She came to exist when two eighth grade best friends were having a sleepover, one of those friends just so happened to be infatuated with Bettie Page and classic 1950's striptease. That friend was me.
Growing up I went to an art school where I majored in theatre. Being a theatre major meant spanning the whole history and evolution of the art form. From there came my introduction to vaudeville. I found it to be so fun and intriguing. It didn't help that Barbra Streisand is one of my role models and Funny Girl probably changed my life. The Ziegfeld Follies made me want to be a showgirl. They made me feel like I was meant to be a showgirl. I mean who wouldn't want to be one of the most beautiful girls wearing extravagant incredible costumes and showcasing your talent? Vaudeville mixed with striptease, which helped lead to our modern day view of burlesque.
Bunny von Lust always stayed with me, but it wasn't until an unexpected move to Asheville from Charleston was she able to come alive. I was doing research and discovered Deb au Nare's Burlesque Academy. Obviously, I knew I needed to take these classes. I'm sure Deb could agree that on the first day of class I was over eager and so excited, maybe even a little bit of a know it all. When it came to deciding our stage name I didn't even need to think about it. Bunny von Lust. I couldn't betray my eighth grade hopes and dreams of her becoming a burlesque star.
Burlesque is quite the art form. It isn't just having the opportunity to take your clothes off in a beautiful way for strangers. It spans a wide range of performance aspects such as theatre, dance, and costuming, while also provoking imagination and creativity. There is also such an incredible sense of community. It's so fulfilling to know that there are so many burlesque babes that support you, cheer for you, believe in you, and are there to help you continue to grow as a performer.
Burlesque has taught me to be confident, stay inspired and challenge myself. And most importantly, don't doubt that a silly childhood dream can become a real grown up career.