MJ’s Burlesque at Toadsfahrt Theater

This past weekend I went to see MJ’s Burlesque Review.  They were performing at a new/different theater build, so my interest was piqued.

It was the same MJ’s crew (and show) that we all know and love – lots of great dancing, amazing costumes, and absolutely filthy emotes. 😛

mj-1I was expecting things to be a little different due to the change in venue (which isn’t permanent, I don’t think).  However, I was really impressed with the show.

mj-2The show was amazing, as usual. But it was different because the sets were stripped down – a few props, a few effects, but the focus was really all on the performer.

MJ did a lovely sentimental act (seen above) and the new format just added to the drama of it.

mj-3Nancy was fantastic (I’d love to borrow her creative muse – just for 5 minutes!) and the stripped down stage allowed the performers and their stories to shine.

I know many people don’t like emotes, but I’ve always loved them. I get a little window into the mind and soul of the performer when they write stories to go along with their shows.

mj-4It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to catch a show at MJ’s.  I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one.

MJ’s Burlesque

Yesterday I was able to make it to MJ’s Burlesque Review.

I try to never miss a show.

MJ 1As usual, the ladies delivered.

First of all, how can you go wrong when you have the most adorable MC ever?!

I wanted to stuff her in my pocket and take her home with me, but I was too scared of MJ. 😛

The venue was wonderfully decorated with lots of spooky and creepy Halloween bits and bobs.

And, of course, no end of Kat and mouse jokes because of the little mouse scurrying around the place. 😀

MJ kicked off the show, opening with a number set in a creepy courtyard.

MJ 2Werewolves kept appearing and disappearing (one of them stole MJ’s clothes!).

That’s what she gets for taking dating advice from Nancy. 😛

While MJ tried to chase down the werewolves and retrieve her clothes, it was Nancy’s turn to take the stage.

Nancy is one of my favorite artists in SL, but sometimes she scares me.

MJ 3I don’t think I want to know where she hangs out in her off time.

Set in someone’s dungeon (I never did find out whose), she danced her pants off (literally). 😀

I always make sure to spend some time checking out all the details in Nancy’s sets, because there are a lot of them.

If you go to the encore show on Sunday (and you should!), make sure you check out the graffiti on the dungeon walls.

The stage crew cleaned up most of the blood, just in time for Zed’s act.

Set in a cemetery (duh), Zombie Zed entertained us all.

The skeletons were doing wildly inappropriate things with their bones, Zed was dropping everything (including clothes, flesh, and some fingers), and I spy a cute little cat.

MJ 4If you look carefully, you can see Zed’s pussy, Steve (that’s his name, honest!), watching as the skeleton next to him rises out of its grave.

So cute, so oddball, and so totally Zed. 😀

It took the crew a little longer to clean up all the mess this time, what with the rotting flesh all over the stage.

Eventually it was all scrubbed clean and it was time for MJ to take center stage again.

Appearing in a church, she exposed her deepest desires (and the rest of her). 😀

A vampire queen, she was in hiding, just waiting for the right time to seize her next victim.

MJ 5It was another terrific show, as I’ve come to expect.

If you didn’t get to see the show on Friday, they will be doing an encore performance on Sunday (tomorrow) at 2pm SLT.

If you’re in the US, don’t forget that we set our clocks back an hour tonight!

MJ’s Burlesque Review

MJ’s Burlesque Review is a venue near and dear to my heart.

I danced there for a while, and I absolutely adore the 3 ladies who are the heart of it – MJ, Nancy, and Zed.

MJ’s is on an adult sim and the shows are geared toward adult audiences, which may keep some people from attending.

While understandable, it’s a shame, because they have some of the best shows I’ve ever seen on the grid.

If you missed the show on Friday, mark your calendars and be sure to attend the encore performance on Sunday – 2pm SLT at MJ’s Burlesque.

MJ’s has recently started having guest performers, and this week the guest is Shadow Tarber, director of Shadows Silhouettes.

MJs 1The show started out with a performance by MJ herself, a sort of ‘behind the scenes’ look at burlesque.

One of the things I like about MJ’s is that they emote during their routines.

While the acts are able to stand alone, I always appreciate emotes, especially when they add to the story of the performance.

I also appreciate the little touches they add to make their routines seem more realistic.

Using the Artiste system, for example, MJ made it appear as if the trap door in the floor lifted and she was raised to the stage from below.

And I love the fabulous over-the-top headpiece in this routine. 😀

MJs 2After MJ was Nancy, also known as Naughty Martini.

