Season 5

#124. Broad Shouldered Broads feat. Lili VonSchtupp

1 hour, 40 minutes

Released: April 19, 2021
Recorded: March 20, 2021

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Viktor Devonne is joined by showgirl, educator, and producer extraordinaire Lili VonSchtupp, who produced the longest running burlesque show in Los Angeles.  We talk her experience grinding on Norman Lear as Bea Arthur, being banned on TikTok, and restructuring the Hollywood Burlesque Festival in 2021 to celebrate the video vixens.

On this episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, Viktor chats with Lilli Von Schtupp, legendary burlesque performer and the producer of both Monday Night Tease and The Hollywood Burlesque Festival.

Though Monday Night Tease has since been retired for several years, Lilli claims that running that weekly show for over a decade was some of the best work she has ever done:

LVS (12:30) “I managed to put a show together on Monday nights for enough years that everyone who wanted to take a shot at this had a chance to do that. If you remember anything, remember Monday Night Tease. Because that put hundreds of different performers on its stage.”

While the pandemic has been rough for all performers and nightlife folk, Lilli is happy that the internet has provided a new platform for burlesque. As someone who lives with disabilities and chronic illnesses, digital shows have given a new lease on a career that she was afraid she would have to end:

LVS (18:40-20:00) “I have some health issues..all of these things came to the point where it is a struggle to be on the stage, either to perform or emcee. And so I decided to take a step back and figure out what it is I wanted to do with my life…as I watch people return to venues, I’m extremely happy for them and I applaud them…but I’m also so happy that I have found something I can do online that I think will still be viable for me as an art.”

This new way of performing has not only influenced Lilli to start a digital series, Dinner and A Show Girl, it has also helped her make the decision to produce a Hollywood Burlesque Festival even during quarantine:

LVS (55:10) “So I made the decision that I am not doing a festival. And then I made the decision that that is not fair…so I decided to do a Hollywood and Southern California Film Festival…people went into a new industry, let’s validate that. For a year, people stepped out of their comfort zones and tried something new. “

Such open support of the community is something that Lilli is famous for. She makes a point of trying to cheer for everyone and insists that no matter your style, burlesque has a place for all if it is something you are interested in pursuing: 

LVS (91:20) “There are so many ways to look at burlesque and there are so many different facets of it…but the idea is what is it you wanna tell? What is it that you love? For me, the only key thing is that clothes are probably coming off. If that’s happening, it’s burlesque to me. “

Despite the many challenges she has faced, Lilli still loves burlesque more than anything. She is thankful for all that she has experienced and hopes she will get to continue to do what she does best a little while longer:

LVS (94:20) “I can tell ya, if I never got on a stage again or performed again after the next show I have…I can tell ya I look back on this with some of the fondest, happiest memories I have of amazing people that I got to do really cool shit with. It’s been a ride, and I hope I never lose that perspective or joy.”

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