Like a little glitter with your science fiction?
Let’s be real. A lot of glitter. The burlesque troupe Atomic Bombshells are currently performing their third run of “Lost in Space,” a show that is self-described as “an intergalactic voyage of sight and sound, filled with alluring aliens, slinky space adventurers, bodacious Barbarellas, and planetary princesses.
One of those planetary princesses is Central District resident and award-winning burlesque performer Indigo Blue. We sat down with her ahead of opening night to learn more about her burlesque career.
CD News: How did you first get started with burlesque?
Indigo Blue: I first started performing burlesque acts in Tamara The Trapeze Lady’s cabaret show in the early ’90’s called “The Fallen Women Follies.” Tamara is also a CD-dweller, and at the time we lived right around the corner from each other. Her cabaret was the first opportunity I had in Seattle to perform on a public stage other than as a go-go dancer or fashion show model. By the time Kitten La Rue and Fanny n’ Flames moved from New Orleans to Seattle just over 10 years ago, I was directing my own troupe and teaching Burlesque classes at the Home Alive Studio. I was really excited about Kitten’s vision of The Atomic Bombshells, and happy to be invited to join the troupe.
CDN: Are you from Seattle?
IB: I was born in Northern California and came to Seattle to go to school at UW. I fell in love with the city and haven’t been able to leave since!
CDN: Any favorite CD restaurants, bars, businesses, or other spots?
IB: I live near MLK and Jackson, a vibrant section of the CD. I used to teach Burlesque classes at Every Body Health and Fitness and really appreciate that the owners have been able to keep a small local neighborhood gym open for so many years. I love the community classes at Samarya yoga center on Yesler. As far as local eateries, I love Meskel Ethiopian on Cherry and I am so sad about the closing of Mesob on Jefferson! It’s fun to have business meetings at the Broadcast Coffee shop on the corner of Yesler and 20th. I get all my fancy hairpieces and supplies right around the corner at Western Beauty Supply in the 23 Promenade. And the Central Cinema on Union is my favorite place to see the regularly playing, locally made cult film “Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel” (co-starring AB members Lou Henry Hoover and Inga Ingenue).
CDN: What have been some of your favorite performances?
IB: What stands out for me are the incredible opportunities I have had with the Atomic Bombshells to perform in gorgeous far-away locations like Shanghai, China and Lisbon, Portugal.
CDN: What’s unique or interesting about the Seattle burlesque scene compared to other cities?
IB: The Seattle burlesque scene is known for its wealth of international award-winning and talented performers (including Atomic Bombshells members Inga Ingenue, Miss Viva Las Vegas 2011; Lily Verlaine, 2d Runner Up Miss Exotic World 2011; and myself, Queen of Burlesque – Miss Exotic World 2011), who execute humorous and well-developed acts. We are considered to have a strong community and collaborative ethic. Many cities struggle with divisiveness and competition, but Seattle has had comparatively less of that than other cities.
CDN: What’s a surprising or little-known fact or aspect of burlesque? Or something audiences take for granted?
IB: A single burlesque act can take well over a year to develop including the highly technical quick-release costuming, choreography and story arc development, and rehearsal. We often work with other talented artists such as dressmakers, music editors, prop-builders, and mentors to craft and build our routines. And on the day of a performance, it can take 3 or more hours for a performer to prepare for one 5-minute act. It is a carefully crafted theatrical art form that requires significant time and work to execute! We hope that it looks effortless once we are actually on stage.
CDN: Any upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
IB: There are lots of exciting things in the Atomic Bombshell’s future – but for now, I can tell you to plan ahead for Valentine’s Day with our fantastic J’Adore show at the Triple Door!