Not a Prank! Burlesque Performers Put Feet to the Test on April Fools
Apr 05, 2024

Not a Prank! Burlesque Performers Put Feet to the Test on April Fools

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas — Some people plan elaborate pranks for April 1, but others spent April Fools’ Day bringing out their quirkiest talents.

Monday Night Jammie Jam puts on a burlesque show the first Monday of each month. Organizers decided April Fools’ Day was the perfect excuse to be extremely out there. This month’s theme was “Madness and Mayhem,” and performances included dancing on Lego bricks, licking swords and balancing on glass bottles in heels.

“The casting call that we gave for this was purely just ‘randomness,’” said Oliver Cravings, a burlesque performer who co-produces Monday Night Jammie Jam. “Whatever act no other show would take because it’s too weird and doesn’t fit into your theme, those are the kinds of acts that we wanted.”

Cravings began performing for Monday Night Jammie Jam in 2018. When the pandemic hit, burlesque shows around Austin stopped completely.

In 2022, Cravings and fellow performers Hans Ferdinand and Sabor Insanity brainstormed how they would continue what their mentor, Coco Lectric, started, and provide a similar experience to others entering the burlesque world.

“One of the things that we focus on is to create a safe and welcoming space for people who are new to the art form and new to the community so we often have performers who it’s their first time ever perform burlesque do that on our stage, including I believe one of them tonight,” Cravings said.

The first performer of the night dressed up as Puss in Boots and gave the audience a different way of viewing the cute and cuddly yet heroic fighter. Another performer dressed up as a rubber ducky while her partner was the bubbles in a bubble bath. From a portrayal of a bearded lady to someone who opened a champagne bottle with a sword and poured it on their belly, “Madness and Mayhem” made sure to include many oddities.

“What art is for me, it’s an unending dynamic of color,” said Isis Lee, who performed as Christy Vanity.

“When I was a little girl, the first time I heard music,–and I remember this moment,–my world was black and white and all of a sudden, smash, it was color.”

Monday Night Jammie Jam performers pose for a final round of applause as their “Madness and Mayhem” show comes to a close at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin, Texas, on April 1, 2024. (Julia Mahavier/Reporting Texas TV)

Friends and family members rolled up dollar bills and threw them on stage as if throwing roses, cheering in support for the variety of talent.

Nathan Rodriguez attended to see a friend balance on glass bottles on her birthday.

“You know these have taken so much time and effort through the years to put into each crowd ‘cause it’s not like they’ve just done it like once or twice, they’ve been doing this for years. So it’s like very excellent,” Rodriguez said.

Organizers wanted Monday Night Jammie Jam to be a casual and welcoming event with low pressure, hence the decision to host it on a Monday nights at a coffee shop.

Attendees sometimes come in pajamas. Cravings said the focus for people is now more about exposure to art and the fun to be had.

“My motto as an artist is freedom in art, freedom in music and I am the starving artist that feeds the people, so for me I don’t do this for money. I don’t do this for recognition,” Lee said.

She pointed to the stage and said, “Up here, I’m breathing. This is where I breathe.

Monday Night Jammie Jam welcomes artists at all stages. The next show, “It’s Gonna Be May,” will be May 6 and will showcase music from the boy bands and girl groups of the ‘90s, ‘00s and beyond. Applications are available here.

“Burlesque is my lifeline, no matter what I’m going through in life I can just transmute that energy into something chaotic and creative,” said Savannah Andie, whose stage name is Foxxy Lane LeFevre.

If you’re interested in joining the Austin burlesque community, which Cravings said contains 650 members, visit and follow Austin Burlesque on Facebook.