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21 Questions with Maxi Millions

21 Questions with Maxi Millions

Maxi Millions by Bettina May Studios

Since 2013, award winning performer and instructor Maxi Millions has brought her fierce brand of “rock and roll bump ‘n’ grind” to stages all over North America. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Maxi is the creative director and co-founder of Spellbound Burlesque Productions, specialising in intimate shows in the round with special guests from near and far. Here’s her 21.

1. How would you define yourself in three words?

Passionate, analytical, goofy.

2. Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Jennifer Lawrence.

3. What is your biggest strength?


4. What is your biggest weakness?

Spending money.

Maxi Millions by Nader Abushhab_2
Maxi Millions by Nader Abushhab

5. When are you most happy and inspired?

I’m happiest when I focus on creating what I want and contributing in some way to my local industry. I am inspired by many things, especially fashion and film, but I’m also inspired to create acts when I’m working through feelings about what is going on in my life.

6. What is your favourite on-screen burlesque moment from film or TV? 

The entirety of the 1986 classic, Stripper.

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Your job is to entertain the audience and therefore they should be your biggest focus and priority when you step on that stage. The most memorable performances are rooted in your connection and how you make that crowd feel. 

Maxi Millions by Gina Barbara Photography
Maxi Millions by Gina Barbara Photography

8. If you could switch lives with one person for a day, who would it be?

I would trade places with the creative director of Rodarte and then spend the day ‘gifting’ myself the entire FW23 Gothic Fairy collection. 

9. What’s the biggest myth or misconception about burlesque?

The biggest myth about burlesque is that good burlesque only comes from young, commercially marketable cis-women, covered in rhinestones and feathers and dancing to old jazz. I would love to see large productions understand that audiences crave innovation and diversity, and they can book outside of a particular style. 

10. If you could only perform to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hair Street – The Lounge Lizards.

11. What surprisingly useful things do you have in your show case?

Vanilla body spray to add to anything that gets swooshed around, like feathers and panels. Silicone adhesive for pasties/g-strings/merkins is the ONLY thing that has kept me legal during the hot Arizona summers. 

12. Do you have a backstage ritual?

As a producer, my answer is that I clean up and put all my stuff away right after I’ve finished performing.

13. What advice would you give to new performers starting out today?

No one is the all-knowing burlesque oracle, and a good teacher or mentor will always encourage you to learn from and perform with many. They will want to see you thrive and flourish and never make you feel bad about doing so. 

Maxi Millions by 48th & Pixel
Maxi Millions by 48th & Pixel

14. What is your proudest achievement?

Well, being in the 10th year of Spellbound Burlesque Productions feels pretty great! And having the opportunity to compete for Best Debut at BHoF was an unforgettable moment in my career. 

15. What is your biggest regret?

Not understanding that to feel better about my art, I needed to work on feeling better about myself as a person. 

16. What is the biggest challenge facing today’s burlesque scene?

A lot of incredible performers and not enough well-paying, reliable gigs. 

17. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing when you started out in burlesque, what would it be?

Hey, you in the Leg Avenue ruffle panties! Learn how to sew!

Maxi Millions by Nader Abushhab
Maxi Millions by Nader Abushhab

18. What is a cause or issue that’s very important to you?

The right to a safe, affordable abortion for a pregnant person, for any reason

19. What are you currently reading, watching, and listening to?

Around this time every year, I wrap up my annual re-watch of the Lord of the Rings films with my husband. Extended edition, of course. I’m a big fan of podcasts and my current favorites are Maintenance Phase, If Books Could Kill, You Are Good, and You’re Wrong About.

20. If you could share a dressing room with one performer for the rest of your career, who would it be?

I cannot imagine having so much space that we can have just two to a dressing room. Where is this venue? Are they looking for a show? 

21. What would you like your life and career to look like in 10 years time?

I love the shape my burlesque has taken over the past ten years, so I hope that I can continue to curate sold-out shows in unique spaces, perform for people in as many places as possible, and further invest in myself and the creation of acts that bring me joy and feel the most authentic to me.

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