1 hour, 14 minutes
Released: February 12, 2018
Recorded: February 3, 2018
On the fourth episode of WEBurlesque The Podcast, Viktor sits down and chats with Falana Fox, a singer, actor, and burlesque performer.
Falana talks about her childhood and when she first got the inspiration to be on stage: “I think when I was really young and I used to look at the Muppets…they were always in the theater doing the show… and I think that was the start.” But she unfortunately also had to deal with a very religious upbringing and disappointing her elders: “Growing up… I was a Jehovah’s Witness…but my mother was so much into fashion…she wanted me to go into fashion. I can’t sew, I can’t hem, I can’t do none of that shit. My thing was I loved to sing. I loved to act.”
This eventually led to a not quite music career: “I almost got signed to a production deal…but [there] were some thing in the document that weren’t correct… and the [executive] wouldn’t budge… [I] took it as a sign.” And then acting with the best for the least: “In 2000 I started working with The Classical Theater of Harlem…with Titus Walker…I did two plays with him and it’s crazy because I didn’t have a resume. I saw the ad and went in and read and I got it… and we didn’t get paid.”
Until Falana learned about burlesque and found the courage to take the leap into the industry: ” I worked over at Sephora…and one day I bumped into two or three women that were in burlesque…and I thought man, I would like to, but I can’t do that. And then I started working over at Joe’s Pub and I would see shows… so I researched…and found the School of Burlesque.”
From there, her and Viktor start going into her burlesque career and one of her more famous acts, Falana’s tribute to the Hottentot Venus: “I’ve been obsessed somewhat with the story of this woman. So, when I did this development class I said ‘Hey, I wonder if I can make this into something.’ Because it goes into how we are looked at now. How [black women] are objectified now…There is nothing wrong with being sexual. There is nothing wrong with owning your body. As long as you are the one owning it.”
This then leads into a talk about cultural appropriation and both white people in general and burlesque performers in specific need to learn how to be better: “They see nothing wrong with it… Until someone gets them on it…Find out first before you do something…You can definitely appreciate someone’s style but respect it…It’s a lack of respect for certain things and it gets into a mockery.”
Finally, Falana talks about her plans for the future and how she has been interested in doing a one woman show, but wants to go about it in an entirely new way: “I did festivals with my [original] one woman show and it was good…but it’s a story I don’t want to tell anymore. And I just started doing drag… so if I do a [new] one woman show I want to incorporate all of that.”
- 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: “Poppers and Prosecco” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
- Photo of Falana Fox by Atticus Media Productions
- everything else (c) White Elephant Burlesque Corp