Gentlemen and Ladies Prefer Ava Noir

Sometimes life finds a new direction from the most unexpected of intersections. We never know when we're going to be inspired to try something new. This teaches us to always take heed of what others are hinting or offering.

Sultry burlesque queen Ava Noir didn't know a conversation at a wedding, of all places, would get her into the wild world of burlesque, but one chat had her well on her way. "The performer suggested I contact a troupe she had performed with before, Skin Tight Outta Sight. I emailed Sauci Calla Horra eager for instruction. Sauci suggested I contact Coco Framboise. I contacted Coco who happily set-up private lessons for me. Funny how one random conversation with someone I have not seen since that wedding in 2006 completely changed my life."

Taking that instruction, and inspiration from some of the great performers of today, Ava has become a fantastic burlesque performer. Combining equal parts glam, sass and creativity, Ava puts on shows that convey her admiration for contemporary performers and Hollywood's Golden Era.

"One of my favourite performers is Dirty Martini. She is simply delicious. Not only is she an incredible performer, but a great teacher. I've been fortunate enough to take a couple of workshops with her and they have changed the way I view my performances and the way I perform. Burgundy Brixx, is a huge inspiration to me also. We were honored to have Burgundy here this year for the Toronto Burlesque Festival and after that one weekend Burgundy is a someone I would love to emulate on and off the stage."

Ava's love of the Hollywood's starlet's of old goes way back. She used to watch classic films with her grandmother, such as Gilda, Cover Girl, High Society, An American in Paris, The Women and most inspiring of all Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. "I adore that women were always dressed to the nines! They would've never been photographed without makeup or a hair out of place. Glitzy evening dresses with plunging necklines that showed off a gal's curves." It is that image that has stuck with Ava and given her much fodder for her current incarnation.

As is often the case in art, Ava's first routine had some basis in her own world. Remembering back her first act was Big Boss Man. "Its about a secretary who gets tired of her mean boss and take matters into her own hands. That act is loosely based on my real life, whenever I perform it I feel so much freedom." Currently, her favourite routine to perform is Jill-in-the-box. "I have so much fun performing that number. From the costume, the music, to the prop the entire act is sexy fun-time!"

Audience reaction is such an important element of any performance art, even more so with burlesque. Getting used to the attention received after, literally, baring yourself for the crowd can be a challenge. "An audience member came up to me after a performance and said I was his favorite performer that night and proceeded to give me examples of why," Ava reveals. "It was unnerving at first, but then I quickly realized this guy was really paying attention. It was kind of sweet." If she could have any one person take in one of her shows, she'd love it to be Bill Clinton. "I have a thing for powerful older men who are attracted to curvy brunettes."

Away from the pasties, Ava is an avid baker with a love of sweets and pastries. She one day hopes to have her own shop selling delectable treats. As for performing, she hopes burlesque helps her see the world, hoping to perform in at least one new city a year.