Saturday, 5 October 2013

Tempest storm, burlesque queen...!

When I was a child I hoped that by the age of 21 I would have already lived an amazing life, I was to an extent as I had not long been performing in a then small scene called burlesque, travelling, meeting new people, and honing my craft.
So when I learn of a beautiful inside and outside burlesque super star, who dated Elvis, liaised with JFK, and was friends with Marilyn Monroe all while becoming famous in her own right I feel like she is someone to aspire to, someone who built her craft and made her name when the burlesque scene was booming and yet even now in 2013 she is only the tender age of 21.
Imagine, she has lived 84 adventure filled years full of love, heartbreak, glory and sometimes sadness all while creating a unique stage persona that has not and cannot be matched all while keeping the burlesque scene of America alive. And she's 21!
I am of course talking about the leap year baby that is one of the icons of burlesque then and now, a pioneer of the sexual revolution, miss Tempest Storm. 
She is truly the Queen of Burlesque working in the scene when performers became household names, and hers did, but sometimes for the wrong reasons. Her name was smeared in papers and tabloids of the time when her affair with JFK was revealed to the world, but she kept her head held high and rightfully so.

She started work as a young woman, cotton picking in the fields of Southern Georgia before finding her love for the stage. Her certain, ahem, attributes helped to launch her stardom earning the nickname of owning "the two biggest props in Hollywood" she had a bust that caused envy across the world, and lust in the rich and famous.
Launching her career during the 50's Tempest kept on stripping till into her 80's but it's been quite the career. She was even offered studio contracts with reputable studios MGM, who sadly couldn't see past her relationship and love for an African American Man, in a time when segregation was still the norm she shocked with choosing love in an interracial relationship.

Any burlesque dancer worth her salt knows who Tempest Storm is, and even those who don't know the name will recognise her as the fiery red head alongside Bettie Paige in the cult classic, Teasorama filmed by Irving Klaw. During the making of those films she was the top billed star not only of that movie but of burlesque clubs all over the USA.
She has since worked closely to help bring the always hotly anticipated Exotic World competitions and kept the scene alive for this new generation of performers.

This is all just a snippet of her life and stories, I'm sure there are so many many more and I hope to hear them, as I'm sure you are but for this to happen the help and generosity of burlesque lovers and performers would help to make a documentary of Tempests life, filled with never before revealed footage, photos, and even her personal letters and scrapbooks over the years as well as intimate interviews with Tempest herself.
The film has already won a $7,500 start up fee at pitchfest, and has hit over half of it's required production costs through a kickstarter campaign that ends on the 9th October but there's still some way to go yet. 

There has already been so much interest in the documentary directed by renowned award winning film maker, Nimisha Mukerji and produced by Kaitlyn Regehr and will feature interviews with some of the burlesque queens of today including Lou Lou D'Vil and Dita Von Teese as well as interviews with friends of Elvis and JFK. This is definitely a film I want to see, as one of the last living legends of the age of the sexual revolution, and I'm sure you do too so donate what you can to help make this film a reality.
I am. 

So let's all do what we can, please share this blog, tweet the link for the kickstarter, share it on your Facebook and have this important and amazing story told. 
It's a good thing she's finally hit 21, she can now raise a glass with us all to celebrate not only this film, but her life. 
Go to to read more and of course to donate, there are plenty of goodies in return for donating including previews of the interviews with tempest so far!

Cheers to you Tempest!

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