Nancy is my hands-down favorite performer and I make it a point to attend her shows if at all possible.

I would love to be able to pick her brain apart and understand how her creative spark works. 😛

This set was to Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin,’ but it was a slow, ballad-like rendition of the song (which I loved and will be buying as soon as I’m done writing this!).

As you can see, her sets are always visually stunning.

MJs 3The starry night, the smoke, the clouds – and nestled among them, a fragile angel.

The angel is blindfolded, and having been released from her cage, exploring the unknown and unseen world around her.

The set and costumes matched the tone of the song perfectly.

I also love how Nancy takes pieces – of costumes, of songs, of sets, whatever – that I have seen, and then uses them in different and creative ways.

The color palette of this routine is an example of how Nancy sees her routine as a whole, in addition to the all the little details.

A true performance artist.

After Nancy was this week’s guest artist, Shadow Tarber.

MJs 4Shadow did a cute routine dressed as Smurfette.

I love the little Smurf pasties she’s sporting in this pic.

Unfortunately for me, my computer was giving me fits and some of the pieces of her set didn’t rez for me. 😦

I’m told that there were cute little moving smurfs perched on top of the mushrooms.

After trying to kick my computer and SL into submission, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to continue taking photos at the performance.

Following Shadow, MJ was up again, with a smoking hot performance as a demoness from hell.

The set was amazing (though definitely adult), but due to my computer issues, I didn’t manage to catch a snap of it. 😦

MJs 5MJ’s hot performance must have melted whatever gremlins were plaguing me, because I was able to snap a few pics of the last routine, another fantastic set from Nancy.

This picture is yet another example of why Nancy is one of the best performers in SL.

This is the opening scene of her last routine, where she is a female bounty hunter searching for her prey.

I love all the details – the western font of the text, the saguaro cactus, the skeleton, the dust blowing as she enters.

MJs 6And, of course, her costume is fabulous – the epitome of a sexy bounty hunter.

I love the sign above the undertaker’s door – it’s the little details like this which make Nancy’s performances a must-see.

If you can go see the show on Sunday – do!

My pictures don’t do any of the performers justice – you need to see all this fabulousness for yourself. 😀

If you can’t make the show on Sunday, be sure to join their group or hit up their subscriber so you can stay updated on their latest performances.

You’ll thank me!! 😀

MJ’s Burlesque

NancySexFriday I was able to catch the latest show from MJ’s Burlesque.

Nancy started off the show with a hot and steamy number.

I am always in awe of Nancy’s creativity, and this act was no different.

Great set and steamy emotes, done with her signature style.

After Nancy’s set, MJ did a sexy little number as Lady Godiva.

MJGodivaIt’s always a challenge to get pics I can share from MJ’s shows.

Clothing seems to just evaporate shortly after they take the stage. 😛

This time MJ got straight to business, starting off the number in her birthday suit.

Thank goodness I was able to get a few shots without putting everything on display!

Not that MJ minded, mind you. 😀

After MJ was Zed as a defendent, complete with her orange jumpsuit.

I was so busy camming the jury box and the evidence table, I forgot to snap a pic of Zed!

WinnieStatueThe guest performer for this show was none other than the amazing Miss Winnie.

She did a hauntingly beautiful number as a statue come to life.

The song and set meshed perfectly and the choreography was amazing.

Great job, Winnie!

NancySirenAfter Winnie, Nancy took the stage again, channeling her inner siren.

Complete with fog, mist, lightning, toppling pillars, and the appearance of her tentacled pet, this is one of my favorite sets.

The colors and mood of the set were perfect.

Again, pictures were a bit of a challenge, since sirens have a pretty liberal dress code. 😀

Wrapping up the show was MJ, in a cute Vaudeville burlesque number.

MJMPI don’t know how she got the stars to light up when she walked, but it was very cool.

Another amazing set from the crew at MJ’s.

If you haven’t seen one of their shows, you’re missing out.

Stop by the club and join the group to stay updated, or hit up the subscribo.

See you at the next show!

Shopping Break

Keep Calm Feet Up
Image Source: http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

For the last few weeks, I’ve not really had any enthusiasm about dancing.

I’m not sure why, but I just haven’t felt inspired, I suppose.

So while I wait for inspiration to strike, I’ve been busily shopping all over the grid.

My pocketbook and shoes are plum wore out, but I picked up some amazing things I’ll be showing you.

