interview with rockin’ vegan burlesque performer and aussie, red devotchkin!

July 3, 2010

When I had first started looking into starting this blog, I compiled a list of businesses to link to and people to interview. Red Devotchkin was the first person I put on a list.  Red, who is a vegan burlesque performer hailing from the opposite side of the world than me. Now, Australia has a pretty large and outspoken vegan community, but I don’t know much about the world of Australian burlesque, so this interview was an exceptionally exciting read.

photo courtesy of ShootMe2

Hope you enjoy it!

Vegan Burlesque: How long have you been doing burlesque?

Red Devotchkin:  I started performing in late 2006, so about three and a half years.

VB: What first got you interested in burlesque?

RD: I’ve always said that I’m a show off and did lots of drama in school, but then let it go for a couple of years. I think I first saw burlesque at Big Day Out (annual music festival in Australia) and loved it. A year or so later some acquaintances opened Bar Burlesque in Brisbane and I got a job as the door girl. It didn’t take long for me to jump up onstage though!

VB: Which burlesque performers inspire you?

RD: As much as I admire many international stars of burlesque, it’s really the ones closest to home that inspire me the most – Lena Marlene and Miss Bertie Page.

VB: Do you have a favorite venue you perform at? Is it vegan-friendly (food/drinks/etc)?

RD: I‘ve only just moved to Melbourne and can’t really say that I have a favourite venue here yet. Up in Brisbane there were a couple – I did at monthly show at The Joynt and they always looked after me. I also really liked performing at The Zoo (not actually a zoo!), mostly because I know most of the staff and they make every night there a barrel of laughs! Unfortunately venues always seem to provide non-vegan champagne to the performers, which is always a disappointment!

Surprised Sailor, photo by Angela McConnell

VB: Do you have a favorite routine you’ve done?

RD: I think I’ve got a couple of favourite routines… One is a sailor girl show using Shirley Temple’s Good Shop Lollipop and Beyond The Sea as covered by Royal Crown Revue. It’s terribly cutesy and has lots of silly props. My other favourite at the moment is my tribute to Robot Maria from Metropolis. But it’s terribly hard to choose…

VB: How long have you been vegan?

RD: I’ve been vegan for just over four years, and was vegetarian for two years before that. So I suppose I only became vegan about six months before starting to perform burlesque.

VB: What made you decide to be vegan?

RD: One of my closest friends at the time had been vegan for twelve years and she made me see how great vegan cooking can be. She also made me aware of veganism is the true ethical choice if you’re committed to animal welfare. I kept it a secret when I first became vegan and only told my boyfriend. I wanted to be committed to it but I didn’t want any outside pressure on it. It is an ethical choice, and has only become more so the longer I’ve been vegan.

VB: Favorite vegan drink/food?

RD: Oh how I love to cook and to eat! This is a hard question! I love lasagna (the recipe in Veganomicon is great) and mushroom ragout pizza (my own recipe). I love cooking so much that I keep thinking I should start a vegan cooking blog… but we’ll see… Favourite drink is probably ginger beer and favourite alcoholic drink is Zubrowka vodka, cloudy apple juice and lime.

VB: How do you deal with the non-vegan aspects of burlesque (such as boas/feather fans)?

Footscray Folly, photograph by Angela McConnell

RD: I have scarves and have a couple of pairs of fabric fans that I use, but they’re not the focus of many of my shows. As beautiful as a feather fan dance can be, I just could never bring myself to use ostrich (or any) feathers. It’s fun to think of new and interesting props to use anyway. For example my sailor girl show uses a large lollipop, a toy drum, a teddy bear, a very large beach ball and a paper plane.

VB: If you could change one thing about burlesque, what would it be?

RD: I don’t know that there is anything that I would change! I love that burlesque can be so many different things to so many people. I suppose people who don’t know much about burlesque sometimes think that it does mean feather boas and fans, but preconceptions are often changed once they see a few creative and eclectic shows.



3 Responses to “interview with rockin’ vegan burlesque performer and aussie, red devotchkin!”

  1. Huh, I didn’t realise champagne could be non-vegan. Learn something new every day.

    Red Devotchkin is adorable and her acts are always full of fun!

  2. […] so many other performers all over the world.  You may remember the interview I did aussie performer Red Devotchkin, well here is another one from a lady with an accent, Tina Warren from Glasgow, Scotland! I found […]

  3. […] 25, 2010 Awhile ago when I did the interview with Red Devotchkin I got a comment from Tiara the Merch Girl pointing me towards an article by Zahra Stardust, another […]

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