About 8 months ago I had the distinct pleasure of watching today’s Muse high-kick her old school high tops through Footloose. I could hardly breathe. Her signature can can choreo and icy blue eyes have her on the tips of many tongues. She’s choreographer and dance captain for the Knicker Kickers. One Third of the fabulous Platinum Productions. Teacher at The Toronto School of Burlesque. And all around Goddess. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present THE Bendy. Buxom. Blonde: St. Stella
Gracie: Thanks for opening up to me and my blogdom. Can I ask, how did you get your name?
St Stella: When I started in burlesque (an epic 7-years ago), I really was quite the innocent. A friend of mine suggested the name as a kind of gag.
Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?
St Stella: Seven years. Fun Fact: I was the first performer at the first Toronto Burlesque Festival in the Melody bar at the Gladstone.
Gracie: Signature colour?
St Stella: Blue…?
Gracie: Who is your Showgirl inspiration?
St Stella: Michelle L’amour, Dirty Martini, Trixie Little and Evil Hate Monkey.
Gracie: Do you have a signature move?
St Stella: Bum winking while in open splits 🙂
Gracie: Do you have formal training?
St Stella: I took ballet for 12 years, modern for 3. I try to keep up with burlesque training and take as many classes I have the time and money for.
Gracie: Do you have any secret talents?
St Stella: Yes, but they’re SECRET.
Gracie: What was your burlesque ah-ha moment?
St Stella: I’ve had a few. I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with and have amazing chats with some of my burlesque heroes, particularly Cherry Typhoon, Lady Josephine, Dangrr Doll and Nasty Canasta. Whenever I get the opportunity to have heart-to-hearts with any of those magical ladies, their wisdom and love for the art form definitely re-invigorates me.
Gracie: Do you tassel? Both directions?
St Stella: Unfortunately, I’ve never been a great twirler. And, I wouldn’t dare put a sub-par twirl on stage.
Gracie: What’s your favourite peel and reveal?
St Stella: I do love a good hair reveal. I also am a fan of my stocking peel in the splits.
Gracie: Do you have a favourite body part?
St Stella: Blonde. All the blonde.
Gracie: Does your audience have a favourite body part?
St Stella: I’ve had a lot of compliments about my eyes and how they really draw in from the stage. I really appreciate that.
Gracie: What is your favourite style of movement?
St Stella: I love the contrast of big and small movement. A little wink and a hip bump that explodes into a giant kick, for example.
Gracie: What is your favourite part of a new act?
St Stella: I love the lightbulb moment, when the story, the costume, the song and the reason for the reveal all come into focus. ‘Bam! I have it!’ Then, I hate the wait from that to making it come to fruition. Mostly not having the time and money to turn your vision to reality.
Gracie: How do you build it? What comes first: Song, costume, concept?
St Stella: Usually, a feeling/concept comes first, but sometimes the concept stems directly from a song.
Gracie: What is your favourite costume piece?
St Stella: I don’t think I have created my favorite, yet.
Gracie: Your most unique prop or costume piece?
St Stella: Probably my Britney Spears style nude, rhinestoned body suit.
Gracie: What is your characteristic style?
St Stella: Very contemporary, and emotive.
Gracie: What is the most important part of you number?
St Stella:I just want people to feel. I think the arc of the act is most important. I want to tell the audience something, make them feel something.
Gracie: What’s the most unique show you’ve been a part of?
St Stella: I performed in an off-broadway show called Pretencion with Johnny Porkpie, Dirty Martini, Trixie Little and Evil Hate monkey and Angie Pontani. That was unique, unbelievable, magical, and inspiring, to say the least.
Gracie: Is there a dream theme you want to perform?
St Stella: I may have something in the works….
Gracie: Favourite venue in your current city and on the road?
St Stella: I love performing at 3030 in Toronto, it’s a great big stage with a roomy backstage and a good room. If I’m on the road performing, I’m happy anywhere.
Gracie: If you weren’t a showgirl, what would you be?
St Stella: I’d hopefully still have found dance, performing and teaching in some manner.
Gracie: Do you think you’ll ever retire?
St Stella: Never. Or, not until my body gives way.
Gracie: Do you have any words of wisdom for budding showgirls?
St Stella: Be true to yourself. Be kind. Be generous. Be unselfish. Do what you love.
Gracie: Stella, the pleasure was all mine. I’m so looking forward to sharing the stage with you at The Producers Show – May 29th. Lucky me gets to pick up all the pretty pieces that come peeling off. Meow! Follow all things Stella below.