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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Rainer Meat Cutting continues family tradition

Finding a new role in the days of COVID-19

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read