A MUSE MONDAYS: Delicia Pastiche

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!

Photo Cred. Photolena

Photo Cred. Photolena

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!

Website: www.nerdgirlburlesque.ca
Facebook: Delicia Pastiche
Twitter: @deliciapastiche
Instagram: @heroofkvatch
tumblr: http://deliciapastiche.tumblr.com/

A MUSE MONDAYS: Loretta Jean

In a community as small as Toronto’s it’s impossible not to find yourself surrounded by familiar faces. Today’s Muse is one of those faces. She takes always takes time for a conversation. Her honestly and empathy are palpable. Her brain is sexy. She is one-third of the Nerd Girl Burlesque. Ladies and gentlemen, the academic with an Ace up her sleeve: Loretta Jean!

Photo cred. Split Sugar Photography

Photo cred. Split Sugar Photography

Gracie: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. First, how did you get your name?

Loretta Jean: I started using Loretta Jean in 2008/9 when I was modeling for Nerd Girl Pinups.com. It’s a combination of a maternal great-grandmother and grandmother’s first names. Jean is also my legal middle name. It was almost meant to pay homage to Loretta Young and Loretta Lynn.

Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?

Loretta Jean: I did my first show in 2009, a few gigs in 2010, but things started to get busy in 2011. NGB was officially formed in 2012.

Gracie: Signature colour?

Loretta Jean: Red.

Gracie: Who is your Showgirl inspiration?

Loretta Jean: I adore Dr. Lucky, she’s such an inspiration to me as both a performer and an academic. This summer I had the privilege if attending her intensive workshop weekend, Camp Camp. It was a life altering experience.

Gracie: Do you tassel? Both directions?

Loretta Jean: Yes, and assels. I think they more naturally want to go clockwise though.

Gracie: What is your most unique prop or costume piece?

Loretta Jean: I love the Dalek inspired panel skirt, bra and bolero set that Betty Quirk made for my signature solo act.

Gracie: What’s the most unique show you’ve been a part of?

Loretta Jean: I was so excited to be in the Tarot themed show – Pick A Card in Ann Arbor, MI.

Gracie: If you weren’t a showgirl, what would you be?

Loretta Jean: An academic! Oh wait, I do that anyway. (I’m working on a PhD in performance studies.)

Gracie:Do you think you’ll ever retire?

Loretta Jean: Not until they drag me off the stage, kicking and screaming.

Gracie: Do you have any words for budding showgirls?

Loretta Jean: It’s going to sound corny, but be true to yourself. Find your own style and carve our your own niche. Don’t try to be anyone else, you have unique talents and style to bring to the world.

Gracie: Thank you for your words of wisdom! Follow today’s Muse at the links below! Have a great week and I’ll see you again next Monday. Same Gracie time, same Gracie channel.
Loretta Jean
Website: www.nerdgirlburlesque.ca
Facebook: lorettajeanburlesque
Twitter: @loretta_jean

A MUSE MONDAYS: Scarlett LaFlamme

I met today’s Muse in the total darkness of Disgracedland, this past October. I don’t know you, but for me the dark is a great place and also the worst place to meet people. I tend to forget my manners, like the essential and ever important introduction. I launch right into comfortable conversation, with total strangers. When I finally do get around to introducing myself, I already liked my conversation partner. It was this fiery lady. Upon realizing it, I spent the next 15 minutes searching the inside my oubliette of a purse for my business card, in hopes that I could add her to my menagerie of local burlesque beauties. Which pretty much brings us to where we are today. Ladies and gentlemen, the blazing bombshell: Scarlett LaFlamme!

Photo Cred. Photolena

Photo Cred. Photolena

Gracie: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. First off, how did you get your name?

Scarlett: I read somewhere that a good way to pick a burlesque name was to highlight a physical attribute of yours. I could have gone with boobs, but anything in that vein would have been a pun or a concept name, and I decided that wasn’t for me; I wanted something that sounded like a real name, only more glamorous. So I went with being a redhead as my physical attribute, and wrote down a bunch of names that evoked that. I was almost Ginger LaFlamme, but I went with Scarlett because it sounded stronger and sexier to me – plus, yes, I’ve always loved the character Scarlett O’Hara. I chose LaFlamme because I’m half French and wanted something French.

