Burlesque with a macabre or thematic flair. Our forte being sideshow, vaudeville, gore, fetish, fire, and anything that goes bump in the night. –Grotesque Burlesque (via their Facebook Fan Page)
For eight years, Grotesque Burlesque has been teasing with a touch of terror at events and local Central Florida venues. This bold and deliciously dark troupe is known for its imaginative, erotic and playful performances (one such show was featured in OTM for their Star Trek vs Star Wars show at Acme comics in 2014).
Viewer discretion is advised
Unsure if it was the result of a Vulcan mind meld or the sly suggestion of a Sith Lord that April, but we had to know more about this glamorous group of gore-loving gals. Recently we caught up with founding member Sissy Mary Sinful to satisfy our curiosity . . .
Who is Grotesque Burlesque?
Over the years we have had a lot of performers. Some specialize in side show, others theatrics, ballet, and social skills which can be key in my line of work. We have been a troupe, as of this year, for 8 years. We did take a small hiatus but even doing that we still did a gig for a charity group because we like to help where we can.
What does it take to prepare a performance?
Oh my goodness! It depends on the show. One of our large-scale, group shows, takes months of planning, blocking, rehearsing, costuming, and props/set pieces. If it is something where we have multiple sole routines, that may take a month or less. Depends on how many people are needed, the type of show, and the theme.
Is there a favorite show or preferred venue?
This one is difficult because for me it’s not so much a venue but a person. My favorite to work with is Anna Maiya Young, who a co-owner of Gods & Monsters comics. She always puts on the best events and takes such great care of my entire crew. My favorite show that I have done with the troupe has to be our Kinky Katholic Katastrophe show that we performed at Fetish Con in Tampa a few years ago. There is a video of it on YouTube (Viewer discretion is advised).
Please share some insight on some of your favorite/entertaining moments from your years of performance.
Oh boy, there are so many! Our group has a great deal of small inside jokes because of things like this. Most of our unique/entertaining moments come more from when we are all getting ready together. Believe me, the life of a burlesquer is not as glamorous as most people think. For example, you travel to where your gig will be, you arrive at the “getting ready” spot, and you all realize that you waited to shave your legs until you got to your hotel room, always in the hopes that you’re the only one. Once you discover that everyone is in the same predicament, you do a group leg shave session because you have to be on stage in a short period. Or our Stage Manager Formally Known As Al, the stage name given him by the group, getting the nickname Big Ben because he shouts the time every five minutes but his watch is set ahead to make sure we arrive in time. There are so many others but these are the ones that I can share without embarrassing others.
Finally, what advice would you offer for anyone interested in burlesque?
Don’t wait! Just do it! It’s such a beautiful art form. My idol is Gypsy Rose Lee because of the way she entertained people. Such charm and grace! Don’t hold yourself back from getting out there and doing it. Or at least in your own living room. Also, if you’re interested in learning some burlesque for personal purposes please reach out to our troupe. We can do some one-on-one sessions for people if they are interested in building their confidence or to spice things up.