“I am a very caring and nurturing Domme,” reveals Calgary’s Lady Seraphina, “Using play to facilitate healing and stress relief. I am also a heavy sadist, and take great pride in helping my bottoms push their limits, both in range of activity and level of play.“
“Burlesque is capable of empowering women with the authority and creative control to reveal or conceal as much as they wish, within their own boundaries,” believes Frenchie Fatale of Toronto’s Glamour Puss Burlesque. “The audience is engaged and vocal, but remains a passive actor in the burlesque performance. Burlesque allows for a removal of the conventional stigma attached to a woman acting in a seductive or controversial manner. It’s a celebration of sexuality, seen in an artistic and innovative way.
“I don't recall the first moment I thought I wanted to transition, but I always knew something was different,” reveals Vancouver-based Velvet Steele. “I did a lot of counseling, soul-searching, and general self-evaluation. When I did take the decision to fully transition it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Moving on from then I knew was going to be difficult because of the surgeries but also knew it would be so gratifying and fulfilling.”
“It could have been the lack of attention from my parents or just plain boredom in suburbia or both, but I suffered from the, ‘Look at me!’ syndrome,” reveals Vancouver’s Sparkle Plenty. “As a result, I started finding ways to become the centre of attention, I joined a youth improv troupe when I was 16, then I moved on to being the emo girl with guitar. When I realized that I actually have no angst and my humor was pushing for a more adult audience I had to find a way to channel my creative energy.”
When it comes to the entertainment industry, it seems Canada always loses its greatest stars to the lure of the bright lights down south. The list of prominent Canuck comedians, actors and musicians who have packed up and gone to the United States is long and prestigious.
“I'm a Scorpio,” reveals model and performance artist Madelina Horn. “So sex is the underlying motivation for everything I do. I'm obsessed with sexuality. It's the most fascinating part of humanity.”
Most times, in literature and film, the red herring is something of momentary distraction not to be considered for long. It takes your eyes off the prize. But Toronto’s Red Herring, burlesque performer and producer is one distraction that will keep you mesmerized. Whatever is happening elsewhere can just keep on happening. You can get back to it once she’s done with you.
All performers want to leave a mark, an indelible impression of their talent. There can be the quick flash-in-the-pan or there can be the slow and development master. A performer can be lauded and praised and chased by the paparrazi. But perhaps the most enduring, albeit challenging, honour to be achieved is that of respect and admiration of one’s peers.
“It was a lovely day in summer of '05 or '06 and I was enjoying the patio weather with my good friend Lee,” remembers Toronto burlesque freak Miss Apodysis. “A woman named Pynky Love happened by with flyers and asked Lee if he knew anyone who could dance at her next show. Though I barely knew what burlesque was, he recommended me and I was drunk, so I agreed.”
“I discovered burlesque for the first time when friends brought us to a show during Halloween,” reveals Montreal burlesque star Scarlett James. “It was amateur and a small budget production but I saw right away that this was it, that is what I wanted to do, it was like a revelation. So I started to study and research, read books, watch movies, listen to music and started to work on my first number. It took me 6 months before I stepped on the stage for the first time.