Stripping Our Way To The Truth: X-Files Burlesque

This blog post is the love note I wrote for the program of The Burl-X-Files: The Truth Is Down There, a burlesque parody of The X-Files that happened on January 14-16 at Seattle’s Theatre Off Jackson.

Images from Jules Doyle and Heather Schofner.

All things return.


In 2013, I did a really strange thing. I produced a burlesque show inspired by The X-Files. I was simply exorcising my fan demons, finding ways to incorporate my passion for burlesque, theater, science fiction, and participatory fandom into one naughty little package. I had wondered, “If we build it, will they come?”

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I honestly didn’t realize it would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the premiere. Or, that San Diego Comic-Con would host a cast reunion. There was something spooky in the air. It was as if everything I felt about The X-Files started manifesting itself in the real world.

The momentum kept going. First rumors. Then an announcement this last Spring that the show would be returning. Then there was screaming. Then rejoicing. Did we thrust it into being with burlesque? It felt as if stripping our fandom to the stars, or to anyone who would listen, was the magic needed to make the show return to television. Like Mulder, I wanted to believe.

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I love The X-Files because it is a part of me. It’s my memories of learning to be an adult. It built my longest friendships. It disappoints me. It gives me faith.

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It’s not on a pedestal. It’s more like a virus. Something that will always be in my blood, for better or worse, mutating my brain to create awful wonderful things.

This show is a bit of a lark. It’s putting our favorite characters into our own stories.


FOX owns these characters. But, in a way, so do I. So do you. When the fix is in, when the sky is falling, when it’s the shit-storm of all time, I want Mulder and Scully on my side, stripping their way to the truth.

Sincerely, Jo Jo Stiletto / Executive Producer of The Burl-X-Files



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