Ruby Champagne

Ruby Champagne.  Photo: Girlie Show Photography
Ruby Champagne. Photo: Girlie Show Photography

Known as the Mexican Spitfire of Burlesque, Miss Viva Las Vegas 2010 Ruby Champagne talks Tease O Rama 2012, sparkling wine, Star Wars, crystals, Texas and disco.

Interview: Divertida Devotchka

You just returned from this year’s Tease O Rama. Please tell us all about your experience. What was the highlight of the weekend for you?

I had the most amazing weekend in San Francisco for Tease-O-Rama!! It was my first time attending and participating in the showcase weekend, and it was a beyond-wonderful experience! The highlight of the weekend was being the opening act for Saturday night’s show! It’s kind of a big deal to be the opening act in these type of shows that feature so many fantastic performers. It sets the bar and the stage for the audience to present what they are in for. So that was a delicious honor!!

Sort This Out Cellars is developing a wine named after you. How exciting! I’d like to hear more about that.

YES! Oh my goodness this is such an exciting project! It started out as a casual conversation which turned into a handshake deal and here we are, in the process of harvesting grapes for Sort This Out Cellar’s first Sparkling Wine which will feature me on the label! Sort This Out Cellars is keeping true to the process of making sparkling wine, so it’s taking a while. It will be well-worth it once it’s released.

Photo: Arturo Nevarez Photography
Photo: Arturo Nevarez Photography

Please tell us more about the beginnings of Ruby. Do you have formal dance/theater training or related experience or are you self taught? How and when did you get started doing burlesque?

I was born dancing! Well, as far as I remember, haha! Seriously, I remember jamming to the Saturday Night Fever record (yes, I’m that old and yes, I’m still a disco biscuit! LOL!) Then like most little girls, I was in ballet, tap and jazz classes. Once I reached my teenage years, we moved from where I used to take classes so that fizzled. Years later, I discovered Salsa dancing! Wepa! I LOVE Latin Dance! Fast forward to now, I feel the fundamentals I learned in ballet, tap, jazz, and in Latin dance classes have helped hone my skills I incorporate in my Burlesque performances.

You’re performing in Dallas this month in Viva Dallas Burlesque’s Cinco de Mayo show. Will it be your first visit to Texas? What are you looking forward to the most?

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be invited to perform in Viva Dallas Burlesque…and for the Cinco de Mayo show, fantastico! This isn’t my first visit to Texas, but it will be my first visit to Dallas. My dad is from El Paso, we used to go many, many times when I was little. My uncle and cousins now live in San Antonio, which I love visiting. When people visit my house, they think I’m from TX because of all the magnets and knick-knacks I have that are from Texas, haha! I’m really looking forward to performing for the Dallas audience, which is a new crowd for me and meeting new people!

Photo: Markus Alias
Photo: Markus Alias

Do you have any other plans to travel or do festivals this year?

I’m still debating whether to enter other festivals this year. It’s such a downer when you get rejected, lol! But, hopefully I will still be part of the first annual Philadelphia Burlesque Festival set to take place in August! Next year I do hope to enter a couple festivals that were recommended and Tease-O-Rama if it returns for sure!

You were named Miss Viva Las Vegas 2010. Did you notice many changes after receiving that title? If so, what were they?

The only major change I noticed was that Emcees will include my title when they’re introducing me, which I greatly appreciate! I feel I was pretty busy booking gigs before I won, so I didn’t feel like I got busier. But perhaps having a title has helped me obtain some gigs I may not have been considered for because they didn’t recognize me and my talent before.

What are some of your fondest memories since you began performing burlesque?

Staying up late working on costumes! Now that I have a pretty decent collection of costumes, I don’t spend sleepless nights gluing rhinestones. I even had a couple girlfriends who were my gluing assistants, lol! Also, it’s funny when I pull out an old costume piece where I thought 20 crystals was enough. Of course I now update the costume with 200 more crystals!

Photo: Girlie Show Photography
Photo: Girlie Show Photography

I gathered from your Facebook page that you’re a Star Wars fan, right? What are three other things about you that may surprise our readers?

Oh my gosh, YES! I remember seeing Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi in the theater with my dad. I’m definitely a fan.

Other things that may surprise your readers…well, I’m shy! I have grown out of my shell by leaps and bounds, but I tend to be quiet when I’m around people I don’t know. Once that ice is broken though, let’s have cocktails! I have a pen fetish! I love collecting all sorts of pens. Lastly, it tends to surprise people when I tell them my career is in construction. I think they automatically envision me in a hard hat and tool belt, lol! But I burst that bubble when I say I work in the estimating aspect, not actually building it.

What’s next for Ruby Champagne?

Hopefully more amazing shows to be part of and projects to be involved in! I continue to work on my skills and I am looking forward to developing a new act I can feature in festivals. And I dream and hope to someday have the opportunity to perform in Europe! That would be the deliciously supreme! The sky is the limit!

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