Interviews

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Burlesque Interviews with the biggest and brightest names in burlesque and cabaret.

21 Questions with Joy Rider – Burlesque Hall Best Debut 2022

Joy Rider is an award winning burlesque performer who just won Best Debut at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. Based in Montreal, Canada she is also the co-founder of AMPLIFY BIPOC Burlesque Fund, supporting BIPOC Burlesque in Montreal with financial support and education. 1. How would you define yourself in three words? Emotional, energetic…

21 Questions with Cleopantha – Burlesque’s Breakout Star

Everybody is talking about Cleopantha – the exciting British rising star who combines a high energy dance style with burlesque striptease and hip-hop. In 2020 she debuted at 29 on the Burlesque TOP 50 chart, and shot up to 5 in 2021. Get to know her better in 21 questions… 1. How would you define…

21 Questions with Burlesque Bombshell Mika Romantic

Described as ‘Pinup in Motion’, Mika Romantic is the epitome of classic burlesque entertainment. She was named one of the Sexiest Acts to Follow by GQ Magazine and won a title in the legendary Miss Viva Las Vegas burlesque pageant. In 2020, she was crowned ‘Duchess of Tease’ and ‘Judges Choice’ at the first TEASER…

21 Questions with Latinx Burlesque Star Lola Coquette

Lola Coquette is a multi-award winning burlesque performer, producer and instructor based in Portland. A passionate activist for BIPOC and Latinx rights, Lola is a founding member of The Bees’ Knees Burlesque Revue and an executive co-producer of the Oregon Burlesque Festival. During quarantine, Lola co-produced the virtual weekender Rhinestone the Vote; An ACLU Benefit Show, and…

21 Questions with Zyra Lee Vanity

Canadian burlesque sensation Zyra Lee Vanity started performing burlesque in 2013 via the Toronto School of Burlesque, and quickly became a multi-award winning entertainer. Voted number 31 in the Burlesque Top 50 2020, Zyra takes elements of Afro Caribbean and hip hop cultures and mixes them with vintage burlesque glamour. She’s also a member of…

21 Questions with Jessabelle Thunder

Jessabelle Thunder has been dancing joyously across burlesque stages since 2009. With a wink of her eye and a thrust of her hips, she’ll have you hooked. In 2018, Jessabelle was awarded first runner-up for Miss Exotic World at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender, and was voted number 8 in the Burlesque TOP 50…

21 Questions with Foxy Lexxi

Originally from Montreal, Canada, Foxy Lexxi attended a live burlesque show seven years ago and it was love at first strip. After studying under The Lady Josephine and BonBon Bombay, she went on to become an award winning international performer. In 2018, she became the first Canadian to be crowned Miss Viva Las Vegas at…

Seoul Burlesque: The Fight to Survive

It’s been almost 18 months since coronavirus reared its ugly head and brought the world to its knees – and Seoul’s burlesque scene along with it. While many places slowly reopen as vaccines roll out, live performances in South Korea are still restricted. Pre-pandemic, Seoul was the kind of place that partied until dawn; it…

Standing Strong: The Black Magick of Briq House

The first time I saw Ms. Briq House perform, she was the headlining act at the one year anniversary dance party of erotic boutique WinkWink in Bellingham, WA. After the gorgeous but predictable opening acts closed out their cheery sets, the lights dimmed. A dark, moody song droned from the speakers.  Out stepped the one…

Betty Q: The Radical Grand Dame of Polish Burlesque

Betty Q has never been one to shrink from a challenge. Even as we talk, she’s in the endocrinology ward of a women’s hospital in Warsaw, Poland. She’s there for some routine tests, but she knows she can’t pass up the opportunity she has while inside. Betty is surrounded by women. So, mask in hand,…

Top Marx for Lockdown Inspired Burlesque Book

Spring 2021 brings renewed confidence that live performance can return after a year of Covid closures. Burlesque photographer Veronika Marx is celebrating with a new book, showcasing some of the brightest stars of the stage. Marx started out in 2012 as Verve Rockabilly Photography, specialising in American pinup and rockabilly imagery. A shoot with Bettsie…

The Rise of Nox Falls

Have you ever made a bad decision you’ve always regretted? I know I have. But for one burlesque performer, a single lapse of judgement could have proved fatal. Four years later, they’ve come through the fire and are ready to be heard. Nox Falls, who has been a burlesque artist for eight years, describes their…