At the time, I didn’t realize Scarlett was a common burlesque first name – there were none in Toronto, and that was good enough for me. When I did realize that and started to become aware of the larger burlesque community, I considered changing it, but I really liked the first and last name together and felt connected to the name Scarlett. It’s kind of become my real name – my best friends call me Scarlett and introduce me to their non-burlesque friends that way, and I find myself using it more than my legal name.

Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?

Scarlett: I’ve been performing since May 2009.

Gracie: Signature colour?

Scarlett: It would have to be red.

Gracie: What is your signature move?

Scarlett: I just figured out recently that I actually have a signature move. This is a small thing, but whenever I get up from doing floor work (which I love and do a lot, curse the abundance of low stages in Toronto), I do this thing where I face my back to the audience, slightly spread my legs and straighten them so my butt is sticking up, and then I slowly run my hands all the way up the backs of my legs before bringing the rest of my body up. Sometimes I stop my hands at my butt, sometimes I smack it, and sometimes I run my hands all the way up to my hair, but I always run my hands up my legs like that. I did that spontaneously during my debut number, and I’ve never seen anyone else do it. It always gets a good reaction.

Gracie: What is your favourite peel and reveal?

Scarlett: I love stocking peels. I love doing them, and I love watching other people do them well. I like them to be really sexy and drawn out, and I love them being taken off with something other than your hands (teeth, etc.). One of the most disappointing things to me is when someone just sits down and takes their stockings off quickly, like “meh, got that out of the way.” I love the stocking peel because it’s revealing a body part that people see all the time now, but it’s the meaning you put into it that can still make it incredibly sexy.

Gracie: Your most unique prop or costume piece?

Scarlett: Easily my giant dragon. I had him built for my first Game of Thrones show – he’s big and sturdy enough that I lay on him to do stocking peels and rode him offstage (wheels under the feet) for my first Daenerys Targaryen number. In the second Daenerys number, the one I do most often…I do very dirty things to him. That was the first time I had ever spent serious money on an act, and it was well worth it.

Gracie: If you weren’t a showgirl, what would you be?

Scarlett: An actor/writer. I realized that I loved burlesque more than just straight acting when I realized that although I never had money for professional headshots, I had happily spent $700 on a dragon. But I’m still working on that stuff, too. I’m actually collaborating with a good friend in the burlesque community on a writing project.

Gracie: Do you have any words of advice for budding showgirls?

Scarlett: Oh yes – maybe too many!

First: GO SEE SHOWS. I can’t stress that enough. If you love burlesque, this should be an easy one. Learn, network, support your community. Get to know all the producers and other performers. Watch tons of burlesque so you can see what styles you like and what inspires you – and also if someone already has the act you’re dreaming up! (Ask about things like that outright, by the way. If someone has a cat act, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one too, but if someone does something very specific in their act, stay away from copying that.) Let people see you supporting their shows. Meet the other producers and performers in your community with an open mind, get to know people for yourself, and let them get to know you. Not only is the social aspect of burlesque really fun, but producers like to work with performers whom they like as people.

Second: Be humble and patient. Know that you won’t always be the best part of a show, and that you may screw up sometimes, and be okay with that. It’s part of being new and is how you improve. Know that you probably won’t get into everyone’s show at first. Don’t take it personally or get discouraged. Ask for feedback, but don’t bombard the producer with questions about why they didn’t accept your act. Being eager is awesome (definitely keep pitching for all the shows you want to get into) but don’t be aggressive. Also, be willing to kitten and volunteer at the door for shows. I kittened a lot when I first started and kept occasionally doing it for a couple of years. It’s fun and a great way to get to know people and show them your work ethic. It’s also a great way to see how a show works, particularly if you’re thinking of producing at some point. Be willing to take the time to build your burlesque career instead of expecting instant gratification. Trust me, everyone will see and respect your hard work.

