Bettina May has been a pin-up model and burlesque performer since 2003, starting her career as a model for SuicideGirls.com. She was featured on an HBO special on the rebirth of Modern Pin-up shortly thereafter, which introduced her to an international audience. Since then she has performed internationally on stages in Paris, London, Berlin, Rome and more, as well as touring nationally constantly for the past 6 years. In the autumn of 2012 she was awarded the first ever green card from the USA based on her outstanding ability in burlesque and pin-up modeling.
Her stunningly authentic classic burlesque performance has been featured on The Real Housewives of NYC, and she has also performed for Brooke Shields, Bob Saget, Kanye West, Jude Law, and she was in the "Shake Your Blood" Probot music video featuring Dave Grohl and Lemmy Kilmister. She is also an in-demand performer for corporate clients like Patron, Dos Equis, Harley Davidson and MTV.
She frequently appears as an expert of vintage style in The New York Times Style Section, is a model for Secrets In Lace Lingerie, and has been profiled in the New York Post, UK Daily Mail, NY Daily News, Toronto Star, Italian Elle, and Portuguese Vogue. She currently performs and models full-time in NYC.
Bettina has received a number of awards for her innovative yet classic dance style, earning the title "Most Energetic Dancer (Female)" in the 2003 local Monday Magazine arts awards show and in 2006 she was again recognized by Monday Magazine readers, being awarded "Favourite Dancer." Most recently Victoria's Times-Colonist daily paper named her "Most Fashionable Woman" of 2008. She won a coveted Golden Pastie award for Miss Congeniality at the 2011 New York Burlesque Festival, for "the performer who is always a lady on and off stage", which made her mother very proud, and in 2012 she won another Golden Pastie for being a Classic Pin-Up.
She has performed at burlesque festivals in St. Louis, Toronto, Dallas, New Orleans, New York City and Vancouver, and has lent her talents to a wide variety of benefit shows, including the 2006 Miss Exotic World Show in Las Vegas, as well as benefits for New Orleans musicians after Hurricane Katrina and has modeled for PETA's anti-fur campaign.
She is also a much sought-after pin-up photographer and vintage stylist, putting her love of vintage style to good use as a consultant for period films and running her successful pin-up makeover classes, which she styles and shoots herself. She has been teaching classes since 2006, bringing her unique body-positive full-day experience to Canada, the US and Europe. Her class has appeared nationally on NBC's First Look and has been profiled in the NY Times and Greenpoint Gazette.
Not content to limit her talents to the stage, she founded a male pin-up magazine called An Occasional Man, which she ran from April 2008 - July 2009, but her hectic touring schedule demanded that she put the print magazine aside, though it still exists online. She also ran a successful vintage-style glamour accessory company, Coquette Faux Furriers, outfitting the likes of Bernie Dexter, Dita Von Teese and Kitten DeVille.
Brooke Shields & Bettina
Lemmy and Bettina