There’s a wonderful interview with Living Legend Satan’s Angel on American Ethnography that you should read!
Satan’s Angel, known for her fiery tassel twirling, to me also epitomizes total rock n’ roll. Though sweet in nature, she’s also known for her blunt, take-no-shit sort of attitude. And if you’ve ever seen her perform, you know she puts on one hell of a dynamic act that leaves you feeling energized and wanting more!
In the interview, Satan’s Angel dishes about today’s burlesque:
At the Miss Exotic World pageant you took the stage as part of “the legends” section of the program. In the recent years there’s been renewed attention to the art of exotic dance. What do you think of the new burlesque acts?
See … Burlesque is all about the tease. It’s all about the journey, not the destination. So when we came out there, back when I used to dance, we had gloves on, coats, and we used fur stoles, we used feathers, we used props. And it was tease, it was sexy! And so the thing is, you’re there to please the whole audience, and that’s including the women. That’s hard to do! The problem with some of the contemporary burlesque performers is that they are not very good at that, they’re not good at pleasing everyone. I think a lot of them are closer to performance art than they are to burlesque.
But surely some of them do burlesque the old way?
I like Dita Von Teese. She does old style burlesque, and I love her for that! She started from the bottom, and worked her way up. And she was very well known before Marilyn Manson! But now she’s more notorious. There’s Dita, and then there’s Catherine D’Lish. And Michelle L’Amour. Vivienne Vavoom … Kalani Kokonuts! She’s gorgeous! There’s a lot of them that I do like.
… and talks about her own experiences starting out and creating her acts.
So, you started out in the early 60’s, right?
My first time on stage was in an amateur strip contest in this place in North Beach. My friend and I went to see it. I decided that it looked easy, and I figured I could win. So I went home that night and practiced in the mirror, and the next day I went back and entered the competition. And I won. And the next day I entered, too, and won again. And then, instead of me coming to win the amateur strip competition every night, they offered me a job.
How much money could you make?
I had worked as a telephone operator, earning $99 every two weeks. And in the amateur strip contest I would pocket $100 a night. So I thought this is the type of jobs they should have told us about at the career fairs in school! Working as an exotic dancer I could make $350 a week. In other words, 7 times the pay I had as a telephone operator.
Link: Read the full interview.