Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Interview - Tempest Rose

Tempest Rose is one of the most exciting and multi-skilled showgirl artists in the world, specialising in entertaining, theatrical style Burlesque which harks back to the golden age of stars like Gypsy Rose Lee and Mae West.
An international, award winning, 5-star performer with a string of prestigious credits to her name, Tempest Rose also possesses a stunning, critically acclaimed ‘ snap, crackle and jazz’ singing voice and more on stage pizzazz than a barrel of dynamite . She is resident star and choreographer for the award winning, critically acclaimed Circus Burlesque and UK Touring show Shipwrecked and Director of The House of Burlesque.
Miss Tempest Rose is a firm believer in burlesque’s ability to inspire, uplift, entertain and dazzle audiences worldwide and she has been making a jaw-dropping career out of doing just that.

Photographer: Scott Chalmers

What was your first experience of Burlesque or Cabaret, and what convinced you to start yourself?

I began my career as a professionally trained musical theatre and classical actress and discovered the wonderful world of burlesque totally by accident when I was asked to audition for the prestigious burlesque cabaret troupe The Kitten Club. I went to see the show at Volupte and was blown away by the intelligence, sensuality, humour and confidence the performers had. Here for the first time was an art form that allowed women to be sexy, powerful, satirical, playful, comedic and intelligent all at the same time and that was only limited by the performers' imagination....and I wanted to be apart of it!

Photographer: Dress Me Up and Shoot Me

You run 'House of Burlesque' in London which produces several shows – how did the company begin and how has it evolved?

House of Burlesque was started by Lola La Belle a few years ago, who I met in the beginning of 2010 and now lives and works in New York. Straight from our first meeting we got on like a house on fire as we shared a lot of the same ideas, hopes and frustrations about performing and the industry. In the summer of that year we took HOB show Circus Burlesque to Edinburgh; the show was a massive success and off the back of that we launched Shipwrecked! in it's Madame Jojos residency as soon as we returned to London. Since then HOB has gone from strength to strength with Burlesque Idol about to start its 4th year, Shipwrecked on a UK Theatre Tour and this summer we were also resident at The Priceless London Wonderground alongside our other London residencies at Volupte and Madame Jojos and projects such as running the LGBT stage at Erotica last year. Its been amazing to watch everything grow over time and I wont lie there have definitely been stressful moments, but its been worth it.

Photographer: Click Click Boom Boom

Who are your biggest influences/inspirations?

I make no secret of the fact that I am utterly inspired by Gypsy Rose Lee who's life and opinions on Burlesque fascinate me. She was a unique performer and a clever business woman. Mae West is of course another inspiration. I am also inspired by the producers who have helped shape my career and offered me tireless support and advice and indebted to the performers who were here when I started who worked tirelessly to start the industry we now have in London today.

Tempest counts Gypsy Rose Lee and Mae West among her influences

Tell us a little about your favourite experiences so far

The first Shipwrecked tour show at Theatre Royal Newcastle this year was an amazing experience. To see something that had been so long in the making and had so much of my heart in it blossom on the stage of such a prestigious venue in front of such a wonderful crowd was very special. My other favourite for 2012 was performing at The Priceless London Wonderground this summer, such a stunning venue and wonderful crew. There have been other amazing honours for this year, let alone over the past 5.5 years in burlesque it would take too long to mention them all but I am thankful for each and everyone of them and for all the HOB artists and mentors who have helped me along the way.

Photographer Credit: Click Click Boom Boom

Tell me something no one would suspect about you

I'm really a short bald man named Todd, no Jim, no definitely Todd.

Paris Burlesque Festival

Finally, any words of advice for newcomers to the scene?

Sure, the industry you see today was created from almost nothing by a handful of dedicated performers and promoters. Take the time to find out where your UK scene came from and see the huge body of work that is being performed on your doorstep. Once you know what is out there its much easier to find your place in it and to bring something unique.

Photographer: Scott Chalmers

More Tempest

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