Hi - Mel Rey here - longtime friend and manager of Fifi and Bibi Poubelle. So you're interested in working with the Poubelle Twins. Good for you! Please read on to see if we can't make that happen.
know the Poubelle Twins as the French Maids from the Velvet Hammer Burlesque
revue, or perhaps as wrestlers from Lucha Va VOOM. Or maybe you've caught
a glimpse of them in Devo's "What We Do" video, on Blind Date, The Chicas Project, The Treasures of
Long Gone John documentary, 9 on the Town, Weird TV or any number of news
segments. Or maybe you've seen them go-go dance with the Tulsa Skull Swingers,
perform in the Rudy Casoni Show, do burlesque numbers for Bricktops, Kubrilesque
or Club Schmutzig, or even open for Greenday. Or perhaps you've seen photos
of them in Luchas 2000, The Velvet Hammer Burlesque book or the LA Weekly.
Or maybe you just saw their profile on Model Mayhem. Wow, I guess they've
been working for a long time, with a lot of different people in a range
of media. You could say they kinda got some experience in this game.
|* No-Pro Joe. Sometimes a newbie,
sometimes just clueless, the one enduring talent of a NPJ is the ability
to waste the Poubelles' time. Can be high strung, combative, insisting on
too many email exchanges or perhaps none at all! Will they stay on hold
while you finish your sandwich, Mr. Canadian show promoter who demanded
they call you long-distance at exactly this time? Will they spend eight
hours on set in full make-up and costume so you can run out of time before
you get to them? Will they take your phone call - twenty minutes after your agreed meeting time - to give you directions to their location? The answer to these questions has been yes - but it won't
* No-Show / Slow-Show Joe. Crappier cousin to NPJ; self-explanatory.
* Passive-Aggressive Pat (or Patricia), who will attempt to guilt Poubelles into inconvenient/impossible scheduling, often for deadline-free/salary-free projects. You changed your whole schedule so they could drive forty minutes to meet you, and now you're getting snippy that they can't make it? But why didn't you just ask if they were available in the first place? You may not know this, but the Poubelles are career gals who are often engaged upwards of nine hours a day in professional, cash-money earning jobs. As much as they'd like to discuss your project, it will very unlikely be during regular business hours. That's why they give you the gift of their nights and weekends, so please - don't blow it!
* The Preemptive Lecturer. Will let Poubelles know, ad nauseam and without provocation, that they can't stand flakes, unprofessionals, and other such people they apparently attract in droves with their awesome personalities. Bonus points when said Lecturer is late to own appointment with Poubelles (the Poubelles loved meeting your girlfriend, but did they really have to spend a hour on your couch small talking with her as they waited for you to turn up?) Usually turns out to be a No-Pro Joe (see above).
|And while we're on a "P" kick:|
Phrench Maid Phreak. Don't get them wrong, they love their French
Maid personas, and they love their custom-made, John Willie-inspired dresses.
They love them so much that in the past, they've worn them on probably
close to a hundred occasions, for live shows, print, film and TV. That
said, nowadays, they have little to no desire to bust them out unless
it's a very good reason. Their beloved friend Long Gone John asking them
to dust his office for the opening of his documentary - good reason. Anything
less than that, you'll need to make a very strong case. Ask yourself this
question: will my project be pretty much the same if I stick my girlfriend
in a $25.99 costume and use her instead? If the answer is "yes",
the Poubelles are not for you, my friend.
|There's also this guy:|
|* Mr. I-haven't-really-looked-at-any-of-your-prior-work-or-know-anything-about-you-because-for-some-reason-I-think-you'll-pose-for-me-nude.|
|A brief note about dough:|
|* You might be curious as to whether or not these lovely ladies would like to take part in your project sans fee. Generally speaking, a couple of great photographs is a worthy exchange for a few hours of their modeling time. I can't say the same applies to projects of the filmed variety, though, and here's why. Through their vast experience, Las Poubelles have discovered that projects without funds to pay performers are usually projects without funds to be completed. Meaning a day or two of their precious time will amount to exactly nothing if they never get a copy of the final film. I'm not going to call out offenders; you know who you are. These girls don't demand scale, just make them an offer to show you're serious. Same goes for live performances.|
So, those are a few of their least favorite things. "Oh, those Poubelles! So negative! Haven't they had any good experiences!" Why yes - in fact, they've had many more terrific experiences than bad. Numerous times they've turned to one another at the end of a project to marvel at how such wonderful people have made their way into the their lives -- certainly more times than I can list. But here are a few:
* Filmmaker John Roecker seeing them perform a crazy twin dance at Club Screwball and asking if they'd like to do a little opening performance for Greenday for his documentary. They kinda smiled when they exchanged info, but a few months later he called with a date and time for them to show up and yeah, they sang at a sold out Greenday show. They even got paid.
* Meeting photographer Robin Perine backstage at a Lucha VaVOOM show and posing for her, then asking if she'd give them some copies. Four months later, at the next show, when she asked them to pose for her again, they were like, "Uh, okay, but they never saw copies of the first time!" And she was all, "Okay, I understand" and she did something very few live-shot photographers have done - she made sure she got them copies. And they were f-in' amazing! They then asked her if she'd photograph them for their calendar - the only nudish photo they've ever done. They had come to trust her that much.
Crystal Swarovski asking them to do her Kubrilesque show. They happily
agreed to do an act as the Grady Twins from the Shining. As the date neared,
however, they found themselves inundated with their aforementioned work,
precluding them from putting together the tightly rehearsed dance number
they'd planned on doing. Not wanting to show up without their best, but
also conscious of their commitment, they went ahead with purchasing the
outfits, hand-glittering prop axes, etc. Instead of dancing, they did
something they haven't done for years: they picked up the clothing between
acts. Like the French Maids of Velvet Hammer, the Gradys were a nice little
tie-together for the show, and by the second performance a month later,
they had their actual number down. How's that for Yes-Pro Janes?!
You might notice some themes above. People are cool, goals are made and accomplished, misunderstandings are ironed out, commitments are honored. That's how they work. So now you know. If you read the above and were mortally offended, you might wanna save each other some time. Otherwise, they can hardly wait for your email.
All the best,