Thursday, September 9, 2010

Q & A's with Miss Burlesque W.A

Clara Cupcakes
Photo: David Wolley

Clara Cupcakes is a vaudevillian burlesque dancer, who entertains regularly around Perth City as she is a key member of the sexy and vivacious Sugar Blue Burlesque Troop.

A short time ago this pretty little lady entered Miss Burlesque W.A, which attracted wide spread attention from the public; with an overwhelming number entrants fighting it out on the stage to be crowned Miss Burlesque WA.

Like any competition , there can only be one winner....this time around it just happened to be Clara Cupcakes turn to bask in the glory.

Recently I caught up with the eye catching Clara Cupcakes and asked her a little more herself, her hobbies, routines and most importantly her costumes! Here is what Clara had to say;

Clara Cupcakes with her mesmerising hula hoops
Photo: David Wolley

How would you describe your work as a “burlesque artist” to someone who hasn’t heard about this before?

Burlesque is a vintage form of entertainment that includes elements of striptease, comedy and fun. It's way to have a joke at something in an sexy and entertaining way.

What drew you in and made you want to become a burlesque dancer?

I'd always enjoyed performing. When I was younger I did a lot of dancing and theatre but stopped once I left school. Even though I may not have known it, I was looking for another creative outlet. So when my friend Mel (aka Adora Derriere) started the troupe, I knew that;s just what I had been searching for. It combined acting, dancing, comedy and vintage fabulousness. I was home!

How did you break into this niche industry?

Well as I said above, I was around when the troupe started. I told Mel (possibley a bit tipsy) that I was going to learn how to hula hoop and join. So, that's exactly what I did. I taught myself to hula hoop off youtube and learnt more about burlesque and the rest is history.

Where is the name Clara Cupcakes derived from?

Well the Clara comes from 1920's silent film actress Clara Bow, who I just adore and the cupcakes comes from my love cupcakes (though some might say it comes from my, ahem, ladies.)

Clara Cupcakes
Photo: David Wolley

Why do you think you are so fascinated by the 1930's and 1940's fashions?

I just love how women looked back then. They REALLY looked like women. They cared about there appearance and always looked amazing. I know this is a cliche when it comes to vintage clothing, but I really do believe the fabric was cut in a more flattering way to accntuate your shape. All my vintage dresses fit me so much better than any of my modern dresses.

Burlesque dancers always have THE MOST AMAZING outfits, where do your outfits come from?

One of three places. The internet is where I get all my corsets and gloves and things. I usually embellish these myself at home. I do make a lot of my own costumes but the really amazing costumes you'll see me and the other girls wearing are made but Lia Parravincini (aka Sapphire Demure). You can always count on her for something amazing. She has her own clothing line as well, Fallen Feathers.

What is your favourite item in your wardrobe?

This incredible blue and white waffle fabric 1940's day dress. I just adore it. It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland!

How do you come up with the different routines?

I get my ideas from all over the place. Sometimes it's a song, sometimes a movie, sometimes something that happens around my house, youtube clips, animals, news stories. Anything really!

Do you prefer performing solo or as part of a troupe?

I like the challenge of creating something on my own but I like throwing ideas around and coming up with an amazing as part of a group so I couldn't really say.

You were recently crowned Miss Burlesqur W.A, what do you think made you stand out from the rest of the girls that in turn led you to victory?

The hula hoops. Everyone loves a hula hoop. It's almost like cheating,

Clara Cupcakes doing what she does best!
Photo: Gregory Bruyer

Any advice for aspiring Burlesque Artists and tips on where/how to start?

Start with a name and a character. It's so important for you to have a stage persona. It makes a huge difference to your performance and makes you so much more proffessional and confident.

Clara Cupcakes w/ her hand made Gigantic Cupcake Costume
Photo: Gregory Bruyer
Clara Cupcakes
Photo: Gregory Bruyer

Outside of your life and passion as a performer & artist, what other interests do you have?

I love to sew and bake, particulary cupcakes. I am a bit of a homebody really and love decorating and doing things to my house. I really love lindy hop dancing too, but I don't get as much time for it as I used to.

What plans do you have on the horizon?

Well we have two shows coming up soon, "The Speakeasy" on the 11th of September and The Coney Island Carnival on the 17th of September. I'm performing at the New York Burlesque Festival at the beginning of October and going straight from there to compete in the in the Miss Burlesque final. After that, who knows!

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