Third: Speaking of producing – it’s probably not the best idea to start that before you’ve even performed in someone else’s show. There’s a LOT to learn before you take that on, and believe me, it’s harder than you think it is. I had been performing for almost a year before I formed a troupe – and I formed a troupe and co-produced shows with people who were all much more experienced than I was. I didn’t start solo producing until the first Game of Thrones show, which was about 3-1/2 years after I started performing, and by that time I was finally ready to put on a top-quality show. Think about the product you’re going to be able to put out into the scene. Ask yourself why you’re producing – if you’re only producing to give yourself a performance opportunity and/or you need to be the star of your show, rethink things. Think about what your show offers that other people aren’t already doing.

If you’re going to go ahead with it, I recommend starting by putting on smaller shows in smaller venues that don’t charge rent or charge very low rent. Surround yourself with an awesome stage crew and keep all your overhead low. Check the document in Toronto Burlesque Events to schedule your show properly – you probably don’t want a lot of other shows happening around your brand-new one. And oh yeah…PAY YOUR PERFORMERS WELL. Cut of the door no longer cuts it in Toronto.

Finally, never stop learning! Take classes from different people. One person is not going to give you everything you need and make you a well-rounded performer. Five years in, my favourite part of festivals and expos is still getting to take workshops with performers I respect!

Gracie: Thank you for sharing yourself with us, Scarlett. Follow Scarlett’s shenanigans at the links below. See you lovelies next week. Same Gracie time, same Gracie channel.

Facebook: Blazing Bombshell Burlesque
Twitter: @miss_laflamme

A MUSE MONDAYS: Karen Juanita the French Swan

The first time I had the pleasure of watching this next performer, was at a brunch. Which can I say, as an audience member is my favourite. Its starts late enough that drinking isn’t frowned upon, but gets you home to do your Sunday afternoon laundry. But I digress… as usual. Today’s Muse is graceful and unexpected. Her ability to combine classic modalities to modern beats is refreshing and riveting. Her flaming red hair are a signature. And she’s really nice, like for serious-selflessly nice. Which is something I’m thankful for every time we share a dressing room. Ladies and gentlemen, the enigmatic, Karen Juanita the French Swan!

Photo Cred. Dana Brushette

Photo Cred. Dana Brushette

Gracie: Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. As always I start with how did you get your name?

Karen: Karen is my real name, and Juanita is my middle name. Both are on my birth certificate. I sometimes go by The French Swan, which Mysterion came up with at one of our gigs and it kind of stuck.

Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?

Karen: Since 2009, when I became a member of a Virginia D’Vine’s burlesque troupe. But I’d been going to burlesque shows since maybe 2004. I used to see Skin Tight Outta Sight at the Cadillac Lounge on Friday nights, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Gracie: Signature colour?

Karen: I would say black. Black and red. Or black and silver. Dark blue. A lot of my acts are dramatic, so I tend to go for the winter shades. But I’ve got some nice pastel colors too.

Gracie: What was your burlesque ah-ha moment?

Karen: A few years ago, I went through some rough life events which led me to that moment. Something went off in my head and I said: “From now on, I’m giving this everything I’ve got”. I took all my training as an actress, all the tools I’d been given over the years, all my life experience and injected it in my dancing. I started renting a studio once a week to practice, which is where a lot of my money goes. I just remembered how my teacher, Jacqueline McClintock, who’s now deceased, had pushed me so far to get to a place of truth and to never to settle for less than my best. Why be casual onstage? And why should my dancing be any different? That was when everything started to make sense, and where everything was going to be used for my craft.

Gracie: What is your favorite peel and reveal?

Karen: I love to play with props and use them to frame and reveal onstage. Or props and objects that transform. I wasn’t fond of the typical belly dance props before I was around burlesque. Burlesque made me want to try them and adapt them to my own style. I love veils for their flowing and ethereal quality. I’ve also played with fans and shawls. And recently, swords.

Gracie: Your most unique prop or costume piece?
Two metal belts that I bought while I was in Paris. They are from a local designer who makes jewelry and belts using chains and rhinestones. They are absolutely unique and stunning. His name is Jose Cotel. He has an atelier in the Marais.

Gracie: If you weren’t a showgirl, what would you be?

