For today's Tête-à-tête Thursday, we'll be chatting with performer extraordinaire and aficionado on all things burlesque, Siobahn Atomica. Siobahn is an award-winning performer, producer, choreographer, costumer, set designer, booking agent, teacher, and is the CEO and founder of Lexiington's premier burlesque and variety company Rebel Riot Revue.
The Bourbonista: Tell me about yourself in 50 words or less. At least on must start with the letter "x" and none can begin with "s."
Siobhan: I'm a mystical, exotic glamour puss who has a deep obsession with burlesque and chihuahuas. I have never learned to ride a bike nor have I learned to play a xylophone but once upon a time I was a ballerina and contortionist. Now I perform, make costumes, and produce shows.
The Bourbonista: Riding a bike is totally overrated. Seriously, you and I need to glitter up some adult tricycles and form a Tricker gang. We could have really sexy leather jackets...it'll be badass, let's do it. If you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Siobhan: Funny you should ask because I am a circus performer! I focus mainly on burlesque but also play with fire from time to time.
The Bourbonista: You know what they say about girl's who play with fire? They can roast a marshmallow anytime they please. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Siobhan: Pay off my student loans and buy a Winnebago that I will fill up with costumes so I can travel the country performing with my chihuahuas.
The Bourbonista: Yes...pasties across America. If you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Siobhan: Pizza. Always. In Pizza We Trust.
The Bourbonista: Amen. So, usually, I would ask you to write yourself a thank you note and inquire what booze you'd be, but while I've got you, I have to make a confession.--I know and it's not even the Sunday Confessional-- Siobahn, I want to you when I grow up. Seriously, I have made a vow to myself that I will dance burlesque before my 46th birthday next June. So, give an old girl some pointers. What makes a great burlesque performer?
Siobhan: A great burlesque performer is passionate, dedicated to the art form and the audience, confident, and knows how to display his or her unique talents in the best way possible. In my opinion one of the great things about the neo-burlesque movement is that the performers who paved the way for the rest of us have made sure that burlesque isn't exclusive to the stereotypical "ideal" of beauty: all body types, colors, genders and sexualities have a place in neo-burlesque. To me, THAT is empowerment.
The Bourbonista: I'm feeling empowered already and I haven't even gotten onstage. With my unique body type and current level of voluptuousness, I think the more neo, the better for me. What advice would you give someone like me?
Siobhan: For anyone interested in burlesque the best advice I can give is to do your research BEFORE you get on stage! This includes reading, watching videos, going to as many burlesque shows as possible and interacting with established performers to pick up advice. I have a Pinterest board called "Things Every Burlesque Performer Should Know" with links to books, DVDs, YouTube playlists, articles, magazines, and much, much more. You can find it here:
To learn the art of burlesque from Siobahn, follow this link to Defiance Studios and check out her classes.
You can witness the magic for yourself tomorrow night at Cosmic Charlie’s when Rebel Riot Revue and Vagabond Opera will team up for a show that should not be missed!
They will also be performing a show at Haymarket Whiskey Bar in Louisville this Saturday from 8-9pm.
Also, save the date for the Bluegrass Burlexpo, a Kentucky burlesque Festival featuring over 30 performers from around the country being held in Lexington from November 14-16 at Natasha's, Cosmic, and Downtown Arts Center
the bourbonistA, Promoting Debauchery and stamping out political-correctness one blog at a time.