By day, Adam Mundy is a 26-year-old analytical chemist.
But by night, he transforms into Jimmy â€œFast-Fingersâ€ Gibson, a former insurance salesman and drifter who became an emcee at a burlesque revue after finding a business card featuring one of the dancers while perusing another manâ€™s billfold.
â€œMen gave [Fast-Fingers] his name because he stole from them. Ladies gave him that name because they love him,â€ Mundy said.
And at Avogadroâ€™s Number on Saturday at 8 p.m., â€œFast-Fingersâ€ will be emceeing for Fort Collinsâ€™ own Cupcake Cabaretâ€™s special Valentineâ€™s Day-themed show.
â€œThe reason I do this? Well, how can you blame me?â€ Mundy, in the special Southern twang he reserves for his â€œFast-Fingersâ€ character, said. â€œI love my job. Iâ€™m surrounded by gorgeous women in various states of undress.â€
Burlesque, according to Cupcake Cabaret co-founder and Mundyâ€™s wife Julia DiVerdi, is something that a lot of people have quite a few misconceptions about.
â€œSome people think that all we do is strip,â€ DiVerdi said. â€œThatâ€™s actually far from the case. We practice the art of striptease, but burlesque is a lot more tongue-in-cheek. Thereâ€™s singing, thereâ€™s dancing and thereâ€™s a lot of jokes.â€
Cupcake Cabaret came about three years ago, when DiVerdi and her friend Allison Ahlm were watching a burlesque show in Denver.
The two of them, who both had backgrounds in performing, decided to bring burlesque to Fort Collins, a venture that ultimately led to the Cupcake Cabaret Revue, and a corresponding series of burlesque-oriented classes.
There are currently five dancers in the Cabaret, including DiVerdi and Ahlm. Like Mundy, the dancers all take on different personas on-stage.
DiVerdi is Lola Begonia, a former belly dancer who, after tragically losing her sister in a cobra accident, used her wiggling skills to excel as a burlesque dancer. The name Lola Begonia, according to DiVerdi, comes from pet names she calls her cat.
And Ahlm is Holly deLite, a southern belle and former pageant girl who took up burlesque after a trip to France. The name Holly deLite is a play on Holly Golightly from â€œBreakfast at Tiffanyâ€™s.â€
â€œBurlesque is kind of something thatâ€™s every girlâ€™s dream. You get to be glamorous. Every girl wishes she had a closet full of rhinestone and stilettos,â€ DiVerdi said. â€œThatâ€™s part of what draws people to us.â€
Cupcake Cabaret has sold out its prior few shows at Avoâ€™s, according to DiVerdi, and the packed audiences usually consist of lots of women and couples.
â€œItâ€™s not just single men!â€ DiVerdi said.
The dancers choreograph their own dances and also design their own costumes.
â€œFor me, the more feathers Iâ€™m wearing, the better,â€ Ahlm said. â€œ… Itâ€™s really invigorating for me to be on stage, doing what I love.â€
Mundyâ€™s outfit consists of typical vaudeville wear, something that he said compliments the many elements of his character, who, on top of participating in a few numbers, tells jokes between songs and insults the audience members.
â€œFast-Fingersâ€ even has one act that involves smelling underwear.
â€œOur emcee, Adam, is pretty funny,â€ Ahlm said.
His path to burlesque was a little different from the female dancers in the group. It started when his then-girlfriend DiVerdi saw him performing with his Fort Collins heavy metal band. She persuaded him to participate in a few shows, and the rest, he said, is history.
â€œWith Julia, I know that in all honesty, burlesque came first, and I came along after the fact,â€ Mundy said.
Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: La Vie En Cupcake! Cupcake Cabaret Burlesque Performance
Where: Avogadroâ€™s Number
When: Saturday at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Who: Cupcake Cabaret
Tickets are $15