Now, as this year’s Edinburgh Fringe enters its final week, she tells us about her most recent gig in Scotland’s capital…
I spent three exhilarating evenings in Edinburgh as part of Chaz Royal’s Best of Burlesque production. My audiences screamed, cheered, whistled and yelled… but I could not hear them.
I had left my hearing aid at home.
Women often say that doing burlesque empowers you and I have always questioned that until those three stellar nights when I rocked the house in the beautiful Palais du Variété tent at George Square Gardens.
As I removed one layer after another singing my song about women and courage, I listened to the kind of adulation I never got when I removed my nightie for either of my husbands.
No-one ever cheers for me when I manage to climb the stairs and emerge from the tube station.
I don’t get people stamping their feet when I pay for my groceries and use my own bag to carry them home.
But, when I take off a pair of overalls at a burlesque show, the crowd goes mad.
That, my friends, is POWER.
By the time I had completed my run for Best of Burlesque I was certain I could march into Parliament and clean up that Brexit mess or hurry over to the White House to put Donald Trump in a corner until he came to whatever senses he has left.
I had the balls to do ANYTHING.
I went to North Berwick to do an hour’s cabaret at The Fringe by the Sea Festival the Sunday after my Edinburgh triumph and was so super-charged and confident that I managed to sing ten songs almost in tune and only forget half the words. I was a success.
The bravado, the hubris, the sense of self-importance I got from prancing around in silk and tulle during that North Berwick hour to 28 sympathetic senior citizens carried me through as if I were a shooting star illuminating the universe instead of talking about all my failed attempts at love.
I was empowered. The audience clustered around me afterwards and one lovely woman said: ”It was so refreshing to hear someone your age talk about sex.”
I told her: “Darling I was talking about THE ABSENCE of sex… Didn’t you get it?”
But, of course, she didn’t and I haven’t either… not for years.
All those failures to impress, to make a mark, to show my mettle… all those empty moments when I hoped my charm would be noticed… are now in the past.
I have become a burlesque sensation. I have stripped and emerged triumphant.
Eat your heart out Mae West.
I know a hard man is good to find, but I don’t need one.
I have balls…
The trick to stripping is to come on with so many clothes that no matter how many things you take off, you still are fully covered when the music stops.
I proved that you don’t have to be naked to make people think you are taking your clothes off.