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

Cardiac arrest survivor saved by passerby

People who know CPR can now register with a new phone app to notify them of nearby emergencies

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

The 10-mile diet all in one place

Order local food from the comfort of your couch.

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

LETTER: Concern for fossil fuel subsidies

From reader Marylee Banyard

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Case of bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during salughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland’s retrial in father’s murder

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Most Read