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Diamond Dogs Teases Audiences With Male Burlesque

Next show is Dec. 20 at The Merrow

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Ziggy Zig rehearses a strip tease at The Merrow as part of an upcoming Diamond Dogs male burlesque show.

Earlier this week Diamond Dogs held its first ever audition to find new performers for its male burlesque show. Find out what it takes to tease an audience.

Not everyone is comfortable on stage and an even smaller number of people feel comfortable taking their clothes off in front of an audience.

Travis Ti is one of those select few.

"Actually since I was a kid I always wanted to be a stripper," Ti said. "My parents have pictures of me standing in front of the mirror posing naked or running around naked. When they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I said I wanted to be a stripper."

Travis Ti is one of the performers in San Diego’s Diamond Dogs.

"I would describe Diamond Dogs as an all-inclusive 'boylesque' group, which boylesque is basically burlesque, which is the art of striptease, done with boys so we do a lot of different types of acts from hip-hop to very cheeky and comedic-type acts," Ti added.

Boylesque may not be Shakespeare but it speaks a language all its own through the moves of the dancers on stage.

"It’s the art of striping but not being so vulgar," said Marvin Garcia, one of the co-producers of Diamond Dogs. "Tonight we’re going to do our first-ever auditions."

Ziggy Zig is the other producer.

As he spoke with the auditioning Chaad Rockwell, he commented, "Now the pants. I was wondering how you were going to get them off."

Those are the kinds of things that come up at a boylesque audition. And it’s important point.

"For me it is not just about taking off your clothes but how you take off your clothes," Ziggy Zig said. "Anybody can take off their pants but how do you take off your pants creative sensually. How do you bring a different dynamic to how you take off your clothes and I think that is really the art of burlesque."

But sometimes clothes don’t come off the way you planned.

"Honestly you have to roll with the punches, you have to make it part of the act and you can be comical about and I have gone up to audience members and gone, like, 'Can you help me?'" Zig added.

The producers need to determine if the people auditioning will be able to roll with the punches and learn how to work the crowd.

"Just having a burlesque group in San Diego with boys is already different so we are trying to grow it and see where we can take it as big as we can," Zig said.

Currently, Diamond Dogs puts on a show every third Thursday night each month at The Merrow in Hillcrest.

"I am currently the hostess of the show," Barbie Z said. "One of my focuses is to keep the crowd entertained and pumped and ready for the next performer."

For performer Ziggy Zig, it is all about bringing the audience into his world and telling a story through clothing and props.

"Like an umbrella," Zig said as he holds up the prop he just used in rehearsal. "So I like doing dancing in the rain type stuff. So I love suits and using little props like this that I can easily dispose of but still bring a little bit of that visual dynamic to it. As far as burlesque I think it is not about being sexy or sexual but about being sensual. So kind of giving them that little tease but still like letting them know it’s not for you but wait oh yeah it is for you."

Diamond Dogs next show is Dec. 20 at The Merrow and it has a winter wonderland theme.

"Expect a lot of fun, energy, creativity, artistry," Garcia said.

"Scream and hoot and holler because the louder you get the more clothes come off," Travis Ti advised.

If you liked to be teased, Diamond Dogs are ready to do the teasing.

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