Karen: I’ve always loved music videos and dance films. I always wanted to be in them, and I’ve had the chance to do a few. And now I think I’d like to make them. If such things still exist by the time I get around to it. Did I just say I wanted to direct? Yes, I think I just said that LOL!

Gracie: Do you have any words for budding showgirls?

Karen:  Dance is a journey. Everything takes time, including finding your own voice. Even then, you’ll always want to explore new things. Keep listening to your instincts, dance to music that excites you, go out to see shows, get inspired, get involved, take classes and have fun. Be on time, always. Return emails. Say what you mean, mean what you say (on stage and off).

Gracie: Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself with us, Karen. It is always interesting to learn such details from so many talented entertainers. Please, follow Karen at the links below! And I’ll see you next week. Same Gracie time, same Gracie channel ❤

Facebook: KarenJuanita

Twitter: @juanitabaila

A MUSE MONDAYS: Kensie Vicious

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Photo cred. John Reed

Today’s muse is one of my first and closest friend, true friend, in Toronto’s burlesque scene. She has tattoos. She designs undies. She’s a nerd. Everybody knows that. She brings me country style butter tarts, even though she’s vegan. I think she enjoys thinking of me getting so much pleasure from something she gave me. She can giggle with a flicker of the devil, but she’s the sweetest schemer I’ve ever met. This pussy-du-jour has been around since my very first day of burlesque. She tackles me with puppy love. And even though she is strong competition for title of ultimate Klutz, her tenacity is one of her signatures. I am proud to fight the good fight with this lady, even though she says it’s not a fight. Ladies and gentlemen, and those who are neither; Kensie Vicious!

Gracie: Thank you for taking time to answer a few of my questions. First off,  how did you get your name?

Kensie: Y’know those games where you find your pornstar name based on your first street name and first place throwing up in public or whatever? Kinda like that, except I chose it based on living in Kensington Market four of the five years I’ve lived in the city, and being a fan of the Sex Pistols (Sid Vicious). Boom. Kensie Vicious.

Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?

Kensie: On the life scene? 25 years. On the burlesque scene? A year. But hell, do I feel like I’ve been building up to this forever.

Gracie: Signature colour?
Naked.

Gracie: What was your burlesque ah-ha moment?

Kensie: I allowed myself to decline gigs and take a step back a few months ago. I said yes to everything and I was pumping out acts that I wasn’t PASSIONATE about. I’ve just returned to performing, debuting some new acts for Belle’s Boudoir….a “make-or-break” show, if you will….these were acts that I REALLY gave a shit about. I felt them, and the audience felt them. It was an incredible moment of understanding my alter ego and my own sense of awareness in front of an audience.

Gracie:  Does your audience have a favorite body part?

Kensie: My mind. The audience loves me for my mind………….kidding. My butt and my tattoos, probably.

Gracie:  What is your favorite part of a new act?

Kensie: The costuming! Oh god, do I love costuming. I’m a fashion design drop out, my brain goes into overdrive when I design new pieces. So many fabrics and rhinestones and…..messes. *cue glitter bomb explosion sound*

Gracie:  If you weren’t a showgirl, what would you be?

Kensie: I would probably be back in university by now! (Not for fashion, that über stylish ship has sailed). The last year of actively performing has gone by so quickly! Granted, it’s a much-needed creative outlet, but I’m sure my fellow show ponies can attest to it being a VERY time-consuming hobby.

Gracie: Do you think you’ll ever retire?

Kensie:  *.*

Gracie: And our end cap. Loaded question, do you have any words for budding showgirls?

Kensie: I cannot emphasize this enough… Find your style. Allow your humor/sweetness/mega vixen/whatever your “thing” is, to come out. Play on things that come naturally and work your ass off (but not actually off) on things that don’t. And if it ever stops being fun, take a step back and reassess.

Gracie: Kensie, thank you so very much for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. If you want to follow Kensie’s antics, see the links below. I will see you next week, same Gracie, same Gracie channel ❤

Facebook: Kensie Vicious

Instagram: @KensieVicious

A MUSE MONDAYS: Dolly Berlin

Everyone has a few of those people in their social circles they run into on a regular basis, I am delighted today’s Muse is one of mine. She is strange and beautiful, smart and sassy, fun and funny. And that last part is what really gets me. Her acts are at once classy and trashy. She makes me laugh, and perhaps she’s bit gassy. But I’m convinced that’s what makes her so light on her feet. Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable Dolly Berlin!

