#5: Blacking Out and Lighting Up with Doll Body

5dollbody1 hour, 8 minutes
Released: February 19, 2018
Recorded: February 3, 2019

On this episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, dancer, drag artist, and burlesque performer Doll Body meets with Viktor Devonne to talk about all things movement related.

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The first topic is Doll Body’s background as a classically trained dancer and why it is such an important part of her life: “[I started dancing] at three [years-old.] Ballet and tap and then I went to a dance high school in New Haven… you picked your major and got to do it for two periods a day. And no sports… [Dancing] just seemed like the thing to do. I have a hard time sitting still… I’m an only child and my mom’s a single mom so I would try to get her attention as much as I could and quietly as I could I guess.

Doll Body then goes into how she found out about burlesque and what inspired her to perform: “When I fell into burlesque it was actually at the 2013 New York Burlesque Fest which I went to on a whim…It was gorgeous and insane and I called my friend…saying I really want to get into burlesque and he said let’s start a company.”

She then goes on to talk about her production company Lazy Bones and how inexperience effected the entire process: “We got together and we kind of went about it wrong. We had money and that should have been enough, but we went through it wastefully. And we should have gone to more shows and networked with more people.”

From there, Doll Body goes into how she first started to find her burlesque persona as Dolly Dietrich: “I love old movies and Marlene Dietrich is an early punk rock prototype.” And then how she eventually became Doll Body and developed the drag character of Action Figure: “I didn’t even know I was going to do drag until I came up with the name. I had been going to Beef Show so frequently and Lee [Valone’s] influence had infected the land.”

Then, she and Viktor chat about her love of movement and how that affects her creative expression. Doll Body describes how she will come up with a new burlesque act and what her method entails: The idea has to be kind of complete or has to have some sort of narrative…and once I have that then I get really excited about making sure the costume or choreography or music can catch up to convey the story as best it can. So, whatever the number needs.”

She continues by talking about how the burlesque community has changed over the years and what she herself appreciates when going to a show: “I like shows that aren’t necessarily straight burlesque shows. I like when there is an element of drag or live music or singing…I’d sit and watch someone just scream at the audience if it broke up a night of sameness.”

Finally, Doll Body gets into how her on stage persona differs from who she is as an actual person and how burlesque is really a vehicle to express things that she can’t in any other setting: “I’m a very stoic person and I like the idea that I can get on stage and because I’ve dressed up and because everyone came to see the show, for that reason I can scream and bite into a sugar heart and rip my clothes off.”

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credits

  • 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: “Rocket Power” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Photo of Doll Body by Atticus Media Productions
  • everything else (c) White Elephant Burlesque Corp

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