Life is full of first times, your first steps, your first word, first kiss, and the list goes on.
Well this is my first interview for you all, and like most first times I wanted to make this a first to remember, after all this first will not happen again, so I had to choose someone special to share my first time with.
So many great performers out there, so many interesting people in the audience, so many potential first time partners, and then out of the blue came an article, an article that made me realise right away who I just had to interview.
This wonderful lady is well on the road to being a great star, I can foresee big things in store for her in the future.
I caught up with her at Sinsational Spring Awakening just before the start of the evening and I am so happy that she agreed to be my first, and will always hold that special place of honour, without further delay I bring you Gigi Praline
(T.T. Tassel) You come across as a very strong and positive person, is that how you see yourself?
(Gigi) I try and see the positive in most things; of course there are good days and bad days, and days when just everything seems to go wrong
(T.T. Tassel) You seem to have very strong views about the model stereo type and how it gives a false image to people, what would you like to say about that?
(Gigi) There is a very large variety of women, shapes, sizes, skin tones, and colours, and every type should be celebrated, not only the larger ladies, but also the skinny ladies, as in recent years there has been a pro large size movement, but they have gone to the other end of the scale and started to skinny bash, and this is also just as unwelcome.
Companies are not selling their products but whole images, glasses, make up, hair, and underwear are all carefully targeted with image in mind, just because Beckham uses a certain underwear does not mean to say that you are going to be Beckham if you do.
So I would like to see companies and advertisers using a larger cross section of the population, and get a better perspective. But people need to take some responsibility as well, they need some kind of filter, in Finnish we have a saying “to have medialukutaito”.
(T.T. Tassel) When did you first find out about Burlesque, what were your first thoughts on it, and who introduced you to it?
(Gigi) About two and a half years ago I arranged a birthday party for my husband, and Bettie was doing it, and well we started talking about it, and I took a few lessons from Bettie, then one day she mentioned that there was a new comers night coming up and perhaps I should think about putting my name down to take part.
(T.T. Tassel) What made you decide to start performing Burlesque?
(Gigi) Well really it was no one thing; it was a combination of everything coming together.
(T.T. Tassel) You are part of Thee Dizzy Daisies Burlesque Troupe, how did that come about?
(Gigi) We are a group of like minded friends, who each bring something to the group.
(T.T. Tassel) Where do you find inspiration from for your performances?
(Gigi) Music, I hear a piece of music and instantly I am thinking what kind of routine I could do with it. It added a new dimension to music, but it has kind of ruined music for me as I can’t listen to it without thinking about burlesque
(T.T. Tassel) Who has been the greatest inspiration and influence in your life?
(Gigi) When it comes to burlesque then I take my inspiration for looks from Dita Von Teese, she´s so lovely and I always wanted to be demure and a pocket Venus like her, but then I look more like a drag queen and talk loud and laugh even louder so… you just have to work with what you have got. My inspiration for performance I get from Bettie Blackheart, but when it comes to my life then it is my mum (at this point and for the first time in the interview the grown women drops for one moment and in a soft quiet voice she admits) I am a mummy’s girl (then in an instant the grown up reappears).
(T.T. Tassel) Have you found it has given you added confidence?
(Gigi) YES, I have never been much of a girly girl, more of a punk, metal and leather person before, but now I have found my glittery side and I feel so much at home.
(T.T. Tassel) How does your family feel about your doing burlesque?
(Gigi) At first my mother was like you’re doing what? But I think that was because she did not really know enough about it. I took her along to a performance and the next night she was there again but this time in a glittery dress and sitting really proud, my husband loves it, he loves boobs, like I do.
(T.T. Tassel) If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking of taking up burlesque, what would it be?
(Gigi) Just one?
(T.T. Tassel) yes just one
(Gigi) in that case it would have to be practice, practice, practice, never sit still, always keep working on your acts. Keep practising and work, work, work. There is so many brilliant performers around the world you can’t stop practising and evolving, go and see performances and watch videos, take workshops and take influence and ideas.
I guess that’s the teacher in me coming out, work, work, work, practice, practice, practice.
With that I thanked her for her time and wished her a good show.
I hope you all enjoy reading what she has to say as much as I enjoyed sitting and talking with her, I would like to try and clarify one thing that was quoted in Finnish “to have medialukutaito” in English the closest I can come to understand it is to be able to read between the lines and not take everything the media tries to sell us as an absolute.
You can read more from this wonderful kind hearted and most genuine woman at her blog, where you can also find the article that inspired me to ask her for this wonderful interview.
Once again I ask you to put your hands together for the wonderful Gigi Praline, hugs and kisses my lovely.
(Sits down still star struck and so happy and pleased)
Photo by: Rhia Evil Dressmaker
T.T. Tassel (Your undercover agent in the front line of Finnish Burlesque)