Perfect 10s – Moxie Sazerac

How did you get started in burlesque?

I saw Dirty Martini performing when I was living in Baltimore around 2002 or 2003. It was pretty much the best thing I’d ever seen and I knew immediately that I wanted to do it myself. When I moved to New Orleans, it was really hard to find out about any troupes or shows since this was in late 2005, literally months after Katrina. Then I saw the Sophisticats play at the House of Blues and there were all these gorgeous girls go-go dancing onstage. I got in touch with the band and started go-go dancing for them, which is how I met a few of the local dancers, including Natasha Fiore. I started going to shows and just sort of stalking the scene–I even wrote about The Storyville Starlettes appearance at the 2006 New York Burlesque Festival. Finally, I got the nerve to do an act at a Muses after-party at the Big Top. I’ve been performing ever since, and have even been lucky enough to find myself an awesome, oddball family in Slow Burn Burlesque.

Any pre-show rituals?

Glitter, obviously. But besides that I just try to stay calm and crack jokes backstage so I don’t freak out. I’ve been onstage in plays since high school, but I still get ridiculous stage jitters, especially with a brand new act.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you? Onstage, that is…

I’m gonna cheat and say the craziest thing that ever happened backstage was when I was dancing with the Starlettes a few years ago and a drunk tourist stumbled into our changing area. She dropped trou and started to answer nature’s call while we were all right there putting on our fishnets and lipstick. It was shocking and hilarious, right up until we realized that homegirl had actually peed right onto the mop in the corner.

The costumes you wear onstage can be pretty elaborate. What’s your favorite thing to wear offstage?

I’m usually quite low-key offstage. Most days I’m good with shorts and a t-shirt and no make-up, though I do hoard vintage dresses and purses for when I’m in the mood to dress up. I’m kind of a hippie nature girl at heart.

If you had a signature cocktail, what would it be?

A Moxie Sazerac! I take the name “Moxie” from a really bizarre tasting soft drink from Maine that was invented in the 1800s, but I’m telling you, when you add that to a classic Sazerac with rye, herbsaint, and bitters, the combination is unexpected and surprisingly good.

What’s on your nightstand?

A stack of books, a big seashell filled with jewelery and hair clips, and a teeny tiny lamp.

If you weren’t a burlesque performer, what would you like to do?

The cool thing about New Orleans is you can be so many different people all at the same time, so really, I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of the things that I want to do while living here! But the next creative outlet I really want to focus on is writing. I’m actually gearing up for a big move to go study and write fiction for a couple of years. I plan to keep performing burlesque, though. Probably forever. Even when I’m eighty and in my granny panties in the living room.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

Most people who know me offstage know this, but I think many audience members would be surprised to learn that I spent about four years as a teacher in a couple different public schools here in New Orleans. I led a very Clark Kent/Superman life for a while there, teaching teenagers to read and busting up fights by day, then stripping away a sparkly gown by night. I didn’t get much sleep, but the balance actually kept me fairly sane!

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

I try to fight my Catholic upbringing and not feel guilty about all the many things that give me pleasure, but man, I can really get sucked in to reality TV! I always feel a little less human after. Toddlers and Tiaras? Jersey Shore? Definitely signs of the coming apocalypse.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I’ve had a few, but the worst was probably the summer I decided it’d be a good idea to be a migrant farm worker. My friend and I drove to the midwest and worked 12 hour days in scorching heat, walking up and down rows of corn and pulling the tops off of the plants. It sounds like a nightmare, but I thought it was a foolproof get-rush-quick plan for that summer. We were working with all these hardcore hippies who traveled the country doing this type of work for a few months each year, and we all were crashing together in one big house in a town of only about 400 people. Our nightly bonfires were pretty fun, but it was the hardest, crappiest work I’ve ever done. Maybe it will end up in a burlesque number one day. Strippers of the Corn!