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| 6 August 2019 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “The Michigan Burlesque Festival started in 2012 with the intent to bring some of the world’s most unique performers to Detroit in hopes of reuniting the traditional concepts of original burlesque theater, where dancers and vaudevillians shared a stage to provide well rounded and entertaining sexy comedic show. It has grown into a two-day festival featuring not-to-miss local talent and award-winning performance artists and world renown burlesque performers, such as past headliners: Lushes LaMoan, Bella Sin, The Weird Sisters, Red Hot Annie, Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, Russell Brunner, Roxi D’Lite, Dangrrr Doll, Ray Gunn, Mr. Gorgeous, Jeez Loueez, Satori Circus, Hank E Panky, Dirty Martini along with so many more phenomenal performers.” We get the performer Heather And Lace to discuss routines, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest developed routine.  What drove you to choose the particular piece of music, create the costume, and pull together the specific moves in the routine?  Are there any links between that routine and your “real life” that tie the two side of you together?

I created a Hades act (not Disney) to “Kiss From A Rose”. It’s a kind of retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. The song made me smile every time I thought of Hades dancing to “Kiss From A Rose”. I based the look off of a webtoon I like to read called Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe. I think the awkwardness of some of the movements in this act mirror my own awkwardness at times. I’m really happy with how this act turned out!

2. What got you into burlesque, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a performer? Building on that, is there a specific performer or act that guided your performances in the beginning?

I had seen notices for burlesque parody shows and finally decided to give it a shot. I was cast in that show and spent two years performing in shows with that theater. When I started performing solos Red Rum’s “Another One Bites the Dust” act really stuck out and Slightly Spitfire’s “Shake it Off” act really resonated with me. They both showed me what a beautiful and versatile art form this is and I loved it.

3. Who would be your main influences or performers you admire?

I admire so many, I find something to admire in almost every performance I see. Creativity sparks creativity!

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a routine with, who would it be, and why?

Shirley Blazen, Bailey Irish, Jean Wildest for people I know Bob Fosse or Anne Reinking if we’re just fantasizing.

5. How would you describe your performance style to someone who’d never seen you perform before? What is one review from the media, an audience member, or a fan has made that made you cringe?

My performance style is a combinations of dance, costuming, and story telling. I usually pull from two of those for each act if not all three… plus a healthy dose of goofiness for good measure.

6. When it comes to the musical component of your performance, is there a certain musical genre, artist, or specific song you have always wanted to use? What was the first song you ever used – and what does that song mean to you now?

I have a number of songs by Stevie Nicks and DePeche Mode that I want to use in the future but I like to listen to Pandora to get ideas. My first solo was for a holiday show so I used the jazzy piano version of “Oh Christmas Tree” (from Charlie Brown). I like that I can dust that act off a few times a year, the song makes me happy.


7. What is one thing you wish audience members knew about you, your performances, or burlesque in general? What do you feel is the biggest misconception about you and your burlesque career?

I don’t really have anything I wish the audience knew, I tell the audience what I want them to know onstage in my acts.

8. When was the last time you were star struck by a burlesque performer and who was it?

I fangirl all the time over performers I love. The last ones were probably Willie LaQueue, Chazie Bly, and Red Rum.

9. What is the best part of being a burlesque performer? Conversely, what is the worst part? If you could no longer be a performer for whatever reason, what would be your other artistic outlet?

I am in control of what I produce and no one dictates how or what I put out there. The worst part is the constant hustle, it is difficult to find a good balance between creating and performing and everything else. I have my degree in theatre and design, so I guess I would do that more.

10. What is one question you have always wanted someone to ask you as a performer – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Don’t have a questions I want to be asked, but am so tired of people asking what my husband thinks of me doing burlesque. It’s none of your business either way so why do you care?

11. Looking back over your burlesque career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I would have started everything sooner than I did. I wish I would have had the guts to audition the first time I saw the notice for a burlesque parody, but I got there eventually and that’s all that matters.

12. What is one thing you still want to achieve in the burlesque world? At the end of the day, what contribution to the local burlesque scene do you hope you will be remembered for?

I am hoping, that with my company, we can create a safe space for people to create and show their art. As many people as we can, all are welcome at our table!





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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