Satan’s Angel performs at the Queen’s on Friday, Nov. 2. (Photo courtesy Brian Smith)

B.C. burlesque veteran Satan’s Angel to retire after 50+ years

Septuagenarian performer still uses same flaming tassels from 1962

It’s been more than 50 years since Angel Cecilia Walker first strode into a San Fransisco nightclub, introduced herself as “Satan’s Angel” and asked for a job as an exotic dancer.

“I came early and there was nobody there but this old broad…” Walker said. “She goes, ‘So what do you do?’ I said, ‘Well, I’m a tassel twirler.’ She goes, ‘Oh boy, not another tassel twirler’ and I go, ‘Hey, I twirl five at one time.’”

Still unimpressed, the woman at the club made a suggestion that would ignite Walker’s decades-long career as “the Devil’s own Mistress”: “Why don’t you set those puppies on fire?”

From there Walker and her seamstress got to work on a set of patented flaming tassels. That was in the early 1960s. At age 74, Walker still uses those same tassels, but on Nov. 2 they will be extinguished for good after she performs her last show as Satan’s Angel at the Queen’s in Nanaimo. The evening will also include routines by members of Vancouver’s Lost Girls Burlesque and Nanaimo’s Sweet Tooth Burlesque Revue.

Although Walker’s come out of retirement more than once, she insists that this time it’s for real.

“I have bone diseases, so my joints sometimes bother me a lot and so I’ve just gotten to the point where this will be my last,” she said. “I just can’t do it any more. It’s too much for me. I’ve been going it for five and a half decades. I’m done as a piece of toast.”

Walker said she’ll miss performing her burlesque routines, although she plans to continue making appearances in films and music videos. She said she’s unsure what the future holds for an ex-stripper.

“I love all the attention you get and it makes your ego feel good and makes you feel like you really produce and gave them something and you really entertained them. I’m going to miss a lot of that, oh yeah,” she said. “I mean, I don’t even know how I’m even going to get a part-time job. I mean, what do you put down on your resume? Fifty-two years as a stripper?”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man spotted with shotgun in East Trail leads to weapons discovery

RCMP recover numerous weapons and stolen items after search on Fifth Ave.

Skier caught in backcountry avalanche near Rossland

‘The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did,’ says Rossland rescue spokesperson

Gas leak near schools prompts evacuations

The leak on Highway 3 through Grand Forks was reported just before 11 a.m.

Kootenays unemployment rate best in B.C.

In one year, the region has gone from highest unemployment rate to lowest, at 3.1 per cent

Wet, mild December held few surprises for forecasters

While precipitation was normal, mild temperatures meant little fell as snow

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Theresa May wins no-confidence vote after Brexit deal rejection

UK PM can keep her job, after House of Commons voted 325-306

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

SPCA seeks help for Shelby the dog

Cranbrook branch seeks help with costs for a Shih Tzu suffering from a number of medical issues.

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external committee

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Most Read