I met Seattle-based burlesque producer/performer Whisper De Corvo at the Brown Paper Tickets class at The Great Burlesque Exposition in Boston a few weeks back. She told me about a Mother’s Day burlesque show she was putting on and, I have to admit that initially, I didn’t really associate Mother’s Day with burlesque. But as I talked to her more, and discovered that she was a mom herself, it started to make sense to me.
Ultimately, burlesque is a celebration of femininity and so it makes sense that daughters would want to celebrate their femininity and to pay tribute to their ultimate feminine role model, their mother. Also, as Whisper says in her interview below, it gives mother’s a chance to enjoy a night out that doesn’t revolve around child-rearing. It’s a chance to celebrate other aspects of her femininity: her beauty, her sensuality and her lust for life. And, with the burlesque revival now in its second decade, many of today’s mom’s are burlesque dancers themselves. If you want to get tickets to this one-of-a-kind show, pick them up here before they’re gone!
I tracked down Whisper last week so I could find out more about her show. Whisper also produces a number of shows around Seattle and I predict she will be a burlesque producer to watch. She certainly has original ideas and is passionate about the art of burlesque.
So, without further ado, I give you Miss Whisper De Corvo:
When you told me that you were doing a Mother’s Day burlesque show, I was a little taken aback. Mother’s Day and burlesque was not a natural connection for me. What do you hope mother’s will take away from your show?
This was a special theme for me, I have always loved the idea of hidden messages sent to loved ones. This show is like a special bouquet given to the audience, one that people will never forget. The acts are sweet, beautiful, and lovely. It’s a great intro to burlesque and I hope it will make the audience feel special. As a mom I know how important it is to get out of the house as an adult, just a moment away to breathe. We need these special nights to unwind a little and to have non child-related experiences!
Will any mother’s be performing?
Yes! Me! I am both producing the show and performing one act. My son turns three this year. This show is a Mothers Day gift to myself!
Is your mom coming to the show? Is she supportive of your burlesque career?
My mom really wanted to come to the show, she was trying to come up from California but it doesn’t look like she’ll be able to make it. She has always supported me, I am crazy lucky in this. She visited last year and was able to see me perform burlesque for the first time. She and my father have actually paid for poster printing for shows and are always lamenting being so far away!
Your show plays on the theme of flowers and their individual Victorian-era meanings. Can you give us an idea of what kinds of flowers will be presented in your show and their meanings?
Sure! I’ll give you a four person sneak peek. We have such a variety of flowers to offer!!
Shanghai Pearl: “Cherry Blossom,” which is gentleness, kindness and feminine beauty. This act is also a tribute act to a legend of burlesque.
Paris Original: “Cyclamen” is shyness
Pidegon Von Tramp: “Iris,” is good news or bearer of good news. This act will be really wonderfully sweet and I am very excited about it!
Whisper De Corvo: “Forget Me Not,” is true love. This is my favorite flower, where I grew up you would see them by the thousands growing along the roadside, it was magical. I’m also using my act to offer up a super secret surprise to my long time partner (13 years this year)!
You have a stellar line-up of many Seattle burlesque luminaries. What do you think sets Seattle’s burlesque scene apart from other scene’s around the country?
We have such an amazing burlesque community here! I’m so fortunate to have these amazing performers available to book and to learn from. Our scene is full of creative world class performers who bring skills from outside burlesque to the stage. We have amazing burlesque royalty here (Indigo Blue, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, just to name a couple) who have worked together to create a safe and vibrant community. Performers from our city often place in competitions country and worldwide. We band together and work together to make our shows successes. We have monthly workshops to help each other with acts and we are often friends off stage and in non glitter mode as well.
Got any other shows coming up?
Always!! I’m producing a ton of shows right now and have the honor of performing in quite a few as well!! I have May 25th Westside Burlesque Revue in West Seattle at the Skylark. Its a quirky revue that is in its third year. I also have a birthday show (I’m turning 30) and I am creating a show of performers I personally love watching. Including Texas native Coco Lectric and Hawaii native Lola Love. Local performers include Sydni Deveroux, Sailor St. Claire, BoomBoom L’Roux, and Eddie Van Glam!
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So, obviously, you do a variety of burlesque shows around the city. Do you have any advice for burlesque producers that are just getting started?
Yes! There are alot of great venues in the city and a ton of shows, find a way to distinguish your show from the others, use Brown Paper Tickets (Thanks for the shout out Whisper!) and G&H Printing. They are both awesome and helpful, and make marketing affordable. Don’t be afraid to join in to the community, we want to perform in and come to your shows, we just need to know they are happening. Social media is your friend. Think outside the box, be sensitive and caring and in the words of two of my favorite tv personalities “Make it Work” and “Don’t F*ck it Up!”
Not in Seattle but want to take your mom to a burlesque show this Mother’s Day? Well, if you’re in New Orleans or Portland, Oregon, you’re in luck. Check out these events:
Sunday, May 12 – Mother’s Day
Phoenix Variety Revue – Portland, Oregon Portland’s longest running monthly burlesque show with comedy and song by Willamette Week‘s Best of Portland honoree Zora Phoenix. This month’s installment features burlesque by Foxy Tann, Red Bone from Minneapolis, Zora Von Pavonine and Ivana Mandalay.
The Unholy Roller Revival Burlesque Show – New Orleans, Louisiana Snake Oil is proud to bring you the Unholy Roller Revival, a burlesque and variety show with all of the fire and brimstone of an old time Pentecostal tent revival, but with none of the pesky damnation and judgment. If you grew up religious, like to laugh when Jimmy Swaggart sleeps with hookers, or if you love outstanding music and hot burlesque, then this is a show that you cannot pass up! The Unholy Roller Revival takes you on a journey to a bygone era when dancing ladies, musical acts, and side shows traveled with religious revivals to towns far and wide, to entertain and save the public, while relieving them of a few dollars at the same time. This event pays homage to that era by rolling all of the music, dancing, sideshow, and gospel into one hilarious show that lampoons religion and is guaranteed to have you in the aisles, jumping up and down, and screaming, “HALLELUJAH”! Starring the preacher of perversion, the Reverend Pastor Father Brother Ben Wisdom and the most sinful burlesque stars in New Orleans: Little Luna, The Burlesque Barber, Ginger Licious of Slow Burn Burlesque, and GoGo McGregor, Face of a Pinup/Mouth of a Sailor. Plus live music by Dahktur Sick and This Stunted Sextette and Saint Cecelia’s Asylum Chorus.