The next in our series of Guest Teacher Blogs is a long time friend of all things luscious – It’s Trixi Tassels! Trixi is going to be guest teaching a tassel twirling class and if you have ever wanted to improve your tasseling technique- this is the class for you. This time we get 

 

What is your first memory of performing?

When I played one of the Three Billy Goats Gruff on stage with an amateur kids theatre group – I must have been 6 or 7 or something.

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

Best parts are when you get that magical connection with the audience and they’re completely in the palm of your hand.  You can be doing absolutely nothing on stage but they are totally enthralled.  The worst parts are when you’re not feeling the act, not in the moment for some reason, and then that translates to your energy and that prohibits you connecting with the audience.

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

I try to eat lightly and I don’t drink until after I’ve performed.  I go through my costuming spreadsheet to check I have every little item from the big costume items right down to the little things like spirit gum and jewellery.

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

I tend to connect with a song first.  I may have a broad concept, but it will only start to come together when I have found the perfect song which provides the inspiration for the feeling, the costume, and the pacing of the whole thing.  The song is absolutely integral. Once I get the song, I play it several dozen times over and map out the act and design the costume in my head before it starts to come to physical life.  Often I re-cut it to extend or shorten it or repeat particular parts that work really well.

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

With lots of wine or gin!  It’s nice to hang out backstage for a bit away from the crowds to chill out a bit before the hustle bustle of heading out to the public space.

Do you have any secret talents?

Apart from being one of the world’s best tassel twirlers, I make a mean risotto.

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

Dead Radio by Rowland S. Howard.  It’s got the best opening line to an album ever.

 

We’ve got our tassels on ready to enjoy this class on Saturday 26th August. Book your place now to avoid disappointment:  http://littleladyluscious.co.uk/summer-workshops/

Dilemma: how do you answer interview questions if you’re a mime? Well, our next Luscious teacher certainly figured out a way to get around that! You’ll have to use your imagination,  but we promise you it’s worth it – and you can learn the ways of the burlesque clown in our summer workshops this summer. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to meet the absolutely delightful Pi the Mime!
1. What’s the ideal way for you to start off your day?
*Pi lies flat on the ground, raises both arms in the air and sits bolt upright.*
2. Are you more of a morning person or a night owl? 
*Pi looks out of the window, sees sunlight and squints before holding eyes firmly shut.*
3. Where do you get the inspiration for your acts?
*Pi looks around, points at a book and a radio. And then taps his head, his stomach and his heart.*
4. What’s your favourite way to unwind after performing?
*Pi jumps up, runs around the room, skips, laughs and then collapses in a heap.*
5. Tell us about your most memorable moment on stage. (Can be good or bad!)
*Pi falls of his seat, stands up, looks left and right and then stops. Mimes removing trousers and grinning, then looking down and realising that their are no mime pants on!!!*
6. What show are you currently binge-watching?
*Pi shakes his head in shame and turns the nearest lightbulb on and off a few times, before beginning to trace the alphabet in the air above him.*
7. Who would you most like to perform for, and why?
*Pi scratches his head. Shrugs. Looks up. Looks down. Looks left. Looks right. And then points at you. YES YOU! And nods enthusiastically.*
8. Any New Year’s resolutions?
*Pi grins, spins around, draws a circle in the air and holds it close.*
Pi will be teaching our Clowning in Burlesque course on 19th August.
Photo credits: Plainview Media

We literally cannot wait for the summer workshops. Today we’re looking forward to the Fan Dancing on the 12th August is going to be taught by the incomparable, Miss Tempest Rose. You should absolutely come down and check it out. Tempest will bring the fans, you just bring yourself and your most comfortable heels.

Here’s what you can expect:

Learn the beautiful art of the fan dance with Tempest Rose. Popularized by Sally Rand in the 1930s, the classic ostrich feather fan dance is an iconic burlesque act full of elegance and tease. Learn the skills and techniques needed to fan dance gracefully – how to hold your fans, transition seamlessly between poses, move elegantly and classic fan moves and tips, – the class will end with a choreographed routine for you to try out your new skills.  If you do not own a set of fans let us know when you book and we will bring a set of fans for you to use during the workshop.  Tempest Rose has performed fan dances in some of the No.1 UK touring theatres in the country, at The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House, The Hippodrome Casino, in New York and Paris Burlesque Festival and on BBC 1 on the prime time TV show Heir Hunters.

There are full details here http://littleladyluscious.co.uk/summer-workshops/

 

Here’s the interview tempest did with us last summer…

Do you remember the first time you performed as burlesque dancer?  How did it go? 

 
It was at Volupte for the Kitten Club in 2007 and I had to prepare two solo’s and learn about 4 group numbers so I was running around so much I barely had time to take in the experience! I think I did ok – I remember being on a huge high after and thinking that I had finally found my thing.
 
