How did you first start performing burlesque?
I started after college. I went to school for finance and was bored out of my mind. I had always wanted to dance and perform and had studied more classical forms of dance. Near the end of college, I was offered the opportunity to dance and choreograph a burlesque show (by my now husband) and I jumped at the chance, without actually knowing what burlesque was. Once I heard the music, I was hooked. I knew exactly what to do, and it turned out I had been practicing this behind closed doors for most of my high-school life. My private time turned into very public time.
Are there any burlesque queens (or other types of artists), past or present, that particularly inspire you?
I am inspired by Sally Rand, Lili St. Cyr, Gypsy, Dixie Evans, Jenny Lee and so many more! I also think it’s very important to have influences outside of burlesque. I particularly enjoy Jay-Z, Joan Jett, Iggy Pop, and Dave Grohl. I gravitate towards artists that are truly talented and sincere.
What do you do to get yourself mentally and physically prepared for a performance? Any particular rituals?
Well, I listen to all the above music. I stretch. I practice. I visualize.
What can you tell us about your experience on America’s Got Talent?
It was interesting, that’s for sure. I knew I was on there to be a controversy. I also knew that I had to represent myself and the community well. There was a lot of exposure, so I was VERY aware of my responsibility, however, I knew that I was in the hands of the editors. I knew they could make me look however they wanted. I was full of anxiety about this aspect of the show. In the end, I actually think they treated me very well in the editing process. I’m pleased with how it turned out…and Brandy can suck it.
Do you have any current or up and coming events/projects you would like to share with us?
I am always working on new things, but keeping in my line of work, ‘the tease’, I don’t want to spill the beans just yet! You can always check my websites:
to stay up to date on all my current happenings.
Any words of wisdom for stripteasers trying to break into the scene?
Be patient. Fame and recognition are not immediate in ANY art form. And burlesque is an art form. You must put in the time and pay your dues (I’m still paying dues, they are just different now). NEVER be a diva. NEVER!
Follow me on twitter for daily Tease Tips – @michelle_lamour.