The Dark Side of Dallas Burlesque Part 2 by Michael Vachmiel June 16, 2021

Dallas Burlesque

Updates to the Dallas Burlesque Scene!

Dallas Burlesque Scene is exploding with updates on its on going situation regarding abuse, assault, and behind the scene money and politics. You can read the first part of the article here!

Dallas Burlesque Scene Boycotts Viva’s Lounge over allegations.

Dallas Burlesque

Dallas Burlesque Troupe “The Lollie Bombs” make a statement.

Dallas Burlesque Producer Miss Malicious makes a public statemement.

“My name is Michelle, A.K.A Miss. Malicious, and I am the Producer for The Lollie Bombs Burlesque. I wanted to begin this statement by saying that none of us are perfect. We all have things that we wish we could have done better in the past. With that said, I as a person, have actively tried my best to be better moving forward by educating myself, asking questions and in general, just trying to do what I feel is the most morally sound thing to do.

I also want to say that I will be focusing on the treatment that myself and the Lollies endured in the days up to and including the show. In the past and in the days leading up to the show, show day included, I have been silenced, bullied, disrespected, and threatened by both Kerry and Shoshana. For the record, I will state that Shoshana was not at the venue Saturday night for our show and that I did not speak to her before during or after the show. When I found out that there would be a person working the front door that had abused one of the Lollies I asked one of the owners, not Shoshana or Kerry, if I could replace them.

I didn’t feel comfortable with it nor did I like the solution being offered, which was to get Emma in and out of the venue by a side door in the office. I try to create a safe space for all of my performers and this wasn’t acceptable to me. I was told that yes, I could replace, and I set about finding a replacement. I had found a few potential candidates when I was texted by Kerry. He shut me down by informing me that the original door person would be working the door (the abuser) and that we could have a meeting about moving forward after the show.

I told him that I would let the Lollies know and contacted the other owner (who oversees the venue side of things for my show) to let them know that I wasn’t happy about this. There were many times during these discussions that I wanted to throw in the towel. I felt hamstrung at every turn. I didn’t understand why this was such a difficult thing to do. I had solutions to a problem and was trying to make my space as safe as possible. I had already banned one abuser, surely, I could replace another.

During this time, I remembered that my contract stated that I could hire and fire the people at the venue that we pay for out of pocket as I saw fit. We pay out of pocket for the door person. I wanted to replace him and as per my contract stated. I brought this to Kerry’s attention and asked him to honor my contract. He let me know that my contract was expired and that there was a clause in my contract that stated that they had the right to override my decision and that they were choosing to exercise that option.

At this point I knew that there was no getting around this. It was ridiculous to me that I had to fight so hard to try and have a safe space for my people. I apologized to Emma. I know what it is like to have to work with your abuser. To be told to “be a professional” and that “crew is hard to find”. After I came out of my abusive situation I never wanted anyone else to have to deal with that. But here I was, dealing with it.

When I arrived at the venue Kerry did not acknowledge me. Which is fine. Things progressed along smoothly and we started tech rehearsal. After tech, and in front of most of the Lollies, crew and bartenders Kerry aggressively and loudly told me that this was our last show. And that this was our fault, not theirs. I let him know that we could discuss this after the show and that this was not appropriate now. He was exceptionally angry, did not seem to care about his tone/volume, and continued in such a way that I felt the situation became very hostile.

I now had to think about the fact that he may deliberately sabotage my show. That this was, without a doubt, not a safe place and we needed to do what we could to get through this night and protect each other. The show itself was going incredibly well. We were so happy to be onstage again, be together and see all our awesome fans. We then got to the last act of the night which was Emma. Certain specifications were laid out (lower music volume) and they were deliberately not followed by Kerry even after another staff member asked him to lower the music. This staff member spoke to Emma after the show and let her know that they had asked for the music to be turned down, but the instructions were not followed. This absolutely put Emma in danger. Any time an aerialist gets up on an apparatus we are taking chances. We try to mitigate this in all kinds of ways. From letting the lighting people know not to flash certain lights to having the sound a bit lower to try and call out cues. We are putting ourselves at risk and our lives on the line, and to have that completely disregarded is a huge slap in the face.

To add to this blatant lack of respect, he then came backstage after the show. While backstage he walked up behind Ickymuffin, invaded his personal space and started rubbing his ear lobes in a very odd way. It was a very uncomfortable situation especially following the incident of Kerry yelling at me after tech and him disregarding music notes needed for safety. It was completely without consent and entirely inappropriate. Emma asked him to leave. When he did not she let him know that what he had done was risking her life. He then mocked her and left. This was in front of the majority of the Lollies and a crew member.

After this interaction again, none of the performers or crew felt safe. We agreed to leave in a group and not have anyone be alone anywhere in the building. We quickly packed up our things, exited the building together, got into our cars and left.The amount of disrespect, abuse, manipulation, lies, and unprofessionalism suffered by myself and my performers is mind boggling. And it has been happening for a long time. It’s a shame that it took this long to come out, but we are here, we are speaking and we will not go quietly into the night. The Lollies have been around for 15 years. When I took over as producer I wanted to enact change. I wanted us to grow and become the bad asses that I knew we could be, and already were.

Each and every one of my performers is a powerhouse in their own right. We have so much love and respect for one another. We know what we are worth as humans and as performers and we will not stand for any one of us to be abused in any way. The Lollies are my chosen family and I will do everything within my power to protect them.”

If there are any further updates, we will keep you up to date!

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