Stripper Talk #1: Who are your major influences and why?

Author of Stripper Talk, Sydni Deveraux

Hello there!

Welcome to my burgeoning Stripper Talk series! I thought that it would be fun to get questions from other burlesquers around the world, and answer them, “Dear Abby” style.

The first question is from Bobbie Baltimore, from Las Vegas, NV:

“First off thank you so much for taking question’s. When I started doing burlesque 3 years ago, you were one of my first huge inspirations. I’m also very tall and have brown skin and it is so wonderful to have a confident performer to look up to that I could see my body/ facial features in. Anyhow, on to my question.  If you could have dinner with 5 people (performers, producers ect) dead or alive, that have had a major influence on your burlesque career,who would be at your table? XO Bobbie Baltimore”  

Hi Bobbie!

Thanks for your very sweet note and your question, it’s a really good one! I certainly do have my 5, though in reality the list is very long. However, these are the people who’s presence in the community have irrevocably changed my relationship to burlesque.

I remember the very first time I saw Dirty Martini at the Burlesque Hall of Fame in 2006 and I knew that I had picked the right path for my performance career. She’s camp, she’s sex, she’s “The Body” of burlesque. She’s also incredibly fun to be backstage with. Funny story-during Tease-O-Rama 2008 (my first big festival) Dirty Martini was there too. We were all watching a performer from our little viewing box up above the stage, and everyone was leaned over. For a moment, I didn’t quite register that I was leaning on her sweet backside. I was apologetic- and she giggled. She said something like “it happens to me all the time”. Thanks for being so naked and entertaining, Dirty.

Miss Exotic World 2004 Dirty Martini

If you live in Seattle OR do burlesque, there’s no way that you haven’t yet heard of our reining Queen of Burlesque- Miss Indigo Blue, or her Academy of Burlesque. I never took any of her classes, but I did have a private video viewing/constructive critique session with her around 4 years ago and her notes helped to start my transformation as a performer, and also shifted how I looked at my aesthetic. She’s an inspiration to me as a teacher and business lady, and I’ve been terribly lucky to tour with her. I’ve also produced shows that she’s been in, and we’re even touring some of Europe together (with Scotty the Blue Bunny) after we hit up the Helsinki Burlesque Festival. 

Miss Exotic World 2011, Miss Indigo Blue

Over the last few years I’ve been able to call Armitage Shanks a dear friend. He’s also a fantastic MC, hosting shows all over the world, and his voice as a singer can rumble you to your core. Mr. Shanks also is one of my two hosts for the show I produce, Burlesque Behind the Pink Door. Our conversations on performance and life continue to inspire me to be a better performer and person, everyday.

MC Extraordinaire, Armitage Shanks

Waxie Moon is a gender-bending boylesque SENSATION. He’s also an actor, instructor and dancer, trained at Juilliard. He’s brilliant and an absolute joy to watch, which made our time on tour a very fond memory. His joy on stage, his smile and charisma melt even the steeliest, most conventional of audiences. Backstage and in real life he’s kind, loving and exceptionally creative.

Boylesque Sensation Miss-ter Waxie Moon!

My list would never be complete without Catherine D’Lish. I saw her years ago headlining a show at the Triple Door in Seattle. In that moment I saw a performer that embodied everything that I love about burlesque- the exquisite costumes, sexy personalities, the effect of teasing the crowd, and especially, the movement. I’m incredibly blessed to apprentice under her for the last 2 years, working on costumes for private customers, a pair of beautiful fans that were featured on CSI for her friend, Dita Von Teese, helping her with her beautiful feather projects, learning from her and helping her with her own projects in any way that I can. She’s an inspiration to me on and off the stage-and getting to be in shows with her have definitely been some of my favorite moments in burlesque. She’s an incredible human being and I’m always excited to see what she’s going to do next. Did you know that she’s also in the Guinness Book of World Records for a fan dance?

2 Time Miss Exotic World Winner Catherine D'Lish

So there’s my 5 Bobbie! I wonder what we would talk about? 🙂


Sydni Deveraux

*Would you like your burlesque question answered in Stripper Talk? Email me at

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