Jeez Loueez: Bigger Than Burlesque

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Jeez Loueez by Ileana Ortiz

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 we were going into self-imposed quarantine.  What better time to drink wine and dig deep? 

We spent two hours talking about family, love, fears, showbiz, strong choices, Prince, and the state of the world.  It was a joy going through all that footage, and a hilarious challenge trying to cut it down to only 15 minutes.

Since filming, things have most certainly shifted, and we are coming to grips with the future of burlesque as we know it.  It’s impossible not to discuss the way things are changing. 

We are both passionate people with strong beliefs and opinions, but I’ve watched Jeez grow, evolve, and rage into 2020 with conviction like no other.  In a world where systemic racism has its roots deeply entrenched in every aspect of life, and most certainly burlesque, it’s more than time to dismantle the entire system as we know it. 

Jeez Loueez is beautiful, smart, loving, talented, thoughtful, caring, kind, and quite possibly the fiercest person I know.  She inspires. She uplifts. She moves.  I’ve always said, “Be the show you wish to see in the world.”  Jeez is the very embodiment of that phrase, and I intend to stand beside her, and behind her, as she lights the world on fire. It’s time for us to move over. 

Happy birthday, Jeez Loueez. You are a blessing, a star, a leader.

Jeez Loueez interviewed by Lola Van Ella.

Footage edited by Jen w/Stay Posh.

Follow Jeez and Lola on Instagram @loleezbo.

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