I happened upon the documentary “A Wink and a Smile” and fell in love with burlesque immediately. I searched for burlesque in Indianapolis and Angel was the first one I found. I read the website information and the motto of “Real is sexy” and, for the first time in my life, I considered getting up there to be the pretty girl I had always wanted to be. Angel was having a workshop with open auditions afterwards. I decided to go to the workshop and, if I liked it, I would stay for the auditions. Of course, the workshop was amazing, so I stayed and was cast in my first show! Five years later, here I am!
How did you come up with your first routine?
My husband and I bonded over a love of old horror films. Jason Voorhees is one of my favorite villains, and I liked the idea of surprising my audience in the way the old films did. So, “Death by Burlesque” was born!
How long have you been doing burlesque?
How have you changed, onstage and backstage, during that time?
I have grown a lot in confidence both on and offstage. I believe in myself more and allow myself to try any crazy idea that inspires me. It may not always work, but I am much more willing to try and trust myself to be anything I want to be. And, for the first time in my life, even if it is usually while standing onstage, I feel like the beauty I deserve to be.
What tips can you give aspiring performers?
Do your research. Watch videos, read blogs/articles/books, and take as many workshops as you can. The more you know, the more tricks you have to pull out of your hat…or wherever else you decide to pull it from.
What does my honey think of me doing burlesque?
My husband is my biggest fan. I have been performing for about the same amount of time we have been together, so he has been with me throughout this incredible journey! He has always been supportive, comes to almost every single show, volunteers to help and even reaches out to the significant others of new performers to offer support and friendship.
Tell us about some of your traveling burlesque adventures.
I have been fortunate enough to travel to Charlotte, Detroit, Columbus, and Minneapolis. Every adventure has been different, but they have all been amazing! It is an honor to be asked to perform in festivals and in shows outside of your area, and it is a great chance to learn from and meet talent from all over the place! The friendships and knowledge are so beneficial, and I am so grateful I have had the opportunity!
It was actually recently at the Honey B’s Bourbon Boylesque fundraiser. The night before the show, I had a deathly allergic reaction to a costume piece I was to wear in the opener. My face was swollen and slightly disfigured that morning, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to perform. Prior to that, I also had difficulty with that routine, because it was intended to be a singing routine, so much of the choreo had to be improvised. Add to that some last minute costume sewing that needed to be done, and I had a recipe for disaster. But, with the help and support of my fiance and my troupe, I got to the show and took care of business. I was nervous and scared, but I took a deep breath and let Ginger Peach take over. I stepped out on that stage and Ginger had the audience in the palm of her hand. For the first time, I truly became the character I had aspired to be. I was Ginger Peach. It was truly empowering.
Any embarrassing moments?
During my very first solo, both of my pasties fell off! Luckily, I was standing with my back to my audience and bending down to pick up my machete, so I just picked them up and put them back on, used my machete to press them into place and then prayed as hard as I could before the final reveal! They stayed on!
What is your favorite part of burlesque?
The empowerment it provides. It empowers me as a performer and as a woman, it empowers my fellow performers, but best of all, it empowers my audience. Having someone tell me that I helped them with body confidence or seeing the light in their faces after a show is worth so much!!
Are there any parts of burlesque that you loathe?
Safety thongs and pastie glue!!! The worst!!
If you can describe your essence as an ice cream flavor, what flavor would you be?
Why, ginger peach, of course!!