Vancouver Burlesque Co: Teaching, surviving and serving in a pandemic

How do you juggle a burlesque teaching business, hoards of students, newborn babies, and manage to stay sane in a global pandemic? One Canadian burlesque company and its three intrepid directors is making it work. The Vancouver Burlesque Co. was founded in 2011 by co-directors Cherry OnTop and Lola Frost, and Ariel Helvetica came on…

Jeez Loueez: Bigger Than Burlesque

Back in April, I sat down with Jeez Loueez – the No. 1 Most Influential Burlesque Industry Figure in the 2019 Burlesque TOP 50 – for an interview. Holli Mae Johnson had asked me if I would like to be the one to do it, as Jeez is my best friend, we live together, and…

Wild Flower: Zelia Rose on Locking Down and Finding Her Style

In the somewhat early days of lockdown, when life had abruptly ground to a halt the world over and the realization was settling in that it might stay that way, I spoke to burlesque star Zelia Rose via Zoom at home in Melbourne.  Keeping still doesn’t come naturally to Zelia, whose kinetic energy and electrifying…

Jo Weldon: A Life Less Ordinary

Any journey into the modern history of the burlesque arts eventually leads to the devilishly lovely, spectacularly intelligent Jo ‘Boobs’ Weldon. Her name, like the celebrated body part it represents, precedes her. In the early aughts, her name popped up in books like Michelle Baldwin’s Burlesque and the New Bump-n-Grind alongside other New York City…

Dirty Martini: Past, Present and Future

After over a decade of conversations with Dirty Martini – burlesque icon, New York legend and all-round tease genius – there is always more to talk about. More memories from the birth of the modern revival. More illuminating insight. More self-deprecating authenticity. More and more passion for her art form with every passing year. Read…

Dita Von Teese: Enter the Glamonatrix

After 11 years of interviewing Dita Von Teese, her constant reinvention, evolution and endurance never fails to impress me. Instagram is teeming with Dita replicas wearing shameless copies of her iconic costumes and frolicking brazenly on all manner of imitation carousel horses, martini glasses and giant filigree hearts. None the less, Dita continues to reign…

Queen INGA

In 2011 I saw Inga Ingenue, a five foot revelation in pink and black stripes, perform her iconic Minnie the Moocher act at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. It remains – after 14 years in burlesque – one of my absolute favourite acts, and INGA, as she is now known, is one of my…

Raven Noir: Burlesque in the Blood

Raven Noir, gothic mistress of northern Burlesque in the UK, sits down with Ivy Wilde to discuss her stage persona, opulent costumes, inspirations and renowned annual Blackpool show Burlesque Noir. After stumbling across burlesque, when a friend roped her into a ten week course for moral support, stage shy Raven discovered a family secret and…

Fancy Feather: The Flourish Behind the Fan Dance

As any burlesque aficionado knows, feathers play a huge part in our history. Most performers’ repertoire includes, or has included, feather fans. The minute Sally Rand stepped out at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and made her name, she popularised fan dancing for burlesque performers of the future. We recently caught up with Cindy Garland…

Egypt Blaque Knyle: Entitled

Egypt Blaque Knyle seems to have come out of nowhere to dominate nearly every major burlesque competition.  In three years, she has amassed over twenty titles, earning the No.38 spot on the 21st Century Burlesque Magazine Burlesque Top 50 2016.  Some have begun speculating about this dynamic performer’s background, her history, and just what causes…

Ursula Undressed: The Magic of Martinez

Like the fabled, festive Coca Cola truck, five star smash La Soiree has rolled into London again this Christmas with a twinkling Spiegeltent full of sass, smut, surprise, and sensational skill. We spoke to one of La Soiree‘s most celebrated heroines, Ursula Martinez, as she marks fifty fabulous years of life, laughter, and lewd, nude burlesque brilliance! (Hanky…

Perle Noire: A Beautiful Imperfection

In 1984 Dick Clark of American Bandstand asked a very young, very ambitious Madonna what her dreams were, to which she paused for a beat before replying in total seriousness: “To rule the world.” As anyone who knows international burlesque star Perle Noire can attest, the renowned multi-hyphenate artist (performer, mentor, and most recently, producer…

Angie Pontani: From Showgirl to Showmom

New York burlesque star Angie Pontani (Miss Exotic World, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2008) is an inspirational woman I have always admired. As a fellow monster multi-tasker, I often have a WWAD (What Would Angie Do) moment when I think I can’t possibly do ALL THE THINGS for another second. When Angie revealed she was…

Perle Noire Builds Her House

To see Perle Noire is to be instantly dazzled. You can tell she’s a rock star simply by the way she enters the stage. She combines her natural talent with relentless hard work and investment, and has become one of the most desireable stars on the international burlesque circuit today. Hotly pursued as an instructor,…

From Root Canals to Bukaki: A Conversation with Julie Atlas Muz

While I had every intention of conducting a very earnest, professional and polite interview with Julie Atlas Muz, one half of the headlining husband (Mat Fraser) and wife team at the upcoming Vancouver International Burlesque Festival, May 6 and 7th, things somehow went off the rails very quickly. In the best possible way, mind you,…

Dita Von Teese: Making Her Mark

Since our previous interviews in 2012, Dita Von Teese’s career has been a breathtaking trajectory of achievements and appearances, and I felt it was high time I checked in. We had a lot to discuss: a new, glossy tome of beauty advice and philosophy, a purring vinyl record, an upcoming return to Crazy Horse Paris and a…

Cocktails, Costume and Concept with Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover

Burlesque costume queen Viv Clicquot sat down with Burlesque TOP 50 No. 1 2015 Kitten LaRue and Lou Henry Hoover – aka Kitten ‘n’ Lou – for cocktails and costume chat… “So tell me. Who and what are you wearing?!”  Showing up as nothing less than their usual and inimitable glorious selves, I interviewed the…

Together We Can-Can: Life as a Moulin Rouge Showgirl

I am thrilled to present this special feature about sensational showgirl Claudine Van Den Bergh, who I had the pleasure of interviewing backstage at the legendary Moulin Rouge, Paris. After passing through a hidden door and an intriguing labyrinth of dressing rooms and studios,  I was shown into a room with a mannequinned row of eye-wateringly fabulous costumes. The view was…

Interview: Cece Sinclair – Blossoming British Burlesquer

In the second of three interviews, sensational British burlesque newcomer Cece Sinclair is interviewed by Ivy Wilde… Performing for just over 18 months, Cece Sinclair is taking the UK by storm.  Moving to Manchester from a small Welsh town to study for a Performing Arts degree, Cece found her feet performing in the freedom of…

Interview: Felicity Furore – Blossoming British Burlesquer

Felicity Furore is the first of three outstanding newcomers to British burlesque we would like to introduce to the international community. Ivy Wilde interviewed her recently in London… 24 year old Felicity Furore has been performing for two and half years from her London base. Studying Costume Design at university, it was only after her…

Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey Reveal All in ‘Us, Naked’ Documentary

Superstar burlesque duo Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey have long been darlings of the international circus and cabaret scene, producing world class magic on stage together for over a decade. Now, we have an amazing opportunity to see what happens offstage as well as they travel all over the world together sharing the…

Speaking with Legends: April March ‘The First Lady of Burlesque’

In a new series, Adele Wolf interviews our treasured burlesque legends, revealing more about their lives and careers. She kicks off the series by speaking to April March, ‘The First Lady of Burlesque’… I had known of April March for quite some time when I finally had the honour of meeting her at this year’s…

Interview: Christina Manuge of Manuge Et Toi (Burlesque Costume)

Opening a series on burlesque costume, legendary performer, author and instructor Jo Weldon interviews noted burlesque costumier Christina Manuge of Manuge Et Toi. I worked as a costumer for feature dancers in the early 1990s while I was healing from a car accident and couldn’t dance, and although I had been able to sew since…

Australian Burlesque Association: Interview with Bella De Jac

Australian burlesque performer and academic Lola The Vamp interviews Bella De Jac about the Australian Burlesque Museum and Australian Burlesque Association, with additional information provided about the special photographs accompanying the interview. Australian burlesque history is quite different to both European and American burlesque history. The scattering of information we currently have indicates a lot…

INTERVIEW: Midnite Martini, Reigning Queen of Burlesque 2014

Midnite Martini’s recent victory at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend has been praised and celebrated as a refreshing, encouraging, delightful surprise, and those of you who read her pre-pageant interview will know that we almost didn’t get to see her stunning winning act.  Everything fell into place for this undoubtedly innovative and passionate artist…

INTERVIEW: Angie Pontani

When I planned my schedule for the New York Burlesque Festival 2013, one of the first priorities was to arrange my first proper conversation with festival co-producer and Miss Exotic World 2008, Angie Pontani. We certainly made up for lost time with a long and interesting discussion, an updated edit of which I present to…

Pillow Talk with Bazuka Joe: Ginger Valentine

Hunky Stage Door Johnny Bazuka Joe has started interviewing fabulous burlesque performers and personalities he encounters on his travels to festivals and other shows, and now I can share them with you on 21st Century Burlesque Magazine! In this episode, Joe interviews Texan temptress Ginger Valentine… ) And now, enjoy this video of Ginger Valentine,…

