Your Friendly Neighborhood Emcee
When and how did you start performing?
In high school, I decided that dance classes sounded way more fun than phys ed. From there I moved on to Rocky Horror Picture Show in the early 90s, musical theatre, renaissance re-enactment and cosplay, and in 2011, burlesque!
When did you get into burlesque, specifically?
SLO Tease started in July 2011 when Rick heard about a burlesque show that was supposed to happen in SLO while he was out of town - he told his friends to go and afterward they reported, "It sucked, it wasn't burlesque, it was two girls in go-go boots dancing on a pool table". Rick felt this was a sad turn of events, so he turned to his wife Fran and said, "Honey, can I start a burlesque troupe?" (She said yes.) We've been putting on neo-burlesque in SLO County ever since, with the help, talent, and countless hours of dedicated effort from many performers, techies, house crew, and fantastic supporters.
Where do you find your inspirations?
I am continually inspired by popular culture (either in appreciation or incredulity), by fantastic performers of sorts of skills and talents - both on other stages, and our own. I am also greatly inspired by our audiences, especially their stories of how what we do inspires their own body positivity, self-confidence, and desire to try new things.
What advice would you give new performers?
Everything you do on stage, ensure that it is bursting at the seams with INTENT. Are you just going to move from stage left to stage right? Don't just walk... EYE FUCK the audience with every step. Are you going to swagger? Swagger like you own the stage, the building, and the whole damn town it's in. Even if you're trying to by shy and retiring - be shy... BIGGER.
Do you have a method for creating your numbers? Or is it all madness?
I try to mix roughly 42ml of madness into every liter of method.
Do you have a favorite costume piece? What is it?
Who are some performers you admire?
Josephine Baker, Dita Von Teese, MC Kingfish, Pearl E. Gates, Luminous Pariah, Armitage Shanks, and so many, many more.
What do you really enjoy about performing?
As the emcee, I love taking the audience on a journey through each show, using my time between acts to tease and hint and emphasize each act and performer, and weaving a story or theme through and between them all. I also take special enjoyment in the roar of the crowd when I land a particularly clever (or punny) line.
Do you have a favorite moment from being on stage you can share? It does not have to be from a SLO Tease show!
The moment when a new performer hears and FEELS the first big cheer from the audience, and they get an amazing rush of excitement, adrenaline, and self-confidence... THAT is my favorite moment in burlesque.