It’s our first official interview here at Libidacoria Magazine and who better to kick it off than one of my friends and a talented performer.
What do you do:
Burlesque Sing & Fling
Columbus, Ohio Performer
What was your moment—the moment you realized you “made” it?
Don’t know that I’ve made it, but I suppose it would be when Circus Columbus Bar and Restaurant offered me my own show. One show a month is just enough for me to balance home and performing and hopefully make ‘em want more. In the past, I performed several times a week, but now that I am getting paid in one show what I made in a month performing other locations. One show is just fine. I am not looking to become famous or make a career out of burlesque.
How did you find yourself here? What’s your story?
I am a mild-mannered computer support trainer and technician during the day, and if I am not working on a new number, you will find me reading or sewing. Sewing actually led me to burlesque. A friend from my Reality Theatre days introduced me to a local burlesque performer as a possible seamstress for her costumes. That led to auditioning for a troupe, and two troupes later, I am enjoying the freedom of being an independent performer.
How do you juggle your “racy” side with your “home” side? And do they ever merge together?
My partner of almost a year knew I performed and loved attending my shows as we were dating. Now that we are engaged, and because I have an impressionable teen daughter, I am scaling back performing and doing more tease and less reveal. Family comes first.
Describe your life in one word.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Coffee and cigarettes…
If one band could play your life soundtrack, who would you pick?
What song captures the essence of your being?
Grateful Dead – Touch of Grey
What’s your preferred drink?
Coffee, of course.
Any awkward moments where people recognize you?
Not awkward, but at The Alley, the girl helping me buy a corset knew me by my stage name and was excited I was shopping there.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Bad drivers – tailgating and not signaling. I drive five over, but if you ride my bumper, I will go the speed limit…grr. And it seems like a lot of the really expensive cars have defective signals or something…
When you “perform”, are you in character or yourself?
Definitely in character. I am a tremendously dorky and a geek off-stage. I dig burlesque, because it gives me a creative outlet, but it is on my time. Instead of having to go to nightly rehearsals, as one would performing in a play, I can rehearse when needed, and when I choose.
What’s your cure for creative blockage?
When I sew or work on a number, it is usually something created over a period of weeks or months. Rarely is my initial idea the finished product. If I find something isn’t working, I set it aside and wait for inspiration. And that is why I often have many different sewing projects going at once. I hoarde fabric awaiting the day it calls to me to be cut and stitched into something splendid.
What’s your next project or step?
Legs and Eggs is a monthly brunch burlesque show running the 4th Sunday of every month at 11 A.M. It’s held at the Circus Columbus Bar and Restaurant featuring Vivian Von Brokenhymen as emcee with performance by myself. Each month we will feature two new performers. Hoping to keep the numbers more to the true burlesque style with lots of tease and legs.
How does one get into this profession?
Check local papers and bars for burlesque shows and troupes. Sometimes they audition for new members or offer classes or an amateur night. If you join a troupe, be careful. While there are many honest, kind and supportive members of the community, there are also jealous, mean girls too. Don’t let anyone pressure you into revealing more than you are comfortable with, or let anyone push you towards an image that isn’t you. Burlesque is about tease.
What is a nerdy thing about you? (i.e. are you a Star Wars buff? Do you know a stupid amount about a particular book, period of history, or hobby?)
What isn’t? I work with computers all day. I read a lot and used to teach at-risk high school English. I sew. I wear glasses. I do not tan and avoid direct sunlight. My stage name is a Shakespeare pun. I like cosplay. I love Dr. Who and ghost hunting. Enough said.
All-time favorite movie line, go.
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You kill my father. Prepare to die!”
You can find out more about Madam-Ofeelya Redd by visiting her facebook page. You can also find her soon on http://columbusburlesque.blogspot.com/p/members.html.
And go check out her amazing voice, incredible body and her ability to truly, TRULY entertain!