How do you rehearse? How much of what we see onstage is improvised? It depends on the act. Some are very precise and more tightly choreographed than others. Others are not so much apart from hitting certain marks and parts of the song, because the sizes of my stage vary so much that I have to be ready for anything, to work with a new space.
People are people and have always had these urges and fascinations with sexuality and even extreme sex, so I think it would be a mistake to say things are so different now. We also have more access to erotica due to the way technology has changed. There are ways of moving and posing that many erotic dancers engage in that are hard to imagine you doing. One thing I would never do is that thing some dancers do when they hold their hand to their ear to get applause from an audience.
Your burlesque practice—which is obviously very much your unique expression—is strongly rooted in the erotic performance art of the past. If you agree with this assessment, why do you think there is this inverse relationship between women as portrayed in erotic dance from previous eras to now? Listen, in my wildest sex fantasies, no one loves me for my mind!
A lot of women have trouble combining those things, feeling they have to choose between dignity and sexiness. What advice do you have for women who want find that balance you maintain so well?
If you really get to the essence of what makes one sexy, if you get past just what you see in magazines and such, you can see that true sexiness has many facets. The elements include things like confidence, strength, intelligence, and humor. Do you think of this as enhancement of what is there, or the creation of illusions? Is there a point past which personal myth-making becomes sinister or self-destructive? What are your thoughts on the lucrative cosmetic surgery industry?
Glamour is about creating illusion. After all, the first nose jobs were done in the s, so I think the taboo should be lifted by now. But what I also want for anyone who wants to utilize these dramatic forms for beauty enhancement is that they learn how to use it properly and know when enough is enough and when to stop obsessing over things like one tiny wrinkle.
Where did you learn your business savvy. Do you have business advice for artists and performers? Even when I was working in a strip club in the early 90s, I was saving 15 percent of every dime I made.
Where do you see yourself professionally in 20 years? In twenty years I will be turning But I would like to imagine that I will be more focused on designing my lingerie and dresses full-time and also writing my autobiography. Larissa Archer is a writer and theatre worker based in San Francisco. Her work can be read at www.