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

VIDEO: Lake Cowichan’s new town council sworn in at impressive ceremony Nov. 6

Mayor Rod Peters addresses the community for the first time in his new position

Just one fresh face for Cowichan Valley school board

Cathy Schmidt, who opted not to run again, has been replaced by… Continue reading

Business notes: Sidewalk celebration deemed a success

Approximately 26 stores in the downtown core took part

Brentwood boys finish 13th at provincial XC meet

Keaton Heisterman 12th overall to lead Brentwood

UPDATED: Malahat point-to-point cameras receive strong support, public survey shows

The survey was conducted by the CRD safety commission this past February and March

People flocking to Cowichan Bay to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over the floating breakwater

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh weighs in on Vancouver Island fishing ban

Singh and MacGregor say improving salmon abundance is important

Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at B.C. naval base

Report of Oct. 5 sexual assault on Vancouver Island base taken over by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Most Read