Austin based Burlesque Entertainer Erin Go Braughless talks drag queens, comic books, and being hot.
Q: You recently won the title of “most outrageous” in your luche libre costume that made audiences roar with laughter. We think outrageous is a great way to describe the over the top hilarity of your burlesque numbers. Have you always been a comedian of sorts?
Believe it or not, I am actually a really quiet person. I think backstage at shows, people a lot of times think that I am rude, but in truth, I am super shy! Once people get to know me though, I open up and become a totally different person and I have a really citric sense of humor and act pretty outrageous all of the time. I also think it helps that I work full-time year round at Lucy In Disguise with Diamonds, an over the top costume shop in Austin, read comic books, watch professional wrestling several times a week, worship drag queens, and wear over the top fashions most days of the week.
Q: In your submission to Pin Curl, you wrote ” [I] give the audience just what they came for- a close and personal encounter with the endangered species of the confident woman.” We were taken by this. In your opinion, why is the confident woman an endangered species?
I think that most women are so caught up in being hotter or thinner or younger that we forget to take a look in the mirror today and go “damn I look good”. You hear women say all the time “when I was 17 I thought I was so awkward and ugly, but now looking back, I was a real Bettie”, so my goal is to always find something that I love about the way I look that day. Sometimes I have a breakout so I focus on my hair, or on a bad hair day I focus on my awesome rack, so I always feel confident and sexy; I don’t ever want to look back and feel like I missed out on a single experience because of my own insecurities.
Q: Your email signature includes your self-given title “Big Fat Burlesque Queen”. In a society that frowns upon the word “fat”, you have chosen to embrace it. Why do you choose “fat” instead of gentler words like “plump”, or “full-figured”?
Fat is just what I am. To me saying you are offended by the word fat is the same as being offended by the words short or blonde. I am all of those things and I don’t call myself “flaxen haired” or “vertically challenged”, I don’t call myself fluffy, chubby, or anything else. I also choose to use the word fat because when you use it, it is impossible for others to use it against you as a weapon. I am fat. I always have been. I always will be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: You are a founding member of “Big Star Burlesque”. Tell us more about the founding and mission of BSB.
Our founder is Blue Valentine and she was inspired to create BSB after seeing the Fat Bottom Revue in San Francisco. She came back to Austin and started an all plus-sized troupe to help inspire and empower plus-sized women all over Texas. After Blue moved to San Antonio to found Stars and Garters Burlesque, I took over our troupe and have been carrying on the mission of empowering women of all shapes and sizes through dance, strip tease, and soaking up the spot light. Myself and the other girls feel a huge sense of responsibility in carrying on the mission and ideas and she set forth in our founding.
Q: Do you find that there is a smaller audience for a troupe of bigger gals, as opposed to a more diverse troupe?
I think that we tend to draw in a crowd that appreciates full figured women as we often perform at functions that are for plus-sized women and their fans. I also think that we draw in a lot of first timers because we have a gimmick, and if there is one thing you need in show business, its a gimmick!
Q: You recently started the Erin Go Braughless School of Burlesque. What are the top three things you would like your students to learn from your classes?
1. Anyone can twirl tassels
2. There is a big drag goddess in all of us
3. Fat girls take up more room in the spotlight