I’ve already shared a few things I got from the Pose Fair, but I still have poses to unpack and use (yay!).

I went to Kustom9 and picked up some to-die-for shoes, visited the Season’s Story, checked out The Liason Collaborative, and wrapped it all up by doing the TAG! Gacha Event.


I wasn’t planning on doing the TAG! Gacha this time, but the theme is ‘Side Show’ and well, who can resist amazing circus-themed items?

Not me, that’s for sure!

I still have a few events on my list that I want to visit, but I need to spend some time organizing what I’ve already picked up – and deleting some stuff to make room for it all.

So I’m going to give my poor, tired feet a break and prop them up while I sort.

If you need a break too, head on over to MJ’s Burlesque for their encore performance at 2pm SLT today.

I caught the show on Friday, and it was amazing!

Also, I’m changing up the LOTD posts a bit.

I have a TON of things I’ve collected to use in routines that I never use.

So I will be doing a bit more decorating, setting a scene.

And hopefully, penning a few short lines of a story to go with the picture.

Enjoy your Sunday!

MJ’s Burlesque Show – Friday, February 6

MJ-february2015-show-posterMJ’s Burlesque Review announced a show on Friday, February 6, with a repeat performance on Sunday, February 8.

Here’s their announcement:

It’s that time of the month again!

No, not that one, the other one…. all new show at MJ’s Burlesque Review!

We have a mystery guest performer this time around and the usual explicit dance routines featuring noodles, doodles and possibly poodles.

When is it you ask?

It’s on Friday the 6th of Febuary at 2pm SLT.

Where is it? It’s here.

MJ’s Burlesque Review…. come for the dancing, stay for the free beer, topless barmaids and false advertising.

MJ’s Burlesque On the Road!

I happened to catch MJ’s Burlesque Review on the road at the Galerie der Sinne.  Apparently some of the acts were special requests, and I can see why.  I’ve included a few pics here, but you really should go see the show.  I try to keep the pics on the blog SFW, so I can’t show you all the pics I took.  As usual, the show was delightfully filthy – so be sure you check it out the next time they have a show.  😛

I think her name was Jolene . . .
I think her name was Jolene . . .
Snow White, I presume?
Snow White, I presume?
There'll be a line for the subway after this . . .
There’ll be a line for the subway after this . . .
The joys of apartment living . . .
The joys of apartment living . . .

Interview with a Troupe Leader #1 – Imajica Wonder

In addition to the tons of questions I have for dancers, I am also very interested in what it’s like to run a dance troupe/group in SL.  It’s demanding enough trying to perform as a solo artist, it’s hard to imagine the difficulties that go along with running a successful troupe of dancers.

To satisfy my own curiosity (and hopefully yours), I am introducing a new series – Interview with a Troupe Leader.  To kick off the series, I have interviewed a woman who runs a very successful burlesque club in SL.  MJ’s Burlesque is an intimate, art-deco themed club, with a reputation for some of the best acts on the grid.  Please welcome Imajica Wonder, owner of MJ’s Burlesque.

MJ 2014



SL Name:  Imajica Wonder
Display Name: Imajica Wonder
Rez Day: 12/21/2009
Location:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/XCLUSIVES/222/44/411
Name of troupe/group: MJ’s Burlesque Review



What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
MJ:  I attended lots of shows, and it got me thinking about all of the things that I would like to attempt with dance in world. The challenge of doing Burlesque acts with limited dance moves was a motivator for me. I love Burlesque, both the classic style as well as modern, and did not see what I had in mind taking place anywhere so I thought why not give it a go?

How long have you been dancing?
MJ:  The entire time I’ve been here, its dear to my heart. Doing performances, it has been over two years.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
MJ:  It varies, if I’m working on a show I stay up late and put in lots of time. If RL is keeping me busy, around 30 to 35 hours.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
MJ:  As I stated above above, I like Burlesque, and did not see the style I wanted to perform at any of the clubs. In fact, most of them looked like the Burlesque film with Cher. That is not Burlesque, that is Hollywood selling tickets for a dance show reminiscent of music videos. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, it’s just not my cup of tea. I study old Burly dancers as well as new and I get so inspired by them. The thing is you can only take that style so far in SL, factors here are very different, and you don’t want to bore the audience to tears.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
MJ:  Yes, I own a venue. I can’t really say that I have ever found any of it difficult; demanding at times, yes. I think I would have to say getting started was the most difficult. I wanted to open a little Burlesque theatre so badly, but did not have the skill set to do the building and all the rest that goes along with it. In time I learned and with help from my sweetie I took the plunge. I was so naive in those early days. I love meeting people and making new friends, I thought the dance community was one big happy family. I learned quickly that was not the case. I wrote to the owners of every Burlesque venue I could find, a simple introduction that explained I was opening a place and that I was excited to be part of the Burlesque scene in SL. I waited and I waited, no response, not one person replied. I got a bit depressed but decided I was not going to let it upset me and moved on. On a side note, most of them have since closed.