 
 
How did you choose your burlesque name?
 
I chose my name as a tribute to Tempest Storm and Gypsy Rose Lee – in hindsight the juxtapositioning of the two words is also a perfect description of my personality. 
 
 
 
What is a typical day for Tempest Rose like?
 
I wake up and check in on my emails and social media on my phone like most people. My inbox usually dictates whether I can a) go back to sleep, b) post some pictures and schedule some fun posts or c) have to get up immediately to deal with some awesome opportunity/complete disaster/something I forgot to do the day before. Running between 1 to 3 shows a week usually means I spend a lot of my day online either organising or helping customers. Sometimes I’ll get the chance to do some costuming work which is nice, then if there’s not too much to do I’ll go to the gym( aka to meet friends and drink wine) or leave to perform or teach in the evenings.
 
 
 
Which Burlesque performer has inspired you the most?
Gypsy Rose Lee.
 
 
 
You have many different acts which is your favourite to perform?
 
At the moment my Vanishing Showgirl act as its my latest or I also always love doing the Ice Queen act  – the music is just so beautiful. 
 
 
 
What to do you think is the most Lusicous thing about fan dancing?
 
Fan-dancing makes you feel like a real showgirl – its so beautiful and glamorous, whilst leaving you space to put your own personality in to it.  
 
 
 
 
 Tempest Rose’s Fan dancing workshop is on Wednesday 3rd August.  For more information and bookings click here
 Head over to houseofburlesque.co.uk and book to see one of her awesome shows.

 

We’re so excited about the Summer Workshops we’ll be running in Camden. The first one, on the 22nd July is going to be taught by the gorgeous Rosie Kohl.

Here’s what you can expect:

There is a huge crossover in the bellydance and burlesque movement venn diagram and we need to harness its power! Get more grind out of your grind and oomph into your bump using solid technique from belly dance.  This workshop features clear breakdowns, repetition, and analysis of movement to really lock it into your muscles, give you better body awareness and take your bumps and grinds all the way up to 11. This workshop will feature conditioning for the lower body for strong foundations and posture, a few movement drills and a flexibility-based cool down to keep your hips nice and loose after all that work. This is going to get a little sweaty so dress for the gym and bring water!

There are full details here http://littleladyluscious.co.uk/summer-workshops/

 

You can get to know Rosie a little better here.

1. Tell us a bit about why you decided to start performing.

To be honest, I don’t really remember ever not performing – even when I worked in theatre as a stage manager, director and writer I was still dancing and playing the violin in a band in my spare time. I’m a performer through and through – anyone who’s heard my shower repertoire will tell you that 😉

2. Do you remember your first time on stage? How did that go?

Kind of? I was 6 and played the violin in a school recital. It went well I think, I remember my mum seeming impressed. Probably she was relieved that I was getting over the ‘yowling cat’ scratchy phase of musicianship.

3. Any memorable audience members that you’ve encountered throughout your career?

Hands down the couple in Edinburgh that came back to see our show multiple times and then asked for a CD of the music. They were a really odd pair and kept talking through the show but clearly enjoyed it!

4. We’ve all had those days when we feel like doing nothing. What motivates you to be productive on a daily basis?

Fear of mortality and our inevitable end.

5. What do you think is people’s first impression of you?

Onstage: she is very wiggly. In life: she is really goofy and clumsy.

6. What is your biggest asset and your biggest flaw as a performer?

I’d have to say my biggest asset would be my… eyes. I get a lot of comments about them and the fact that they are technically quite large means it’s easier to connect with an audience. Science, look it up. Biggest flaw – I’m super bad at self-promotion. It makes me cringe so hard.

7. Tell us how you’d spend an ideal day off.

On the beach with a good book and a cold cocktail. With a massage thrown in because my muscles are always sore from training and I never seem to have time to get it sorted out.

8. Favourite drink?

Surprise me! Anything except beer. Be creative…

 

It’s the Admiral!

As the next Luscious Debut Show is next week, we thought we’d repost this blog and give you a chance to rekindle your love for The Admiral.
 
The current course is coming to an end and the students are getting ready for the show in a week!  The Luscious Burlesque Night doesn’t just showcase our students, since the very start we have had our very own performing Admiral and Luscious Favourite.
Admiral John has been entertaining our Luscious audiences since 2011.
 
