Art & Design blog
Amourous Ava is a neo burlesque performer from the Wild West coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Now based in Auckland Amourous Ava has performed in numerous shows throughout the country and internationally. She is a core cast member of the Rock n Roll Circus and Winner of Most Innovative, NZ Burlesque Festival Golden Garter Awards 2014.
At what age did you start to take an interest in the field you work in?
Well, I’ve had a passion for dancing around my room in my underwear for most of my life, so it was really only a matter of time before I brought my skills to the people… Though seriously, I first saw a burlesque show around ten years ago, and I first took to the stage to perform burlesque myself much more recently, in my early 30s. One of the nice things about burlesque is there is no age limit to performing. Because it’s such an all-encompassing performance form, all the random skills we develop pre-burlesque all seem to end up feeding into our individual performance styles.
What are your top three favourite songs?
This changes day-to-day. At the moment I’m rehearsing my She-Creature act for the Australian Burlesque Festival, so I’m listening to Let There Be Drums by Sandy Nelson a lot. Though not burlesque related, Rake by Townes van Zandt and the album Mutiny/The Bad Seed by The Birthday Party are on high rotation. Favourite songs don’t always translate into the right energy for performing a burlesque act to, unfortunately.
What is your favourite venue to perform in and why?
The Winchester, possibly because it’s where most of the Auckland Rock n Roll Circus shows are held, and therefore the venue I perform at most often. There is nothing like a home crowd. The Winchester is in a 1930s Art Deco building that was originally constructed for the Freemasons and has an old pub vibe, which I like. The stage is low, but it means you can get down into the crowd and the proximity makes it easier to connect with the audience. Plus Jerry (the Publican) is fantastic.
Name three creatives who have inspired you over the past 10 years?
Recently I’ve been inspired by seeing Dirty Martini perform in Auckland, by videos of Little Brooklyn’s Burlesque-o-matic act, and by a whole host of local (NZ) & Australian performers too numerous to mention.
Have you got any exciting projects coming up in the near future?
Even though issue 1 only recently came out, issue 2 of my zine / burlesque trade journal Pastie Politics is in its early stages of production at the moment. It features a bunch of contributions by performers, exploring ideas surrounding feminism and burlesque. I’m hoping to have it released for the New Zealand Burlesque Festival later in the year. Also, next month I’m performing as part of the ABF Big Tease show in Sydney, which will be a fantastic show to be involved in.
If you weren’t involved in the creative industry what other career path would you have chosen?
My day job and other projects are also creative, so that would be a radical change of direction for me. The creative/ theoretical/idealistic aspects of science I’ve always found appealing. Maybe if I found myself in an alternate dystopian universe where all creative work was banned I would be a physicist or some other science-worker-type person. Science is rad. Climate change is real. Get immunised y’all.
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