Meet Our New Pop Culture Columnist: The World’s Nerdiest Showgirl

"Huntress Thompson" with Troy Little.

“Huntress Thompson” with Troy Little.

I read on the Internet recently “the best thing about writing is cleaning your whole apartment.” On a related note, I’d like to welcome you to my column from my spotlessly clean apartment. My name is Charlie Starling, and this is The Most Fabulous Thing.

Shall we begin with a disclaimer? To my mind, “fabulous” covers more than your run-of-the-mill sparkle and fluff. Please don’t misunderstand: I love me some sparkle and fluff. I’m a burlesque artist: our currency is Swarovski. That’s my day job, however; I’m also an endlessly enthused citizen of the Nerdverse with the habit of throwing myself headfirst into my life with the utmost commitment to fun, geekery, and costuming.

For me, “fabulous” is going to the movies dressed as your favorite character, or in a Disney Bound-esque nod to what you’re watching. (If you’ve never heard of Disney Bound, fear not. I’ll explain it in future columns.) Fabulous is cultivating your own Star Wars cast by adopting a Wookiee-like dog and naming him Chewbacca. (He keeps company with my kitty, Mara Jade Skywalker.) Fabulous is decorating your home almost exclusively in Doctor Who and Lego decor, while still managing to make it look like an adult lives there. Fabulous is making a hat out of the bird you named yourself for and wearing it to the theater, along with a formal dress and faux fur, for a Sunday matinee.

And, sure, it’s also about sticking rhinestones on just about everything you own.

I guess if I were younger (or an asshole), I’d say YOLO. Or if I were the kind of lass to stand on desks in classrooms full of rich white boys, “Carpe Diem.” But I’m not one of those things. I’m a pop-culture vulture who likes getting naked and living fabulously, and I’ll write my own damn catchphrase, thank you.

Who am I, then? I’m your humble Bubble Girl. You can see me in Absinthe at Caesars Palace five nights a week, standing on my toes and shaking my parts in and around a giant balloon. I’m also a model, a burgeoning member of Vegas’ burlesque community and a writer for I love booze. Bars are my favorite places. I won’t, however, be waxing liquor-ical for Seven. (That said, allow me to get something off my chest before we continue: Golden Tiki, Golden Tiki, Golden Tiki.)

I’m an English transplant. I grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne. Yes, the Newcastle with the beer—although they moved the brewery from its original home, just over the road from Newcastle United’s home stadium, to the Heineken brewery in North Yorkshire. (Bastards.) Where was I? Oh yeah, London!  I moved to London at age 18 with the rest of the wide-eyed stage school kids and lived there, on and off, until I crossed the Atlantic last summer.

I landed the bubble job through the legendary Julie Atlas Muz, who you can learn about by visiting the Burlesque Hall of Fame in Downtown. She’s the genius behind the bubble act, and it won her the title of Miss Exotic World in 2006. We worked together in London, and she recommended me to the producers of Absinthe. The day I stop saying thanks for that is the day I don’t deserve to be here, so thanks, Julie.

My column, aside from being my new motivation to clean everything, will be a biweekly record of my day-to-day, my attendance of local events and conventions and generally doing the most fabulous thing. Crafts! Costumes! Comedy! If you want a pop culture perspective from the girl who dressed as “Huntress Thompson” to attend the book signing of Troy Little’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas graphic novel—completing the ensemble with a typewriter purse—then I’m your girl.

Do come again. I’ll be here, trying to figure out the best way to meld the words ‘nerd’ and ‘fabulous’. Nerdulous. Fabnerdous. Fabunerd. A little help?

See Charlie Starling in Absinthe, twice nightly in the Spiegeltent at Caesars Palace, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Visit for tickets and information.



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