Talking with Indigo Blue, on the Eve of Stepping Down as Queen of Burlesque

Miss Indigo Blue, Reigning Queen of Burlesque, Burlesque Hall of Fame 2011. Photo by Don Spiro.

by J.D. Oxblood

Interviewed May 8, 2012

I wanted to see how it went, so I caught up with Indigo on the other side of her year as Queen. She admitted to feeling a little sad and also a bit relieved, spilled the teaser that Tigger! would appear in her step-down act, and intimated that there would be an attempt at a Guinness Book of World Records at this year’s Burlycon. She was very proud of her Edicts, and of the fact that at least one of them was banned from YouTube, and she told me with very little sarcasm, “Every pageant queen should have a sex tape leak.”  Look for hers, with Ray Gunn, on Facebook, and if you haven’t been following her edicts you can find them here.

All the best to Indigo with any and all of her future endeavors… and coming soon to the world of burlesque, a new Queen!

 JDX:  I just have been going over the conversation you and I had last August when you had just recently been crowned Queen, and I guess my first question for you is, how was it?  How has your year been?

IB:  My year has been so much fun.  I had a really, really good time.  It’s been really exciting to travel around and talk to a lot of people in the Burlesque community all over the world.

I had the opportunity to go back to Scandinavia, which was just so thrilling.  There are so many exciting things happening there.  And I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and soulful conversations with people.  It’s been really exciting.

JDX:  Anything that was surprising, that you thought was going to be one way and ended up going a different direction?

IB:  Well, Julie Atlas Muz promised me that it was going to be all champagne and limousines and I guess she was blowing smoke up my ass or something because there totally have not been all champagne and limousines.  I’m very upset about it.  (teasing)

JDX:  Has there been any champagne or limousines?

IB:  Okay, well there’s been a couple. But not all.

JDX:  What about your students, because I know that teaching is a big part of your life.  Has being Queen altered your relationship with your students at all?

IB:  I don’t feel like it has altered my relationship with my students necessarily.  I’ve continued teaching my daytime class and participating in the evening Burlesque workshop as I have been in the past.

I think that because of my travel I’ve had more opportunity to offer my classes in cities where maybe I haven’t met folks.  I’ve also been able to take on more interns this year, which is really fun.  I’ve had the chance to work more closely with folks who are really interested in how Burlesque works, and folks who are looking at the academy who are pursuing special contacts for me, and that’s been really fulfilling.

JDX:  Do you think that your being Queen has had an effect on Seattle over the last year?  Can you feel the lens shifting?

IB:  Wow.  I don’t know.  I feel like I’m too close to be able to tell.  I think that that question is probably better answered by some other people who have more of a perspective.  It’s really hard to tell how Seattle is doing from my perspective.  Does that make sense?

JDX:  It absolutely does.  I think I’ll have some ample opportunity in just a couple of weeks to talk to some other Seattle people and see.  What do you think about the long term effect?  Looking forward, how it is going to be?  For you personally, having reigned as Queen. 

IB:  Hmm.  Well, for me it feels like the culmination of many years of hard work and I feel like although I know I was acknowledged for the performance that I gave on that night, I feel like I have been recognized for the larger body of work that I have dealt over many years.  And that is really exciting.

So I’m looking forward to making up some new challenges for myself, and creating some new targets and goals to reach and continuing to stay involved with the Burlesque Hall of Fame and helping to support the next Queen as she takes on the new set of duties.

JDX:  Did you make any progress with the Queen’s manual?

IB:  I have a completed draft of the Queen’s manual and I’m actually going to share it with whoever the next Queen is, and use her to help continue development on it so that it’s not imposed on someone without knowing what it is, and the intention is to have it published and available and accessible before the next application process happens. The section that refers to the duties of the Queen – it’s not really fair to impose a set of duties onto someone who didn’t apply for that job.

It terms of, “What do you do with your Queendom?” or “How should you handle it?”  Those are things that are obviously going to evolve and change over time.  In terms of, “what are the expectations of you as Queen” component 

JDX:  I like the idea of this being sort of a collaboration. 

IB:  Absolutely.  I’m really interested in the community building an idea of how this role can continue to benefit the Burlesque Hall of Fame and Museum.

JDX:  If there were one thing you could say to the next Queen, as you are actually passing on, what would be your one word to the wise? 

IB:  Hmm.  Dirty [Martini] said, “Pick a platform and always talk about Burlesque Hall of Fame.”  I feel like there’s really nothing that I could say that’s more fundamental than those two things, which is essentially, “Know who you stand for, know what you stand for, and know who you represent.”

JDX:  Well put.  What are you doing for BurlyCon?  Do you know what you are teaching? 

IB:  Oh we’re so excited about teaching at BurlyCon.  The dates have shifted slightly.  It’s going to be November 1st through 4.  So it’s a bit later than last year.  And we’re actually hoping to have a huge gala Halloween party, the night before BurlyCon starts, here in Seattle, because Halloween is on a Wednesday, which is ridiculous.  So we thought we’d just throw a big party.

I can’t announce any of the instructors yet, but Heidi Von Haught is the programming director and you may remember her from the Von Foxies and she is doing a bang up job, and she’ll very soon we’ll have a list of the preliminary approved presenters available for folks to review.

We have been approved to make a Guinness World Book of Records attempt.  I’m not going to tell you what it is, but we’ve been approved to make a Guinness World Book of Records attempt at BurlyCon.

JDX:  Now I’m going to be racking my brain trying to think of what it could be. 

Photo ©Don Spiro and used here with permission by Burlesque Beat. Please respect copyrights and obtain permission for use. Performers may use shots from Burlesque Beat for promotional purposes, but please credit properly with photographer’s full name and a link to this piece in all instances. Performers who would like hi-rez images, get in touch.

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