Interview with Miss Banbury Cross Performing @ The Jailhouse 4th August

1 08 2012

On the 4th of August The Jailhouse welcomes one of the biggest stars in Burlesque to perform at our 60s Themed Burlesque night, the spellbinding blonde bombshell Miss Banbury Cross. We caught up with the lady herself to ask some questions about Fashion, Performing and what lifes like as a international Burlesque starlet

So hello there, beautiful Miss Banbury Cross. Hereford’s really awfully excited to host you…..
You debuted at Madam JoJo’s in 2008, before Burlesque enjoyed the widespread popularity that it now does….. what was it that drew you to want to be a Burlesque performer?

I was tired of strip lighting, power hungry corporate bosses and wearing sensible pants. I am trained in theatre, and in burlesque I found a career that encompassed all of my years of training, performance, choreography, costume and lighting design as well as sound editing. It is perfect and it seems that I made the right choice.

You’ve been dubbed the ‘Neo-Marilyn’ of Burlesque, not without good reason….. do you call on any other vintage starlets for inspiration, as well as Ms. Monroe?

I favour the Blondes, Dors, Van Doren, Mansfield, Bettie Grable. I also get a lots of inspiration from Old Spaghetti westerns, Russ Meyer, 30s Horror B Movies too. Inspiration can come from anywhere, unexpectedly. For example my Gaitee Parisienne act (which I no longer perform) was inspired by the bottle of a french Eau du Rose parfum.

I understand that for your debut show, you’d planned to parody a nursery rhyme and use a rocking horse as a prop…. why did you change your mind? And what inspired your signature acts, the champagne and the fan dance?

The Rocking horse had been done before, and I didn;t want my style to be fluffy or girly so I thought up Champagne. Originally a chair dance to Down in Mexico – it evolved into the ridiculous crystaled wonder it is today. The costume for champagne has changed about 6 times since the beginning and the music 4. I think that instead of churning out 15 shit acts, nurture and invest in one good one, you’ll thank yourself!
The Fan dance came by accident, I was woking for one promotor quite regularly, and she requested a fan dance…. I threw together an act and my signature fan dancing style came organically out of blagging it.
It is a style that is unique to me and has been ripped off by some clumsy dreadful performers.

Your stage costumes are beautiful…. each one a work of art. And I believe that each is bespoke and handmade? Are you a vintage gal offstage as well as on? If so, which is the decade that you draw from, or indeed, dress from? Do you wear original or repro?

They are all bespoke to me yes, I don;t have all of them made by costumiers, I do love to make things from scratch as I get a huge sense of pride when I get lovely comments about my work. The majority of the time I buy (quality, not primark) pieces and customise with a shit tonne of rhinestones and trimmings.
I am a rockabilly girl off stage, and tend to find that repro fits better, I am a 22 inch waist and so can very rarely find original 50s that fits. Though I have found a few beautiful pieces in the past. I don;t just limit myself to the 50s era, either. I am a huge fan of the 70s jumpsuit!

You were recently voted number 25 in the 50 top Burlesque performers in the world, and also selected for the Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame 2012….. how does that feel? Do you have butterflies before stepping onstage, or does it depend on the venue, audience and prestige involved?

It is a great honour knowing that there are people out there that appreciate and are fans of my work and want to support me on my journey! I was so nervous before BHoF but that was more because of the prestige, the legends and that fact that my performance will be making history in one way or another…inspiring the future generations of performers.

Your 35-22-36 stats have become legendary….. so I assume that in order to maintain that you need to be pretty disciplined. Is there any indulgence that you do allow yourself? Also, I noticed that you model, both portrait work and also for brands, such as the lovely ReeRee Rockette’s ‘Rockalily’ label…. is that your ‘day job’ so to speak, or more for fun?

I eat well and exercise regularly…there is no quick fix. It concerns me the amount of times I hear backstage that some girl is one some fad diet, refusing to actually eat properly. IT DOESN’T WORK… you’ll just end up fatter once you eat again! I don;t “indulge myself” I eat what I want but in moderation. With such a fast metabolism (the result of exercise) I can eat cake guilt free.
I wouldnt call myself a model… I like to have my picture taken and the camera seems to like my face… So I would consider it a hobby. No I do not have a day job, and I wouldn’t want one either…. when life is as fabulous as this, why ruin it by stressing about getting laid off or not meeting deadlines?

Lastly, as a straight up choice, champagne or strawberries?
Champagne

Thankyou, Banbury, so much for your time…. All the very best.

Catch the beautiful Miss Banbury Cross performing live at The Jailhouses 60s themed Burlesque night Saturday the 4th of August

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