Photo by Photoleana

Photo by Photolena

Gracie: How did you get your name?

Dolly: I had a friend when I was a kid whose sister was named Dolly, and I was always jealous. I’ve been making up alternate names for myself since I was a kid. “Candy” and “Peaches” were two of my most used childhood aliases. When I started performing I was going through a skirts and knee socks phase and was often likened to a doll so it just made sense and I still love it. I don’t use my legal name 90% of the time. Berlin is because of my birthday (Nov 9, ’89).

Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?

Dolly: I met Mitzy Cream in November 2008 and performed my first show with her in February 2009 and have been addicted ever since.

Gracie: Do you have a signature colour?

Dolly: Hmm… I have 3 costumes that use a red/yellow/green pallet. I also love pink. But I guess I don’t have a signature shade.

Gracie: Do you have formal training?

Dolly: No. I half heartedly did YMCA or small studio dance classes when I was really little. I had no direction as a teen otherwise I probably would have taken performance and arts programs, instead I wasted my time being a jock (hilarity!). When I started burlesque Mitzy Cream taught me to tassel twirl, stocking peel, encouraged me to get a real corset (although that took forever) and gave me a lot of history and theory pointers and would finesse my acts (she added the “Mr Clean” jingle to help make my overused Housewife themed act have a pop). It took me a few years to be able to execute performances without awkwardness. I was fortunate to have Great Canadian Burlesque’s Mitzi’s Sister monthlies and then the Comedy Bar monthlies to grow on. I still think I need to get my ass to some dance classes but I don’t really know when I’m going to find the time!

Gracie: Do you tassel?

Dolly: YES, almost always. And incorporating more asselling now too.

Gracie:What is your favourite style of movement?

Dolly: Well done retro raunchiness is awesome, and actually really my favourite; a bit of parading, a good dose of b-n-g. And just a touch of modern stripper is always a nice addition, but it can’t look put on, you have to believe in it. I’m always envious of well done floor work. You really need to take a beating and rehearse the crap out of floor work to make it look good.

Gracie:What is your favourite part of a new act?

Dolly: New Costume! This is also my least favourite part financially. I have yet to master costuming on a budget, or perhaps my standards have just gone up. Many of my acts have been semi-retired or redone (some twice) because I’m embarrassed of the costumes. It can feel a bit daunting at times because there are girls out there in the big leagues with really fantastic fancy outfits that just make you drool, and I feel like…’holy crap I want that’. You have to feel good about what you are wearing, in life and especially on stage, so it’s good to splurge if it means you’re doing it right the first time. But I also have to check myself also and remember that there are priorities beyond performance apparel. It’s all about budget and balance.

Gracie:What’s the most unique show you’ve been a part of?

Dolly: Peepshow TO’s Tim Burton show (Nightmare Before Stripmas at Metro Theatre) was a standout show. I know Burton as a theme has been used before (and will be used again) in North America at least, but locally it was definitely a really cool show to be a part of, so many bizarre characters coming to life, all in a porn theatre. I can’t say I miss the smell of the Metro but I definitely am grateful to have been a part of a handful of productions there before it closed for good, including ringing in 2013 on that stage. You can’t claim to love sleaze without getting a little dirty, right?

Another unique show that I feel so grateful to have been a part of is the Dirty Devils Peepshow at Theatre Bizarre. You enter from a huge Devil’s head and perform on a tongue (it’s a slanted runway with a circular platform at the end). I am performing there in October for the third time. Look it up, I’m already making this so long winded, but it’s a crazy good time and there’s nothing else like it. Go if you can. I think I had an existential crisis at the last one because I was so in awe. The event itself feels like a separate universe, or like you’re part of a movie set. And the burlesque show is just a fraction of what’s going on.

Gracie: Favourite venue in your current city and on the road?

Dolly: Wiggle Room in MTL and Slipper Room in NYC are just fantastic.

