According to a recent press release: "The Michigan Burlesque Festival started in 2012 with the intent to bring some of the world’s most unique performers to Detroit in hopes of reuniting the traditional concepts of original burlesque theater, where dancers and vaudevillians shared a stage to provide well rounded and entertaining sexy comedic show. It has grown into a two-day festival featuring not-to-miss local talent and award-winning performance artists and world renown burlesque performers, such as past headliners: Lushes LaMoan, Bella Sin, The Weird Sisters, Red Hot Annie, Super Happy Funtime Burlesque, Russell Brunner, Roxi D’Lite, Dangrrr Doll, Ray Gunn, Mr. Gorgeous, Jeez Loueez, Satori Circus, Hank E Panky, Dirty Martini along with so many more phenomenal performers." We get the performer Miss Azzure Service to discuss routines, influences, and much more...
1. Tell us a little about your latest developed routine. What drove you to choose the particular piece of music, create the costume, and pull together the specific moves in the routine? Are there any links between that routine and your “real life” that tie the two side of you together?
Music is almost always the driving force behind my acts. Recently, I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and found myself giggling manically from the song playing in the other room. I already had a costume piece that I was dying to have an excuse to wear, and This. Was. It. I revel in ruining wholesome childhood icons and have great glee in creating acts that explode our pop culture into itty bitty teensy glittery pieces. Post Modernism is fun.
2. What got you into burlesque, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a performer? Building on that, is there a specific performer or act that guided your performances in the beginning?
Years ago, I took a class from Femme Fatale Fitness, LLC in Dayton, Ohio. I have always performed in some facet or another, but under the coaching of Champagne Shock, I felt like all my previous experiences had an artform to coalesce.
3. Who would be your main influences or performers you admire?
I adore Dusty Summers, Dirty Martini, Blanche Debris, Ginger Snaps (of Austin TX), and of course, Champagne Shock. I watch every performance I can of theirs, and would literally would take any class I could to learn from these strong and fun women. They are all glorious.
4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a routine with, who would it be, and why?
Zorah Giddy, from my troupe Femme Fatale Burlesque. Her energy is infectious.
5. How would you describe your performance style to someone who’d never seen you perform before? What is one review from the media, an audience member, or a fan has made that made you cringe?
Irreverent and tongue in cheek by default, my love of classic bump and grind gleams with every shimmer of rhinestone, shimmy of hips, and disarming smirk--regardless of music. I tend to be unphased by most things in this art. I’m here to perform out of love for burlesque. I’m not easily swayed. There is such a vast variety of amazing performers that I’ve been honored the stage with every show; entertainers who provide a smorgasbord of fun for everyone. If I’m not an audience member’s flavor, my cast mate will be.
6. When it comes to the musical component of your performance, is there a certain musical genre, artist, or specific song you have always wanted to use? What was the first song you ever used – and what does that song mean to you now?
I keep a rotating playlist of music that inspires me and an ongoing notepad of choreography and costuming ideas on my phone. I’ll never be able to perform them all and I’m always happy to peruse my lists to develop a new act. My first song I ever used was Stealers Wheel “Stuck In The Middle With You” from the Reservoir Dogs Soundtrack. I still can’t listen to that song without mindlessly dancing (Vic Vega 4 EVAH). Your choreography never really disappears.
If you’re in Burlesque to make money, you’ll be sorely disappointed. You do this for the love of the stage, the love of performing. The costuming is pricey and takes hours of work. Tip your performers. As Dolly Parton said, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”
8. When was the last time you were star struck by a burlesque performer and who was it?
This past Burlypicks Ohio, I was utterly star-struck when I had to share a little corner with Shrimp Cocktail. She’s a riot and a joy to watch onstage. I totally fangirled on her and tried my best to not make things horribly awkward. She’s awesome.
9. What is the best part of being a burlesque performer? Conversely, what is the worst part? If you could no longer be a performer for whatever reason, what would be your other artistic outlet?
The best thing on stage is when I hear an audience person exclaim “Oh my GAWD!” It screws me up every time, in the best way. I have a helluva time not breaking persona and giggling like a candy-fueled six year old.
10. What is one question you have always wanted someone to ask you as a performer – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?
How do I book you? The answer is contact me via Instagram (azzure_service) or on Facebook (Facebook.com/AzzureService). I happily answer in a timely manner to most queries.
11. Looking back over your burlesque career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?
If I could retain all the knowledge I currently have and go back in time, I would have ignored naysayers and began performing burlesque sooner. It has practically saved my life and has given me motivation to create and thrive.
12. What is one thing you still want to achieve in the burlesque world? At the end of the day, what contribution to the local burlesque scene do you hope you will be remembered for?
World Peace….haha (thanks to the movie Miss Congeniality). In all seriousness, I hope to garner attention the bloom and growth of the burlesque community in Western Ohio through my troupe, Femme Fatale Burlesque, and other fabulous performers. Great entertainment is on stage regularly in Dayton, it’s well worth a trip.
MISS AZZURE SERVICE LINKS:
MICHIGAN BURLESQUE FESTIVAL LINKS: