#3: Why Nerdlesque is Important, with Anja Keister

1 hour, 41 minutes3anjakeister
Released: February 5, 2018 

Recorded: January 30, 2018

On this episode of WEBurlesque The Podcast, Viktor talks to Anja Keister, burlesque performer and producer of D20 Burlesque as well as 2018 Silver Tusk Geek of All Media award winner.


At the start of the podcast, Anja reveals the origins of D20 Burlesque“I really liked gaming. And for me gaming was actually like board gaming and table top; your Dungeons and Dragons sort of thing. And my partner, she is more of a video game person. So, we decided if we are going to start this (company) it’s going to be gamer themed.”

As well as what it’s like to deal with the law when it comes after you for copyright infringement: “I think we were a little more brash in the beginning and then getting a cease and desist for doing a show (about a) Cartoon Network (series) about a boy and a dog… (we had) to take it pretty seriously because to this day we are pretty sure a lawyer did show up.”

From there, Anja tackles the death of the author and what it means to create work based of problematic people: “A more controversial one over the past two years I’d say is our Lovecraft tribute. An amazing performer, Maki Roll, out of D.C.  made a comment saying [she] didn’t get why we are celebrating him. He was a racist and now is not the time to be paying tribute to racists… and everything Maki said was completely true and, in that case,, we still did the Lovecraft show but opened it up and made it not just about Lovecraft… (but also) Stephen King… It gets into the age-old debate of can you separate the art from the person and Lovecraft, though not an amazing writer, the concepts and creations he came up with have had a long-lasting effect on horror and Sci-fi.”

And then gets into what she thinks makes nerdlesque so great and what it really means to be a producer and performer of the medium: “My own self definition of it has expanded so much over the years. I used to be a nerd checker, I used to do all the things I hate people doing to me… Nerdy can mean so many things… The way I think about nerdlesque is to (just) nerd out about something.”

Finally, Viktor does a flash round of questions about Anja’s favorite fandoms and she definitively gets to give her opinion on what anime she likes and what parts of the zeitgeist she missed completely: “I started with Akira and accidentally buying hentai online. So, when people were like Sailor Moon and Pokemon and Digimon and Dragon Ball Z, I was like get this childlike stuff out of here I need to watch hardcore scary anime.”



  • Synopsis written by Raina Sinclair for WEBurlesque
  • Intro and Outro Music: “On A 45” by This Way to the Egress – used with permission.
  • Interlude Music: “Deuces” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Photo of Anja Keister by Atticus Media Productions
  • everything else (c) White Elephant Burlesque Corp

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