MusicThatMadeWE #27: Esmerelda May

2 hour, 30 minutes (audio only version)
1 hour, 57 minutes (Patreon exclusive version)

Released: August 6, 2022
Recorded: May 31, 2022

Doll Body shares the music that brought her to the various stages in NYC.

The Music That Made WE is a creation of WEBurlesque Podcast Network, produced by Viktor Devonne.

Listen to this episode:

Today on the Music that Made We, Viktor chats with Esmerelda May, member of White Elephant Burlesque and producer of Cosplay Burlesque and KPop That Pastie. Esmerelda won the Silver Tusk in 2022 for Video Vanguard.

“Objection (Tango)” by Shakira
Esmerelda says: “This was the first Spanish song I got to know. My mom is from Ecuador. She was from one of those generations that was raised to be American. You hid your culture because you wanted to fit in. You didn’t want to be different. So I didn’t have a lot of that growing up…I heard it when my mom listened to it, the typical Saturday morning Spanish music while she cleaned the house. So even though it is the English version, it kind of introduced me to Spanish music. It was my gateway into that.”

“Numb” by Linkin Park
Esmerelda says: “This was really when I started to find my own place of tumbling into goth, emo, alternative. Which is what I’ve always liked, but I wanted to fit in so bad (with other kids). And I had a super girly phase where I don’t remember this, but my mom told me I would refuse to wear pants…. I wanted to be Barbie, and then did a total 180 and refused to shop in the female clothing
section of stores….I started exploring more of what I liked and going towards this. This is where I started to find who I am now.”

“For Good” from the Wicked Broadway cast recording featuring Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel
Esmerelda says: “In highschool I auditioned for the school play and we did Wizard of Oz and I was Auntie Em. I’m a mediocre singer for a tiny town in New Jersey. I was fine enough to get tiny singing
parts in the alto version…but I started to realize I really like musical theater. I’ve always loved musicals. My mom loved musicals so I always grew up around them and they always created a sense
of joy for me…Theater is such a huge part of my life, it’s why I got into burlesque….This song has
a special place in my heart because I was not the most well behaved kid, I got into a lot of
trouble… and I sang this with a girl I got into a literal fist fight with during a production of
Oliver…and then we became very close friends… This play is very important to me and this song was a turning point in my life because I sang this and I decided I’m going to college for theatre.”

“Moonlight Densetsu” from the Sailor Moon Soundtrack
Esmerelda says: “Sailor Moon was something I found when I was very young. I didn’t have cable when I was growing up. I had a nightmare, I woke up at 4 in the morning…and my mom pulled me into her bedroom where I couldn’t fall back asleep. And my mom turned on the television…she said just find something to entertain yourself…and while flicking through the channels this theme song
was playing and I just thought ‘ooo pretty cartoon!’ My mom told me I got real quiet and was glued to the television….this was the first anime I ever experienced….I will love it until the end of time.”

“Miss Kiss Kiss Bang” by Alex Swings, Oscar Sings
Esmerelda says: “This was my first real burlesque number because it was the one I put thought into. I wanted to do something a bit geeky and fun because I didn’t really now how to not portray a character. I did theater at this point for a couple years, I knew how to play parts, but I didn’t really know who I was. So I thought it would be fun to play with the idea of Clue. The first time I did it, I did it as Ms. Scarlet, but I have since developed it into my own adaptation. I remember finding EuroVision on YouTube, and watching it and falling in love with this song and figuring out what I would do as a performer. And it’s still in my rotation today 12 years later.”

“Born To Be My Baby” by Bon Jovi
Esmerelda says: “This is actually my and my husband’s song. It is not the typical slow romantic dancey song because that’s just not us. He is also a performer who I met in college for theater. I was
joking one time and I was trying to be sappy and cute. which we are now, but back when we were finding each other we definitely were not. And I said we don’t have a song that so stupid, let’s listen to the radio and find something romantic and vomity and make it our song. And he said no… and then a couple of days later he said listen to this, this is us. And the words of it are definitely how our relationship works…this song just makes me happy and makes me think about my adorable equally queer husband.”

“You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing” by Halestorm
Esmerelda says: “I’ve performed to a lot of Halestorm before and this song I did as- a one off….but the song is called You Call Me A Bitch Like It’s A Bad Thing and I have been called a bitch my entire life. And if somebody tries to hurt me with it I’m going to embrace it. I’m very loud, in your face and opinionated….I’m not afraid to call people out when I think they are being wrong morally.”

“Save Your Story” by Citizen Soldier
Esmerelda says: “This is an artist I stumbled across on Tik Tok…I hit a weird mental road…. I definitely started questioning a lot of things about me as a person, as a performer, both professionally and personally….I was going through the motions and didn’t realize how much I was going through the motions. I was disassociating with reality… This artist is a very mentally aware person and a lot of his songs are about mental health… and he helped me to take that breath and stop….this song made me cry….it helped me to keep going.”

“Voices” and “God’s Menu” by Stray Kids
Esmerelda says: “The reason I picked these two songs is because they are both by the same
artists….they definitely got me through 2020 on… the song Voices came up as a suggestion on youtube and I watched it and the lyrics very much spoke to me and then I started researching them…God’s Menu is the song that made them very popular and more well known…it spearheaded them to fame…this was the first time I felt I had fallen into a fandom…Voices got me into them and God’s Menu convinced me to do KPop That Pastie.”


Produced by Viktor Devonne, reigning Mr Hollywood Burlesque WEBurlesque Podcast Nework is the creation of Viktor Devonne. Podcast Network logo artwork by Logan Laveau, WEBurlesque the Podcast cover art photography by Atticus Stevenson. Incidental music via under fair use. Visit for notes on this and every episode.

Follow @weburlesque and @viktordevonne on just about every platform, and support the podcast via or via Venmo @Viktor-Devonne. Don’t got the cash? Please follow, subscribe, and give 5 stars on every platform you can get your hands on. It really does help.

All original material is owned by Viktor Devonne and White Elephant Burlesque Corporation; all other materials property of their respective copyright. No infringement, while likely, is intended.

Special thank-you to Raina Sinclair for transcription services.


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