We talk to the budding UK burlesque dancer Jessica Stark. We followed up with her after the Burlesque Bible article about popping her burlesque cherry.
Jessica Stark Burlesque
Name: Jessica Stark
Signature act: A Thief In The Night
How and why did you get into burlesque? I first came across Burlesque when I was 14 years old. I was your typical angsty teen and so I listened to a lot of rock, including Marilyn Manson. It was in his video for ‘mOBSCENE‘ that I saw his then wife, Dita Von Teese, seducing the camera (and me, simultaneously) whilst bathing in a giant Martini glass.
I had never come across Burlesque before, so I can’t tell you how much of an impression this made on me. From that moment on I knew that I had to, not only find out more about what burlesque was, but I also knew that I desperately wanted to be a part of it.
I’ve always been somewhat of an exhibitionist when it comes to my body. My sister once said I must spend about 80% of my time naked so naturally a career in burlesque appealed to me. It combines my love for glamour, nudity, lingerie, music and dancing!
How long have you been burlesquing? At the moment I’ve only performed two shows, both were in November last year before I went on a hiatus- possibly the shortest debut in the Burlesque world!
What’s next? A few weeks after my debut shows, my relationship of a year and half suddenly ended. I found myself in a very difficult place, emotionally and unable to focus on performing in the way that I wanted to.
I always believe if you are going to do something in the first place then do it well, especially when there are paying audiences involved! I was even shortlisted for the Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival but regrettably turned it down because I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to compete and I didn’t want to take a place when another performer was more deserving of it.
But now I’m more than ready to return to performing I guess ‘what’s next’ is to pick up where I left off – to carry on performing, learning, honing my craft and to really make an impact on the burlesque circuit- while having a lot of fun during the process!
I’ve got several act ideas, some months old, others years old, so I guess the next thing I really want to do is to breathe life into these acts and (hopefully) dazzle audiences with them!
Burlesque has taught me… To never be afraid of pursuing your dreams. It may have taken me almost ten years from those first fleeting dreams of becoming a burlesque performer, to actually taking to the stage with my first ever act, but it just goes to show that nothing is ever too late in life.
Follow your heart, live without regrets and never let others stop you from doing what makes you happy in life. At first I was worried what my parents would think but I remember a week before my first show my mum sat rhinestoning my thong with me on my bedroom floor and at Christmas she even bought me a burlesque music album!
Burlesque Ambition: To make this my full time job, to perform the world over, to meet more amazingly talented burlesque performers, photographers, organisers and above all, give audiences one hell of show!
Get a teaser of Miss Jessica Stark burlesque in this video:
If you’d like to be featured here, why don’t you drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do…
Burlexe is a sensational London burlesque show inspired by the women who created the genre and perform the art. It fuses burlesque performance with storytelling, dancing with acting.
We love to showcase UK burlesque performers and share the stories of these wonderful women who perform burlesque. Jessica Stark is one such woman.
(Image by Kirsty Smith)