#BurlesqueAPeel – Why a burlesque world record can help raise mental health awareness !!! Special Edition.

The Burlesque Herald caught up with Sapphira’s Showgirls who are attempting to break a world record Burlesque Glove Peel. Sapphira’s Showgirls are not shy of setting records which include Record Setter World Record Holder 2017 – Most Balloons Popped on a Burlesque Costume, Record Setter World Record Holder 2016 Fastest Burlesque Glove Peel Relay.  The Burlesque Herald learns more…..

On Saturday the 13th of May, the directors of the Ibiza Burlesque Festival and burlesque dance school, Sapphira’s Showgirls, are hosting a World Record Attempt for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The group last year set the Recordsetter World Record for Fastest Burlesque Glove Peel Relay with 32 people in 21.02 seconds with participants converging in London from across the UK, from Manchester, Bristol, Newport even the Isle of Wight and this year they hope to not only beat that result but turn attention to charity raising funds for Sane, a mental health charity group and as well the Butterfly Conservation charity.

The festival’s founder, Sapphira, is behind the initiative as it was her own experience overcoming bipolar through burlesque that galvanised her to start an entertainment business to use the artform to reach more people.

Since I have started speaking publicly about my experience with bipolar someone from the audience always shares their own heartbreaking story. We need to support charities like beyondblue and Sane, they are on the front line supporting families as well as educating in schools. My business adopted butterflies as a symbol of transformation and we also want to support these delicate creatures which are declining drastically. All people need to do is join us and peel a glove or donate online. It’s easy!’

The songwriter has found an unlikely alliance in Maxim, vocalist of UK band The Prodigy who launched his Lepidoptera range in 2011.

Renowned for her tribute to business idol Sir Richard Branson titled My Heart Belongs To Branson the fundraiser is facilitated by the Virgin Money Giving platform.

Other high profile personalities supporting the fundraiser include workplace revolutionary and successful IT Entrepreneur turned philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley has donated items.

Maskerade, a English headdress designer who has adorned showgirls, runways and models is donating a glorious butterfly headdress crown.

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#BurlesqueApeel2016 @ The Clapham Grand – Photo by Geoff Pugh

 

We spoke to 3 participants taking part, Shande Laabra, Lucy Jay and Zsa Zsa Allure.

Why have your enrolled in the upcoming Glove Peel World Record?

Shande Laabra:

Shande

Shande Laabra.

To take part in a world record attempt is on my bucket list and the chance to do it and raise money for charity was too good an opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to take part?!

Lucy Jay:

I first got into burlesque to challenge myself by taking myself outside of my comfort zone, so continuing with challenging myself I have decided to enrol for this event. Plus this is a fantastic opportunity to take part in a World Record.

Zsa Zsa Allure: I am thrilled to be part of this event

What inspires you about burlesque?

Shande Laabra:

What inspires me about burlesque is the freedom to be the hidden me. I can be sassy, cheeky and do the things my every day person can’t. I can have the blue hair, shake my laalaas and people say wow not wtf!  It’s also the fact everyone can be who they want to be and no-one can or will judge. It’s about freedom and feeling great about ourselves and encouraging others to do the same.

Lucy Jay:

LucyJay

Lucy Jay.

The creativity and confidence that it brings.

Zsa Zsa Allure:

ZsaZsaAllure

Zsa Zsa Allure.

Burlesque is so inspiring because of its inclusive attitude ….the burlesque community is so supportive to everyone regardless of their individuality.

It has helped me with body confidence issues and helped me embrace who I am

Why are you supporting Mental Health Awareness week including charities Sane and Butterfly Conservation?

Shande Laabra:

In my day job I have to deal with subjects that remain silent like abuse. Mental health is the same. You never know when it will hit you. A lot of people, myself included, suffer high functioning anxiety.  You suffer in silence until you reach the final limit. People shouldn’t feel they need to suffer in silence, awareness needs to be raised to stop that. If I can do something small to help then I am happy to. A lot of people like to hide in plain sight, my own is to sit in a field and watch the wildlife. There is nothing better than to watch a caterpillar or butterfly – it’s a tenuous link between the charities but it works for me.

Lucy Jay

As mental health is very common and an important topic which can affect anyone, in different ways for many different reasons. Not many receive treatment or even talk about the topic so helping to raise awareness is important to show that there is help out there, and that no one suffers alone.

Also mental health is important to me as it’s a topic close to my heart as I suffer from depression and anxiety, and I know many others who do too.

Zsa Zsa Allure

I suffer from depression and anxiety. When my anxiety is bad it is socially crippling, I have nearly quit burlesque several times when I’m at my worst!

So I am doing this event to reach out and make new burly friends and help raise awareness for all mental health issues. It sounds like a fun event and a great way to send positivity out into an increasingly negative world!

#Burlesquepeel takes place on – 

Sat 13th May – 12pm – 3pm

Juju’s Bar & Stage, 15 Hanbury St, London, E1 6QR

For more details –  www.sapphirashowgirls.com/burlesqueapeel’

Cost £10.10. Registration or Donation (Participate or spectate!). 

