Go to Wacko, Brat, Come to Mama, Hobos Vintage or DeeLux and buy your tickets for the Velvet Hammer’s triumphant return tonight–with bad-ass (good ass?) founder Michelle Carr flown in from Europe just for this show! Do NOT–I repeat, DO NOT buy your ticket from Ticketmaster. Your $20 will turn into $33.40.
I am so in love with this troupe of amazing women.
In 2002 they held tryouts for new girls, and my friend Danielle and I auditioned. It was in this weird, cool, brick-walled warehouse space downtown that was also someone’s home…a dapper fellow was hosting us, mixing drinks (little did I know this was the fabulous Jim Fittipaldi and his infamous, storied loft)…
I was so nervous I thought I was gonna ralph…
My boyfriend had burned a cd of old-tyme-ish burlesque music and Danielle did a little cowgirl routine (with six-shooters) and I did a sword-twirling routine. I did not barf. We watched another girl audition that day who later turned out to become the amazing Venus De Midol (or De Mille, depending on the context). Many of the current VH members where there, sipping cocktails and chatting. It was convivial and classy and very bohemian. I crossed fingers on both hands.
And I got an email a few days later: I got in. I couldn’t believe it. Then reality dawned: what the HELL was I doing? Did I have the guts for this gig?
Turns out, I never found out what it was like to be part of the Velvet Hammer. Shortly after my somewhat luekwarm acceptance into the fold (as a “chorus girl,” not a full-blown featured dancer…le sigh), there was some internal rift in the troupe. Some dancers left to do their own thing. Some started their own troupes. Lucha Va Voom emerged from the glitter-filled dust. I emailed a few times, tap-tapping politely, but never heard back. It was not to be. Thus ended my career as a classy, be-pastied dame. I guess, in the long run, it’s just as well. I don’t know if I coulda taken the scrutiny, or the lifestyle. I am, after all, a delicate flower.
But I am sooooo happy to be seeing them tonight. (specifics are here) And you all should go too. Just don’t buy through Ticketmaster.