Interview with Dixie Doll


Dixiedoll is a Whangarei-based Burlesque performer. She has worked on several sold-out shows with the Northern Dolls and will be performing at our “Music Month May Day” alongside Farandicus and Strangely Arousing. We asked her some of our burning questions about her career in burlesque, check it out...

How long have you been doing burlesque? I took my very first burlesque class in 2011 I think it was... and started performing in 2014 - it's been a love affair with the stage since then.

What inspired you to start? There was a girl from Whangarei that started doing it in Christchurch, when she moved back to town she brought it with her and I had been following her journey on facebook which was so glamorous and sexy. So when she put it out there that she was going to do a class, I jumped at the chance! Thanks Cherry Devine.

Describe your most empowering moment as a burlesque performer? There isn't one moment, it's every second of being on stage. Looking into the audience during a show and knowing these people are here to see YOU is something spectacular. Mind you, it's hard not to feel empowered when you're wearing a G-string covered in diamonds and your favourite red lipstick. Try it.

What is your process like for designing your costume/makeup look for a performance? For me, my entire act starts with the music. The song is the driving force that dictates the mood, moves costume and lighting. I will spend hours trawling through music until I hear a song and it hits me, I can then usually have a rough idea of the entire costume and act by the end of the song. The music also dictates how many layers of costume I need and the colour scheme to reflect how the music makes me feel and how I want the audience to feel when watching it. Generally I don't change up my makeup look for shows, I'm usually doing 2 very different acts in a night so find my makeup needs to work for both of them which is why I tend to keep things classic.

What is the hardest thing about being a burlesque performer? I think I've been quite lucky in my burlesque life so far, it's always been unapologetically part of me and everyone I surround myself with accepts that. Even my workplace. I'm sure there are people out there who think burlesque is something to taint your reputation but in all honesty, it's so much more than "fancy stripping" … for one, I don't get paid enough to call it that haha. So for me the hardest part would have to be making my own costumes when all I know how to do is sew in a straight line.

What is the best thing about being a burlesque performer? Similar to the empowerment answer, there's no one best thing. Yeah I like being on stage in that diamond covered g string feeling sexy as hell but I also love being on stage as a terrible magician with my wig half hanging off making people laugh. Burlesque covers such a massive spectrum, when it comes to creating something, you have no limits. So I guess the best thing is I can do all these different acts with all these different costumes and every single one is something I've loved putting together, and I think people can see that clearly. I always hear "you look like you really enjoy it" and I do. I really do enjoy every. single. moment.