Our First Date with Siouxsie Roux by The Burlesque Herald.

Siouxsie Roux entertained audiences at The Bollinger Club, Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth with a fantastic performance called Tudor Rose. The stunned audience were treated to a real Burlesque history lesson as Siouxsie Roux hit the stage as Elizabeth the first. Siouxsie Roux shares with us her inspirations, experiences and a funny wardrobe failure story not to be missed. Read it all here first !!!!

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Siouxsie Roux told us her reasons why Burlesque appealed to her…..

I became aware of burlesque through my interest in pin-up art. As a teenager I read a book called ‘Pin-Up Grrrls’ in order to learn more about the history of the art form. I soon realised that through burlesque it’s possible to be a moving pin-up of your own creation. That sense of agency appeals to me and constantly reminds me of the silent era actress Clara Bow; as a film student I was fascinated to learn of the way that her flapper dances dominated the screen, unable to be fully captured in the frame. By some theorists this has been seen as a metaphor for her escape from or control of the male gaze. That same concept comes into play with Burlesque as the performer decides which parts of their body they want the audience to focus on, how they look, their character etc.

Though it’s not something I have experimented with, I’m drawn to the idea of exploring politics through performance so there was also appeal in that. I’ve been particularly struck by the work of Audacity Chutzpah, who performed in a show hosted locally when I first started to perform.

Burlesque first occurred to me as something I would like to do when I was at university but it wasn’t until I met Missy Cream Tease and Sensu’Elle through an online ad that I properly pursued learning. As a person I have a great thirst for knowledge so the idea that you can never stop learning and that you further yourself with each performance is the main drive for me.

Which performers do you find inspirational ? 

I have been lucky enough to have seen or performed in many shows by Bournemouth based statuesque Burly superstar Sensu’Elle, so the lady herself and past headliners including Havana Hurricane, Aurora Galore, Velma Von Bon Bon and Jeanie Wishes are all inspirations.

I’d say the people I find most inspiring are those I know on a more personal level though as you get the privilege of seeing aspects of their personalities amplified as their performer personas or in some cases the stark contrasts between muggle / Burly starlet! I have known Tallulah Starr and Miss Anticipation for the longest.

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Siouxsie explained what her family and friends thought of her Burly world….

“My first date was with my husband to be was a Burlesque Show.”

As far as I’m aware I don’t have any friends who disapprove. Those who have voiced an opinion think it’s a fairly ballsy hobby, creative and seems fun. It’s very apparent that I thoroughly enjoy myself and have met and continue to meet some wonderful people through Burlesque.

My mum isn’t too keen, but she’s a very different character to me and has grown to accept that it’s something I’m passionate about. She admires my confidence and is supportive.

My first date with my husband to be was a Burlesque show. He hadn’t been to one before and still enjoys attending them with me.

It seems you enjoy a wide variety of show and promotions, can you tell our readers where you have performed and where you are going to perform ?

As I mentioned, I have performed in many of Sensu’Elle’s shows. She’s a lovely, supportive person for performers and manages to be both a consummate professional and lots of fun! I have performed for Brighton’s Sassy Cabaret, Belvedere Burlesque in Weymouth, The Bollinger Club and have shows with The Scarlet Vixens (Reading), Crewe Steampunk Festival and Burlesque By The Sea (Southsea) soon.

Have you ever had a funny experience whilst performing ?

When I debuted my ‘First Date’ act my dress got stuck. In everyday life the opposite problem (your dress falling off) would be far more mortifying, but this is burlesque! Fortunately I instinctively ran towards the wings waving my arms in the air and three friends (Trixi Treat, Lilli Spritz and Miss Avant Garde) did the sisterly thing and yanked it off me! Ironically I’d attended a workshop with the fantastic Velma Von Bon Bon that day about dealing with stage mishaps.

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Danny Daire…..Boylesque with a feminine twist exclusive with The Burlesque Herald.

The Burlesque Herald talks…..

 

The Burlesque Herald talks to the very unique Danny Daire as He meteorically rises through the Burlesque world.  Danny is a Boylesque performer with a feminine twist. Danny is currently riding a wave of fame through the Burly world and is due to star at Neon Nights, Liverpool in April and The Glasgow festival of Burlesque also in April. Danny’s acts include Fallen Angel and Love to you.

Danny took time out of his busy performance schedule to talk to The Burlesque Herald over a White Wine.

