Dee Dee Derriere embodies and embraces Beyonce’s definition of Bootylicious: “beautiful, bountiful, and bounceable.” Her acts radiate irresistable warmth and silliness. Everyone knows that humor is sexy, and Dee Dee uses her bountiful physique to elicit some of the heartiest laughs from our crowds. Come football season, she’ll channel the fan of your dreams in a Packers jersey and cheesehead hat, melting the hearts and stirring the loins of even the most loyal Broncos fans. Around Valentine’s Day, she’ll turn your Fifty Shades fantasies upside down as she prances across the stage with a pair of jumper cables.  I like to describe Dee Dee as the girl with a heart big enough to match her tush. For two years in a row now, she has curated burlesque shows to benefit Girls First, a nonprofit that provides sport and movement opportunities to underserved girls in the New Orleans area. Last year, she gave me the chance to bring into being an idea that had been marinating in my brain since I was 13 when she cast my Darth Vader act in her shockingly successful Nerdlesque: A Comic Striptease, in which we paid a lusty tribute to our favorite characters from comic books and sci-fi, and Dee revealed (wink) her obsession with Batman.

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TM: How do you describe your burlesque style?

DD: My style is most definitely more silly and fun than classic. Having no formal dance background, my routines tend to lend themselves more to humor and the telling of a story. I dance and choreograph through the words and lyrics of a song as opposed to pure dance moves. I am more comfortable performing in a playful nature where I can connect with the audience through humor, and if I can, direct physical comedic interactions. As I have been told, I am a “puppy” performer, not a “cat”. I love to laugh, make faces, and razz the audience, as opposed to the beautiful smoldering temptresses or classic glittery delights that grace the stage.


 

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TM: How did you become involved in the burlesque scene?

DD: I was introduced to burlesque in 2009, when I went to see my dear friend Veronica VanTassel perform at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. I was immediately smitten with the art. All I wanted was to wear ruffle butt panties and a corset and not be judged. So I became a Stage Kitten in August of that year and then was a kitten for two full years before I ever performed my first solo in February 2012. I absolutely fell in love at first sight. Kittening was so much fun and I took it quite seriously, really wanting to do my best for the performers and make their time on stage, as smooth and wonderful as possible. Then I actually “won” a Burlesque Booty School entry with Midnite Martini at the Clocktower, took the classes, did my debut performance, and continued this wonderful journey.

 

TM: If you could only do one act or even one aspect of your craft for the rest of your life, what would it be?

DD: I would want to do either one of two acts: my favorite solo is one I’ve been performing for a year to Brian Adams’s “(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear”. It is so fun, silly, quick paced, and full of energy, that I can’t help but enjoy it. I have yet to leave the stage after that act not giggling and full of happiness and sparkle. I always have an amazing time with it and hope the audience can see that and feel it as well. The other one was a group act I performed with Dr. Bones, Tatianna Tata, S’No Angel, Peggy Tulane, Lady Shanime, and Shotza Ouzo during Tatianna Tata and Dr Bone’s Grotesque Burlesque. We danced to A Perfect Circle’s “Counting Bodies like Sheep” as hazmat zombies. What amazing creativity and expression went into that act!! I have never felt such a safe space for expression, release, and artistic expression. Being crazy and feral on stage feels AMAZING and is the best kind of fun!

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TM: Describe your process when creating an act.

DD: The majority of my acts have been inspired by the song first. Whether it was while driving or just listening to music, I hear a song and then the idea just pops into my head. For example, I was driving to the library listening to Classic Rock (which is my particular favorite type of music), and Jimi Hendrix’s song “Foxy Lady” came on. My thoughts went from (of course) Wayne’s World, to Oh, a fox costume would be cute, to WAIT!! The forbidden love between a fox and a chicken! Thus I now dress as a yellow chicken and try to seduce a fox in my “love nest”. The ideas and concepts come first and foremost, sometimes too many to keep up with or even to allow to come to fruition. Then I usually try to create the costume next and props. Then finally or in conjunction with the costume-making, I create my choreography. Choreography is the most difficult piece for me, so I usually save it until last. I tend to have a few major set ideas, often influenced by the words or lyrics, then just play around with the rest by listening to the song over and over (and over and over and over and…) Quite of few of my acts have been almost 100% choreographed on long flights or road trips when all I do is listen to the song on repeat for hours.

TM: Tell me about a big break or a moment of truth that made you the performer you are today.

DD: One of my proudest moments was when I produced my first show. I approached Naughty Pierre [our emcee] at Lannie’s Clocktower with the idea of doing Nerdlesque during Comic Con. Unfortunately the 8:00 show on Saturday night of Comic Con weekend was already booked, so we thought of trying to have an hour long “Cocktail Hour” show. It was a brand new show idea as well as a brand new time slot. The show was at 5:00 on a Saturday afternoon and Comic Con didn’t even end until 7:00 that evening. I was nervous about folks finding the time slot inconvenient or too odd. Even with all the details being “out of the norm” for the Clocktower, the show was a smashing success! We sold out the first show, and had many Comic Con patrons in attendance. I was so proud of my entire cast for bringing their A+++ games and creating an amazingly fun, spectacular show, and eternally grateful to both Lannie Garrett and Pierre for taking a chance on the show. We now have had three smashingly successful performances of Nerdlesque, and are bringing it back, of course, Comic Con weekend, May 22nd and 23rd!

Dee Dee shakes that ass and makes ’em laugh most Thursday nights at 8:00, and most Friday and Saturday nights at 11:30 at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret.

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