Stripper’s Holiday, November 2023

Dear Constant Reader,

I found this in my drafts folder. Whoops!

Five years ago I attended Michelle L’amour’s Stripper’s Holiday. Follow the link to read about that experience and what exactly is a stripper’s holiday.

I was so excited when I heard she was offering SH again. There was so much interest, she decided to run two sessions and offered me a spot in the November one, which worked well with my schedule. Last time we were in Los Angeles, but Michelle now lives in Las Vegas. I haven’t been there in at least ten years!

I had a very easy flight (direct from Boston), which left in the afternoon. That was so weird — I’m used to getting up in the middle of the night for pre-dawn trips to the airport. Then I met up with Tessa Trueheart from upstate New York, who had been on the same flight and we waited for Red Velvet to arrive from San Francisco. Red was the only person, other than Michelle, that I knew in this group. In a lot of ways that was good — going into this with a mostly-rasa tabula.

Michelle picked us up and took us back to her place. Las Vegas sure has changed since I was last there! It been over a decade at least. There definitely wasn’t a stadium before…

Michelle’s rather swanky apartment complex had a guest suite, where we were staying. It worked out extremely nicely that it happened to be right next door to her apartment. Once there we met Dinah Dare, from Glasgow, Scotland, who was barely awake. The rest of us weren’t much better and went to bed soon after meeting Lavendelle, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Demi Entendre from Tulsa, Oklahoma who were staying in Michelle’s living room. There was supposed to be one more person, but she unfortunately had Covid and canceled.

For the next four days, we would go over to Michelle’s in the late morning for breakfast and receive the food tour. That is, there were a lot of options spread out over the kitchen (we had a number of people with food restrictions and Michelle has her own requirements) from which one could assemble their plate. No one went away hungry. 

At noon we were in the studio where we were joined by our fellow strippers, who were locals: Meilani Venus, Glitter Ginger, and Buttercup. For the next four hours we worked. Hard.

Every session started with a warmup. Then we’d work on technique or learn a choreography. These were real challenges, as befit an advanced workshop. I was sweating so much as we drilled our boa choreography that bits of ostrich feather were sticking to me in a not particularly sexy fashion. 

Each day three people would present a routine for feedback from Michelle. I was in the first group with Dinah and Buttercup. Performing for other performers is always nerve-wracking, but performing for Michelle freaking L’amour, knowing you’ll get critique is a whole nother level. Yes, I know that’s what I was there for, but my lizard brain wouldn’t stop freaking out.

After everyone performed and got their feedback, we would have a relaxing movement session to close things out and go back to Michelle’s for dinner. Once again we had the food tour and many delicious options. I am definitely making the butternut squash stelline “risotto” sometime.

On the last day, everyone performed their acts again for a final round of feedback. We also received Michelle’s initial notes from when she viewed our videos, so we could really see how far we’d come.
Last day in the studio
It wasn’t all hard work! Although I was still on East Coast time and was pleased that I could stay awake until 10pm, others went on nighttime excursions. One night some folks went to The Haunted Museum, and the next to Lost Spirits Distillery to see Michelle perform. I stayed behind with the others for snacks and conversation before climbing into bed to do my crossword puzzle. I am such a party animal.

I did join everyone for dinner at Tacotarian, a vegan taco restaurant. I’m not a big fan of fake meat, but there were some purely veggie offerings and the batter-fried avocado tacos were delightful! Tacoterian
Then drinks at Stray Pirate, a dog-pirate themed bar (trust me — it worked). The decor was excellent, but it was crowded and very noisy. I hear the drinks were excellent, but I knew even one cocktail on top of jet lag and a very physical day would put me out. I was just about getting tired of standing and having trouble hearing anyone when a table opened up. I ended up having an excellent conversation with Demi. Stray Pirate
The last night we all went to The Fluff Follies at The Mint Tavern. I hadn’t seen Audrey Deluxe since I did Burlesque Bingo in The Before Times. The show was fun — fluffy like the name implied — and had some creative acts and talented performers. It was inspiring to see Michelle perform with her huge fan. 

The highlight for me was that Tiffany Carter was in the audience! It was so good to see her. She, Demi, and I all have something in common, which isn’t something I talk about muchMina, Demi, and Tiffany Carter

The last day was travel day. Some of my fellow strippers were gone before I even woke up. Those that remained — Dinah, Demi, me, and Michelle — spent some leisurely time in the hot tub, before Michelle drove Dinah and me to the airport for the long flights back to reality.
Hot tub
I was back in my own bed before 2am.

As for my act and some overall thoughts about the event, you’ll have to wait. Hopefully not another six months…

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