INTERVIEW: The Schlep Sisters – Minnie Tonka and Darlinda Just Darlinda. (Partnerships Series)

With their tenth anniversary celebration coming up this Saturday (March 8th – see details below), it’s the perfect moment to finally interview two of the most warm, intelligent and face-achingly hilarious women I know, and document a decade of achievement in words and photos.  As The Schlep Sisters and as soloists, Minnie Tonka and Darlinda…

Desert Island Strips, Episode 1: Dangrrr Doll

In a new series, neo genius Nasty Canasta interviews various burlesque figures and asks the following question: “If you were to be cast away on a desert island, which three striptease numbers, one burlesque performer, and single act of your own would you bring along to keep yourself sane and entertained?” The first castaway to…

Exposed: Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser (Partnerships Series)

As they kick off a UK tour of their hit show Beauty and the Beast, and feature in a new burlesque documentary by Beth B, EXPOSED, I continue my Partnerships Series by interviewing trailblazing, hilarious and heavy hitting power couple Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser. For the benefit of those who are new to…

Frenchie Kiss and Jett Adore. (Partnerships Series)

My Partnerships Series continues with Frenchie Kiss and Jett Adore.  This dynamic, creative and affectionate duo have won coveted awards at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, separately as members of groups (Frenchie with The Chicago Starlets, and Jett as one third of The Stage Door Johnnies), and together as ‘Best Duo’ in 2012.  Read…

Interview: Laurie Hagen (Part Two.)

Read Laurie Hagen Part One… The fascinating Laurie Hagen interview continues. At the end of Part One, we were discussing her early career… Laurie Hagen: I danced in musicals for a few years and I ended up dancing in Beauty and the Beast in the West End as one of the original cast members, which…

Interview: Laurie Hagen (Part One.)

Laurie Hagen is, hands down, one of the most multi-talented, endearing, dedicated and creative women I have ever met, with an inspiring story to tell. When I first saw Laurie Hagen perform, years ago now, I knew I had seen something very special, and I was thrilled when I read and heard the reaction to…

INTERVIEW: LouLou D’vil

LouLou D’vil, a fabulous Finn who embodies the golden age of classic striptease, was crowned Miss Exotic World 2013, the Reigning Queen of Burlesque on Saturday, June 1st at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend. I have enjoyed spending more time with LouLou recently, and when we hung out in London a couple of weeks…

INTERVIEW: Melody Sweets

I am pleased to present an interview with the beautiful, charming and incredibly talented Melody Sweets.  I finally got the chance to see Melody perform live in 2011, when I was invited to see the smash hit show Absinthe with other Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend attendees.  The show was incredible, and she was incredible…

Part Three: Race and Burlesque – The Interviews

Here is the final part of the Race and Burlesque: The Curious Case of the Performer of Colour interviews. Conducted by Chocolat the Extraordinaire. (Click on the performer names to visit their websites.) The Shanghai Pearl What drew you to burlesque? I was always drawn to old pornographic ephemera, and then, because of that fascination,…

Part Two: Race and Burlesque – The Interviews

Here is Part Two of the full Race and Burlesque: The Curious Case of the Performer of Colour interviews. Conducted by Chocolat the Extraordinaire. (Click on the performer names to visit their websites.) Sydni Deveraux What drew you to burlesque? Why did you start performing? I found burlesque in 2005. I was already a jazz…

Part One: Race and Burlesque – The Interviews

Your response to last week’s special feature, Race and Burlesque: The Curious Case of the Performer of Colour, has been amazing, and you can now read the full interviews with the contributing performers. Conducted by Chocolat the Extraordinaire. (Click on the performer names to visit their websites.) Perle Noire What drew you to burlesque? Why…

INTERVIEW: Miss Polly Rae

Over the past five years, my regard for Polly Rae has progressed from awareness, to interest, to hesitation, to respect, to a growing friendship and affection. I first saw Polly and the Hurly Burly Girlys in action at the Soho Revue Bar in 2007, but it was when I spent time with them backstage at…

INTERVIEW: Michelle L’amour and Franky Vivid (Partnerships Series)

When I planned out my Partnerships Series, this couple were always a priority for me. Spending time with Michelle and Franky is a joy, and their partnership is truly inspiring. Together they have put Chicago firmly and proudly on the burlesque map, and have created a series of exceptional shows and events. I’m constantly moved…

Ten Years of Trixie and Monkey (Partnerships Series)

Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey are an incredibly skilled, charming and dedicated burlesque super duo, and they have been entertaining us and contributing to the burlesque community for ten years. Also a couple off stage, Monkey surprised Trixie on their tenth anniversary with a marriage proposal, and I couldn’t wish them more joy…

INTERVIEW: Dita von Teese and Catherine D’Lish (Partnerships Series)

Introducing the first online interview in my new ‘Perfect Partnerships’ series. When I sat down to think about the burlesque partnerships that I wanted to examine and celebrate, two exceptional women were at the top of the list, and when Dita suggested the interview herself a short time afterwards I couldn’t wait to get started.…

Strip Strip Hooray!: A Conversation with Dita Von Teese

by Jessica Price In April I had the unparalleled pleasure of speaking with Dita Von Teese about her upcoming West Coast tour, her dazzling co-stars, the merits of dressage, and the peculiar momentum one needs when wearing a gown encrusted with Swarovski crystals. Those who follow Dita’s career closely may already have a sense of…

The Chicago Starlets

The Chicago Starlets – Michelle L’amour’s burlesque supergroup; a captivating chorus line of bright, beautiful women who each began by attending and advancing through the classes at Studio L’amour. They regularly perform in long running, L’amour-produced shows in Chicago, and have repeatedly entertained the audience at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend, winning ‘Best Group’…

INTERVIEW: Roxi DLite

I am pleased to present a long and interesting conversation with Roxi DLite; a lady that seemed to appear from nowhere a few years ago and joined the ranks of burlesque royalty with astonishing speed. In what seemed like no time at all she was on stage at The Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in…

BVB: An Interview with Kiki Kaboom

London-based performer Kiki Kaboom is a trained actress, singer and burlesque dancer. Whilst she’s been on the burlesque circuit for only a couple of years, she’s worked that circuit with gusto, acquiring impressive CV achievements on her way. She’s the winner of ‘Best London Performer 2009’ at the London Burlesque Festival 2009 with her Geek…

Dita von Teese talks Cocktails, Clubs and Catwalks…

Dita is literally everywhere at the moment. On stages all over the world, on film, on screen, on menus, even on bottles! There are cocktails and desserts named after her, an interactive virtual mansion inhabited by her, and now a private club is about to spring up in Paris for a month, filled from ceiling…

Your Number One: Miss Dirty Martini!

I am proud to present a brand new interview with Neo Burlesque icon Dirty Martini, the Number One Burlesque Performer of 2009 – as voted by thousands of you in the end-of-year countdown! I have so enjoyed the opportunity to get to know even more about Dirty and explore her past, present and future in…

Interview: Michelle L’amour

Michelle L’amour is someone I find endlessly fascinating. She is warm and charming to speak to, with a delicious laugh and composed demeanour. But when she takes to the stage a sexual power and captivating energy exudes from her, whether she’s floating across the stage with her fans or whipping the audience into a frenzy…

Dita in Paris…

This week, I spoke to Dita about her recent and upcoming plans in ‘La Ville-Lumière’ – a city forever close to her heart… Dita performs ‘Lazy’, at The Crazy Horse Paris (©Antoine Poupel) You have recently wrapped up all of the performance and recording at The Crazy Horse, and soon you will be back in…

Kalani Kokonuts: Part Two

Part Two of the epic and exclusive interview with Kalani Kokonuts… (Click here to read Part One…) Kalani Performing… Kalani Kokonuts, by Mark Hollinger. H. This will probably embarrass you, but you have, and everyone says this, an incredible body, physical presence and unique beauty – K. This is the one thing – I can…

Kalani Kokonuts: Part One

A month ago, sitting beside Kalani in her tranquil, beautiful home, just days after the Burlesque Hall of Fame pageant, recording the following interview, I felt both priviliged and excited. Privileged, because Kalani had, despite her shyness and desire for privacy, had invited us in to look around her house and stay to chat (And…

Interview: Catherine D’Lish

I recall my first Tease-o-Rama experience, in SanFransisco. I still didn’t reach the 21 age limit in America and some extremely inventive tactics were employed to get me through the doors of some of the great state-side burlesque events (or failing that, lashings of old-fashioned charm). But thank the Good Lord I got there in…

INTERVIEW: Dita Von Teese

Everyone has an opinion on Dita Von Teese, some of which are unapologetically judgemental or negative, but there are those who are big enough to admit, none the less, that if it were not for Dita, they would never have discovered burlesque, cheesecake, even erotica. They would not be part of the communities they enjoy,…