We're super excited to have international icon Whisky Falls teaching 3 class with us for our August term!
Whisky Falls has headlined shows at the London Burlesque Festival & Best of Burlesque (Edinburgh Fringe), as well as countless shows in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany & the Czech Republic. Whisky is also started producing a new burlesque show “to Hogmanay at the Highlander” right here in Melbourne!
We sat down with the newest member of our Maison Burlesque family and got to know her more intimately.
How did you first come in to the world of Burlesque? What was it that drew you to the art form?
Whisky joined the burlesque scene back in 2012, when she was challenged to put on an hour long burlesque show at the Piccadilly Theatre in London, UK. At the time, my friends and I were still auditioning in the dance and musical theatre scene after completing our vocational training in 2008. The theatre scene was particularly quiet at the time, and since we were all interested in style and design of eras gone by, we began looking into burlesque. The show happened, and with an audience full of colleagues and peers who told me I must keep going, I did!
What is your favourite thing about being a burlesque performer?
Can I have two favourites?? My first is definitely the creative freedom I get as an artist - I was trained at an exceptional dance college in London where technique and discipline were key. Although I still believe that, and love to train my body and my students in a similar way, creatively I am much freer in burlesque than I could ever be in the dance and musical theatre industry. My second is definitely the community, which I without a doubt have needed personally throughout the years. Nothing highlighted that more to me than moving across the world. The Australian scene have welcomed me with open arms (that includes Maison Burlesque of course!) and I have needed that more than ever. So thank you, community,
What's the funniest/craziest thing that has ever happened to you during a performance?
Ha! That is probably when I got stuck on my chairs in my Hit Me act! At the Closing Gala of London Burlesque Festival (I think 2014) I was so excited to be part of the closing gala. I practiced my signature move (I slide into the splits on two chairs and twerk in front and box split) over and over (more than I ever do normally in tech). In the performance, as I pushed the chair with my foot it started to turn as it slid, meaning the chair back was out of my reach! I stayed in front split for as long as I could while brainstorming ways to get up "Can I reach my down my leg to grab the chair back towards me?" "Nope, your arms are too short" "OK, can you do the rest of the routine here on the chairs?" "Nope, there are still 2.5 mins to go" and so on. Eventually there was only one thing for it. I had to fall. As in, begin to turn into box splits, wobble a lot, fall between the chairs and backwards roll with my arse to the audience. It was NOT as graceful as it sounds!
It was at that point that I realised that giving myself the last name "Falls" I had probably jinxed myself and karma had waited 2 years to catch up on me!
Who are your burlesque icons?
My burlesque icons... that's a toughy...there are soooo many! Roxi D'Lite was by far a massive inspiration, as well as Lada Redstarr. Those two ladies were the first ones I stalked online and thought "I want to do that. I can do that"
Another is a wonderful friend of mine Eliza Delite... I attended her wedding last year so we really are great friends, but I still admire her greatly... she continues to strive for her own excellence, to set goals and smash them, and her style is so goddamn on point it kills me!
Where do you gain your inspiration from?
Inspiration... it depends. Usually music. Most of the time I hear something and suddenly a whole storyline comes to me. Other times I have visions. One night I couldn't sleep and kept imagining me spinning out of a piece of blue fabric. That's how Deep Blue was invented; It started with the vision, then it connected to a tap dance history book I was reading, then I found music, and continued building on the original vision. It's never been the most booked act in my repertoire, but when people get it, they really get it. It's now in its second version as I felt I had changed as a performer but still loved the original idea and costume, so I revamped.
I always dream big... too many things in one act. I guess that's my theatre background. Everything has a storyline, theme, setting, style, defining moment, and so forth.
What advice do you have for new and emerging performers?
New and emerging performers... be patient. Even as a trained professional coming into burlesque I did the no pay/low pay gigs. I volunteered at festivals and shows. I stage managed. I spent a whole month at Edinburgh Fringe 2013 watching, stage managing and getting a few unpaid slots, and I was grateful for all of them. It takes time to work out what it is you want, and who you are as an onstage persona. It's like art imitating life. You have to grow and be patient. Set goals... outrageous ones and achievable ones. Short term ones and long term ones. They are all important and help keep you on track. And they may change along the way. But whatever happens - Be Patient. Be Kind. Be Grateful.
Whisky Falls has three new classes starting at Maison Burlesque this August, make sure to check them out!
Check Out the Timetable Now