It has been some time since I first met Miss Kitty Rose (MRK). I was (am still am) insanely jealous of her youth, vitality and ability to glide across the stage.
Utterly gorgeous in every single way I had the ultimate pleasure of interviewing this lovely women I call a friend.
(ps – I still want to be like her when I grow up!)
BS: Why did you begin burlesque?
MKR Well, about 5 years ago I went through a bad breakup and suddenly I had all this spare time on my hands (laughs) so I decided I needed I new hobby! I wanted to get back into dancing as I’ve danced most of my life but I didn’t know where to start and then I stumbled across the Hootchy Kootchy burlesque classes and never looked back.
BS: And we are so grateful you haven’t looked back! You have had an amazing journey – but for those who are just beginning can you remember how you came up with your performer name?
MKR: Well I kind of have a love/hate relationship with my name – sometimes I think I want to change it but I just don’t want to go through the process! I choose it when I first started Hootchy Kootchy as that was the homework one week… and I knew I wanted the name to include some kind of cat reference as I’m a crazy cat lady (laughter). I then I settled on Rose because that is actually my real middle name. I think maybe I just hate the name now because i’m such a different performer than I was back then. When I chose the name I knew nothing about the scene or anything.
BS: What is it that inspires you most about performing? What gets you up on stage? And can you identify what difference from when you first got up on stage to today?
MKR: As far as inspiration goes it is definitely other performers who inspire me. Sure sometimes I can hear music and that might give me inspiration but there is nothing like watching a show and just wanted to join your friends up on stage. Watching other people do what they love is the most inspiring thing, plus it can give you a kick up the ass and make you think if they can do it so can I.
The reason I get up on stage has definitely changed. I remember when I first started it was all about gaining self confidence (which was great and it totally worked!) but it was also about impressing my friends and seeking approval from the audience. Now it is totally different – i perform more for myself. That’s not to say that I don’t want to entertain the audience – I definitely do… but I also have many selfish reasons, like the way it makes me feel, the adrenaline, the empowerment. Every time I perform an act I want it to be better that the last time, I want to try a new move I’ve been practising… all stuff that makes me feel great but an audience might not necessarily realise.
BS: Yes the audience won’t notice but it is so empowering when you know a new move works! There are two “styles” to burlesque – what style do think your Burlesque represents?
MKR: I’ve always been more of a “classic” burlesque dancer. I would love to be able to get up on stage and make people laugh but I just don’t think I have it me! I’ve just always been drawn in by pretty costumes and sultry dance moves and that’s what makes me happy and what i think I’m good at so I’m sticking with it haha.
BS: Unlike moi who seems to be able to get people to laugh – I would love to be able to perform a classic well! What other forms of dancing are you into? If any?
MKR: Growing up I did ballet, tap and jazz, I wish I had kept it up but I quit everything at around age 12 because I just wanted to hang out with my friends more. These days I enjoy watching all sorts but haven’t delved into practicing any myself, although I really should! Last year I took a few courses with Coney Bow which included chorus line, gogo and chair dancing and they were amazing! It was so great to try something out of my comfort zone and each style had things that I could easily apply to my burlesque choreography.
BS: You now have several awards under your pasties, what would you say to a newbie to the industry
MKR: Oh I’m blushing! This is hard because I don’t want to be controversial but in my opinion awards don’t really mean anything! I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be proud of their achievements and that they didn’t work hard for those awards but I am saying that they are not the be all end all. Competitions are great in the way that they push you to try harder, practise more, up your costume game etc etc but at the end of the day burlesque and dancing is so subjective and your are only being judged by a select few as the best on that given day amongst those given performers. Awards should not be the sole judge of whether a performer is talented or not. So my advice for a newbie would be to have a go but only after they have given it some serious thought, because competitions can be an emotional rollercoaster and not always so kind on the old ego. And if you do try it and you find that it takes the fun out from performing then maybe its not for you and that is totally ok.
BS: Your husband Mr MKR, how does he support you with this all? Is he part of this scene now?
MKR; (Laughter) I love that – I’m going to call him Mr Kitty from now on. He is really great, to be fair he didn’t really have a choice as I was already performing when I met him but he has always been supportive. It was never even a question, I remember the first show he came to watch he brought all his friends and he just seemed proud – he wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed of me – if anything he just wanted to show me off! I actually get really annoyed when new people find out that I do burlesque and their first question is “omg what does your husband think? does he approve of you taking your clothes off in public?!” It’s like what do you expect me to say…? of course he is fine with it, if he wasn’t then we probably wouldn’t be together! I decide what to do with my body – not him! If only they knew that he actually helps me come up with some moves when I’m practising in my pjs on a sunday afternoon!
In regards to “the scene” I’d say that he isn’t really part of it, he will definitely come and watch some shows but he’s seen all my acts 1000 times now so I think it gets a little boring for him. Thats is totally fine by me though, he is still my number 1 fan and will always drop me off at shows, help me pack and suggest songs for new acts etc so that’s good enough for me.
BS: Supportive partners are the best! Right; now we are down to the random questions.
MKR; Oh no (laughs)
BS: What is your favourite colour and why
MKR: Orange – because it is so underrated and people just need more orange in their life!
BS: 2nd question – If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring
MKR: ooh definitely duct tape, because I once watched mythbusters and they proved that its the only thing you need to survive on a deserted island (go watch it now!) So now that I’ve go that covered the only other things I would need are music and maybe my husband for company!
BS: If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why
MKR: That’s hard!!! maybe Kirsten Dunst?? Loved her when I was younger and she is a total babe so why not.
BS: Indeed why not!! And that concludes our interview! Thank you so much for your time MKR – can’t wait to see you perform again!