Spotlight On: Tiara the Merch Girl

saloonchiclName: Tiara the Merch Girl

Age: 23

Location: Brisbane, Australia

My act consists of: Well so far the one proper act I did was a routine based on my Islamic heritage (http://vimeo.com/5000091). I have made acts based off some favourite songs (such as Savage Garden’s Chained to You and the Britney/Beatles mashup of Womanizer/She’s Leaving Home) but nothing totally definite as yet. I think I’d much rather create acts by themes and personal expression, rather than have a few set “acts” per se, though there may be common elements (strong political opinion seems to be a common factor!).

I got my start in burlesque: as a lark – I was doing the dominatrix role in the Vagina Monologues in February and I thought burlesque classes would help with the role. I’ve been doing them ever since!!

The special skills and/or gimmicks I bring to the stage are: A different perspective, as well as a very loud and assertive voice, that makes use of my multicultural heritage without being too much of an exotic token.

My dream act is: Something with Darren Hayes, a German wheel, or based off ideas I have about body image or honouring my heroes. I have some ideas that just need fleshing out!

My influences and inspirations are: Darren Hayes in terms of performance, he is my hero! Kimtortion’s spirit (she’s keeping on despite near paralysis!!) is inspirational. Tempest Devyne jumped in and battled her fears and she’s been such a strong support. Lena Marlene’s Hallelujah act made me cry. Nasty Canasta and Darlinda (Just Darlinda) crack me up with their clever sneaky wit. I’ve become a belated admirer of Michael Jackson’s showmanship. I tend to be inspired more by current events and by the people around me – inspiration can come from anywhere!

The five things I couldn’t live without are: Books, the Internet, love, sleep, hot chocolate.

If I was an article of clothing I’d be: some weird ethnic mashup, maybe a bustier made out of Sari cloth shaped like a kebaya!

The best burlesque performance I’ve ever seen or been in was: Lena Marlene’s Little Match Girl-based routine based on Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. Quiet, sombre, poignant with her use of fire. made me cry soooo much.

The worst was: I can’t remember names but I have seen at least one that was just some belly wiggling and made me go “uh…what was the point of that?”

The things that make someone a burlesque queen are: Assertiveness and a willingness to go all out to express something.

Burlesque – stripping or art? An artform that is open and welcoming of stripping 😉

My favorite songs to dance to are: Darren Hayes, parodies, Euro dance pop, disco (I’m a disco baby), bellydance/Bollywood. I’d dance to anything tho.

If I could change one thing about burlesque, it would be: That people were more aware of their privilege and didn’t freak out so much when others point it out to them. Seriously, being a *secretary* is NOT THE SAME as being from a minority race!!

Something that people would be surprised to learn about me is: I’m not totally against cultural appropriation.

The movie of my life would be called: “Don’t Tell My Mother”. It’s actually something my boyfriend and I have talked about quite a bit – I’d do something crazy and then tell him not to tel mum! We thought it’d make a good title for my autobiography!

If I wasn’t a burlesque performer I’d be: Some sort of performer, or a stage/production manager, or a social entrepreneur saving the world somehow.

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