Miss Paige is Burlesque’s Dangerous Beauty, a headlining Canadian Burlesque Bombshell, Published Pinup, and Fetish Fatale. She has toured across Canada and the United States, seducing audiences with her glamorous & raunchy classic bump ‘n grind shows. With her bambi blueberry eyes, killer curves, and signature smile, Miss Paige is sure to win your heart – and if you’re lucky, break it too. Known for her passionate strip teases and audience interactions, Miss P leaves fans begging for more wherever she goes. Despite her wanderlust, Miss Paige can be seen performing locally, is a Toronto based producer, and a teacher of tease. Her teaching style developed from her experience as an actor and focuses on act creation and career development. Some credits include; Hendricks Gin Something Strange Festival (Toronto ON), Empire Burlesque Festival (Ithaca, NY), Le Tassel D’Or (Montreal, Quebec), Bagel Burlesque Festival (Montreal, Quebec), Le Boudoir (New York, New York). Miss Paige is the curator for Prohibition Burlesque and the brains & beauty behind WEAPONS OF MASS SEDUCTION.
1. HOW HAS THE WAY YOUVE BEEN TEACHING BURLESQUE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS? WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN IN THE COMMUNITY?
Although I have only been teaching a few years, my teaching style has very much mirrored the growth of my art as a creator and performer. Much of what I teach had come intuitively, but as I learned from other incredible teachers and mentors about choices and intentions, I began implementing that for myself and teaching students to approach their acts the same way. The beauty of our art (and the scary thing!) is that we are everything – there are zero limitations. No choice is the wrong choice, just be sure to make one!
It seems to me that our international scene is changing quite rapidly. With more and more performers, social media, costume designers, multi-skilled artists, we continue to push the envelope. Costumes are getting grander, the distinction between neo and classic is getting smaller, more festivals, more competitions, and of course more physical/athletic acts. More is definitely more! I greatly admire the established performers who grow and develop over the years and maintain their significance on the burlesque global stage. To stay at the top of the game in an industry that’s growing and changing so quickly is truly astonishing. Eg. Medianoche, Roxi D’Lite, Lou Lou la Duchesse de Riere and Loulou D’vil.
2. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TEACHING BURLESQUE?
I tend to work with performers who have been performing for about a year or more – I don’t teach a beginner burlesque class (only for parties). Because we create everything from concept to costume, choreo & more, our work is the most personal of any performance art. I find the more experienced a performer becomes, (and the more expensive things become) the harder it is to invest the time, energy, and trust in taking classes, privates, or workshops. Because there might be less demand for what I offer, I don’t teach as consistently as if I taught an 8-week beginner burlesque classes. However my travel schedule wouldn’t allow for this either. I focus most of my energy on privates and only offer occasional classes throughout the year. I teach costume conception & creation most often.
3. DO YOU TEACH BURLESQUE AS A DANCE CLASS OR SOMETHING DIFFERENT?
When I teach for the community (not a private party or event), I teach act creation and career development. I approach an act like a story with a beginning, middle, and end and whether it be teaching costuming, movement, or stripping, I encourage my students to make thoughtful choices. I also have started teaching burlesque business, focusing on negotiations, sales, and branding. The business aspect of burlesque can often be the most challenging for artists, but I do think it is so essential when developing a career. I am a massive believer in professionalism always and treating burlesque like it’s my day job!
4. BIGGEST MOMENT OF PRIDE?
Easy. When I get to see my students perform and when I get to see them achieve career milestones.
5. WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I do teach internationally – when I am on tour and virtually all year round!
6. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR STUDENTS TO GET FROM YOUR CLASSES?
Artistic confidence and aspirations to create exactly what they want on stage. Putting the work in to actualize your vision. It’s the best feeling in the world.
7. WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE ASPECT TO TEACH IN BURLESQUE?
I love teaching privates and getting the chance to work on act development. Burlesque is strip tease and I focus very much on those aspects. But as a performer in such a technological age, we need to offer an experience that goes beyond pretty rhinestones and drop splits. I love to give performers the gentle push to think in ways they may have not thought about before. I remember the excitement I got, every time I had been taught to deepen my artistry. I love to share that feeling with others.
8. DESCRIBE YOUR TEACHING STYLE IN THREE WORDS.
Heartfull (I did indeed make that up)
9. DO YOU THINK BURLESQUE TEACHERS SHOULD BE EXPERIENCED BURLESQUE PERFORMERS?
Yes yes yes yes yes.
How can you teach an art you don’t know? I also learned something very valuable when I worked in sales; “never seek advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with” .. although I do prefer “never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t trade places with”.
I also believe a good teacher should be involved in the community, whether retired as a performer or not. They should see burlesque outside of their own productions, outside of their own city to really understand the climate of the global community. I wouldn’t want to learn from a teacher who is ‘out of touch’ with burlesque NOW.
10. WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO LEARN FROM? PAST OR PRESENT.
Wow, so many .. of course our Queen Gypsy Rose Lee. As well from my other queen who I’d love to learn about career development .. Dita Von Teese. That woman knows her shit about seeing an opportunity, running naked with it, and literally never ever stopping. LouLou D’vil,Medianoche, Mosh, Roxi D’Lite,Imogen Kelly, Dirty Martini, and Perle Noire (again & again).
11. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOUR STUDENTS HAVE TAUGHT YOU?
Art is subjective.
12. WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO NEW PERFORMERS?
Don’t wing it. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
(Also never stop learning)