Internationally-renowned artstar (and reigning Cheese Queen of Coney Island) Nasty Canasta is frequently hailed as a genius of the neo-burlesque scene. A "burlesque queen" (The NY Times), 2nd Runner Up at the 2010 Miss Exotic World Pageant, and "Brooklyn's greatest burlesque star" (The Brooklyn Paper), Nasty was host and producer of Naked Girls Reading NYC - "New York's Best Story Hour," (The Village Voice) - and the impresario behind Sweet & Nasty Burlesque and Pinchbottom Burlesque ("Best Burlesque in NYC" - NY Magazine, "Most Innovative" - Burlesque Hall of Fame). She is the winner of 8 Golden Pastie Awards from the New York Burlesque Festival, from "Hottest Freshman" in 2005 to "Performer With The Least Amount Of Fucks To Give" in 2016. In 2015 she was honored as a "Legend of Nerdlesque" by the New York Nerdlesque Festival.
Nasty began her performance career as a stage actor, studying theatre and costume design at Brown University. In 2004 - after too many years of horribly embarrassing (though, fortunately, horribly-attended) off-off-off-Broadway shows - she discovered her true calling on the burlesque stage.
Now a full-time burlesque performer, producer and costumer, Nasty draws on her years of experience in the theatre to create acts and shows that combine tease and titillation, humor, spectacle and theatricality. She wrote and produced The Case of The Falling Starlet and The Speakeasy Stiff (burlesque radio murder mystery plays for the stage), has written and directed KONG, Stripper Macbeth, The Thing With 10,000 Pasties, A 70's Christmas Carol, and co-stars in Chris Harder's Nasty Drew And That Harder Boy mysteries. She toured eastern Canada with the Towers of Tease in the summer of 2016, and hosted the 2017 and 2018 Nerdlesque Festival in New York City, the 2017 Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, and the 2018 Show-Me Burlesque Festival in St Louis, MO. In addition to her burlesque performances, she teaches private and group classes, writes Showgirl Detritus - a blog about performing, producing & creating - and spent the summer of 2010 as a snake charmer and contortionist with the world-famous Coney Island Circus Sideshow in Brooklyn, NY.
Nasty is best known for her 'burlesques on burlesque:' subtle and surprising twists on classic striptease such as her car-alarm fan dance, her "Unknown Stripper" act, and her award-winning ecdysiastical tribute to Dorian Gray, "The Portrait." Equally at home with classic tease and contemporary pop culture, her numbers range from the sublime to the silly, and have been a favorite with audiences around the world.
Nasty has appeared with The Nerdlesque Festival (host & headliner), Alternatease Boston (headliner), The Montreal Bagel Burlesque Expo (headliner), The Show-Me Burlesque Festival (headliner & host), Asheville's Geektastic / Burlesque! Burlesque! Burlesque! Pageant (headliner), The Vancouver Burlesque Festival (host & featured performer), The Texas Burlesque Festival (featured performer), The San Antonio Burlesque Festival (featured performer), Tease-O-Rama, The New York Burlesque Festival, The Brooklyn Burlesque Blitz (co-producer), The Burlesque Hall of Fame Exotic World Pageant, The Toronto Burlesque Festival, The London Burlesque Festival, The Minneapolis Burlesque Festival, Toil & Trouble Productions, The Purrrlesque Follies, Divers-I-Tease,Kitty Nights (NYC, Toronto & Vancouver) and more.
Awards include Miss Exotic World, 2nd Runner Up (2010) and Most Innovative (2007) at The Burlesque Hall Of Fame (Las Vegas); Legend of Nerdlesque at The 2015 Nerdlesque Festival, Most Comedic (2006) at The Boston Burlesque Expo, and eight Golden Pastie Awards from The New York Burlesque Festival (2005-2016). She was included in 21st Century Burlesque's Top 50 Performers in 2010, 2013 and 2014, and her writing has been featured in Berlesker Magazine and on 21stcenturyburlesque.com.