Do you remember the first time you performed at a Luscious Night?
How could I forget it – the opportunity to sing some sea shanties, dress up like Admiral Nelson and play the ukulele  very badly – who could ask for anything more other than doing it all with the LLL students
 
How did you choose your stage name?
After my long time hero Admiral Nelson
 
Describe what an average day looks like for you.
Reviewing my catalogue of sea shanties in the morning and working out how they could possibly fit into a Burlesque show.  Having made the selection spend the afternoon working out any necessary changes to the lyrics to help with the integration. Lastly checking the chords to play on the Uke and transposing them to the few chords I am capable of playing and pondering the various props I can create and involve in the act e.g. Kazoo, spinning plates, Electric motors to spin tassels on false boobs, how to work a soldering iron for the switches to get them spinning at the appropriate places in the act.
 
What do you enjoy most about performing?
When the act goes well being the centre of attention and hearing the laughter and appreciation from the audience who think my mistakes are deliberate
 
What is the craziest thing that you’ve witnessed at a Burlesque show?
Serious poetry being recited at a Burlesque show – and it worked, it was brilliant.
 
What is your favourite sea shanty and why?

Donkey Riding – it’s great for audience participation and has it all, the sailors life ” launching timber on the deck” , round the evocative Cape Horn “where your backside is never warm” but mostly for the ladies in every exotic port Valparaíso, Mobile Bay, Timbucktoo and Miramichi. The Donkey Riding Chorus gets everyone joining in and stamping their feet.

Best sea/navy related song (not a sea shanty as such) My Brother Sylvest. It was taught to me by an ex WWII sailor (Sea Boots crew); great lyrics which sound as if they should be rude but you can’t quite put your finger on why.

Describe your performance style in three words.
Hilarious, inclusive (everyone gets to sing) and happy
 
The next Luscious Burlesque Night is on Thursday 15th June at The Cavendish Arms,
Join us for a night of Burlesque, Feathers, Fun and of Course Sea Shanties.  Bookings via http://littleladyluscious.co.uk/shows/

Saved the best for last? You be the judge. Our final performer interview before tomorrow’s Luscious Cabaret features none other than Boylesque superstar and former Luscious Burlesque alum, Dickie Dalliance! See how far that eight-week course can take you…?

 

What is your first memory of performing?

Well, my debut was at my Luscious Graduation Show. It was wonderful to perform (solo for the first time ever) in front of so many friends!

 

Tell us about the best and worst parts of being on stage.

It’s a great feeling to be cheered for taking your clothes off, something I never thought I’d hear! The worst part is never being fully satisfied with my performance, but maybe one day…

 

Do you have any traditions or rituals on the day of a show?

Not really. But the guys at work always know I have a show from what I’m wearing to the office that day, I enjoy that.

 

How do you develop a new routine? Tell us a bit about the creative process.

I find it really hard. Inspiration usually comes from a piece of music I’m listening to, but even then it takes me months to work out what I’m going to do!

 

Whats’s your favourite way to relax after a show?

Before the show I’m too nervous, so after the show I like to get to know the other performers better.

 

Do you have any secret talents?

I have no secrets 😉

 

Song you’re currently listening to on repeat?

My track for the show!

 

Give us a tease about your upcoming act at Luscious Cabaret!

The punters in the front row will get more than they bargained for!

 

If you want another dose of Dickie Dalliance, join us tomorrow night at Luscious Cabaret! Unreserved seating tickets are still available here

 

Still trying to decide on summer plans? Not to worry, we’ve got the perfect solution for you. After a (very successful) first run last year, we’ve decided to bring back our Summer Workshops and give you the chance to develop your performance skills in directions that you may not even imagine. We’re lucky to have some absolutely stellar artists all lined up to teach you everything from bellydancing to fan dancing – it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn top secret trade tips from some of London’s finest established performers.

The workshops will run every Saturday from the 22nd of July to the 26th of August, and good news is that you can book them all right now! We’ve got special discounts as well if you choose to do more than a couple, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Here’s the complete list of workshops, you can find more information about each one in particular here.

 

22nd July: Bellydance Bumps and Grinds with Rosie Kohl

29th July: Neo Burlesque & Political Burlesque with Lolo Brow

5th August: Floorwork & Audience Interaction with Bettsie Bon Bon

12th August: Fan Dancing with Tempest Rose

19th August: Clowning in Burlesque with Pi the Mime

26th August: Tassel Twirling with Trixi Tassels

 

We can’t wait to see you all in class this summer! 

What could we do to cheer you up this dreary Wednesday afternoon? Why, introduce you to our next Luscious performer, of course: Truly Sumptuous! We can’t wait to see this lady bring her mix of cute, classic, and sexy Burlesque to The Albany in just two short days!
  
1. What does a typical show day look like for you?  
 
I try to have nothing else planned before a show so I can spend the day getting in ‘the zone’. I’ll usually get up around 9, have a leisurely breakfast, maybe watch an episode of a TV show on Netflix and then I’ll run through my routine a few times before heading to the venue (after checking and double checking that I have everything I need!)
 
