Every once in a while on the Tuesday Tease, we take time to recognize legends and trailblazers from burlesque history. Today, we really focus on the “blaze” part of trailblazer as we celebrate the 68th birthday of the “Queen of the Fire Tassels,” Satan’s Angel. Satan’s Angel is a living link to the glory days of burlesque and the current neo-burlesque scene. She worked for Gypsy Rose Lee, the original burlesque legend from the 30s and 40s and she continues to inspire up-and-coming burlesque performers. In a 2010 interview with Pin Curl Magazine, she said, “I got balls from Gypsy Rose Lee, the glitz and glamour from Mae West, the class from Lili St. Cyr.”
Satan’s Angel was born Angel Cecelia Helene Walker on September 18, 1944 in San Francisco, California. She began dancing burlesque after winning an amateur strip contest at the North Beach nightclub Moulin Rouge in 1961. Her signature move was setting her tassels on fire, “then extinguishing the flames by means of strenuous mammary rotation.” She performed in San Francisco throughout the 60s at clubs like the Esquire and the Condor Club and even played bass in The Hummingbirds, an all-girl topless cover band that performed at Tipsy’s nightclub in North Beach. From the 1970s and into the 80s, she performed in Vegas, working with legendary burlesque promoters Barry Ashton and Harold Minsky and performing at clubs like the Palomino Club, the Silver Slipper and the Minsky.
She retired from burlesque in 1985 but came out of retirement in 2002 after being recognized as a seminal influence on the neo-burlesque scene. She performed at the Miss Exotic World Pageant in 2005 as part of the “Legends” segment, and, again, in 2006 as part of the “Cavalcade of Classic Stars.” She’s also made appearances at Tease-O-Rama and other neo-burlesque shows and conventions around the country. Today, she gives classes in fire tassel twirling and striptease, is largely recognized as a burlesque innovator and continues to inspire today’s neo-burlesque performers.
In July of this year, the documentary film “Satan’s Angel: The Queen of the Fire Tassels” premiered in Los Angeles as part of Outfest – the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Fest. The documentary is currently touring the festival circuit to rave reviews and features interviews with burlesque legends, neo-burlesque stars and Angel’s life partner Vic. Check the website for the schedule of upcoming screenings (including this one in New Orleans) and also, check out this awesome trailer for the film:
Let’s raise a flaming shot to the “Devil’s Own Mistress,” Satan’s Angel, on her 68th birthday. We’re so lucky to have a legend like her performing, teaching and inspiring future generations of tassel-twirling burly girls. We love you Angel, keep the flame alive!
In Angel’s honor, here are some upcoming burlesque events that we think she would approve of:
Friday, September 21, Saturday, September 22, Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 I Naughty Bits! – Boston, Massachusetts “Naughty Bits” features hot delinquents, classic glamour, and dramatic unicorns. You’ll get twists of contortion, a touch of cannibalism, and MORE COWBELL! Finally, get ready for the most thrilling act Rogue Burlesque has done in years as they reprise Ms. Tinsel’s Annual Tantalizing Teasing Tassel-Twirling Race — place your bets now!
Friday, September 21 I Rhinestone Follies presents the NYC Premier Screening of “Burlesque Assassins” – New York, New York The Burlesque Assassins. Beautiful, deadly, and a vital weapon in the war on communism that threatens the free world. Set in the 1950s, this tale of cold war espionage and intrigue follows Johnny Valentine, Katarina Molotov, and a trio of sexy super-spies as they seduce their way within killing distance of a trio of villainy hell bent on global domination. Witness the fatal fan dance of Koko La Douce! Behold the brutal boa striptease of Bombshell Belle! See Bourbon Sue, a bad girl with a taste for booze, boys and rock & roll. Experience the carnage and the cleavage as the enemies of The Burlesque Assassins discover that when it comes to these women, LOOKS CAN KILL! Featuring live performances by Pandora The Greek Goddess of Burlesque, Hazel Honeysuckle, Beelzebabe and Ginger Brown. Hosted by Kita St. Cyr.
Saturday, September 22 I D20 Burlesque presents PRG Burlesque 3rd Edition – New York, New York Join the ladies of D20 Burlesque for their 3rd celebration role playing games! Hosted by Neil O’ Fortune with burlesque performances by: Stella Chuu, Gemini Rising, Evelyn Vinyl, Nasty Canasta, Hazel Honeysuckle, Anja Keister and the D20 Burlesque debut of Hayley Jane with shadow go-go dancing by Kita St. Cyr and the bardic DJ skills of DJ Pavel Pipovitch.
Thursday, September 27 I Cora Vette’s Black Box Burlesque – Moulin Rude Burlesque – Denver, Colorado A French-themed burlesque show, Moulin Rude Burlesque features some of your favorite music from a movie with a similar title. They originally called it The Moulin Rouge Burlesque, but, somehow word got back to the ACTUAL Moulin Rouge in Paris. They threatened litigation so they happily (and quickly) changed the name. Hence, The Moulin Rude was born. This is the third instalment of this show and promises to be the biggest one yet! Performers include: Cora Vette, Eve Vette, Cherry Pop Pop Poppins, Frangelica Love, Stella Fox, Ophelia P. Cocque, Victoria Pneumatica,
Frenchie Renard and more! There will be decadence, debauchery, fan dances, singing, comedy, dancing and of course STRIPTEASE! Come enjoy this night of French themed glamour and see why Cora Vette’s Black Box Burlesque was awarded the “Best Burlesque Night” in Westword‘s Best of Denver 2012!
Thursday, September 27 I FF ONE KICK-OFF I SATAN’S ANGEL DOC SCREENING – New Orleans, Louisiana NOLA’s FF ONE kicks off with a raucous night of burlesque including live performances and the US South premiere of “Satan’s Angel: The Queen of the Fire Tassels.” Director Josh Dragotta will be here for the action and a Q&A after the film. Satan’s Angel legacy is filled with San Francisco counter culture, Las Vegas stage door Johnnies and a sexuality she refused to closet. She has amassed four decades worth of fascinating, colorful, and riveting stories as she’s travelled the globe performing the art of burlesque. This unique film documents her love for the craft and preservation of burlesque as well as her love for her life partner Vic.
Friday, September 28 I Tassel Twirling for the 21st Century – Seattle, Washington Watch em wiggle! See em jiggle! Can you go clockwise? In opposite directions? Learn the ancient alluring skill of tassel twirling! A revolutionary class for all budding Helicopter Girls. Open to all bodies with chests.
Friday, September 28 I Adéle Wolf’s Burlesque and Variety Show Presents: Lula Houp Garou and Angela Ryan! – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma This month, Adéle Wolf’s Burlesque and Variety Show is bringing you two stunning performers from Dallas, Texas! Lula Houp Garou has won several awards during her career, including THREE at the 2011 Great Southern Exposure Festival! Lula also competed in the “best debut” category at this year’s Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas! Angela Ryan is an internationally published fetish model and performer who has graced the covers of many popular magazines! She is a top name in the pin-up and fetish scenes! Come find out why!