Pleasant Gehman

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Pleasant Gehman
Gehman as Estelle in Firecracker.
Born (1959-03-17) March 17, 1959 (age 58)
Residence Hollywood, California, United States
Other names Princess Farhana
Occupation Author, writer, poet, actress, dancer, musician
Years active Late 1970s–present

Pleasant Gehman (born March 17, 1959) is an author, writer, poet, actress, dancer and musician from Los Angeles.


In the 1980s, she was the singer for the punk rock band Screamin' Sirens, and later, The Ringling Sisters and Honk If Yer Horny.

Her articles on rock 'n' roll, American pop culture, sex, the arts and human interest have appeared in L.A. Weekly,[1] The Los Angeles Reader, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, BAM,[2] Spin,[citation needed] and Genre.[citation needed] Her poetry, essays and short stories have been widely anthologized in a number of literary journals[which?] and collections and she has written and edited a number of books, including Showgirl Confidential, The Belly Dance Handbook, Senorita Sin, Princess of Hollywood, Escape From Houdini Mountain and The Underground Guide to Los Angeles.[3]

The Village Voice called her writing "... startling; full of passion",[this quote needs a citation] USA Today described it as "A wildly fascinating walk on the wild side!"[this quote needs a citation] while Ray Gun raved: "…tough and tender, with a trademark air of seen-it-all innocence that makes it glow".[this quote needs a citation]

In 1994, she recorded a collection of her poetry and spoken-word routines entitled Ruined.[4] Among the venues where she has performed spoken-word pieces include The Unhappy Hour at the Parlour Club.[5]

A professional belly dancer since 1991, and a burlesque performer since 1995, she was a seminal member of America's premiere burlesque troupe, "The Velvet Hammer", and appears in the 2001 documentary film The Velvet Hammer Burlesque. She co-starred in Margaret Cho's Off-Broadway variety show, The Sensuous Woman, in 2007[citation needed] and again shared the stage with Cho in a 2012 Victory Variety Hour performance.[6] Gehman has appeared dancing and acting in many films, television shows (including the sitcom The Nanny[citation needed]) documentaries on punk rock, belly dance and exotic dance and music videos both under her own name and under her stage name, Princess Farhana.

Her music video credits include work with Madonna and Ricky Martin.[citation needed] In 1989, she co-wrote and starred in MGM's film The Runnin' Kind,[citation needed] and also appeared as Estelle in Steve Balderson's film Firecracker.[7] In 2007 she acted as assistant choreographer to Fatima Robinson, for the belly dance sequence in Charlie Wilson's War.[citation needed]

Under the name Princess Farhana, she has released a series of seventeen belly dance and burlesque instructional and performance DVDs.[citation needed] She is the author of "The Belly Dance Handbook: A Companion For The Serious Dancer" ( 2014) In 2006, she recorded the lead vocal for Blacklight Sleaze with British house music duo Peace Division, which entered the UK music charts.[citation needed]

In April 2009, Pleasant reunited with cult director Steve Balderson for Stuck! - an homage to film noir women in prison dramas. Co-starring Karen Black, Mink Stole, Susan Traylor, and The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin, Stuck! was filmed in Macon, Georgia and released in 2010.[8] She continued to work with Balderson on many more films, including "The Casserole Club" (2010) "Culture Shock"(2012) "Occupying Ed" (2014) and "Helltown" (2015)


Underbelly is an acclaimed[citation needed] year-in-the-life documentary of Pleasant Gehman (aka Princess Farhana). Through a fortuitous chance meeting at the age of thirty-two, Pleasant discovered belly dancing. After years of punk rock rebellion, debauched cross-country indie-band tours, substance abuse, low self-esteem and bulimia, this twist of fate literally changed her life. Embarking on a dance career after training with well-known American dancers such as Zahra Zuhair and famed Egyptian dancers such as Raqia Hassan, she reinvented herself as Princess Farhana, and became an international belly dance star.[citation needed]

Filming for Underbelly began in November 2006 at Tribal Dreams in Lincoln, Nebraska, and continued throughout all of 2007—in Sebastopol for Tribal Fest 7, to the Mexican Riviera for the Sun Bellies belly dance cruise, in New York for Margaret Cho's off Broadway hit The Sensuous Woman, to Hollywood, California - where Pleasant was given a commendation from the City of Los Angeles for her years of artistic contribution.[citation needed]

The World Premieres were held in London and at the Boston Underground Film Festival in March 2008.[citation needed]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Vladik Cervantes (2003). "PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAE - AN INTERVIEW WITH PLEASANT GEHMAN". 3am Interview. 3 AM Magazine. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Underground Guide to Los Angeles: 3rd Edition"., Inc. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "IRIS BERRY, PLEASANT GEHMAN, S.A. GRIFFIN". Skylight Books. Skylight Books. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lina Lecaro (16 January 2012). "Pervy & Bawdy Burlesque, Margaret Cho Make It Happen In Los Angeles". AfterDark LA. LA Weekly, LP. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Jason (28 March 2008). "Boston Underground Film Festival 2008: Underbelly". Jay's Movie Blog. Jay's Movie Blog. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  8. ^

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