Usually when I put my acts together, it starts with a simple image of what I'd like the final product to look like on-stage. From there I start picking apart & putting together the pieces to make the performance reflect what I originally created in my mind.
Sometimes it starts with inspiration from one particular source but I find when a really great act comes together I gather my inspiration from many places or in this case, people! The inspiration will comes from absolutely everywhere - even places I had no idea I'd gather it from.
When I plan out my acts I start first with the costume/concept, then the music & choreography comes next. But with my newest act which I debuted on New Years 2016, 'The Star Stripper', I started backwards. I found an old striptease classic by Sonny Lester and his orchestra that hadn't been used too much & from there the moves & the strip just fell together perfectly. The melody made for a natural bump & grind tease. So another classic act it would be!
Once I had the performance aspect down, I started to think about what the music said to me. The piece greatly reminded me of the many burlesque legends from the golden age & since my main goal in burlesque is to recreate a historically accurate depiction of this form of entertainment, I decided the act would be a tribute to the headliners of days past. Now that the whole idea was almost complete, the only piece left to create was the costume.
Most classic burlesque acts that you'd see involve an extravagant gown, many layers of beautifully designed lingerie, perhaps a panel skirt or something similar & then of course, your pasties and g-string. Of course this would be the path to go down, but I also wanted to include something a little more exciting. My friend Derek had gifted me a set of string LED lights that attached to a battery pack & I immediately thought "How cool would this look as part of a costume." A light up costume.
I've seen them on stage before & the impression given is astounding. (Look up performers such as Arabella Allure & Vicki Butterfly). Playing by the rules I went out and bought myself a gorgeous but simple grey crushed velvet dress & 4 metres of light grey tulle fabric to situate into the gown itself. This is where I would add the fairy lights, the battery pack of which I placed inside the seam of the dress, allowing me to turn the lights off & on at will. I devised most of my inspiration for the costume from the ladies mentioned above & my fellow South Seas Tease gal, Fionna Flauntit, who performs a firefly act with an LED headdress, pasties & panty. The costume wasn't finished by the time it went on stage, but was received very well! I'll be doing updates on it in the next few months.