As we count down to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, let’s find out more about the eleven talented temptresses competing for Reigning Queen! I have asked each of them about their lives, personalities, preparations and plans, so that those who don’t already know them well can learn a little about them and their work, and those of us who know them better can enjoy their thoughtful and entertaining responses.
Next up – the agile burlesque veteran, Harvest Moon…
If I looked you up in a twinkling, rhinestone covered burlesque dictionary, what would the entry for ‘Harvest Moon’ say?
The sultry siren of burlesque, Harvest Moon is one of the pioneers of the neo-burlesque movement. She started by forming the award winning troupe, The Cantankerous Lollies, and is currently based in NYC as a circus/ burlesque star.
Paint us a little picture of your everyday life and work in New York…
I always have a cup of coffee in the morning. I either spend the day circus training, going to school in Harlem, or spending time with my boyfriend and our two gorgeous cats. I’m also a massage therapist and aerial dance instructor. In the evenings I rhinestone while watching old horror films.
What would you say is your greatest strength?
I’m tenaciously driven.
What has been the highlight or defining moment of your career to date, and also in your life overall?
To date it’s been my month spent in Napoli, Italy performing and spending time with the cast of Cabaret New Burlesque and my boyfriend.
Can you tell me a bit about your chosen act? Why have you chosen it, is it an old trusted act, or a new routine? Have you made any special changes or ‘upgrades’ to it for BHoF?
My chosen act is a silks routine that I picked out because of its uniqueness. I strip, and tassel twirl upside down – kind of unusual. I’m having a new costume made for the act, which I’m thrilled about.
You have competed before. What has previous experience taught you – do you plan to do anything differently this year, or adopt a different approach or attitude?
Yes, I have competed several times before in the pageant. In the past I was a little too nervous. I forgot to relax and get into the tease. It’s an honour to be there with all the rest, and be performing for the legends; I just have to remember to take my time with it all.
Is competing something you enjoy, or that pushes or encourages you to excel?
Absolutely – I was a competitive tennis player in my youth. I actually love the exhilaration of competition. It’s all for entertainment’s sake.
Why is BHoF special and important to you? What are some of your favourite memories from past years?
I have so many, where do I begin? The second time I visited the museum in was in Helendale, and I drove out with the rest of the Cantankerous Lollies, Brian Fisherman, and his orchestra. We had a blast. We camped outside and really took in the desert. I remember diving into the pool after a performance and the first time I watched the legends.
How would you spend your year as Queen – do you have any specific plans or goals if you win?
Yes – I would map out a celebratory tour around the world, spreading the beauty and knowledge of the Burlesque Hall of Fame and the museum.
What are your dreams and hopes for burlesque in the future, and yourself as a part of it?
A national and international network and community that thrives and keeps burlesque alive. Wait – that is happening! A gorgeous theatre in NYC dedicated to a burlesque and vaudeville museum. That would be amazing…
The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.