wearing on a big stage and now they are.
You’ve described your performances as “a love letter to the things that have inspired” you, most notably Latin culture. Your fiery Flamenco act won you the title of Miss Viva Las Vegas in 2007, effectively making you the first Latina to become Miss VLV. You’ve also got an act that you describe as “if Mae West was a Mariachi,” as well as a Día de Los Muertos routine. Being that you’re a pioneer of Latina burlesque, what has it been like to see it grow over the last few years? (I’d heard you say in another interview that you’ve started some sort of revolution. Was that your intention or did you find that it just sort of happened?)
It was a demographic that wasn’t being largely represented anymore. Some of my favorite dancers were the rhumberas from vintage cinema like Amalia Aguilar and Yolanda Montes (Tongolele) but I hadn’t seen anyone do anything like that since Russ Meyer queen Kitten Natividad. When I first started, it wasn’t my intention I just saw a place for myself within the community because I knew my style was different, and that I brought a unique element to what was currently being offered. It’s an honor to inspire people; I think it’s the best compliment you can receive. But you never know if that is going to be the outcome of your work.
Every act that I do comes from the heart, and at times as an artist I think you feel vulnerable when you debut a new project because it’s like you are putting a piece of your soul out there for people to judge and criticize but when I think back to the people that have inspired me they were all pioneers in some way. Just because something isn’t being done doesn’t always mean it can’t or shouldn’t be done. I think the most important thing is that you are genuine and true to yourself, that’s how you create a signature and if you can inspire others in the process that is a beautiful thing. It’s great to see so many interpretations of Latina Burlesque from glam, to camp, and traditional to modern Latin culture. It’s been wonderful to see the Latina revolution evolve over the past few years and become a thriving contribution to the burlesque world; I hope it continues to grow.
You say that you’ve been “every size” and that even at 98 pounds when you were 18, you still thought you were overweight. You’ve also stated, “In no other entertainment medium is it really encouraged or accepted for women to embrace their figure and their shape.” Many other performers I’ve interviewed feel that burlesque was the biggest help to their body acceptance. Is that the case with you as well?
Definitely. Being involved in burlesque has been the most empowering and liberating experience for me. I never felt that I represented the ideal model of what was socially accepted as beautiful. I always thought there was something wrong with me, my hair was curly, I had freckles, I was chubby, whatever and no matter what size I was there was always something negative that I focused on. After I began doing burlesque, it was like I had unleashed a force within me that just took over. I wasn’t going to let anyone else dictate what I considered or accepted as beautiful, I took responsibility for that definition!
I started focusing on the things I did like about myself and then I began appreciating the things I previously looked at as downfalls. I realized that my strengths lied in my differences. I didn’t want to look like everybody else.; just because something is popular doesn’t make it better. A gem is precious because it’s rare. There’s nothing you can do about facts, but the great thing is you can change your outlook and beliefs then you begin to realize facts are few and far between, there’s not much that can’t evolve or change.
I highly recommend burlesque to anyone who is struggling with body image even though it may sound like the most intimidating thing you could possibly do if you are feeling insecure, but there is something magical about the transformation that happens when a woman is in tune with herself and tap into that natural sensuality that is within all of us. Some have to dig a little deeper because they’ve denied it or been afraid of it for so long that it’s buried deep down but it’s there. You may not be twirling tassels at your desk or maybe you will but you will hold your head higher, and appreciate yourself more.
Not everyone has to perform in front of an audience; taking classes can provide you with all the tools you need to coerce that inner burlesque bombshell. I recently watched a phenomenal documentary film that is a *must see* for everyone interested in burlesque it’s called A Wink and a Smile. There are many elements that make this film so special but one being that it takes you on the journey of women from all walks of life who have enrolled in the incredibly talented Miss Indigo Blue’s burlesque workshop. Regardless if you have been performing for 100 years or if it’s still just a twinkle in your eye, I guarantee there is part of you that will relate to each and every one of them. I laughed, I cried, I LOVED it. It was such a raw, authentic representation of how diverse women are, and that should be celebrated.
What’s next for La Cholita?
My primary focus is my band The Kreeps. We’re having so much fun, and I’m learning so much about myself in a whole new capacity. I feel really lucky we found each other and are embarking on this adventure together; I’m really looking forward to returning to Europe with them and seeing where our music takes us. Then again there is so much I want to do! I’ve been hustling and working so hard for so long that up until recently I never took the time to appreciate the things and goals I was accomplishing along the way.
If you put your mind, heart and soul into it you really can achieve anything and your imagination is your only limitation. Sometimes the way you get there isn’t the way you expected it to happen, and sometimes you are achieving goals without recognizing them or without even remembering you set them. It’s been such a crazy journey to get to this point in my life and I still feel like I’m just beginning. Now it’s just figuring out which direction to go next.
It’s awesome to be constantly be exploring new avenues and making my dreams my reality and I don’t want to ever stop doing that. I go back to being that little girl, spending hours bedazzling my clothes, putting on my mom’s rhinestone jewelry, singing, dancing and performing shows in my living room imagining that one day I would be traveling and performing for sold out crowds on big stages. I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer and sing and dance around the world, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Viva La Muerte, Chicago performer and producer, talks America’s Got Talent, HP Lovecraft, Hot and Heavy Burlesque, tacos, tarps and heavy metal.
Interview by: Divertida Devotchka
You were recently in L.A. taping for America’s Got Talent! Tell us about your experience!
It was a very unexpected experience, I can say that much! After having been cut just before the ‘Vegas’ round even though myself and several others thought we were going to Vegas, no one ever expected to hear from the show again. To my surprise very shortly before the finale I get a call that they were doing an ‘Audition All Stars’ segment during the live taping of the last show, and this group number with the all stars was to be part of it. Shortly after that I was on my way to LA for an entire reach to rehearse for the taping. I’d never done a live TV show before this so it was definitely a new feeling of nervous. But the thrill of being on a stage and set like that and seeing the look in the judges’ faces was priceless!
You won the title “Most Original” at both the 2010 and 2011 Texas Burlesque Festivals, and it’s no surprise why! Your influences and inspirations really seem to run the gamut! You do everything from Cthulhu, the Cryptkeeper, Galaxina, to Hellraiser! I could go on, but please tell me more about your vast pool of inspiration and how you manage to combine your varied interests with your performance and make it seem so effortless?
What you see on stage is exactly what you get off stage, and I think that’s part of my secret sauce for acts. I love horror movies, heavy metal, sci-fi and tacos. It’s things a lot of other people like and it makes it fun to connect with folks after a show when they “get” what I was doing. Like when a KISS fan comes up to me after my Paul Stanley act, or an HP Lovecraft fan gets into the Cthulhu act. It’s me connecting with my audience on a very common level. Sure folks love the glitz and glam of classic burlesque and more traditional stylings, I certainly enjoy watching it myself! But when you appeal to people on a more every day level where you’re glamorizing something that’s very familiar to them like a popular horror film it breaks down the walls and makes the whole experience more fun for the performer and the audience.
You’re the producer of Hot and Heavy Burlesque, a neo-burlesque troupe with a strong focus on music, especially heavy metal and classic rock. Tell us about the growth and development of Hot and Heavy since its inception in 2009.
When I started Hot & Heavy a few years ago I never thought it would catch on the way it has. We are very fortunate to live in a city full of metal heads and horror fans! There’s definitely an audience for the unusual here and without that I don’t think we’d be doing something like preparing for the 3rd year in a row of our Pink Floyd THE WALL show next year. I realized early on people really liked a heavier theatric and we quickly moved on from the more usual style of burlesque shows to full scale theatrical tributes & live band shows. I’m also honored to have some of the best Chicago talent in my troupe!
Speaking of metal, in addition to burlesque, you’re also a musician and a heavy metal promoter, correct? Tell us about your current band or project. Do you have any exciting plans in development? Also- I too am an avid metalhead. Favorite subgenre? (I’m a death metal girl through and through!)Top five all-time metal bands?
You are correct my dear! Way before I ever even knew what burlesque was I started out as a concert promoter & producer. I moved to Chicago to go to school at Columbia in the fall of 2002 and while pursuing a marketing degree got myself heavily involved in local metal scene, started writing for a couple of magazines and doing photos/interviews with bands at shows. Pretty soon I was managing some bands and then in 2005 started my first band Borborygmus with a couple of friends. We wanted so bad to have an all female death metal band! We played a string of rad shows for a year and have been on and off since. I’m currently playing guitar in an Industrial band called Flood Damage, and having a blast playing guitar again after a long time! I’m also a diehard metal head and have been since early high school. Old School death metal (Swedish in particular!), Pornogrind & thrash are my favorites. I’ve seen Megadeth 13 times and traveled half way across the country many times to see bands like Massacre in Florida and attend Maryland Death Fest. Metal to me has always been a lifestyle and not just a kind of music I listen to. Top 5 bands (All of which I have tattoos for) – Megadeth, Pungent Stench, Massacre, Bolt Thrower & Blood Duster.
Hot and Heavy’s upcoming Halloween production Horror TV is described as your “grandest Halloween event to date.” Knowing that October is your favorite month, that’s saying quite a lot! Please tell our readers about what they can expect from this show.
Halloween for us is when you pull out the big guns, then go to your secret storage unit and get out the MASSIVE guns! Our name is synonymous with Halloween style burlesque in Chicago and I definitely wanted to do something different to keep that true for a long time to come! I knew we had to go way beyond just a burlesque show to keep it interesting this year. Instead it’s meant to be more of a full evening of Halloween entertainment than just a short burlesque show. We will have a live band, costume contest, horror movie trivia, mini fashion show and raffles in addition to 3 burlesque sets throughout the night. Expect really over the top acts, and to need a tarp if you’re in the first couple rows!
In February you’re masterminding a burlesque tribute to Pink Floyd’s The Wall, which is now in its third year of production. I understand this year’s show has a lot of new additions, such as a new venue and more. We’d love to hear all about it!
Fans that have seen it the last two years can expect a whole new show in 2012 with the addition of the band Comfortably Floyd who will be accompanying us this time around and playing the entire WALL album live! We are also adding a more comfortable and modern venue as well as aerial performances!
Another thing we share in common (and I know this from trolling your Facebook in a completely non-creepy way, hehe) is a rabid love of all things taco-related. (No euphemisms here; I’m totally talking food!) I saw video of your newest act “Taco Grande,” and oh man, did it make me giggle! So, the question is: favorite tacos? Go!
Steak Taco on a corn shell with Cilantro-Onion-Cheese and Green Sauce. Nothing Else!
What’s next for Viva La Muerte?
In addition to the Halloween & Pink Floyd shows I’m also working on a live band burlesque tribute to TOOL with Hot & Heavy. We have an amazing local TOOL cover band called ‘Vicarious’ that we did this show with 2 years ago and are thrilled to have them back again. The first time around I remember being so surprised and happy when someone came up and said they drove to Chicago from MO just to see the show!
Anything you’d like to add?
We are hoping to take the Pink Floyd The Wall show on the road in 2012!
by: Femme Vivre LaRouge
Reports of apparitions and applause, spectral piano playing, whistling, and much more abound at the old opera house in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. For the past two years Jim Thorpe Burlesque, also known as Dragontown Burlesque, has held the Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival at the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House, and from what I hear, there’s an audience around before the crowd ever arrives. Jacqueline Hyde, performer and Production Manager of Dragontown Burlesque, was kind enough to share her chilling personal experiences with me. For starters, she felt hot and cold spots in the upstairs balcony, and the sensation of ‘walking through webs.’ Then, backstage she continued to sense cold spots in the space and began to hear ethereal voices and movement near her. But the strangest interaction came the next day when Jacqueline was teaching a class on the stage. “I was facing the curtains and I saw as though someone was putting their hand on the curtain and running it up and down the curtain.” Although no one was visible behind the curtains, and there was no breeze to stir them, the movement continued, going up just as high as arm’s reach, and down to a similar point at the bottom of the curtain. Rather than cancel class, Jacqueline chose to address the entity feeling up the curtain: “When I asked it to stop because it was being disruptive the curtain went back to normal instantly.”
Nestled beautifully amongst the mountains of Pennsylvania, Jim Thorpe is a picturesque Victorian village of around 5,000. Voted one of America’s “Top 10 Coolest Small Towns,” the borough was originally named Mauch Chunk, meaning Bear Mountain. The opera house was built in the early 1880s, to accommodate both the town hall, and a farmer’s market. Becoming a fixture on the vaudeville circuit, the opera house hosted big-name performers such as Mae West, W.C. Fields, Al Jolson, and John Phillips Sousa. Then, in 1927, the venue was converted to a motion picture house, operating in that capacity until 1959. Serving as a common warehouse for many years, the opera house was rescued by the Mauch Chunk Historical Society in the mid-seventies and restored to its original glory. Now the opera house is in constant use for live performances and events.
The Jim Thorpe Burlesque Festival, produced by Brooke Au Buchon (aka Madame Corsetiere), has contributed to the preservation of The Mauch Chunk Opera House with the shows held there. Although the festival will be moving to a larger venue next year, Mrs. Au Buchon is also the Vice President of the Mauch Chunk Historical Society. As she has spent a great deal of time in the theatre, she had a few spooky stories of her own to share. While inspecting the seating prior to the 2011 festival, Brooke decided to take a peek in the old projection room. “It was brightly lit from a high window that faces the street, and contained nothing but an old desk and dusty scraps of wood and wire. As I turned to close the door behind me, the shadow of a person passed across the floor, as though someone had walked in front of the window. The window is far too high to reflect traffic from the street, and the top of the nearest tree is a full story down.” Dragontown Burlesque is named after Madame Corsetiere’s own business, Dragontown Corsets, and they also host an annual Halloween show, Boolesque. In 2010, while preparing for the show, Au Buchon went to wash her hands after moving some beer kegs. Alone in the venue, she made her way through the dimly lit theatre to the ladies’ room. “There are two doors you must pass through to get in, and they create a small vestibule between them. I entered the first door, and it closed behind me. I held the second door open, and fumbled for the light switch in complete blackness. Before I could find it, there was a very loud noise from the back right-hand corner of the room. It was the unmistakable sound of heavy furniture being dragged across the floor. However, there is no furniture in the room at all, and the area the sound came from is only occupied by a toilet cubicle. In fright, I turned back, still in darkness, and tried to open the first door. I couldn’t. It felt like someone was holding it closed, as I would pull and the door would crack open slightly under my weight, and then slam shut again. This only lasted a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Whoever was holding the door did finally let go, and I practically fell into the lobby.”
Many others have had otherworldly encounters at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, and the site has been investigated by several paranormal societies. One such group, the Blue Mountain Paranormal Society, invited the public to join their investigations, thereby raising money for the historic venue. The group detected shadows and phantom whistling, temperature fluctuations, and electromagnetic field changes. Investigator Beth Dennis responded to a tingling sensation by pointing her camera into the dark and filming where she could see nothing. She states, “The next day when I reviewed the video, I saw the outline of a gentleman wearing a hat.”
Another organization that has examined the opera house is NEPA Paranormal, whose medium, Lauri Moore, came into contact with the ghost of an usher at the opera house. He seems to have been concerned about her safety as she navigated the balcony area in the dark. Although the usher was kind to Lauri, demonstrating an unearthly loyalty to his job, he did chide her for being late. The word ‘tardy’ was caught on the group’s Ovilus, or ghost box, a piece of equipment which amplifies vibrations so that they are audible to the human ear. When the NEPA team posed the question, “Who’s with us this evening?” the answer on both the EVP and Ovilus was ‘ghost.’
To listen to the EVPs obtained that night at the opera house, visit: http://www.nepaparanormal.com/page43.php
You can also listen to EVPs obtained by the Hazleton Paranormal Society: http://www.hazletonparanormal.com/mcoh.html and view videos from the investigation by A&E’s Psychic Kids and CT Paranormal Encounters And Research: http://www.cpeargroup.com/id103.html
What happens when two guys from the horror industry, Travis McGee & Brandon Barnett, collaborate with photography and scene painter H James Hoff, and make-up artists Ladonna Stein & Amber Downs? The end result is Brutal Beauties, a pet project of Brutal Industries. We asked them to create a vintage inspired fashion spread for our Halloween Issue. The results were breath taking.
Candy Corn. Love it or hate it; it is certainly synonymous with Halloween. According to Candynomics, candy corn is still the #1 Halloween candy, and Americans purchase 20 million pounds per year! If you are one of those confectionery enthusiasts, these cocktails are for you!
Candy Corn Cocktail
2 oz. Pineapple Infused Vodka
1.5 oz. Orange Sherbet, softened
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Milk
1 oz. Simple Syrup
Combine Pineapple Infused Vodka and pineapple juice in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a clear Collins glass. Combine softened orange sherbet and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain, and pour over bar spoon to layer in the rocks glass. Then, combine simple syrup and milk in cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Layer milk mixture on top of sorbet mixture.
Simple Candy Corn Shooter
1/3 oz Galliano
1/3 orange curacao
1/3 oz cream
- Pour the Galliano into a shot glass.
- Float the orange curacao on top.
- Float the cream on top.
Candy Corn Jell-o Shot
This recipe is a little time consuming and complicated, but super original and well worth the effort. Created by MyScienceProject.org
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Vanilla Schnapps
Sprinkle the gelatin over the coconut milk and water in a saucepan and let sit for a few minutes. Heat over low heat, stirring, until the gelatin starts to dissolve. Add the sugar and stir till dissolved. Cool till just warm. Stir in the vanilla schnapps.
3 oz. pkg Orange Jell-O
1 cup water
4 oz. Orange sherbet (about one scoop)
1/2 cup Vanilla schnapps
3 Tbsp Butterscotch schnapps (optional)
Orange food coloring (if desired)
Bring the water to a boil. Add to Jell-O and stir till dissolved. Add sherbet while still warm and mix thoroughly as it melts. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and butterscotch schnapps. Add a few drops of orange food coloring to make the color more vivid if you want to.
3 oz. pkg Pineapple Jell-O
1 cup water
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup Vanilla schnapps
Yellow food coloring (if desired)
Bring the water to a boil. Add to Jell-O and stir till dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in coconut milk and vanilla schnapps. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring for more vivid color.
Mix the white layer first and fill your Jell-O shot cups about 1/3 full (about ¼ inch deep on a 2oz cup), then chill till firm. Mix the orange layer and fill the cups till they’re about 2/3 full. Keep in mind that you’ll need a little room at the top because you won’t be filling the cups to the brim with the final layer. After the orange layer has chilled, mix up the yellow layer and top off the shots.
Candy Corn Cordials
Originally published by Food Network, Photo: Levi Brown.
For the infused vodka:
1/2 cup candy corn
1 1/2 cups vodka
For the cordials:
2 ounces orange liqueur
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 large egg white
Candy corn, for garnish
Infuse the vodka: Combine the candy corn and vodka in an airtight container; set aside for at least 3 hours, then strain.
Make the cordials: Add 4 ounces of the candy corn vodka, the orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Strain into 2 chilled martini glasses and garnish with candy corn.
Not Enough Candy Corn Yet? Check out these simple Candy Corn Cupcakes!
Congrats to Silver Kitsune of Charlotte, North Carolina, who won First Place in our recent DIY contest with this Fascinator Project!
How to make a professional looking fascinator:
The word “fascinator” has recently come into the public consciousness due to certain royal hijinks revolving around horse races and weddings. Worn instead of a hat, the modern fashion world has taken to reviving the idea of feathery, flowery and bedazzled headpieces with a will. Increasingly brides are choosing to wear fascinators because of the endless customization options available.
Those of us in the burlesque/pin-up world are left wondering what the fuss is all about, because we’ve been using them for years! Anyone in the burlesque world will tell you that any good costume includes a headpiece. It adds the perfect amount of sophistication and, with an endless array of choices, it provides the artist with a quick way to change up their look during a show without having to completely redo their entire ‘do. With most of the women that I work with operating on a tight budget, I am often astonished at how much a performer will be willing to pay for a simple flower-and-feather clip. The favorable comments about my first few fascinators at shows lead me into making them professionally and I’ve put together a tutorial to help out my fellow ladies make an elaborate (and cost effective!) fascinator for their very own. All supplies could be easily found at a local craft store!
I’ve listed exactly the “ingredients” that I used for the fascinator in the pictures, but you could use a mix of materials based on this basic pattern to create a one-of-a-kind fascinator!
-large faux rose (red)
-one large ostrich feather (black)
-goose feather biots* (red)
-pheasant feathers* (red)
-coque feathers* (red)
-stiff black felt
-one large hair clip (I recommend alligator-style clips, I’ve had the best luck with these)
-hot glue gun and glue cartridges
-rhinestones (basic crystal)
-glue (I recommend GemTac, it dries clear and is easy to use)
-beaded string or ribbon
*Most feathers can be found in mixed bunches in the same area of a craft store as the faux flowers, it’s a good way to get a pile of different feathers without having to buy them all individually, all they require is a bit of disassembly.
Begin by breaking down your materials. You’ll need to remove the rose from its’ stem, cutting as close to the base of the flower as you can. Next you’ll need to disassemble the feather clusters to get at the individual parts. Set these aside in piles so that they’ll be ready at hand and easy to get to.