Additionally, she has lectured at Seattle BurlyCon, The Boston Burlesque Expo and The Purrrlesque Follies, has taught with The New York School Of Burlesque, Delinquent Debutantes (Nashville), the Toronto School Of Burlesque, the Vancouver Burlesque Centre, in Washington DC and Colorado Springs, and was a guest professor with Sugar Shack South (Richmond, VA).
# 24. Nasty Canasta
"Whether she’s abusing (plastic) babies or clenching a waffle cone between her buttocks, you are guaranteed an unpredictable, unforgettable ride with Nasty Canasta. 2014 was no different."
It Was Boobies Killed The Beast - by Arya Ponto artboiled.com
"... Nasty (who took her stage name from the old Looney Tunes character, thus giving you an idea of what she’s all about) is famous for the comic book and sci-fi references she’d drop into her performances ... As entertaining as that can be, what I prefer ... is that the references are bluntly stated, but never feel pandering ... I’ve seen Nasty do a number as a Cyberman from Doctor Who, but even for those who don’t recognize the theme song she’s stripping to, it’s still a showstopping grinder girl act where this half-girl-half-robot takes an angle grinder to her metal corset and sends giant sparks to the crowd. Similarly, her sultry Poison Ivy act can be enjoyed independently as just a redhead whose fondness of vines has turned ribald, but obviously extra rewarding for the Batman fans who are familiar with the character’s history"
Girlesque '13: The Main Event - by Photolena burlesquebeat.com
"You know you’re going to get something unique when Nasty Canasta takes the stage, and she really blew it out of the crazy water this time around. With R Kelly’s “Pregnant” playing softly in the background, she came out in a slinky outfit with a baby strapped to her chest. Girl you make me wanna get you pregnant… and she slipped out of her dress… put them pills on chill and give me a baby… then pulled off her glove using her gorgeous behind (I know you’re trying to picture that right now)… oh girl I’m gonna take care of you… filled her baby’s bottle with champagne for feeding time…lay your body down and get you pregnant… and somehow managed to slink out of the rest of her outfit without disturbing her baby. Now that’s talent."
If You Wanna Bump It ... Gotham Burlesque at The Triad NYC - by Trish Vignola
"... The star of May’s show for me was most definitely Miss Nasty Canasta. (I’m assuming that she’s a Miss, because I didn’t see a wedding ring and I could see everything.) This throw back to Sally Rand did a fan dance to the tune of every New Yorker’s favorite thing – the incessant car alarm. Her timing and surprise ending easily made her the funniest moment of the evening. I sincerely hope that Beeber has her in future line-ups."
# 22. Nasty Canasta
"It is widely agreed that Nasty is one of the most innovative and frankly ingenious neo-burlesque performers of today. Thanks to her 'Unknown Stripper' routine, we can safely say we will never think of Groucho Marx in the same way ever again. Ever. She is bold, she is unique, and thoroughly deserves her place in the Top 50 again this year."
The New York Times - by Neil Genzlinger
"Even Mr. Durang doesn't dismember Dickens as much as the clothing-optional folks do in 'Filthy Lucre: A Burlesque Christmas Carol' at Walkerspace in TriBeCa. The burlesque queen Nasty Canasta ... makes perhaps the loveliest and certainly the nudest Scrooge in history as, aided by the ghosts of burlesque past, present and future, she considers whether she has a higher calling than running a mere strip club."
Grotesque Burlesque: The Geeky One - by Denise Stanborough
Bizarre Magazine (UK)
To describe yourself as a "schizophrenic performer" means you must have something pretty special in your bag of tricks - and Nasty Canasta certainly has. "I do a classic ostrich feather fan dance to a loop of car alarms, a tiki idol dance where I wear a gigantic mask and a grass skirt and an act to the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey where Dave is destroying HAL the computer," she says.
Inspired by pop culture and film, Nasty takes well-known characters and brings them to life. "I do numbers as Doctor Who and Flash Gordon," she says. "I'm a tremendous geek, so I make a lot of references to science fiction." She also plays with the traditional format by dancing with a large electric fan instead of the pretty handheld one. "I'm simply drawn to humour and the stranger side of things. Any art form has to change to grow."