I met today’s Muse at Mysterion’s lair. She was filming a mysterious and murderous segment for the Nerdlesque Girl production of Clue. Her voice in the Toronto burlesque community is strong with an emphasis on involvement, enthusiasm and trust. Her care and creativity have fostered a safe and supportive collective of Nerdlesque. She is one-third of the Nerd Girl Burlesque. Ladies and gentlemen the dynamic: Delicia Pastiche!
Gracie: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. First off, how did you get your name?
Delicia: I am self-named. In all honesty, I cannot remember where the name “Delicia” came from, but I looked into a few variations before settling on it. It happened to be a nice coincidence that it is also the stage name of the lady detailed in Patricia the Stripper. Pastiche, my last name,is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Frederic Jameson’s work on postmodernism as pastiche. I think neo-burlesque can be so much more than a pastiche or regurgitation, and my name is a tribute and reminder to myself of that.
Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?
Delicia: I’ve been performing for about 5 years.
Gracie: Signature colour?
Delicia: Emerald green.
Gracie: What was your burlesque ah-ha moment?
Delicia: My burlesque “aha” moment came watching the Toronto Burlesque Festival six years ago. There were so many amazing acts, from neo to classic and everything in between. The strength, humour, and comedy exhibited by the performers made me want to learn the art of burlesque. After watching Dirty Martini and Doctor Lucky, I needed to do that too!
Gracie: What is your favorite peel and reveal?
Delicia: I am a huge fan of the stocking peel. Stockings aren’t something most people are exposed to in modern fashion. Instead, we’re stuck seeing the less-appealing (but far more practical) leggings or pantyhose. The stocking peel brings back this sexy garment, and really gives the performer a chance to play with the gauziness and elasticity of the garment. My favourite move is peeling the stocking almost all the way off, hooking it in my toes, and really stretching it out, sometimes with my teeth.
Gracie: How do you build it? Song, costume, concept?
Delicia: I typically begin with a concept. This may be a character I want to bring to the stage, or a storyline. Occasionally, though, I hear a song and immediately think, “This would be perfect for _____!” I’ve never started with a costume, as I tend to build those from scratch based on the needs of the act.
Gracie: What’s the most unique show you’ve been a part of?
Delicia: The most unique show I’ve had the honour of being part of was Gala Delicious’s Pick a Card show in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This show featured acts inspired by tarot cards, and was funded on Kickstarter. The crowd funding allowed for the show to be hosted in the historic Michigan Theatre, which was certainly the most unique (and beautiful) venue I’ve seen a show in before. The performers themselves really showcased what I love most in burlesque: beauty of all kinds, and the expression of everything from the deeply personal and the highly comedic. The acts were all so different, from the wild macabre perfection of Red Rum, to the polished combination of circus and classic burlesque of Roxi D’Lite. The cast was also incredibly supportive of each other and wonderful to be with backstage.
Gracie: Do you have any words for budding showgirls?
Delicia: I feel like there is an infinite amount of advice I can think of, but the most important thing to me would be to watch as much live burlesque as you can. When you’re starting off, the best thing you can do for yourself is get inspired by your community. Go to both small local shows and your city’s major festivals. Find out the types of performances you like, who your role models are. Learn from not only the best, but also your fellow beginners. See what makes a good performance, and what makes for a less-polished one, so you know what to work on yourself.
Aside from inspiration, seeing shows gives you a chance to meet fellow fans and performers. Make friends, and see who you mesh with creatively. Then, when it comes time to start performing, you’ll have an idea of who you’d like to work with. Furthermore, producers are far more likely to book an active community member who wants a chance than someone they are totally unfamiliar with. Good luck!
Gracie: Thank you for sharing yourself with us! Follow today’s Muse at the links below. And I’ll see you again next week!