About a year ago, I started on this amazing and sparkly journey that is burlesque. On my journey I have met many show ponies who are willing and inspired to share their knowledge, experiences and help you build a better performance. This next lady is one such soul. Her enthusiasm for entertaining is one of the reasons she inspires those around her, and what makes her an incredible teacher. Ladies and Gentlemen, the lady who always Knox twice, cheesecake darling: Knox Harter
Gracie: How’d you get your name?
Knox Harter: My first time I was kittening for Red Herring’s Reveal Me at the Rivoli and I was talking to Joe Kilmartin and we were talking about finding my stage name. At this point I was just kittening and had yet to do a full solo tease (though I had a lot of experience with sexy dancing, Boston and group teases). I told him I had no idea what my stage name should be, but I did want it to involve my last name (my legal name is pretty kick-ass, at least I think so). Joe suggested the name “Knox Twice”, then said “come to me in a couple of weeks and I think I’ll have a better one.” Sure enough the next Reveal me I was kittening as well as performing my first full tease as a soloist, and Joe comes up to me and gives me the name I’ve stuck with: Knox Harter.
Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?
Knox Harter: Arguably almost 5 years, but Knox Harter has only been around for about a year and a half. I actually got into burlesque entirely by accident when I answered an audition post looking for jazz dancers, and ended up in a burlesque show produced by Sophie Luxton at Second City. I did two shows with Sophie and a couple of corporate gigs, at the same time doing sexy dancing and corporate entertainment with DivaGirl Entertainment. From there I was found by Carla Catherwood, who runs Nuvo-Burlesque and worked with her and the Bombshell Beauties for about a year and a half. I met Pastel Supernova in the Bombshell beauties and was offered a spot in her new company Love Letters Cabaret. The rest is kind of history. Knox was developed under Pastel’s watch and I started mingling and kittening with other burlesque performers I never heard of until I made it to do full teases myself!
Gracie: Signature colour?
Knox Harter: Hot pink!!!
Gracie: Do you have formal training?
Knox Harter: I’m a trained dancer since I was three – the whole nine yards: did nothing but dance as a kid through my teens, went to an arts high school for dance, got my BFA in Dance from Ryerson, I’ve been teaching dance since I was 16, still working as a professional dancer, dance teacher and choreographer.
Gracie: What was your burlesque a-ha moment?
Knox Harter: I feel like I’m still having them! With all the performance experience I have I feel like I’m still constantly learning! I guess my most recent one came the last time I was in Ottawa and the feed back I got from my cheesecake act. Apparently that act comes with a reputation…
Gracie: What is your favourite peel and reveal?
Knox Harter: Anything that reveals my bum and stocking peels
Gracie: Do you have a favourite body part?
Knox Harter: I love my back and my legs.
Gracie: Does your audience have a favourite body part?
Knox Harter: My bum.
Gracie: How do you build an act?
Knox Harter: Either the song or the concept comes first depending on what I’m trying to create.
Gracie: What’s your characteristic style?
Knox Harter: Classic vintage cheesecake pin-up. I’m a cartoon.
Gracie: What is the most important part of your number?
Knox Harter: That the character or concept I’m portraying is clear and entertaining, and that I connect with my audience in somehow.
Gracie: What’s the most unique show you’ve ever been a part of?
Knox Harter: I’m biased, but I’ve never had any other experiences like the ones I have with my Love Letters Cabaret family.
Gracie: Favourite venue in your current city and on the road?
Knox Harter: First pick is Revival, second pick is the Second City mainstage. Out of town I enjoy the Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa and Café Cleopatra in Montreal (however I feel like that might change if I ever make it to the Wiggle Room *wink wink *)
Gracie: Who is your favourite local showgirl?
Knox Harter: In no particular order: Pastel Supernova, Lucky Minx, Coco Framboise, Charlie Quinn, Dew Lily… the list kind of goes on! This city has so much talent that each time I see a show I come out inspired, and some of the emerging performers are hidden gems soon to be uncovered…see what I did there… 😛
Gracie: Do you have any words of wisdom for budding showgirls?
Knox Harter: Find what makes you special as a showgirl and own it. You are enough.
– Take everything you hear about yourself or other people with a grain of salt.
– Get everything in writing.
– You create your own success. Producers, bookers, clients and agents who make promises don’t always deliver. Don’t leave your success in the hands of someone who may not have your best interests at heart. Know your worth and stand by it.
Gracie: As always, a delight! Thank you for taking time out of your busy rehearsal schedule to answer a few of my nosy questions. Be sure to follow Knox Harter: