top of page

All About Bettina

Bettina May is a Canadian-born, Las Vegas-based burlesque performer, photographer and pin-up model, the author of Bohemia: Illustrated Tales of Passion, Bohemia Pulp and Everyday Bombshell, the publisher of An Occasional Man magazine, musician, and vintage style consultant. She's currently working on her first full-length novel. In the autumn of 2012 she was awarded the first ever green card from the USA based on her extraordinary ability in the field of burlesque. She started her career in 2003, and since then has performed internationally on stages in Paris, London, Berlin, Rome and more, as well as touring nationally for the past 10 years while she was based in the New York area. Her stunningly authentic classic burlesque performances have been featured on The Real Housewives of NYC, NBC News, CBS's The Couch and she has also performed for Brooke Shields, Joan Baez, Bob Saget, Kanye West, Jude Law, and more. She is an in-demand performer for corporate clients like Patron, Dos Equis, Harley Davidson and MTV. You may also have seen her in the "Shake Your Blood" Probot music video featuring Dave Grohl and Lemmy Kilmister, or on an episode of HBO's RealSex. 

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 Most Classic Pin-Up. Most recently she won her first crown and sash when she earned 2nd Runner Up at the 2017  Kansas City Burlesque Festival.

She has performed at burlesque festivals in Brussels, Kansas City, 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 & 2017 Miss Exotic World Burlesque Hall Of Fame 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 on Fox News.

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 for a time. It resumed in October 2019 and continues in print and 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 May at a private performance in NYC.

Lemmy Kilmister  & Bettina May on set for Probot music video shoot.

Dita Von Teese modeling Bettina's Coquette Faux Furriers designs.

Bettina May at the 2019 relaunch for An Occasional Man Magazine in New York City with burlesque stars (l-r) Grace Gotham, Foxy V and Minx Arcana. Photo: Jane Kratochvil

Bettina May appeared in PETA's anti-fur ad campaign.

bottom of page