Season 5

#130. This Is The Reset with Mia the MVP

1 hour, 27 minutes

Released: May 31, 2021
Recorded: March 23, 2021

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Formerly known as Delysia La Chatte, and the woman behind the Big Heart Bag, Mia the MVP took some time to reset her performance career after several highlights, including appearing on the TV series Gotham, featured roles in seminal NYC immersive plays Speakeasy Dollhouse and The Illuminati Ball; producing multiple shows of her own, and starring as Josephine Baker in Midnight Frolic at the historic Times Square Liberty Theater.

On this week’s edition of WEBurlesque The Podcast, Viktor talks to performer, artist, and entrepreneur, Mia The MVP.

For Mia, her love of burlesque is very much tied to the image and aesthetics of performance. This focus comes not only from a love of dance and theatrics, but a lifetime of dedication to the visual arts:

M: (3:38) “I have been an artist my whole life for as long as I can remember….I went to City College and I started to pursue visual art. And while I was pursuing visual art I discovered the theater department. And in the theater department I became interested in burlesque. I started a burlesque troupe and this was before I had ever seen burlesque in my life.”

Much of her creative inspiration comes from classic films and the glamour of Old Hollywood. While Josephine Baker is a big influence, Mia has a mental rolodex of movies she likes to reference in her burlesque acts:

M: (14:27) “I have seen so many movies in my lifetime and I am like a sponge. I pick out and I remember things. I remember costumes or mannerisms and I try to incorporate all of those things into what I do and make it my own. “

Rather than try to fit into someone else’s vision of what a production should look like, Mia is all about telling her own stories through burlesque and getting others to join her for the adventure. It was through this method she managed to put on a number of high production shows and create connections with others in the NYC scene:

M: (20:37) “The way I got my foot into burlesque is by creating a show. I have always been the kind of person who hasn’t been comfortable with approaching people to hire me. So I like to create my own world and then bring people to see me. So I started creating my shows with my friends who were open to burlesque and then inviting in a seasoned performer to work with me.”

Formerly known as Delysia La Chatte, Mia has also developed quite a following through La Chatte’s Meow, her online store dedicated to the creation of her signature vinyl heart bags. What started as a quest for the perfect bag of her own eventually turned into a fully functioning small business:

M: (42:10) “La Chatte’s Meow was inspired by a heart bag that I had dreamed about which was a big heart bag that was black. Heart bags have been around since the beginning of time as we all know, but I was having difficulty finding that particular bag. It seemed like it did not exist. I ended up finding something close that was a tote bag. It came from the Philippines and it took over a month to get to me and when it came it was kinda busted. And I was like, welp, it could still be the beginning. And I just kept designing it and drawing it until I found a manufacturer years later. Almost like 10 years. And I got the first one made in black and it was like magic.”

While changing her stage name was something Mia felt she should do to move forward in her career and self acceptance, she is still thankful for how the name Delysia helped her become the person she is today:

M: (51:40) “I think that she helped me to feel safe with being sexy. I think that she taught me how to appreciate myself. My physical self. I’ve struggled ever since I was a preteen with body dysmorphia and feeling ugly and having all of these thoughts and when I was Delysia I wasn’t so concerned with those things. I was more confident.”

Though Mia is very happy to get back on live stages again, she ultimately is grateful for what the digital platform has taught her about herself and how you can’t get caught up in the anxiety around your work if you want to succeed. You need mental space and activities that are just for you only:

M: (64:00) “It’s not like being on stage. You have to work with the whole environment. It’s all going to show up. And if you are persnickety, and you see one little thing in the background after you do your whole video it’s like you are destroying yourself. And I’m like, ya know what, let me take a step back. I think I’m being very hard on myself. And I need to do something that has nothing to do with what I look like for a bit. And that felt really good. And I think everyday I have to remember to do stuff like that.”

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