Burlesque can be an addictive thing... And we have some wonderful students who spend so much time dancing and shimmying and twirling their tassels here we have often turned up to work only to find them asleep amongst the sparkly costumes & feather fans...
And so in 2017, the annual "Maison Burlesque Trundle Bed" awards were born! We thought seeing as they essentially live at the studio it would be great to get to know our Trundle Bed winners a little better! So grab a tea cup (and then put some champagne in it) and check out the little chat we had with Miss Trundle Bed 2018 - Jean Jerminx and Miss Trundle Bed 2019 - Megs Akimbo!
Megs Akimbo (Left) & Jean Jerminx (Right)
How does it feel to be a Trundle Bed Queen aka the most prestigiously titled crown in all the lands...
M: Better now I’ve been upgraded to a trundle bed than having to sleep on the floor!
J: I was the first Trundle Bed Queen for Maison Burlesque. Needless to say I had no idea that it was coming!
I was backstage getting changed after a performance into my regular clothes when Miss Poppy Cherry called my name out asking me, and a few of the other girls, onto the stage. I must say I was confused and a little concerned when it happened. I was only half dressed, just my dress thrown on with no shoes on I ran down the stairs at Max Watts to take the stage. I when I was crowned queen I was so honoured and proud. I had found Maison the year before and it was my anniversary showcase. It meant so much to be acknowledged by the place I had come to love.You couldn't wipe the smile from my face for days. The sash still hangs up in my bedroom with pride of place.
Tell us about your introduction to Maison Burlesque!
M: I’ve been coming to Maison for a year and a half now. I had been taking burlesque classes in Perth and when I moved over to Melbourne I knew it was something I NEEDED to continue! A quick google search said Maison was the place to be so I was booked into a course and heading on down before I had even organised a place to work! We even picked our flat based on the fact that I could walk to Maison (seriously!)
J: A friend of mine had been taking classes at Maison for a few terms and I went to a few of the student showcase shows. I remember seeing the utter joy on everyone’s faces when they were up on stage and the rush it gave me just being a part of the audience. I remember thinking, “That could be me!"
I took my first class at Maison in October 2016. I chose a latinesque class with Miss Jane Doe. I chose it because it was a class where I could perform but there was no actual strip tease. The idea of it terrified me. I was not comfortable with my own body. And now look how far I have come! It only takes a mention and I'm ready to get my kit off.
First impressions were so positive. I felt included and welcome even though I was well out of my comfort zone. I have never been a dancer, I was involved a few primary/high school productions but you would never really say I nailed the choreography. In 8 weeks I went from having two left feet and no rhythm and terrified for falling on my face, to having the confidence to get up in front of 100’s of people with a smile on my face. (Still with two left feet and no rhythm).
Willow J's Theatrics for Burlesque routine featuring Megs Akimbo & Jean Jerminx!
Tell us about the classes you like to take at Maison Burlesque.
M: I make an effort to work with every teacher Maison offers! And have learned fantastic skills off them all. But you will most often find me with Miss Jane Doe and Willow J having the campy, filthy, daggy boogie my soul needs! Can also never recommend tech classes enough! Velma has taken me so far in Burly Flex and made muscles I didn’t even know I had hurt! It’s a great way to quickly build your skills and expand them beyond learning and performing a routine.
J: I have dabbled in a little bit of every style and tried to take a class with each teacher at least once. I find it really rewarding trying something new. But without a doubt, I love fan dancing the most! I love the way the feathers move and the vastly different ways that you can incorporate them into dances. I love the girls I take these classes with, it is something that I look forward to every week. I learn and grow from these people (and Miss Poppy) every week, and there isn't a class that doesn't involve fits for laughter for one reason or another.
Tell us about your own burlesque journey and any goals you have!
M: My journey started early 2017, I only did work and home. Before, I had absolutely no hobbies. Never really had, even as a kid I would go to one class and then be “sick” for the rest of the term/season/run. So was a chronic wallflower with a rather boring life in retrospect. I can’t tell you what made me do it honestly it was so incredibly far outside my comfort zone and so far removed from who I saw myself as! But damn if I didn’t fall in love after one class and when I fall in love I fall hard so one class a term, became two, two became six! This community has truely changed the trajectory of my life, it has given me confidence, skills, friendships and creativity beyond anything I ever imagined!
Goal wise; I want to share this massive naked dork I have found within myself with as many humans as I possible can!
J: My burlesque journey is really in its infancy. One of my major goals was to choreograph and perform a solo routine. I achieved this at the Cherry Poppers Solo Edition last November. I should probably get around to applying to perform it again in some of the local shows that go on around Melbourne. I continue to dance because it makes me happy. Community is the main reason I keep coming back to Maison. It’s a pretty amazing family to be a part of!
Who inspires you the most? Burlesque or not burlesque related!
M: I’m constantly surprised where my inspiration comes from! Form absolute newbies to seasoned veterans I’m most inspired by those that just keep me smiling, entertained and completely engrossed! Strong character and strong face will always get me screaming! Some of my absolute favourite performers on the scene at the moment are Veruca Sour, Lucy Lovegun, Maple Rose, Hugo Grrrl, Sugar Du Jourè, Velma Von Bon Bon!
J: My Mum. Kind, caring supportive but also fierce and strong. She is the strongest most caring woman I know and she supports me with everything I do (she has come to almost every one of my shows to date). She has inspired me to push my boundaries. She works hard to get what she wants and is always considerate of others. I would be nothing without all she has given me!
Winter Greene, Poppy Cherry & Jean Jerminx at The Cherry Poppers Showcase
What advice would you give to someone thinking about trying burlesque classes?
M: WHATEVER YOU DO DO NOT ASK ME (Unless you want to get trapped in a two day conversation looking at hours worth of videos and hundreds of Instagram posts where I will tell you you absolutely MUST do it!)
J: I often tell people that they should take a class. If they are unsure, I say take a teaser class, what have you got to lose? It only takes an hour of your time and you are sure to have a blast (plus there is champagne involved! What could be better?) I would encourage everyone to try it at least once in their lives, but with a forewarning that rhinestones and glitter can be a bit like crack. I started out just taking one class in a term and I have taken as many as 4 performance classes in a term at once since.
Whats a random fact about you that not many people know?
M: I'm 6”3’ because I know you wanna ask!
J: My stage name “Jean Jerminx” came about because I wanted to be “Gin-ger- something”.I like Gin, I have Ginger hair but there were just too many “Ginger”s in the world. Jean is also my middle name (and my grandmothers name). So “Jean-Jer Minx” when said quickly enough almost hits all the targets.
M: Sticky Date Pudding!
J: Mac n Cheese!
Finally... A most important question! Who's your biggest crush?
M: Winter Greene
J:It really depends on my mood, but it flicks between Liam Hemsworth and Chris Hemsworth.
(Velma says: Me too Jean Jerminx... meeeee tooooooo)