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
MJ:  I really can’t think of any one thing . . . ummmm . . . When I had a Mistress she was not thrilled with all the time I spent on performances. So I guess it can be hard on relationships. One thing that is very difficult is getting dancers. Many venues have dancers that have been with them for a long period and there are only so many to go around. On top of that, some have so many alts that they can do one person shows. More power to them, I struggle with one avi – it amazes me they can do it. I’m very happy to train new dancers but each time I have tried, it falls apart as soon as I explain they need to buy a hud, dances and all the other bits that go along with an act. People seem to lose interest very fast when I tell them we spend way more than we make in tips.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
MJ:  All of the above. I have had many people write me and say they find us avant garde. We experiment lots; we are always trying to push ourselves to new limits. One thing that I really like is that we all have a unique style. I find it so fun that when the curtain opens you will be transported into another world, completely different from the last. From an act that is dark and foreboding to an act that has people laughing. Speaking of opening curtains, when I go to shows I don’t peek, I want to be surprised when that curtain opens.

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
MJ:  Very hard to say, with RL we are always doing only so much and having to stop and start. It also depends on the performance. I have noticed that I don’t really have any set pattern as to how I do an act, and the other girls are the same. We start off with whatever moves us at the time. Some shows a song sparks me, others an outfit gets the ball rolling and other times I do the dance first or build a set. Most times emotes are the last thing I do.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
MJ:  We have only just recently started doing an encore performance of our shows. We skip a day and do it again, we never used to do that, we did all our acts once and it was done. We would do them from time to time if people request them. When we do road shows we now do acts that are the most requested. We did make all new ones for those shows as well in the past, but it just became so much work that we had to stop.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
MJ:  Always, we rehearse on our own and the week of a show we do it like it’s show night. We rehearse together everyday before the performance. Our rehearsals can be tough; we look at every aspect of a performance. We look at emotes, dances, sets, costumes, you name it. We look out for each other, we are friends and want each other to look good. The closeness you develop is such a big part of this. I would never do a show without rehearsing, when I go to shows and see trees, buildings, and anything else you can think of sticking out of a curtain at a place that has a stage the size of a football pitch I know they didn’t rehearse or did not care.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
MJ: Once I have a clear idea of what I’m after it goes very fast, all the time is finding textures I like, or I have to make them and that increases the time. Finding props can be a chore as well at times. I’ll put it this way, if all goes well, anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. But things rarely go well.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
MJ:  I don’t have one, I get dances from everywhere. Once I decide on a song, I’m off shopping and hit all the shops looking for what I feel works best. As all dancers know, it’s hit and miss. I have had times when things just fall together so fast, then I have others where everything is either too fast or too slow and I’m ready to scream. I will say this, I do favour dance shops that include the dance times, it saves so much time.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance animations.
MJ:  Once again, whatever works at the time. If a place has a pose that gives me a smooth transition I’m happy, and that may not be at any specific shop.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
MJ:  Dance HUDs are a touchy subject with many dancers. People get used to a certain HUD and want to scratch your eyes out if you disagree with them. I started out with the HUDDLES, it was tough getting my head around it, but in time I caught on. It was not what I expected a dance HUD to be. I thought they did much more. After mastering that baby and putting together some dances, I was a happy camper. That happiness did not last long; the Barre was released and I gave that a go.  It was love at first dance and was much easier to learn as well as use. When I had issues and wrote the maker she was always quick to respond. I was in HUD heaven for a long time. Enter stage right, the Artiste . . . this is the HUD I’m currently using. I heard rumours about it for ages but that was about it.  I met a person that said they had one once and it sounded like a very nice HUD, but I was told it was not for sale yet, so I did not pursue it any further. About six months later I was given one by the maker to use and report any issues or things I felt it lacked, so I guess that made me a sort of beta tester. I must admit I liked that I was involved in a small way. The only other time I was a beta tester was for a collar. I made some suggestions and was amazed they were added.

