Look out, Vegas: Sydni Deveraux returns to BHoF 2014.
Next up in our series of spotlights on Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender performers and competitors, we bring you another conversation with our hometown girl gone NYC – the one and only Sydni Deveraux. Sydni will represent NYC as well as her Seattle roots when she competes for the title “Reigning Queen”. Last year Sydni burlesqued her beautiful rump off, scoring the title “First Runner-Up: 2013 Reigning Princess of Burlesque”. We can only imagine what she’ll unleash on that hallowed BHoF stage come Tournament night this year.
Without further ado, here’s our quick n’ dirty chat with Sydni from NYC:
BSP: In the pantheon of special glittery people the world over, you are hands-down one of the single most passionate burlesque performers and fans I know. You not only work incredibly hard, but you are constantly finding ways to be involved, to encourage, and to grow the community in a positive way. You live and breathe burlesque and it really pays off in your performance and in your star power… obviously, because here you are going off to compete again! How does it feel to have another shot at the title “Miss Exotic World 2014, the Reigning Queen of Burlesque”?
Sydni Deveraux: I am super excited to have another shot to perform on the biggest night of the year in burlesque. It’s such an honor- I know that they have a really hard time picking. So many more than just 11 of us deserve to be up there.
BSP: You’ve been attending BHoF and performing there since 2006. Do you feel like every time you’ve attended or performed, you’ve taken away something new from the experience?
Sydni: Every time! One year was a party year. Another was loving the conversations with the Legends. Performing in 2010 and 2013 were years of extreme growth for me. I hope to kind of have an amalgam of all of it this year. I want to meet more people, be inspired, kiss every Legend and reconnect with friends I don’t get to see every year. The cherry on my cupcake will be rocking the stage. I also didn’t have a lot of pool time last year, and maybe I’ll get to fix that. 😉
BSP: How are you preparing this time around? Any hints at what we can expect?
Sydni: Well, I’m back in what we call “Camp Cathy”, lots of yoga, smoothing out some parts in my choreography and lots of chats with Catherine to make sure that I bring something that we’re both super excited about. I’m also rehabbing my knee, but I’m doing my best to honor my body, but not slow down my momentum. There’s plenty to be worked on without my knee! My dress was designed with her help (it was also my wedding dress, so it’s truly sentimental in a billion ways) – she gave me the secrets to her voluminous skirts and it is SO FUN to dance around in 450 yards of tulle. It’s my hope to make her, the Legends, myself (and those who dig me) proud.
BSP: You recently moved to NYC from Seattle, and have been a busy lady since you’re been away. What have you been up to in your (honorary) new home?
Sydni: Well, I hit the ground running! I am associate producer for Wasabassco- I work closely with Doc (Wasabassco) and the ridiculous genius of Nasty Canasta. In many ways I’m being taken under their wing- learning about the business of burlesque from a different angle and together we are growing a brand of excellent entertainment. Through them I host a show every Tuesday night in Manhattan at a beautiful space called Bathtub Gin, perform in various shows throughout the week, and then I have my baby- a big production in a gorgeous new 10,000 square ft. space called Verboten. My show is conducted in the round, I host and perform an act, it features 8 other performers (and a ridiculously wonderful kitten, Amanda) and there’s various themes for each month. NYC has such a deep talent pool that it’s a huge thrill to put these shows together. I can’t wait to see what it grows into. It’s so gorgeous. I’m also looking into singing again….but we shall see.
BSP: What’s it like performing there, as opposed to Seattle? Does it feel different, stylistically?
Sydni: In some ways, yes. The coasts like to keep it a little naughtier, I think. NYC seems to be all about the butt (which I certainly don’t mind- makes me love my job a bit more), a little more rock n’ roll with their energy, and the shows feel different overall, but I think that’s because of the audiences and the general feel of New York. There’s BIG talent in Seattle and NYC. I truly wish I could smoosh my hands together and make an epic talent pool baby! I feel challenged here, certainly taking up a new hosting position, and I find myself feeling inspired to toe-dip back into my roots a little bit more, going back to my “neo” days. I brought back my “Fat Bottom Girls” act (first night back and I chipped a tooth onstage- that’s punk rock baby! heh) and I just had Jamie Von Stratton make my new bunny costume for my Anti-patriarchy/Playboy bunny act. They were the only two I missed, and I’m glad to have them back. I’m excited to see how I can change them to reflect my stage-craft now, but bring in some of the flavor they had before.
BSP: Are you excited to share the BHoF stage with so many Seattle folks this year? It will be quite a reunion! And a healthy little pinch of competition, too…
Sydni: Well, I actually like competition. It teaches me a lot about myself, gives me a big look at where I am mentally while I’m onstage. I’m beyond thrilled to share the stage with Seattle people- these are my peers and I’ve been so lucky to have come up in the world with them. Incredible humans. I can’t wait to see how many more people fall in love with them- they deserve it!
Learn more about Sydni at: