Rosie Rawhyde sits down to talk married life, Vegas, the Air Force, and camaraderie in Texas burlesque. Rosie Rawhyde will be performing in Dallas on May 15th at Hot Rods and Heels.
Interview: Divertida Devotchka Photos: Eddie Hernandez
Q: Your website says you were in the Air Force. How did that transition into burlesque?
I was in the Air Force for almost 5 years. I was an Electronic Warfare Technician and was lucky enough to get stationed in Las Vegas at Nellis AFB. When I moved to Vegas I started hanging out with a group of girls that were into pinup modeling. I did some photoshoots with them and talks began to start a burlesque troupe, which became The Sin City Grind Kittens, which to my knowledge was the first neo-burlesque troupe in Las Vegas. This was in January 2004, and I finished my time in the service in September 2004.
Q: You’ve performed in several troupes under different names over the years. Please share your troupe/stage name history with us.
My first performance was with Sin City Grind Kittens as Deadly Tiger Lily. In August 2004, with the help of my friend Goldie Debloomers, we started Babes in Sin Burlesque. We performed regularly at The Cooler Lounge and performed at the Aruba Hotel on the Strip. During this time I got to go to the last Miss Exotic World Burlesque Reunion held in Helendale, California. I was honored to perform at the Friday night performer party. I performed with Babes in Sin until August 2005 when I relocated to Texas. I took time off until early 2006 when I was hired to perform for a bachelorette party. The event was such a hit I was contacted to start a burlesque show. I decided a name change was in order, and my husband came up with Rosie Rawhyde. We continued self-producing and directing shows under the name Babes in Sin, Texas until late 2008 or early 2009, when it was decided to change the name of the show and the show itself. Instead of making a “troupe” we wanted a “production.” There is a core group of ladies that produce and direct each show as well as perform, but we try to have a rotation of performers to keep it fresh. From this point on the After Dark Revue, Corpus Christi’s only burlesque show, has been in full swing.
Q: What’s your favorite aspect of performing? The most challenging part?
My favorite aspect of performing is the creation of the performance. Having the opportunity to become someone different is such a freeing experience. I love traveling and meeting other performers. I have been able to go to some amazing events and performed at a number of neat venues and I have also had the privilege of sharing the stage with amazing performers.
The most challenging aspect has been the promotion. I hate having to “sell” myself. I want my art and performance to speak for itself. I spend most of my money and time on the actual performance and maybe I have been hurt by not promoting myself enough. On the flipside, I have seen girls that have great websites, business cards and photos, but they’re just boring live. I also find competitions to be a turn off. The minute competition is mentioned, there are performers who will get catty and that is something I don’t want to be involved in. Building camaraderie is something Texas needs. It’s too bad the state is so vast. Travel makes meeting other Texas girls hard because of our location.
Q: Who/what inspires you?
Recently I have gotten into tribal belly dance and have been blown away by the performers and the costuming. I have learned that skill in dance and pride in your costuming is essential, and that you shouldn’t rely on the final tassel shot. Other inspirations include old black and white movies, musicals, vintage cartoons, driving across the country, old glamour, vintage Hollywood, and music. I am inspired by life in general!
Q: How long have you been married? Is your husband involved in the burlesque industry? What are his views of your participation in burlesque?
This year will mark our 8th anniversary. He is the music tech. He is involved whenever we need him, but he never really volunteered to do it, I pretty much volunteer him each time. He is great though, dependable and willing to put up with numerous girls telling him directions.
He feels as long as I am having fun and hold myself with class, performing is fine. Marriage is about compromise and growth, together. I always tell the girls in the show that family comes first. I have found that if I equally give him the attention I give burlesque, I can keep everyone happy. I have a great friend and husband at home that I have a blast with on a daily basis! I have to remind myself that there IS life outside of performing sometimes!
Q: What are your goals as a performer?
I guess my current goal would be to keep that inner spark going. I never wanted this to be a day job. I want to be able to perform and hopefully be able to travel more for various events. I would LOVE to make it back to Vegas to do a show with the troupe I started out there. Of course I lack horribly in promotion so maybe working on that more should be a bigger goal!
Q: You’re performing at Hot Rods and Heels in May. Have you performed in Dallas before?
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of performing in Dallas! This will be my first time seeing so many Dallas performers and I am hoping to have a few join the After Dark Revue in Corpus Christi some time!
Q: What other projects are you currently working on?
After Hot Rods and Heels we start pre-production on our late summer Sideshow Ball. We are also in talks right now to possibly host a Texas Burlesque Performers Showcase in 2011. I would love feedback from any and all performers about traveling to Corpus and participating in a two night party and performance for Texas performers only. No pressure, no competition and a welcoming way for us to meet Texas burlesque performers! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to submit ideas and feedback!
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not performing (or preparing to perform)?
When I am not performing I love to spend my time having friends over for drinks and movies. Although once us girls all get together and have a couple drinks we end up watching burlesque videos and having a dance party in the living room to David Bowie!