The reason I was so excited about this HUD was that I have a screen full of HUDs when I do an act, this would free me from that. It has the flexibility I have always wanted in a dance HUD.  I’ll rephrase that, the Artiste is not a dance HUD, its a performance HUD. If a dancer wants a HUD to just do transitions there are many out there to choose from. This HUD is thinking outside the box.  I had to completely rethink what I knew from previous HUDs. One thing that I really like is that I can make things as automated or as interactive as I want. I’m very much a hands-on girl, but I don’t see doing repetitious things as a great skill set. We are using computers, they are meant to free us from doing the same tasks over and over. Behind the scenes I wear many hats, MC, performer, and I also run the stream. So a HUD that was designed with performers in mind was a dream come true for me. I still get carried away when I talk about it; my friend Nancy is ready to drive a stake through my heart. The feature list goes on and on, I’ve not even scratched the surface of what it does, as we are all different and something that one dancer does all the time I may never use. I’ll climb down from my soapbox now. *Runs as she sees Nancy dashing at her with a pointy stick*

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
MJ:  I currently use the SpotOn, but not as much as I used to. I have had some difficulties with it and shy away now. If I’m doing a simple walk I will use it now and then. When I do complex things I always end up tearing my hair out. I build an entire routine and it’s perfect, after hours of tweaking and more tweaking. Next day I rehearse, my feet are in the ground, or the timing is now off. That sort of thing has kept it in my inventory. I must add that each time I had an issue, Rug from SpotOn would respond so fast she would leave skid marks on my platform. Very good costumer service from the SpotOn people.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
MJ:  I only use the Artiste now.  Oh wait, I did use another. It was one for singing.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?  Do you have specific team members assigned to this task? 
MJ:  Everyone is expected to build their own sets at our place. We help each other all the time. Not in the building of the set, but more in locating items or textures or suggesting improvements. We have no scripter on staff. If we need a script to do something we try ourselves at first. If it’s beyond what we can do, we ask for outside help.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
MJ:  Never had one for dancing. The best advice I ever had for running a Burlesque theatre came from my four-legged friend. Everyone turned their backs on me and I gave up on any help or friends in the Burly community. When I was still building the theatre, I was taking a break and this gruff-looking dog walked in and was so sweet to me. He offered all sorts of advice and answered any question I had without feeling threatened. I built my club around much of his advice and we are still friends today. Thank you, Nai.  🙂

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
MJ:  Yes, to work at our club a dancer must emote. If a person does not want to read them fine, then watch the dance only. I find emotes in a Burlesque theatre are a must, it is the emotes that bridge intimacy into the act. We don’t have the smells or the physical closeness that we do in RL shows, so we have to find ways to fill that void. Emotes are that way. I was going to Geisha school in SL at one time, the emotes were like fine art. It would have not been as nice if it was just dancing.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
MJ:  I shop everywhere, just depends on the act.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
MJ:  Having shows fall apart from lag, or the sim crashing. It’s so annoying after you worked so hard, and people were kind enough to come see you.

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
MJ:  Yes, we try to do things in a way that all people are covered. Of course we can’t stop from doing everything. I do lots of things without fx for that reason, but try to mix it up.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
MJ:  “I had such fun!” That makes it all worthwhile.

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
MJ:  Forty-five to sixty minutes. The attention span in SL is short, things happen faster here. I was at a show not long ago that was well over an hour. It got to the point that a person was telling jokes in the crowd and people found that more entertaining than the dancers. When I first started going to shows I would notice that after about an hour, (not counting bad shows) I would find myself looking around the theatre and not at the performers.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
MJ:  Ignore all the people with the petty crap in the dance community. There are some good people out there that don’t have nasty motives, look for them. Don’t waste your time getting involved in things that only drain you from working on your acts. There are no stars in SL.  Some think they are, but remember they are most likely saying that as they curl their toes in those big fluffy slippers and pound away at that keyboard in mum’s basement.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
MJ:  Adult sims, I’m very trashy.

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.)
MJ:  I would love to be able to start a dance anywhere in its time frame.

Any other thoughts/comments/ideas you’d like to share?
MJ:  If anyone has any sort of question regarding dance or setting up a club, by all means write me. I like making new friends.

And there you have it, folks, my first Interview with a Troupe Leader!  Thank you so much to MJ for taking the time out of her busy schedule for the interview.  As always, if you have questions you’d like to see asked, or someone you’d like to see interviewed, please let me know.