A regular member of the Clockettes for about four years now, Champagne Shuga Nova first got my attention when she performed a very cheeky tribute to Britney Spears’s “Oops… I Did it Again” in our Naughty 90s show, complete with the choreography from the video and a photo of Justin Timberlake circa 1999, in all his bespectacled, curly-haired glory. I’d been too snobby for Britney Spears until that night, and Champagne Shuga Nova made a believer out of me.

Champagne’s a little quiet at first, but don’t mistake her reserved demeanor for shyness. When she takes the stage, her moves own the room, and she channels the same sweet, playful, curvy allure that made Marilyn Monroe a star.

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How do you describe your burlesque style?

I would say that my style is still evolving but I find inspiration in so many places! I just adore classic burlesque. I love the classic parade, pose and peel with intricate costuming. On the other hand, I come from a very halftime jazz cheerleader/pom background. It has been fun combining the two energies. In general, I like to keep things sweet and sassy.

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Tell me about your biggest aesthetic disaster, whether it was over-plucked brows or the eyeliner that gave you pinkeye.

I have been going to the same hair stylist since I was 19. One (very stupid) day, I decided to try a new salon…huge mistake. I went in to get my highlights touched up and they completely ruined my hair! There were just patches of yellow and orange throughout. It took months to get it back to the correct blond. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and will never stray from my gal again!

 

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

Last year I was invited to the Kansas City Burlesque festival which was a huge break for me! It was my first festival as a solo performer and I was pretty nervous/excited. On the way to the venue they let me know that there was no backstage area (putting my “assles” on backstage was a big part of my act) so I would need to improvise. Last minute, I changed it so that a kitten would present my “assles” to me on a tray. It really brought my act to a whole new level! Improvising like that in a new venue really brought a new energy on stage and it turned out to be one of my best performances! Even better…the legendary Tempest Storm was in the audience and later came up to compliment me on my performance! I was on cloud 9 the entire night! I later performed that act at the New Orleans Burlesque Festival at the New Orleans House of Blues which was another absolute dream!

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What was your earliest experience performing? Did it have any influence on what you’re doing today? How?

Growing up, I was constantly scheming to make people watch my home made shows. I used to make my babysitter shine flash lights on me while I danced and I always had a new idea for a skit or a show lol I think it had a huge impact on what I’m doing today. I have always loved having complete creative control. I love that I get to concept all of my acts, create the costumes, pick the music, choreograph and then perform! It is the best of all worlds! I was also a cheerleader all though high school and college and I think that experience has really inspired my acts. I enjoy getting the audience to play along.

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What does burlesque do for you? What do you love about it? Bonus question: How does it kick your ass?

Burlesque is a platform for me to be who I am! That is the best way I can put it. It is the place to be your most glamorous and sparkly self. The burlesque community and audience is so incredibly supportive. I haven’t experienced that anywhere else. This community will love you for you, quirks and curves included.

Like anything that you truly love, it can be a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. It is sometimes terrifying to put so much of yourself out there. The creative process really kicks my ass sometimes. Coming up with new ideas and trying to decide if something is good enough to put on stage can be tough. You are your own worst critic! It is a tough process at times but it is always worth it!


Want to see more? Of course you do. Come see Champagne most Thursday nights at Naughty Pierre’s Burlesque and Comedy Extravaganza and most Saturday nights at Off the Clock Late Night Burlesque Show, both at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret.

 

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