Recently, Scarlett attended a burlesque show, where she met one of our two new guests, Northern Joy, the co-founder of the performing burlesque troupe. Scarlett couldn't resist inviting her to share her story with the GBW gang. Additionally, another new guest, Caramelo, tags along for the ride.
Joy starts the conversation by recounting her accidental foray into the world of burlesque through an audition that turned from reading for a 1-page script to a 3-month show. She tells the group about how this one-off chance turned into a life-long passion, eventually leading her to the troupe she has co-founded today. She dishes on all the drama that comes from working closely with people that love to be front and center at all times, and how she encourages her performers to take the inevitable drama in stride and stay respectful and mature.
The conversation shifts to exploring the gender dynamics of burlesque audiences and tipping etiquette in burlesque venues. Joy also clarifies the expectation for nudity in burlesque shows and the key differences between strip clubs, drag shows, and burlesque, which leads to a discussion of what men mostly anticipate from these types of performances (ahem, boobs). The group laments how much of a blessing and a curse boobs can be before getting back to Joy’s burlesque experiences and her own comfort level with performing nude. Joy explains how having the support of a female-driven workplace and her family helped her to embrace her passion and learn to not pass up on the opportunities that her burlesque talents provide her.
Scarlett then asks whether Joy feels any voyeuristic tendencies that led her to seek out performing burlesque, to which Joy explains that getting herself to a place of being comfortable stripping in front of others was actually a challenge. She talks about the strategy she learned of checking in with her inner “twelve-year-old self” and her inner “death-bed self”, and how these two perspectives helped her to go with her gut instinct and make the jump. Willow takes the conversation to a more personal level asking about how Joy navigates partners and personal relationships within the burlesque community. The group talks about the complexities of navigating relationships within a variety of sexual and social communities and shares their approach to personal relationships within their own respective relationships. Finally, Scarlett ends with praise for Joy’s body inclusivity in casting her performers, to which Joy expresses the importance of including all types of people on the burlesque stage.
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