A force to be reckoned with, Miss Jane Doe is known as 'The First Lady Of Fierce' that always grabs dance by the disco balls! You might know her as one of our amazing instructors here at Maison Burlesque that's always dishing out giant serves of sass, funk and booty-licious SOUL in her classes.
We had a chat to Miss Jane Doe about her love of burlesque and experiences as a burlesque performer...
Image by The Vamp Studio
Tell us when and how you first discovered burlesque?
Many, many years ago a friend invited me to attend a burlesque class in Perth. I had NO idea what burlesque was at the time but thought it would be fun to try something new. I was excited by the idea of challenging myself and I loved the concept of doing something to improve my confidence and body image which at that time was a bit of a challenge for me. I became addicted, and the rest is history!
How would you describe your unique style?
MANIC! Definitely manic, and uninhabited and fun! I don't particularly stick to a particular genre or era of burlesque but there's definitely a 'feeling' that threads through my performance style. Someone once said to me that when I got up on stage it made them want to take their clothes off and get up on stage and dance with me... That was the best compliment ever! I'd say that's definitely the most accurate description of what I'm trying to achieve on stage. I want my performances to encourage people to really let go and lose their hang ups about their bodies or how they think they're supposed to behave.
How did you decide upon your burlesque/performer name?
In a way it wasn't really me that decided on it! It was a nickname that people already called me and I just added to it, boring I know! But I really love Miss Jane Doe because it's a complete juxtaposition to my performers character. Jane Doe is like a blank canvas, it sounds so sweet and unassuming and like a bit of a wallflower, but then I come out on stage and well, you know... Things have been known to get a little crazy haha!
What advice do you have for someone wanting to start burlesque?
Find a great group of people who support you and GO FOR IT! Then support everyone around you. The burlesque community is big enough for us all, and the more we support each other the more we all achieve. Keep creating, and look for inspiration everywhere! most of the best acts I have ever seen have been inspired by something completely seperate to burlesque. There are no rules! If we just kept re-creating other acts we've already seen then we just end up hindering our own development. If you have an idea, no matter how insane it seems just do it! Keep learning! I will never stop learning or developing as an artist because there's no such thing as a 'perfect performer'. I'm far from perfect! Our styles change, our look changes and develops as we learn new things and try new things, and that's awesome! That's how it should be!
Image by 3 Fates Media
Describe your average Saturday night?
If I'm not performing around Melbourne I'm working at my home away from home Maison Burlesque. If I happen to have a Saturday night free you can usually find me at home playing computer games or reading comics or researching new ideas and concepts for acts and classes.
Tell us a bit more about your non-performer self! What do you love doing?
I LOVE music! I'm always on YouTube finding new music that inspires me. I love comic books and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the gym... I get the stupidest grin on my face when I'm lifting weights! Eating... I love burgers and pizza! I also love watching bag 90's films as well as a lot of films from the 60's & 70's.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anything from the 60's & 70's era! I also have a huge love for comic books - in particular anything featuring badass women! Also high fashion couture.
Have you faced any challenges in starting burlesque or developing your burlesque career? Vulnerability is definitely my biggest challenge.
I think any career based in performance; whether its burlesque or being an actor or comedian or musician can be a very vulnerable place. You're putting your heart and soul into every piece you create and putting it out there for the whole world to see. You're opening yourself up for others to see you, judge you, love you and (potentially) hate you and that's never easy. You're also faced with comparing yourself to others around you; wondering if you're growing enough, if your ideas are good enough. I'm very aware I can be own worst enemy and critic, I often catch myself wondering things like "have I made it worth your time? Have I been true to myself, have I given it my all?" For me these are by biggest challenges and it's a constant battle. But I always remind myself that as long as i keep trying and learning and performing from the heart then I'm on the right track!
Tell us a bit about your classes at Maison and what they're all about!
I teach a couple of different classes at Maison, they're all SUPER fun and perfect for all ages and levels of experience. The first class I teach is 1960's Gogo dancing; It's a really energetic retro style class that teaches you the basics of Gogo dancing and puts it together in a fun themed routine. Latin Burlesque is exactly what it sounds like; burlesque with a latin twist! We dance to latinesque music and I teach you some latin inspired dance steps like samba and cha-cha. My last class is Soul Training, and everyone knows how much I love this class! It's based around funk, hip-hop, r'n'b and disco from the 70's to today's music. We have done everything from Prince to Kanye West! I teach you a lot of 70's style funk and disco moves and we put it all together into a routine.
Image by David Woolley
If you want to find out more about the classes Miss Jane Doe teaches at Maison Burlesque then head to our class descriptions page HERE.
Miss Jane Doe is also running a special workshop: Booty Sweat Bootcamp on Tuesday August 8th. For more info on that head to our Workshops & Masterclasses page HERE.
The Team at Maison Burlesque Xx