Parental Advisory: Explicit Content
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Vixen DeVille, international variety, burlesque performer and burlesque & body confidence coach.
Why does it matter?
Performing a solo burlesque act is the purest form of self-expression and self-celebration. You are literally revealing yourself to an audience on a number of levels. Your choice of music, your choice of costume, your choice of genre of comedy, drama, or even horror. There is no other opinion up there on stage, no writer or director… the entire piece comes from you and what YOU want to say up on stage and what YOUR reason is for the inclusion of an element of the ‘strip.’ Total freedom. There are no rules, no requirements to ‘fit in.’ You’re saying, “This is me! This is what lights me up! Come along for the ride.” For an audience it’s entertainment, escapism, the joy of someone 100% enjoying sharing their true selves with other humans. There is a connection like no other, and in the best-case scenarios, those who witness the burlesque performer on stage, unapologetically celebrating themselves, will in turn begin to increase their own self-love… Love for everything they have and everything they are, the good, the bad… and the wobbly!
When did you realize performing was what you wanted to do?
Since I was around 7-10 years old, I loved dressing up like characters I’d seen in films, I saw it as escapism from my real life, but in retrospect I was really just exploring other versions of myself. Vixen DeVille is not a mask, a character I created to hide behind, she is a version of my true self that I excavated, discovered, and it’s on stage that I allow her to come out to play.
Do you remember what it was like in the beginning?
The beginning, as an actor, was very much, “How do I get this right?” How do I be what the casting director wants? How do I fulfil the vision the writer had?? How do I behave appropriately?? Burlesque has taught me to be a better actor and rather than try to be a mediocre version of an ‘idea’ that I’ve guessed someone else is looking for (a pointless and thankless task), I now focus more on bringing MYSELF to the role. YOUR version of the role will be more lit up and exciting than trying to copy what you THINK they are looking for.
What is your dream performance?
Doing this show has actually been my dream performance – I’d been talking about doing a solo show for about 3-4 years but had never actually sat myself down and done it. It was always just a mush of ideas floating around my head. Last year I bit the bullet and threw myself in the deep end. To be able to do a show with all my various skills, fire eating, aerial, glass walking, magic illusions, AND storying telling, switching from goofy comedy to tear jerking drama AND be able to actually pass on those skills to audience members live on stage… in real time. I mean… unless I can cast Jon Hamm as my stage kitten, it doesn’t get much better than that.
What is the quality you most like in a person (man or woman)?
Those who make small but effective gestures to help others. Sometimes people try to ‘help’ others, but they’re really just trying to change them. Did someone just buy you an expensive gift you’re never going to use because it meets THEIR standards and needs, or did they buy you a heartfelt gift that genuinely makes your life easier coz they listened to what you had to say.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Moving to the US from the UK – getting my working visa and later my Green Card. Not many people know the amount of hard work and money that goes into this. You can’t hop on a plane and start waitressing. You have to create a document the size of three Yellow pages (do people still use that?) gather proof of all the work you’ve done, get references and recommendation from previous and potential employers – essentially prove that I am unequivocally an “alien of extraordinary ability.” Oh, and then you have to hand over around $7000 to your lawyer and the US government. Not to mention the psychological strain of having to pack up your life and take the risk of moving to a whole new country with no friends or family and wondering and hoping that it will all be worth it. Which thankfully it was. The good news is, I’m nothing special. I just knew it was something I had to do and that the alternative was unacceptable – If you don’t like your life, change it. This is also the message of the show. Yes, I’m amazing. but so are you!
What is your favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Making the seemingly impossible, possible.
What turns you off?
Hypocrisy and injustice.
What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck (it will be said many times in the show).
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Vixen’s solo show “Vixen DeVille Revealed” will be at Cirque Roots Studio as part of the Tucson Fringe Festival Friday, Jan 11th 7:30pm; Saturday, Jan 12th 7:30pm; and Sunday, Jan 13th 6pm. Purchase Tickets Here. Learn more about Vixen on her Website, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to look up her classes and workshops happening January 12-13. Watch the YouTube Video.