Who was your inspiration for you to learn the art of Burlesque?
I watched the movie ‘Burlesque’ and I was intrigued and excited about the art form of Burlesque. I found it very exciting and led me to look online, and started to watch videos of Dita Von Teese and Jo Wheldon. I loved watching these fantastic performers wow the crowds on stage, and then I had a thought, I wanna do that too. I fell in love with Burlesque and have never looked back since.
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 We asked Danny what Promotions He has  worked for? We were amazed !!
I have performed at venues all over the UK and I love touring. I started performing at Infinitease in Leytonstone and Burlesque Idol in Leicester Square. I have also performed at Krystalites Productions in Dronfield, Late Night Assembly in Basingstoke, Cerise Mae productions in Norwich (twice). I also loved performing at Bar Wotever at the Royal vauxhall Tavern and at the Bethnal Green Working Mens Club in London. I have also performed for Dark Teaser Burlesque in Castle Donington and for Stage Theatre Company at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in London for 3 nights.
Over the next few months I shall be performing in Brighton, Cambridge, Kent, London (3 times), Liverpool, Glasgow and Winchester and performing at Pride events in the Black Country, Bury and a festival in Wiltshire.
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What is it like being a Burlesque performer? What are you thinking pre, during and post show? Danny tells all with some helpful tips……
I adore being a Burlesque performer. Pre show is simply a matter of making sure all my costumes are correctly in position, and familiarising myself with the event organisers, and the layout of the stage and audience seating. Its important that I am able to prepare backstage, and do my makeup, hair and lipstick, and get my costume ready.
During the show its so exciting. I love performing on the stage and showing the audience that guys can do Burlesque too, and that we were all born to be different. Audiences across the UK have been soooo supportive of me.
Post show. Its such a buzz! Burlesque is an addiction! I can’t concentrate for ages after a show. But I do love to go to the audience at the end of the show, and chat to audience members, and thank them for their support. I never sleep very well after a show. My mind is far too busy for that!
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 What aspirations do you have Danny? Where do you want to be in a years time?
 I’d love to continue performing all over the UK and be booked by established Burlesque shows.
Well what an absolute pleasure it was having some time with you Danny ! Readers keep an eye on this rising star and for more information here is his website –
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Confused ? Meet Rosie Glow Burlesque Performer, Portsmouth.

To an unsuspecting audience, Rosie Glow may just seem like another Burlesque performer. But for the cult followers of Rosie Glow She represents Burlesque diversity. She is a man performing as a woman. Not only does Rosie Glow represent diversity, She actively promotes it and has taken to touring around the UK from her home town of Portsmouth to London,Worthing and other places.

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Rosie Glow is one of the very few confusers on the Burlesque circuit at the moment. In fact We believe She may be the only one in the UK (probably). With a super size suitcase of tricks Rosie Glow can find an act or two to suit an audience with a pleasant surprise. Well readers it would not be a surprise if We told you. Rosie has won awards for her performances and openly admits some pre-show nerves which is hastily cured by a quick taste of her favourite tipple.

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We asked Rosie about attitudes towards her ?

I guess that most of my life I’ve been a crossdresser, though it hasn’t always been an easy thing to do, partly because of negative attitudes towards it. My first partner found it a difficult thing to get her head around, and so with her I always suppressed it. My second partner I loved dearly and I was honest with her from the beginning about it. She really tried to understand it. Unfortunately she died of cancer seven years ago. I find atitudes now to be  better, and are great on the burlesque scene.

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How did you then cope with both the loss of your loving partner and a desire to express yourself ? Rosie explains…

Shortly after this I started going to the occasional burlesque show. I loved the artistry, the femininity of it, as well as the sheer fun of it! A couple of years later I went to a show performed by the then Vixens in Portsmouth and I noticed the leader of the troupe, Veronique Devine on the poster for the show, said she gave burlesque lessons. A few weeks later I plucked up the courage and rang her. I have to say her attitude to me was great, and she began to teach me burlesque. To begin with I was rubbish. The man in me shone through. My moves were awkward and masculine. However, I practised at home and continued to have lessons and slowly it began to click into place. Veronique asked me what I wanted to achieve with the lessons, and I told her I would like to perform a routine live.

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Rosie, once you had some lessons, how was your performance received ?

Together we worked out a routine. It wasn’t good, but I performed it in front of the other Vixens and I had a guardedly positive reaction. My strength it appears was my face and the character I put into the act. On the other hand my moves were still on the awkward side.

The night of the show came. I was very nervous and had no idea of how the audience would react. I made so many basic errors, my movements were awkward, but the audience loved it!

Rosie Glow was born!

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Tell our readers how things have moved on for you.

Since then I have performed all over the place, though mainly in the south. I am often introduced as ‘the confuser’ as I often seem to confuse people when performing, as to my gender.As times gone on my movements have got more fluid, although I still can get very nervous. Performing to an audience definitely gives me a ‘buzz’, and the burlesque community is very supportive. I still perform with the VIxens in Portsmouth and elsewhere, although they are now called, ‘The Foxes’. However, I also often perform without them as a solo artist. I guess I fill a gap in the burlesque scene, in the sense I am a man performing as a woman. Not drag exactly as I try to be a realistic woman, although I’ll often take my wig off at the end of an act to make it clear. that I’m not.

In your own words, for any cross dressers reading your interview today, what would you like to say to them ?

To all those other Cross dressers out there I would say the important things are firstly you should always be honest about who and what you are, and secondly, it is never too late to try something you really want to do.

Rosie x

On behalf of The Burlesque Herald We would like to thank you for taking the time with us today and wish you luck on the Burlesque circuit.