The current King of Boylesque Matt Finish from Tucson, Arizona.
We spoke about his story, the boylesque world, his troupe and The Amazing Arizona Burlesque Festival!
I had just graduated from the MFA Dance program at The University of Arizona. I was teaching conditioning, tap, and ballet at Pima Community College in Tucson; basically settling in to post-student life. I really had no idea what I was doing since I'd spent my whole life until then either dancing in a company or being a student. It was really the first time I didn't have anyone telling me what to do.
How did you get started in Burlesque?
I love telling this story! I had ZERO interest in burlesque. I knew what it was and I didn't think it was my cup of tea (Boobies! right.) My friend Philippa Rouge had been interested in seeing the one local show in Tucson at the time, and kept asking me to come with her. I always said no. Finally in November of 2011 she told me that she had purchased 2 VIP tickets to the show and if I didn't come with her she would be wasting money. I believe she literally dragged me into the venue (it was a scary looking bar! Much prettier on the inside). We sat down and the show started. 5 minutes in and I was hooked! I leaned over to her and whispered, 'We're going to do that!'. We both signed up to classes right after that.
I suppose you could call me a classic performer? That's what everyone who writes about me says. Honestly, I have no clue. There really aren't a whole lot of male burlesque performers to set a precedent on what counts as what these days. But I know what I'm not (nerdlesque, gorelesque, manlesque) so I guess I'm a classic performer. I'm alright with that. I really just want to become Gail Winns when I grow up. Or Lili Von Schtupp.
what does the troupe stand for and how did you come up with the name?
Oy, stand for? I suppose I should know that as a co-founder. We wanted to be another outlet for performers in Tucson. There were very few performance opportunities before we started up. It's grown to be so much more since then and part of our goal as a production is to bring high caliber artists into town to expose our audiences to all kinds of burlesque. As for the name, that was all Ida Tapper. We bounced around a lot of ideas and when she mentioned it we all agreed it was best. I get asked if it's a Dr. Who thing. It isn't. I've never seen that show but now that I know if you blink you get murdered by angels it's pretty funny.
Who is in Don't blink burlesque?
We are small but mighty. The co-producers other than myself are Fanny Galore and Ida Tapper. We also have troupe member Raisin Wood and Layla La'Moon.
Get your ass into some dance classes. Take burlesque classes. Learn to sew. Ask questions. Do your homework. Can't do those things? Don't become a boylesque performer.
You started producing The Arizona Burlesque Festival can you tell us a bit about it?
I love AZBFEST! That first year we were all running around like crazy. We had this ridiculously huge venue and so many performers! It was amazing (we actually MADE money! What?!). It was so exciting to give out awards and see so many performers turn up for us. Last year was just as fantastic. We used movie theaters as our venue this time and it was pretty cool (except for the carpeted stage, bleh). This year's festival will be 10/14-15 with a competition and headliner night, and applications will be opening soon! You can follow the festival on Facebook or go to www.arizonaburlesquefestival.com.
James and The Giant Pastie (CAN) ,Hank E. Panky (KS) and Jessie Ringoffire (CA)
with special Guests:
Bella Sin ,Noella DeVille, Shari Turner, Dahlia D'Luxe and Fever Blister
Your Host -
Sir Ryan Zymler
Follow this link for details to our facebook invitation.