Hot Rods and Heels Darling of the Year, and the mastermind behind Bewitching Burlesque- Glam Amour talks voyeurism, chaos, and total world domination!
How did you fall in love with the pin-up & burlesque movement?
Girlfriends bought me a workshop with Jo Boobs when she was here in Dallas a while ago…I fell in love. It was a chance to really set lose my inner exhibitionist, but in a way that seem very safe. I always thought being a stripper would be fun, but I thought A: I’m too Fat and B: I LOATHE the thought of being groped. With burlesque, most of the audience doesn’t care what shape you are, it’s more what you can do with your curves and there’s no touching! It was as if someone said “oh, you CAN have your cake and eat it too”.
If someone has no idea what burlesque is, how would you define it?
It’s a voyeurs holiday, because instead of stripping for the audience, you are stripping for yourself and you bring them along for a ride. There is classic burlesque that seduces with glamour and glitz taking you back to a time when the journey was almost more fun than the destination. Modern burlesque that wants you to question assumptions about beauty or sexuality or your world. My favorite numbers are ones that have something to say, a story to tell. Then, not only is there eye candy, but brain candy as well. yummmmm…..
You debuted as both a producer and a performer in October of 2008, describe that first Bewitching experience.
Nerve wracking. Emotionally chaotic…. what if I don’t break even? What if they say “what the heck does that fat chick think she’s doing taking off her clothes” and what if they all run for the one bathroom to vomit. What if some how I piss off all the performers I’ve hired and I’ve just ruined my chances of performing ever again? I had to do it, though. I had to prove to myself that I could do it. Even if all the nightmares I was having came true. I had to gift myself with the chance to know- to have done it. Just once….ok, twice…. ok, three times…. ok- again…. and again…
You were the first to have a variety burlesque showcase in Dallas, where anyone was welcome to audition. What are the ideals that Bewitching Burlesque is founded upon?
Anyone who has the balls to get a performance together, a good costume and wants to take the stage- should be given the opportunity. It’s really hard as a soloist or a new troupe to break in to burlesque- I know, I tried it… lost my temper and decided to build my own event, with Pixie O’Kneels excellent help, for those of us who need a jumping off place or just place to show off a fabulous new hobby. It’s one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done, I HAVE to share it. Wouldn’t you?
Bewitching Burlesque was instrumental in the recent rapid growth of Dallas’ burlesque scene. How do you feel about burleque’s giant surge in popularity lately?
BRING IT ON! I’m excited and scared. Rapid growth can lead to stress fractures with in the community, so it’s really important that the community keeps communication open about everything from events to workshops to new performers looking for mentors. Our community can be SO supportive and warm, I don’t want to see that lost. I feel like the Lorax allot of the time, the doom sayer, but really I’m excited about all the opportunities that having a growing community brings. No matter what- it’s gonna be quite the ride!
Where do you feel the Dallas Burlesque scene is headed? Where would you like it to be?
I really like that the community works hard at making sure that show/event dates don’t conflict, that respect for the performers as artists is being widely promoted. If we can keep this up, our community is going to grow until it will be unheard of for a person to NOT have been to at least one burlesque show. ( I’m excited for the day when I’m at dinner and the next table over is debating the difference from the classic show they saw last night and the modern one the saw the week before!)
As a producer you were recently awarded the title of “Hot Rods and Heels Darling” which recognizes someone annually who has worked their behind off to promote the community. Tell us about that experience.
Winning the award was really awesome for me. It’s quite selfishly warm and wonderful to be recognized on a community level, but I tell you what, this next year is gonna be a tough call! I’m really excited about (had nothing to do with) the Dallas Burlesque website and the grass root initiative to get local performers giving local workshops. There is also the budding project “Burlesque for the Cause”- which I think is a very noble concept. I think my efforts last year are going to be far outstripped by the amazing work that groups like these are doing.
What are the skills neccessary to be a great producer? What goes into planning a show?
HA! There are a thousand and one different takes of what it is to be a great producer and since I’m not one, I don’t know what they are! The way Pixie and I run and event is by working at being good parents and NOT doing anything that we hated that was done to us as performers (another dance genre, not Burlesque). So we work at keeping the dancers appreciated, informed and protected. We work at making sure that we have an audience for our events and that our audience knows how to appropriate appreciate the performers.
What goes in to planning a show? antacids, long sleepless nights and lots of prayers. pray that the boss doesn’t catch you doing your second job at your first job. pray that all your performers don’t catch the flu all at the same time and you have a show of… you. pray that the family of the performer on the stage, doesn’t catch the catty comment you just overheard from the group in front. pray no one falls and takes your house….Faith, I guess is the short answer, faith and antacids.
As an entertainer, what do you hope audiences take away from your performances?
ENTERTAINMENT. An evening where they forgot bills, house repairs and work woes. Maybe even lit a spark for ideas for the next night when the kids are at grandma’s……
What does the future hold for Glam Amour and Bewitching Burlesque?
For myself- GlamAmour: I want to be a good, solid performer.. Not great, I have no delusions of grandeur, however good, for me, would be great. So I’m off to take classes and push my self in to auditioning for events (even when my inner coward is screaming “NO YOU FOOL”) and just making my self more desirable as a performer. I also am dreaming on some ideas to get more community orientated events. Some balls have been started by La Divina and the Velvet Kittens, I hope to get those picked up and run with.
For Bewitching Burlesque: TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION. or hey, a Mid Summer Masquerade in August and a cool collaborative with Through the Looking Glass in December- Gifts and Garters. 2010- who knows. Pixie does. She’s the brains of the outfit.