When it comes to eating fire in the raw, look no farther than the drunken dames of the Ooh La La burlesque troupe.
First visit to the well:
Michelle: I grew up in Las Vegas and my dad had barbecues and we would sneak into the garage and drink wine, Jack, or keg beer—whatever he had. I was probably 8 years old.
Kitty: My most memorable early drinking experience was when I was fourteen. My mom was having a backyard party, and I drank an entire handle of Bacardi Extra Light Rum. I got alcohol poisoning and to this day I cannot even smell rum without getting ill.
Michelle: I usually drink vodka, but I also favor Wild Turkey.
Kitty: My favorite kind of drink always has alcohol in it. I usually drink vodka too. We’re vodka bitches.
How much and how often:
Kitty: After eight I lose track.
Boozing and burlesque:
Michelle: I think I perform better drunk, but the audience may differ with me. So I drink a lot after the shows instead of during.
Kitty: My only drunken accident on stage was when I lit myself on fire. Although I wasn’t completely wasted at the time, I did burn myself with Everclear which should count for something. In fact I think it was Frank’s idea to use Everclear now that I remember. Right after I got offstage I made sure to do about eight more shots to get through the rest of my acts. Blame the editor.
Is it a prerequisite to be a drunk to be in your troupe?
Michelle: No, but it helps because you have to deal with me. I get kind of stressed out, so it helps me to have a couple drinks.
Kitty: Everybody is more comfortable taking there clothes off after a couple of drinks.
You have 50 bucks to get the troupe drunk:
Michelle: We’d spend fifty bucks on fliers and felt. We’d make pasties and perform. We’d drink for free all night and use the money we make off the show to buy more booze.
Bender Dream Team:
Michelle: Titsa Galore, Kitty, and Madonna. Maybe Pee Wee Herman if Madonna is on tour. I really want to drink with Madonna.
Kitty: Titsa Galore, Michelle, and my grandma Pauline. The human boomerang. She’ll have 10 drinks, get tipsy, start to fall, jump right back up and start drinking again.
Michelle: My dad hands down. He can handle himself. He’s a beer drinker, but when he drinks liquor he starts to break stuff and gets really fun.
Kitty: Michelle is my drinking hero. We went to New York for a tattoo convention, and she had a drink in her hand from 10am until 4am everyday. I never saw her the whole weekend without a drink in her hand.
Why must we drink?
Kitty: Why not?
Michelle: Ooh La La is better with booze.
Kitty: Not only are we a lot more fun when we’ve been drinking, but we look much better on stage when you’ve been drinking.
—Interview by Christa Rich
More info about the ladies of Ooh La La can be found at: www.oohlalapresents.com