The Would-Be Queens: 20 Questions with Melody Mangler

The Would-Be Queens: 20 Questions with Melody Mangler

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 captivating Canadian Melody Mangler…

21st Century Burlesque Magazine Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2014 Coverage is sponsored by Fancy Feather.

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Your signature style in three words: Big Sparkly Ham.

Previous BHOF weekend appearances and awards (if any): 2009 Best Debut Winner, 2010 Queen Category,  2011 Queen Category and Best Group Category, 2012 Thursday Showcase and Best Group Category, 2013 Best Duo Category.

The act you will be performing:  A Salem Witch trial piece in which I embrace the fire as opposed to being destroyed by it.

What did you want to be as a kid?

Mermaid Princess.

What is your earliest memory of rebellion?

Breaking out of my car seat and kicking the Caddy into gear… unintentional joyride!

Melody Mangler.  ©BAM Studio
Melody Mangler. ©BAM Studio

If you could pick celebrity parents (alive or dead, any era) who would they be?

John Waters and Joan Jett. I don’t know how they would create me, though…

What is one thing most people do not know about you?

I wrote a full-on fan fiction sequel to Interview with a Vampire when I was thirteen.

What is your guilty pleasure?

The song Moonlight Desires by Gowan.

Is there a rock/music star that influences you? If so, who is it and how do they influence you?

Already mentioned Joan Jett but I’ll do it again. Through all the bullshit, she kept her process about making rock ‘n’ roll, pure and simple.

Melody Mangler in a duet with Lola Frost.  ©Ed Barnas
Melody Mangler in a duet with Lola Frost. ©Ed Barnas

What do you want people to remember most about your performance when you’re dead and gone?

The spark. That first nugget of inspiration that is the catalyst for the entire piece.

What is integral to your creative process in burlesque?

That I always try to surprise people and gave my heart to them.

How long does it take you to get into hair and make up for a show? (Don’t lie, we all know you’re a diva… we all are, darling.)

An hour and a half, or one hour if necessary.

Do you have any traditional pre-show ritual that you do to calm your nerves or bring luck?

Standing on one foot at a time side stage to make sure my legs are ready and to battle the shakes.

Melody Mangler competing for Best Group at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend.  ©POC Photo
Melody Mangler competing for Best Group at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. ©POC Photo

I like to get up to a fair amount of hijinks on the road; what is your favourite tour story?

I love touring and it’s hard to pick a favourite, but ending up in a bathtub with April O’Peel, Spooky DeLune and Neil E. Dee, all in full clown face, is right at the top.

For whom would you like to perform if you could pick anyone, and why?

I’ve already mentioned him as well, but John Waters.  His movies really inspired me early on and I could only hope to do him proud with the amount of comedic obscenity I am putting onstage.

Old school or new school?

New school because you can always use influences from the old school and have the best of both worlds.

What is your competitive strategy?

To not have one, just do the best that I can do and show everyone who I am.

Melody Mangler performing her Best Debut winning routine at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2009.  ©SH Photo
Melody Mangler performing her Best Debut winning routine at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2009. ©SH Photo

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?

 Figuring out how to become my big prop instead of having one, and channeling fire.

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?

Royal Motorboats for everyone!

As Queen, how would you consider using your title to spread the word about The Burlesque Hall of Fame and Museum?

I really enjoyed Indigo Blue’s Queen’s Edict videos; I think using comedy is the easiest way to get a message out. Mine would be a reign of wackiness and keeping the community invested in the Museum and our legends.

Find out all you need to know about the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend here…

Visit Melody Mangler’s website…

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21st Century Burlesque
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.

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