Time to Say Goodbye, to....

Black Diamond bid farewell to three important members of our family at our May 10th show at McCurdy’s. My heart tells me, this speech I wrote bears repeating:

Our own Vincent Voyeur, better known as photographer extraordinaire Matthew Holler, will be heading to the Big Apple soon! He has been an integral part of this troupe from Day One. His gorgeous vision of Black Diamond Burlesque, captured by his amazing eye, has been KEY in providing us with the elegant light we bask in. Through many very sweaty photoshoots (Matt, why do we always shoot in August?), and every single live show, you has made us look better than we deserve to. The entire troupe thanks you and loves you. Thank you for running away and joining the circus with us!

And, with a lump in my throat, moving on to our next goodbye...

While we were rehearsing for our New Year’s Eve show 2010, our original emcee Tasty Tom said to me: “We need Sarah and Brittany to round out the variety” I said “Who are they?” He said “Friends from the Asolo and they are amazing.” They came to the next rehearsal and the Titty Sisters were born. Titty Bella, with her angelic voice and great rack, Titty Titty Bang Bang with her Italian accent and overly refined manners. They were a hit from this show forward. Adding sex appeal, comedy, great live singing, and a ridiculous amount of talent to Black Diamond.

In real life, these amazing young women are Brittany Proia and Sarah Razzman. Last week, they both graduated from the Master Acting program at FSU/Asolo Conservatory. They are now off to grand adventures, first some summer stock productions and then off the New York City (for Brittany) and Chicago (for Sarah) where I have no doubt they will flourish.

Sarah emceed our show many times as well, and Brittany taught everyone (with her rendition of ‘Sherman and Madeline’) what a rusty trombone is. What you may not know is that very often, they were too busy with their studies and their performances at the Asolo to preview their acts for me or to even come to rehearsal (which believe it or not, we do have rehearsals!) My often repeated line to them was: “I trust you guys” and they always delivered. It has been such an honor to work with these actors and to have them be a part of our half-naked, dysfunctional burlesque family. It is an even greater pleasure to call them my friends.

So, though Miss Brittany Proia and Miss Sarah Razzman are both destined to find bigger and better stages in their futures, please join me in welcoming to OUR stage one last time. … ladies and gentlemen…. Titty Bella and Titty Titty Bang Bang: THE TITTY SISTERS!

The Titties came to the stage and sang an incredible version of “Time to Say Goodbye” made popular by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. There were chills in the air and not many dry eyes. Of course, the Sisters made it their own, and relieved our sorrow with a comedic ending, to the delight of the crowd. This performance earned Black Diamond Burlesque, or more accurately, Brittany and Sarah, our first complete standing ovation!

I shall never hear this song again without being in that moment. To all of you, Holler, Brit, and Razzman… “When you are far away, I dream of the horizon and words fail, and, yes, I know that you are with me… time to say goodbye.

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