Remember: a neat workspace saves you time, hassle and possible big, sticky messes if you’re a haphazard hot-gluer like me!
Take the black felt and cut it into a rounded teardrop shape. You will then need to take your clip and secure it to the felt base, using hot glue. Make sure that you coat all but the very end of the clip with glue so that you will have the most secure base possible. The levering end of the clip should be aligned with the narrowest end of the felt, with the clip’s opening pointing towards the widest part. Leave a bit of the end sticking out past the felt, this will make it easier to put the clip on later.
Take your ostrich feather and coat the base with hot glue, you will need to apply enough glue so that the feather is secured along the entire length of the felt base. Align your feather in a way that maximizes the beauty of the ostrich feather, any overhang at the tip can be trimmed away.
Take a look at your pheasant feathers. In this piece, I’m using three of them, but feathers are like snowflakes and no two are alike. Take a moment to decide where and how you’ll want to place your feathers to best minimize any imperfections. I’ve decided to layer mine in unequal lengths, which will add depth and texture to the fascinator.
Now secure your pheasant feather in the same way that you secured your ostrich feather. Use hot glue at the base of each feather and wait until each is fully attached before adding the next one. Make sure your glue extends to the end of the felt base and be careful of your fingers, hot glue is just that: hot! Once again make sure that you trim the ends of your feathers, doing this as you go is much easier than trying to do it once you’re done.
Now you can move on to the coque feathers. I’ve added four of these to the base of the pheasant feathers in a fan shape. Secure these in the same way as you did the ostrich and the pheasant feathers. These feathers will be a little more tricky because they are a little more “fuzzy” than the others, just be patient!
Using goose feather biots can be tricky, but they add a real professional look to any hair piece. Deceptively delicate looking, they can be manipulated into almost any shape. For this piece, you’ll need to first secure one end of the biot to the base of your clip, wait a few moments and then glue down the other end. Viola! You now have an fascinating looking feathered loop added to your fascinator! Keep adding biots in this manner until you’ve got a large fan of loops, making sure that you don’t clump the bases all in one place. Your base is cut to make sure that you have plenty of room to spread out your glue.
Next, take your beaded ribbon and cut a few different lengths, you can then glue these in loops to the end of your base to provide a nice cascade of beads to give your fascinator a more elaborate look. I’ve found that this is a nice touch, but also one that can be easily left off according to personal preference.
Now comes the easiest step! Put a nice big dollop of hot glue on the bottom of your rose and attach it to your base. Make sure you check your positioning BEFORE you attach the rose, since this is the point of no return! Attach the rose in such a way that it covers up all the little ends of feathers and beaded stands. No one wants to see a messy base!
Because of the way a faux flower is shaped, you will usually be able to see underneath the where some of your messy ends are. This may not seem like a big deal, since you are viewing your fascinator from above, but it can easily be seen from the front when worn. So simply place a dab of glue on one of the bottom petals and press it closed over the base, that way all anyone will be able to see from the front is a beautiful flower!
Now for embellishment! The first thing one usually notices about a burlesque costume is the sparkle, so we’re going to add a bit of sparkle to our fascinator. I like to use GemTac or a similar product for this, using hot glue is too bulky and messy and using superglue will leave your crystals with a film that robs them of all luster.
a) Squeeze out a bit of glue onto a plate or a spare piece of felt. Use your needle to dab a line of glue down the shaft of one of your pheasant feathers. Following the natural line of the feather is the easiest way to figure out where to add rhinestones.
b) Now just place your crystals along the line of glue, tap down with your needle and wait for the glue to dry!
Now you can wear your very own handmade fascinator however you like! Use them for shows, costumes, photo-shoots, parties, weddings or even make a few small ones for everyday wear. The possibilities are literally endless. You are only limited by what sorts of materials you can find! The total cost of this project was less than $20 starting from scratch and almost all of us have a collection of supplies we use in costume making, so if you look around your craft space, you probably have most of the supplies already on hand!
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the most unique holidays in the world. Originating in Mexico, it is a celebration of the lives of those who have passed, and an invitation for them to return to visit for a day. More recently, it has become an American pop culture obsession. Want to join in on the celebration? Enjoy this handy DIY make-up tutorial on calavera, or skull, make-up applications.