I met today’s muse in the back of a double decker bus while racing through the sweaty streets of Las Vegas, snapping shots in pin up style. I first noticed her tattoos, she’s covered in candy. Then she wiped out a parasol paired with pink and teal ensemble and I knew we were bound to be friends. The very next day we lay by the Orleans pool, talking about hometowns and mentors, taco hats and tickled fancy. Ladies and gentlemen: She’s a quiet riot, with a classic gift: Vayda Rhynstone
Gracie: Now, I want to let my readers know that you’re from Chicago! The Windy City and home of Ray Gunn and Michelle L’amour. And thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. First, where did you get your name?
Vayda:I picked my first name “Vayda” from the movie My Girl, the lead character’s name is Vayda and I’ve always loved that name. I like it because it fits the diversity of my acts and style; classy, exotic, and dark. “Rhynstone” comes from rhinestones of course! Who doesn’t like rhinestones?! I just changed the spelling to make it sound more like a last name.
Gracie:How long have you been on the scene?
Vayda:I have been in the burlesque scene for 3 years and have been performing solo as “Vayda Rhynstone” for the past year in the Midwest area.
Gracie Do you have a signature colour?
Vayda: Iridescent. I love all the colors and rainbows! I’m pretty indecisive person so there’s never one option, I need choices.
Gracie: Do you have formal training?
Vayda: I guess you could say this all started when I was little and would get in trouble for taking my clothes off in public and running around naked. They called me “Nudy Judy”. Growing up I developed choreography, costume, and makeup skills and the love for glitter and sequins with synchronized swimming (where I traveled to compete nationally) and dancing. I was always on the dance team and drill team throughout school and took hip hop dance classes. Few years later, I discovered burlesque and thought what a perfect way to combine everything I love into one. I moved from Milwaukee to Chicago 3 years ago to study burlesque and the art of tease at Studio L’amour taught by Michelle L’amour. I’ve had the privilege to be mentored by Michelle and perform in her studio showcases. The past year or so I’ve been developing my new persona and creating solo acts.
Gracie: What is your favorite body part?
Vayda: My favorite body part is my ass. I would of never said it was 5 years ago. Growing up with a bubble butt I always thought it was fatter then other girls and that guys wouldn’t like it (boy was I wrong). Burlesque has definitely made me more comfortable with my body and now I appreciate every curve and giggle I have. I enjoy learning new ways to shake my ass. I think my signature move is wiggling my ass bent over.
Gracie: How do you build an act? What comes first: song, costume, concept?
Vayda: I like to build an act by starting with the music then concept, and then costume. It’s important to develop your story, outline, and purpose of the act because if you don’t understand it, how will the audience? It helps me out to have the start of costume pieces while creating choreography. Although every routine is a little different. I have full costume pieces with no song yet and I have great songs picked out with no concept/costume. I learned you can’t force it though, take your time and the greatest ideas will come when you least expect it.
Gracie: What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you backstage?
Vayda: The strangest thing to ever happen backstage is when I was getting ready at Milwaukee’s Creme De La Creme Burlesque Festival and there was a performer who had a live snake for her act in a bag behind me. There was a note on the bag that said “Beware Live Snake”, so that wasn’t nerve wrecking at all. 😉
Gracie: Do you have any words of wisdom for budding showgirls?
Vayda: I recommend taking burlesque classes and educating yourself in and outside of your community. There’s a lot of different styles in burlesque so once you know what you want to create, be comfortable and confident in what ever that is you do. Know you can do what ever the f**k you want but it’s always good to have your routines critiqued and get advice from experienced performers to be your ultimate best!
Gracie: Thank you so much again for letting us get to know a bit better. And I look forward to many more hijinx in the future! Follow Vayda at the links below! See you next Monday