1. Tell us something about yourself? 

I am an actor and have performed in many independent theatre, film and tv productions. I am also a certified Tantra Yoga practitioner and have been teaching Burlesque and Tantra based energy work since 2007. I am extremely passionate about living an authentic and truthful existence, and my chosen mediums of dancing and acting allow me to tap into my truth.  I feel called to help women who want to feel whole again and strongly believe in freedom from repression and oppression in all shapes and forms.  There is so much sexual guilt and shame around sex, which has led both men and women to shut down their masculine and feminine energies. 

2. Burlesque is a very old form of dancing mixed with funny lyrics and parody dating back to the 17th Century. What is your understanding of it?

Burlesque is an art form which has developed from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery.  17th and 18th century burlesque was divided into two types: High burlesque refers to a burlesque imitation where a literary, elevated manner was applied to a commonplace or comically inappropriate subject matter and Low burlesque applied an irreverent, mocking style to a serious subject.In 19th Century England it took the form of a musical theatre parody in which a well-known opera, play or ballet was adapted into a broad comic play, often risqué. Gradually Burlesque towards the end of the 19th century Burlesque lost it’s appeal and was replaced by Edwardian Musical Comedy.  

Around the same time, American Burlesque was in vogue, but with a focus on revealing the female form. Middle Eastern Belly Dancers had a great influence on the origins of American Burlesque and it was a popular enertainment form. In the 1940’s the Burlesque craze waned and around the time of prohibition, most Burlesque venues were shut down, although a few remained and operated underground.  

There was a resurgence of popularity in the 1990’s and many Burlesque artists emerged in America and eventually all over the world, commonly referred to the Neo-Burlesque movement.

3. What and who was your inspiration behind take up Burlesque?

Burlesque drew me to it because of my theatre background and my love of 1930’s and 1940’s glamour. Burlesque Artist like Dita Von Teese have been a big influence also but more importantly I was ready for my sexual energy to be re-awakened as I had shut myself down sexually and emotionally for a variety of reasons.  So when I started my Burlesque journey, it was definitely destiny speaking and perfect timing to connect back to myself.  

Women have been wounded by the masculine and this hurt can result in a woman shutting down. Burlesque really helped me to drop back in my body and my femininity and allow myself to open my heart and soul again.

In my classes I assist in opening up the chakras to release free flowing sexual energy. This energy is often stuck in the sacral/sex chakra in most people so Burlesque is such an amazing tool to awaken and unblock this energy.

Both Tantra Yoga and Burlesque activate sexual energy, which is where the power within lies.

4. Please share the experiences your most enjoyable and memorable performances and where were they?

My most memorable performances were playing Marie Antoinette and also Madame Pearl, a Victorian Prostitute. I love creating characters and my favourite costumes are 17th, 18th and 19th Century England and France.  

My favourite acting roles thus far have been playing an alcoholic doctor haunted by ghosts in a supernatural drama tv series for Channel 31 and Emilie, a courtesan in the classic stage play ‘Dangerous Liaisons’. 

5. Since when have you been training Burlesque artists? Do you find it challenging? What makes Burlesque unique in terms of nuances?

I have trained Burlesque artists since 2007 and it can be challenging as emotional blocks may surface within the student as I am very sensitive to picking up energy, but on the flip side it is very rewarding to see the transformations that can occur.  Each student will have a different response to their sexual energy as it depends on what stage they are at, but it is very exciting to witness the awakening process in my students and the freedom of movement they experience whilst doing my classes.

I believe Burlesque is unique and stands on it’s own as an art form, because it allows both a performer to tap into their power and creative sexual energy.  It is a healing art form because it allows people to become conscious of physical and mental blocks surrounding sexuality, guilt and shame.  Physically these blocks are often centralised in the sacral/sex chakra region of the body and we walk around carrying all this emotional baggage,  so Burlesque is a powerful medium for connecting to our blocks.  The use of props and costume is also an added extra, which allows a person to explore their archetypes, eg the Temptress.

I don’t label myself as a feminist but definitely do have characteristics and am endeavouring to reach out to as many women as possible in the area’s of empowerment.  I believe Australian society is suspicious of anyone who stands out from the herd and very insular, so I teach Burlesque, Embodiment and Awakening Feminine Erotic Archetypes to impart my skills and knowledge of feminine wisdom to be of service.

6. How popular is this form of entertainment in Australia?

I believe Burlesque is very popular in Australia and shows often attract large crowds.  People want to be entertained in a variety of ways and Burlesque is an alternative and out of the box which intrigues and titillates. 

Patriarchal power is now being challenged, especially with the recent Hollywood scandals and I am so happy now women are standing in their power and embracing their wholeness. Men and women both love to witness the power of Burlesque Performance.

7. What would you suggest to young people who are interested in taking up Burlesque as a career?

I would suggest young people to research the industry and become business savvy before they kick start their Burlesque career. If a person has a desire to become a professional Burlesque performer you, one of the most important things you need to learn is how to market yourself as you are your own brand.  You also need to be able to say no, set strong boundaries and know your own worth.   The entertainment industry is about connections and relationships. If you are reliable and easy to work with, you will get hired again. 

There are alot of Burlesque performers in the industry and it is vital to set yourself apart and work out your point of difference, so give yourself a unique signature style which is completely different to others you may have seen.

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