Revival is really a great staple here, they’ve been hosting burlesque events for over a decade – I’ve seen VHS tapes of early Harlettes shows there and I think it’s great they’re still supporting our circuit and hosting a variety of shows.

I really have to give a s/o to Cherry Cola’s who have been really great to work with on the Sinful Sundays weekly shows over the past year. Cherish the owner is the epitome of glamour, she always looks like a flawless modern pin-up; naturally the venue just screams burlesque lair. It’s velvet flocked walls are magic, they can turn the hardest of dames to putty.. (just ask Tanya Cheex)!

Gracie: Do you think you’ll ever retire?

Dolly: I know there may come a time when I’ll need to slow down and focus on other things, but for now I’m happy to move forward full steam ahead! I don’t foresee ever quitting completely.

Gracie:Thank you Dolly! Toronto is lucky to have such a natural leading the charge and raising the barre. Follow Dolly’s burlescapades at the links below and I’ll see you next week. ❤

Facebook: Dolly Berlin

Instagram: @DollyBerlin

Twitter: @DollyBerlin

 

P.S. I am always seeking new Muses email me to participate

A MUSE MONDAYS: Rhapsody Blue

I have only met today’s Muse once. She was pretty in pink at the Mean Girls show, a fundraiser for the Ottawa Burlesque Festival. Her long pink wig flowing in the breeze she created as she ran around putting out fires and pumping up performers. Though I didn’t have much time to get to know her, I could tell by the way those around her reflected her glow, she is a charismatic and caring burly beauty. Ladies and gentlemen, the oh la la from Ottawa: Rhapsody Blue!

Photo by John Finnigan Lin

Photo by John Finnigan Lin

Gracie: Thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions! First, as always,  how did you get your name?

Rhapsody: My name refers to one of my favourite pieces of music, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. I think it has the same sort of character and energy that I try to bring to the stage.
Gracie: How long have you been on the scene?
Rhapsody: I had my performance debut in early 2010
Gracie: Signature colour?
Rhapsody: Pink and white, probably?
Gracie: What is your signature move?
Rhapsody: I dedicate each reveal or movement to a different audience member, while the act as a unit is for everyone. I often make eye contact and try to say “Hey, you. Yes, in the third row. This glove peel is just for you.” 
Gracie: Do you have a favorite body part?
Rhapsody: I’d say it’s a coin toss between my hips and my smile. I like to have fun with both.
Gracie: What is your favourite part of a new act?
Rhapsody: I love when that last puzzle piece slides into place; you find the perfect song, accessory, movement pattern or whatever that just ties the whole thing together in a way you weren’t necessarily expecting. Sometimes this happens when you’ve done an act a few times and you figure out what you didn’t even know you were missing.
Gracie: Favourite venue in your current city and on the road?
Rhapsody: In Montreal, I really like La Sala Rossa. In Toronto, the Metropolis Factory was super fun. Here in Ottawa I will of course always have a soft spot for Babylon Nightclub, since it was the first place I ever performed and is kind of home base for my troupe, Rockalily Burlesque. It used to be a strip club called Fanny’s back in the day, so it has that fun history. I also adore the Gladstone Theatre, and performing at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Saint Brigid’s and Centrepointe Theatre were all very memorable experiences.
Gracie: Do you have any words for budding showgirls?
Rhapsody: I’d like to repeat some advice that Sucre À la Crème gave to me, since it’s simple but important: don’t forget that your exit is every bit a part of your act as the rest of the performance.  So don’t flee the stage! Also, go to shows and get a mentor, if you can: someone with a bit of history in the industry off whom you can bounce ideas and who will be frank with you if something is overdone or inadvisable. Set goals for yourself based on why you perform burlesque, because that will anchor you when you’re struggling.
Gracie: Thank you so much for all your insight! Follow today’s Muse at the links below, and have a great week!
Facebook: Rhapsody Blue

Instagram: @RhapsodyBlueBurlesque

MySpace: Rhapsody.Blue

 

Also:

Rhapsody’s food tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/blueplatespecials

Rhapsody’s cats tumblr: http://kittumblr.tumblr.com/