It’s that time of year again when the ten wonderful women selected to compete for Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque face my pre-pageant interview. This year, the contenders were sent twenty questions, composed of a question contributed by each of them and some additional questions from previous Miss Exotic World title-holders. Next up is last year’s 2nd Runner Up title-holder, Lola Frost…
21st Century Burlesque Magazine Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2014 Coverage is sponsored by Fancy Feather.
Your signature style in three words: Smouldering, fierce, anachronistic.
Previous BHoF Weekend appearances (and awards, if any): 2010 – Best Debut and Best Troupe. 2012 – Best Duo. 2013 – Best Duo and Miss Exotic World/Reigning Queen of Burlesque.
The act you will be performing: For Best Duo with Rita Star, ‘Flappers in Crime’, and for Queen, ‘Fancy Flapper’. It’s that kind of year!
What did you want to be as a kid?
Queen of the Jungle.
What is your earliest memory of rebellion?
Wanting and getting Castle Greyskull over the Barbie Dream Home.
If you could pick celebrity parents (alive or dead, any era) who would they be?
Marlene Dietrich and RuPaul.
What is one thing most people do not know about you?
I have matching birthmarks on both my left ‘cheeks’. One on my face, and the other on my booty.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Is there a rock/music star that influences you? If so, who is it and how do they influence you?
Kathleen Hana. As the original Riot Grrrl, she made me feel alive and inspired me to be more than I was. A rebel with a cause.
What is integral to your creative process in burlesque?
Dim lights and the studio floor.
What do you want people to remember most about your performances when you are dead and gone?
That I made them feel like they were the only thing that existed when I looked out at them. That time slowed and stars pulsed, that they were important to me. That in the end, there was only love and fierce generosity.
How long does it take for you to get into hair and makeup for a show? (Don’t lie, we all know you’re a diva… we all are, darling.)
I love an hour. But, I’ll gladly take two. Sassification – it’s a ritual!
Do you have any traditional pre-show ritual that you do to calm your nerves or bring luck?
I keep my hips swivelling, my breath deep, and the Goddesses on close call.
‘I like to get up to a fair amount of hijinks on the road; what is your favourite tour story?’
There are far too many stories, but ritualistically burning my shoes at the end of two months on the road was significant and hilarious.
For whom you would like to perform if you could pick anyone, and why?
I think Vivienne Westwood would dig my style. I would like to seduce her from the stage and hear her (what I would assume to be amazing, raspy, punk rock holler) calling back at me.
Old school or new school?
‘I’m a switch,’ she said with a smile…
What is your competitive strategy?
Follow your truth. Don’t hold back. Rehearse. Love the process.
You’ve imagined yourself performing at the pageant and doing a GREAT show. And then suddenly, they are placing that tiara upon your head. What was it about you, your show and your performance that put you in first place, and how have you been preparing to make that fantasy a reality?
The crown graces my head for being present, committed, and embodying the true spirit of our art form. The preparation for manifesting fantasy to reality has been an in-depth look at what it means to allow oneself to be more than you are. To take on striptease as an art, lifestyle and gospel means embodying it fully; if such a role needs a title, let it be Miss Exotic World.
If you are selected as this year’s Miss Exotic World, what will you try to accomplish to make your mark on the title and how do you plan to distinguish yourself?
A title is a legacy. You are inheriting something that is beyond just yourself. My distinguishing qualities I hope to contribute – aside from the desire to hump as many stages as possible in my lifetime – is the overwhelming need to share our artistic process with the world. The sex, the glamour, the validity, the magnitude of prowess, of discovery of the self – both on and off stage. I want to contribute an artistic voice thick with seduction and realism based in an understanding of where we come from and a need to see it excel to the future. Did I mention the stage humping?
As Queen, how would you consider using your title to spread the word about The Burlesque Hall of Fame and Museum?
Media darling styles! Having a title means access to using the channels of communication and connection we as a community have been developing over the past years. I long to showcase, personify and amplify the already strong message of the burlesque arts by speaking, writing, educating and sharing our culture to more than just our community. The understanding and acceptance in the value of our culture is vastly important to bringing the art over ground and furthering the integrity of the unique world we belong to. I’m going to give my TED Talk in a crown…
About Fancy Feather
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.