Tease, shake, tassel-twirl…it’s a burlesque extravaganza! Burlesque Idol will be celebrating their sixth national tour at FRINGE WORLD, at The West Australian Spiegeltent on Monday, January 28. The wonderful Famous Sharron will be hosting the event alongside a judging panel that includes Lucy Lovegun, Charlie D’Barkle, Raven Boylesque, and more to be announced. The competition will feature performances from Ava Darling, Bobbie Apples, Camden Champagne, Pirateman (yes THE Pirateman), Malaika Moon and more. It’s all about supporting emerging burlesque talent around the world and promises to be a high energy and entertaining evening, jam-packed with talent, humour and audience participation. MICHELLE PHAN sat down with international showgirl Sarina Del Fuego (pictured above) who filled us in on the burlesque scene and hot tips to make it through Burlesque Idol 2019.
Looking into last year’s winners, what was it that caught the judge’s attention?
Our audience really determines who the winner is, judges are there to vote for their favourite and comment on the acts. Dee Dee Delicious (Perth Winner) caught everyone’s attention with a routine full of comedy and a great storyline of how a nerdy librarian could learn burlesque. Made one of our judges knock our bottle of champagne over as he jumped up for joy. Trigger Happy (Australia winner) just blew us away with an original mash-up full of energy and pizazz.
Can you share with us the success of Australian burlesque and the direction the industry is headed?
It’s exciting to see where it’s heading, and I think the answer is in all different directions. When I started performing and producing, burlesque was still very much underground. Nowadays it has well developed routines with so many different styles that have even got their own names! Starting with Neo-Burlesque to Nerdlesque, Boylesque, Gorelesque, BurLEZque, Queerlesque and the list goes on. It’s great seeing performers challenge the new concepts in Burlesque on current affairs and really pushing the boundaries. I’ve seen Burlesque Idol performers grow and go on to huge things. You can see Trigger Happy performing on Germany Has Talent. I think Australian Burlesque performers are ahead of the game, listing a good number of performers as the top favourites in the world.
What’s the most memorable outfit you’ve ever encountered on Burlesque Idol?
That’s a tough one, the show is in its sixth year now and we have had plenty of surprises! Two of the most memorable was the Mae de la Rue costume which changed from Elvis to a Las Vegas showgirl, the other would be Possum Galore last year, (who) won Canberra dressed as a cockroach, who thought a cockroach could be sexy!
Any tips for the starlets and general advice you could give to people who practice burlesque?
Find a mentor or a great teacher with experience if you want to learn more, if you are brave enough apply for Burlesque Idol (we’ve had some that Idol was their first proper show). Cut out your tags from your costumes. Find your own voice or stage style!
Your love for burlesque and cabaret – where did it start? My research tells me it’s from working at an antique store and a record company, what was it about the art form you loved?
Yes, I started collecting vintage costumes and started dancing rock and roll, swing and rockabilly and fell into it accidentally and then promptly threw in full-time work for the stage.
You co-produce with your best friend Lola LaBelle, what’s that like?
We met in Australia while performing (Lola was living in LA), a friendship blossomed, and we performed again together a few years after and decided then we needed to work on a show together. Her in LA, me between Sydney and London we got the idea started and Burlesque Idol Australia and then Burlesque USA got going. Darling Tempest Rose and Lola La Belle continued producing Burlesque Idol UK. Our first tour together was 2014 on the east coast and was a huge success and has just been growing with each year. We are the best of friends even through all the stress of producing. We ended up living in London together.