This week we’re introducing UK burlesque performer, Vivi Mae. In a new, and yet occasional, series we look at up and coming stars and see what makes them tick (and strip).
Vivi Mae Burlesque
Name: Vivi Mae
Signature act: Saturday Night at The Roxy. My style is comedic routines set to 80s music. I love 80s music, especially pop music. This is what I listen to all the time, so it seems right that my performances echo this. It’s part of me and my personality and you have to perform in what you find comfortable.
How and why did you get into burlesque? I went to stage school and was a professional performer for several years. In my early 20s I was diagnosed with a degenerative joint condition and this developed quickly. By my mid-20s I had to give up performing professionally as it was too hard for me. Over the years I have had lots of rehab to get me to the physical state that I’m at now.
I wanted to get back into performing as being on stage is what I love but I know that going back to where I came from is not an option for me and my body. So I chose to try my hand at burlesque. It still gives me the buzz of being on stage and creating a performance piece and character, yet isn’t as physically demanding as to what I’ve done before.
I can pick and choose when I perform dependant on when I know I’ll be OK. I planned on trying my hand at a few different performance styles, until I found something I enjoyed. My first choice was burlesque… and I loved it, so I’ve stuck around!
How long have you been burlesquing? About a year… I started a beginners’ burlesque course last January and I’ve not stopped yet!
Next show: My next show is with Cabaret Roulette. I know Vivacity Bliss from doing classes together. She and I came up with the concept over a Facebook chat conversation one day but it is Vivacity that has driven it and taken it on. I can’t wait to perform my routine. The theme is Fairytales and I think it’ll be another great night.
Burlesque has taught me… That you can perform what you want and how you want to in whatever style suits you. You can push the boundaries in burlesque as much as you can in any other type of performance.
I’ve been told that I’m “brave” for performing the comedy routines that I do. Whilst I appreciate the compliment, I also find it bizarre. I’m just performing as me. I create the pieces, as we all do, so it would be wrong for me to create something which doesn’t suit me and my personality.
I am not a sexy, smouldering woman. I enjoy being a clown and making people laugh. This has to come across in my acts or it wouldn’t work. I take my hat off to performers who can create such hot, sex appeal on stage. I couldn’t do that for love nor money!
Burlesque ambition: I don’t think about the future or ambitions. I live each day as it comes and I love each day that I live. I’m also chuffed to bits when someone asks me to perform. That is such a buzz for me. To think that someone wants to see what I do is very humbling.
Details: The next Cabaret Roulette is on 13th February at London’s Madame Jo-Jo’s, tickets.
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