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A Dirty Dozen with LOTTIE A LA WEST of THE 2019 MICHIGAN BURLESQUE FESTIVAL – September 2019

| 11 September 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 performer Lottie A La West 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 have worked on an AMAZING  duet with the one and only Heather and Lace, as Bellatrix LeStrange and Narcissa Malfoy, using fans and the classic “Sisters” from White Christmas, we luckily work very well together, and our process was remarkably smooth. As for Solos? I finished a classic act for the FIRST TIME IN FOREVER, My nerdy process around it involves making a character for the number, then LARPing as them doing nerdlesque, there’s 8 layers of nerdiness to get to the sexy.

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?

A fairly known, and defunct Nerdlesque troupe in Chicago honestly believed in in my when no other facet of performing did, and it fanned a fire that was going out. From that point, I went to shows, applied for shows that were “too big” for me, took classes, observed, and asked questions. And this all happened?

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

Mae West, Lucille Ball, Obviously, Honestly, Dirty Martini, as a plus sized performer I never thought I could ever be construed as beautiful, and I spent so much of my life waiting to be thin, that I never knew it could happen now, so basically ANYONE  owning every part of themselves brings me to tears, I’m too emotional.

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

First off, I’d say Lady Gaga for the money and vision, but Burlesque wise, I’d say Redrum, I mean, our styles don’t mesh at all, but they’re so great and creative and DETAILED, and details are like — my thing.

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?

I’m goofy, but painted for the gods, a huge goofball in a sexy package. Honestly the “I COULD NEVER DO THAT!!!!!!” from an audience member that resembles me usually stings, but those “OH MY GOD, YOU’RE SO BRAVE” comments make me feel like I’m so sort of untalented side show act (because I DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS FOR REAL SIDESHOW).

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 used Lady Gaga’s “Christmas Tree” for my poorly made Cindy Lou Who act, it was — interesting. Now a days, I would LOVE to do something to “Don’t Say You Do” by Lola Blanc, it brings me RIGHT into that sweet sweet vampire headspace, but — how many vampire acts do I realistically need?

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?

“Sexy” I’m a HUGE GOOF. People thing I’m all about looking pretty, but that’s only like 40% of it. As a person, I used to be VERY religious, and I assumed burlesque performers had low, low, lowww morals, it’s very untrue; most burly folks are the best humans I know. I’m like a nerd all over, I’m LARPing, I’m cosplaying, I’m DnDing, I want folks to feel like I’m their nerdy hot friend, raging chaotic high femme energy.

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

At Kansas City Nerdlesque Festival, I was blessed to be around so many obscenely talented performers like Taryn Garters, Mona Montague, and more. Basically, it’s a lot, esp from that show. The show was packed with amazing talent, Also, Jeez Loueez followed me on Instagram and that made me blush.

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?

The adrenaline high after an amazing show, the worst, the late nights, I love sleep — burlesque matinees, anyone? I’d probably go back to doing musicals, exclusively, it’d be frustrating to play only moms, aunts, and crazy best friends, but, I’d be onstage.

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?

Question I’d love to answer: Would you like to model for my costuming project? Question I hate: ARE THOSE YOUR EYELASHES? (hint: they never are)

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’d probably see more shows and try to be less shy when introducing myself to people, or once I got more comfortable, I wish I COULD PREVENT THE CRINGEY WORD VOMIT-Y conversations I generally have when I get nervous.

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’d like to be known as a hardworking, creative, interesting performer, someone who genuinely cares about the work they put onstage, and the way I treat people offstage.







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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