Bringing Burlesque to Orange County by Lillian Dujour.

The Burlesque Herald took a long haul flight across the pond to Los Angeles for an exclusive interview with Lillian Dujour. We joined Lillian during rehearsal of her new Whispering Sisters Burlesque & Cabaret Show in Orange County, California.

Lillian how did you come up with your stage name and whom was your inspiration ?   

 My stage name is Lillian DuJour and as you know it can be quite a process to develop a burlesque name and persona.  It actually took me about 2 months to finally decide on my stage name.  I had a great-great aunt who was a young girl in the 1920’s. I remember my Mom and her sisters talking about ‘how risque’ my Aunt Lilly was.  After she passed away, they found several ‘very sexy’ lingerie items in her bedroom and shared a lot of laughs as they reminisced how strong, feisty, independent of a women she was. During WW2 she lied about her age (told them she was younger) so she could work at the aircraft factory!
Viola!, a perfect match to use her name for my Burlesque name.  I was struggling with my Burlesque last name and one day in my doctor’s office, he had a magazine in the waiting room that was called DuJour!  That was it!!!!   Lillian DuJour was officially born.

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I remember dancing and singing all the songs from Gypsy Rose Lee, the musical when I was 5 yrs. old.  Let Me Entertain You and You Gotta Have a Gimmick were my favorites.  I don’t think my parents ever thought that someday I would be on a burlesque stage!
At 7 yrs. old, I started competitive figure skating.  As an elite ice skater, I hold double gold medals in the US and Canada, I was a principal ice show performer, and coached & choreographed for over 40 years.
Inspiration;
The first burlesque act is saw was while I was looking burlesque up on my computer. When I came across Charlotte Treuse’ video from the 6th annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival…her rocking horse act.  I thought to myself  she performs like I would like to do/or what I knew was my style….playful/sexy/confident/can laugh at herself etc. and her costume was amazing.   OK if this is burlesque, I want IN!!!!!!

 

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Where do you live and how do you think burlesque is received ?

I live in Newport Beach which is located 40 miles south of LA/Hollywood.  Orange County where Newport Beach is located.  There are very few things to do late at night throughout the week.  I am hoping to help make a difference with what burlesque can bring to it’s audiences.  Positive female body image, along with learning how to laugh at one’s self and help educate the public about this art form.  My tagline is “sexy at any age”!  I offer lessons & workshops to help women find and own their Jeni se qua!
After hearing that so many women over 30 to 40 are going through depression and feel like life is over; I did not want to fall into that category!
What can I do that’s new, challenging, and a lot of fun with the experiences I have had in my life?
AH…BURLESQUE   Perfect fit as I am a showgirl at heart and I am passionate about living life fully and being ‘sexy at any age’!
So I have officially jumped from ice skating into Pasties a year ago.
“I’m 61 yrs. Right now and married to a man that I met when I was performing in ice shows…we reconnected in 2010…he’s 15 yrs. my junior!”
I believe being silly and sexy has kept me young at heart.  When people say I don’t look my age, I alway laugh and say “it’s because I have been on ‘ice’ my whole life” LOL referring to being in an ice arena!   But it stems from my attitude, I believe…I hang out with and relate more with younger people.
I’m coming up to my 1 year anniversary in Burlesque…and I have had amazing opportunities.  A friend asked me to be an extra in his  Indie, full feature film, Wine Tasting.  The day I was on set the director, Josh Mitchell of Wickid Pissa productions found out I was Burlesque Artist and he said “come back tomorrow, I am writing you into the story line!”  What an experience for this old lady!…Josh was and continues to be so supportive. Keep an eye out for his work.
Street Motivation Magazine has also recently interview me and I have met so many wonderful and supportive producers and artists this past year. I am truly grateful.
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Have you or would you like to perform in Las Vegas?
LAS VEGAS funny you should ask.
My parents started taking me there when I was only 3 yrs.old.  That was back in the days when kids were not allow at all in the casinos.  So I did grow up seeing all the different show names lit up as they drove me down the Strip.  Can you imagine being able to see all those lights as a little girl?  Perhaps that is where I got the love for glitter & glam.
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Las Vegas is about a 4 hour drive for me and I still love to go visit and see the shows.  Several of my ice skating friends live there. After our ice show days, they moved there to work behind the scenes of the different shows.
During my ice skating days I was invited to skate at an opening, but now I am happy to leave performing in Vegas to all the young talented and long legged showgirls these days.
Thank you Burlesque Herald for coming across the pond to support Burlesque and my New Show!
I have 2 passions in life;
To make a difference in people’s lives, by helping them become the best they can be and performing.  What a perfect find…Burlesque.  Empowering Women & I’m back under the spotlights!
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