2. What do you enjoy the most (and least) about being in the spotlight?
 
I love the feeling that everyone is entertained and having a good time because of me. Hearing the audience laughing and whooping and seeing them smiling during my acts is incredibly rewarding. I’m also quite vain and love that everyone’s looking at me! I hate the nerves before going on stage and I hate when I feel like I haven’t performed my best or didn’t feel like I dealt with a mistake as well as I could have. That’s all part of the process of becoming a better performer though so it’s never really that bad!
 
3. Do you have any special pre-show rituals?
 
I’m quite a new performer so haven’t really developed any rituals (yet). I always check my costume’s all in order (no buttons and zips mixed with corset laces, no ladders in stockings etc) and otherwise I just like to sit down and be calm. 
 
4. Tell us about the main similarities and differences between “everyday” you and your on-stage persona.
 
Truly Sumptuous is definitely quite similar to me when I’m at parties or when I host events. She’s fun, flirty, charismatic, always looks good, makes other people feel good. She’s quite different to me the rest of the time though. I love hanging out in bed or in a coffee shop writing, watching Netflix, doing admin, not talking to anyone and wearing no makeup! Truly would never be seen without makeup. 
 
5. Craziest moment you’ve experienced as a performer?
 
I actually haven’t had many crazy experiences as a performer but as I said I’m fairly new on the scene so there’s time! Once I was doing a comedy open mic and mentioned I’d had a romance with a comedian and the audience (who were all comedians) wouldn’t let me go on until I’d told them who it was! By which time my five minutes was up but they let me carry on anyway, that was pretty memorable! 
 
6. What is your all-time favourite routine you’ve done?
 
Ooh tricky, I only have one burlesque routine (Which I will be performing at Luscious Cabaret) so far so that has to be my favourite by default. But I also have a comedy alter ego called Maureen McDougall, who I love, and a repertoire of cabaret songs. My favourite song to perform is Bring On The Men from Jekyll & Hyde. It’s outrageously sexual and the audience reaction is always either, ‘yes, girl!’ or, ‘I really don’t know how to react this…’ both of which are pretty funny. 
 
7. Without giving too much away, what can we expect from your act?
 
Fun, sexy, a bit audience interactive. Some people have said the theme is a little bit uncomfortable but I actually just want everyone to enjoy themselves, I’m not setting out to be challenging! 
 
8. Current TV guilty pleasure?
 
Oh my gosh, so many. I love watching inane TV shows on Netflix whilst doing boring admin. I recently watched all of You, Me, Her and Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23. I’m a bit in love with Krysten Ritter. I also live for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend! 
 
 
 
Photo credits: Plainview Media
 

We all know what a special day this Friday is, darlings… and no, we’re definitely not talking about the hordes of eager, sales-hunting shoppers taking the city by storm in an astonishing display of 21st century consumerism. No, something far more special is going on tonight – a little event called Burlesque Idol!

 

So what is Burlesque Idol?

Organised by our good friends at House of Burlesque, it’s only the largest burlesque competition in the UK! Performers have come from all over Europe and the world for the chance to compete on the Burlesque Idol stage. Now in its 7th year, the 2016 Grand Final will be held at the Hippodrome Casino in London, and judges include stars such as Miss Tempest Rose, while the evening is being hosted by the fantastic Paul L Martin.

 

Who’s competing?

Nine lucky performers who won their regional heats will be battling it out tonight for the Miss Burlesque Idol crown – however, the competition isn’t gender exclusive! Taking part is none other but Richard Chalk, better known as Chalkilicious, Luscious Burlesque alumnus and 1/4 of brand new all-male troupe Gentleman’s Relish, who took to the stage only last month at Luscious Cabaret!

 

Chalkilicious
Photo credits: Plainview Media

 

Also competing is the glorious and hilarious Valerie Savage, who’s actually part of December’s Luscious Cabaret line up! So if you miss her tonight, fear not, because you still have a chance to see this incredibly talented lady perform in just two short weeks. 

 

Valerie Savage © Tigz Rice Studios 2016. http://www.tigzrice.com
Valerie Savage © Tigz Rice Studios 2016. http://www.tigzrice.com

 

What about tickets?

Tickets for Burlesque Idol tonight are unfortunately sold out, but you can always hope for last-minute returns – and meanwhile, why not book into Luscious Cabaret on the 10th of December? And don’t forget, Burlesque Idol is open to everyone, so it could be you on that stage in 2017! Luckily, we’re here to help, with Luscious Burlesque classes kicking off once again in February – simply go to the website to book and get ready to hone your skills.

Best of luck to Chalkilicious and Valerie, as well as the other contestants!

Now onto some Black Friday shopping…