Why I Started Burlesque with Lou P Scarlett

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Ever had that dream where you imagine yourself without any clothes on, in front of a big audience and wake up in a flustered panic? 

 

Well for One Playground’s resident Burlesque queen, Lou P Scarlett, not only is this a reality she’s chosen, but she’s encouraging others to do that same! 

 

Behind the glitz and the glam of burlesque, there’s a lot of hard work, determination and confidence. Lou is on a mission to help her students feel empowered to be the most true version of themselves. 

 

Alongside the launch of her 8 week Burlyflexx course at One Playground, we sat down with Lou to discover how she got into the world of Burlesque, what it means to her and how you can get involved.

 

 

How did you get into burlesque?

 

Really it began with my passion for music and music theatre. My mum and dad are both really musical. My mum is a creative powerhouse putting on shows and teaching singing and my dad is an incredible pianist, so I was encouraged to perform from a really young age. After school, I did a year of full-time dance at Brent St and then completed a Bachelor of Music (Theatre) at AIM. 

 

The first gig I booked after uni was singing and hosting a Burlesque Show called Risqué Review at Slide in Sydney. Honestly, that job changed the whole trajectory of my career. Before that I had never worn a corset, let alone lingerie on a stage. After performing there in a few of their residential shows I decided I wanted to start making my own acts. At the time I was also a part of an electro-pop band called Cohlaj and whilst I loved writing and performing my own music it wasn’t making me any money so I thought… screw it… I’ll just take my clothes off to my own music, maybe that will get me some cash. It did.

 

I went and watched heaps of underground burlesque shows, watched videos online, and introduced myself to other performers I admired, and then at Lost Paradise in 2016, with a little bit of liquid courage, I crept backstage and asked the host of the Burlesque show there to book me for a gig. She said, make two acts and I will. So I created my first 2 acts “The Cloud” and my “Lick-Her-Land” Act. I performed my first Burlesque gig at Mr Falcon’s Burlesque in Enmore in 2017.

 

Then, as they say, the rest is history.

 

What’s your favourite thing about burlesque?

 

I have to pick one?! My favourite thing about burlesque is that it’s extremely empowering. It celebrates individuality and sensuality and I believe sensuality is a superpower. It is intoxicating to witness it in somebody and empowering for someone to embody it. Underlying it all is confidence.

 

Burlesque also requires you to be really creative. As a burlesque performer, you create everything from the concept of the act to the costume, the music, the character and choreography. Therefore it’s extremely empowering as you get to create a heightened version of yourself.

 

Did you face any judgments or preconceptions along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?

 

There was definitely a teething period. I was brought up Catholic and I know my parents had apprehensions about it at first. However, I work very hard and believe I have integrity in my work. Belief in my own art is the biggest part of overcoming any judgments and preconceptions. Really I just want to entertain people. From there, I have nuanced conversations with the people who are important to me and then whatever everyone else thinks I honestly couldn’t care less. I wish I could say I’ve always been that way, but that has taken some time.

 

What is your goal with the Burlyflexx course?

 

I want to empower people to connect to their sensual power. I want to give them tools to move like a showgirl, with elegance and grace, tools to captivate and entertain whilst at the same time inspiring them to be uniquely themselves. 

Also as the course is a troupe routine I want everyone involved to feel as though they are a part of a sexy lil community. Whatever reason they’ve decided to be a part of this course, whether it be for fun, or whether it be because they want to become a professional burlesque artist, Burlyflexx is a space for people to learn new skills, make friends and feel supported along the way.

 

If someone is considering trying out burlesque but they’re a little nervous, what would you tell them?

 

The unknown is always scary, but that’s where all of the most exciting stuff exists. It’s also the only place where you can truly grow. I understand it can be daunting to do something new, (especially when it involves taking your clothes off in front of others!), but I promise, that as a teacher, it is of utmost importance that Burlyflexx is a safe and encouraging space for everyone and anyone.

 

I want you to explore, grow and mother f*cking flourish! If you’re unsure and haven’t come to a Burlesque Workshop class before I would suggest coming to one of those first. We have so much fun! 

 

They’re on:

  • Monday 6:30pm – Surry Hills 
  • Saturday 9am – Marrickville
  • Saturday 10:30am – Newtown
  • Sunday 5pm – Surry Hills

 

What does burlesque mean to you?

 

Burlesque is freedom and connection. It’s the freedom to share and celebrate the beauty of the human body, freedom to create fantasy and glamour, freedom to entertain and illuminate social and political ideas and for me personally, it has given me the freedom to have creative autonomy and connect with so many people.

 

Join Lou P Scarlett on her Burlyflexx course, starting this March and over 8 weeks, learn the complete art of costume removal, character development, and performance technique, all building up to a jaw-dropping performance in the final week.

 

Secure your spot before all tickets are snapped up!

 

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