The marvellous Minnie Tonka has answered my 2013 pre-BHoF Q&A, and she will take to the stage in a matter of days at the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend 2013. I put something lighthearted and fun together this year, and requested some extra ‘media’ from each contender.
When I’m on stage, I feel… that I am channelling love and positive energy, that I am connecting with the audience, expressing and sharing my passion and personality.
When I’m on stage, I want the audience to feel… the positive, loving, and upbeat energy that I am sharing. I want the audience to feel connected to me and to each other, and to be intrigued and entertained.
BHoF is special and important to me because… we get to come together with our burlesque family and community to celebrate our lives and our choices.
I chose the act I am competing with because… it is an act that I am very proud of and excited about! It is uniquely me and shows off my style and personality – it’s Totally Tonka.
If I am crowned Queen… I promise to drunk dial every single person who asks! I also promise to make our burlesque community proud by representing BHoF and our diverse and wonderful community the best way I can.
If I could speak to myself when I was a new performer starting out, I would say/tell myself… Don’t worry, you will make so many amazing and life-changing friends through burlesque, and you will eventually feel comfortable wearing a g-string on stage. You may even get naked on stage from time to time!
Something that few people know about me is… I have rheumatoid arthritis and I struggle with chronic pain, inflammation and stiffness that limits my abilities and movement. But, I am very hopeful and working on getting better! Homeopathy is helping change my life.
I am happiest when… I am present in the moment and feeling true gratitude.
My greatest strength is… I care deeply about people and I listen.
My biggest vice is… I get angry and I complain.
My greatest fear is… that I do not fulfill my dreams.
If I could spend a day with any woman in history, past or present, it would have to be… Laura Ingalls Wilder. An almost-wholesome Midwestern gal like myself.
I if could have a superhero power, it would be… To bring emotional healing. We all need it.
The best piece of advice I have ever been given is… Backstage at one of my first shows in 2004, I was having some issues with my costume and makeup and I was really nervous and kind of freaking out. Giving me encouragement and support, Dottie Lux said to me, ‘You’re a professional.’ That statement has stayed with me ever since and has given me confidence when I needed it – that I am a professional and I can do it!
If I could only watch one movie, hear one song and read one book for the rest of my life, they would be… This is sooo hard! But here it goes: Movie – Pretty in Pink. Book – East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Song – I Wanna Rock by Twisted Sister.
The key to show-stopping striptease is… Confidence, Presence, Intention, Passion, Giving, Sharing, and Connecting.
My hopes for the future of burlesque are… We will all get along and make tons of money.
My heart is full of love and cannot wait to ROCK Vegas with you all!
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.