Friday 19 April 2013

Interview with UK Burlesque Performer Miss Banbury Cross!

Photo by Ani Lang
For all your burly fans I have something very special. I have yet another fabulous interview for you, this time from the show stopping Banbury Cross!

International Burlesque Show stopper, true vintage beauty, Miss Banbury Cross oozes the sex appeal and glamour of Hollywood’s Golden age, and the sass and decadence of the late 1950s. Boasting a “body from outer space” measuring a perfect 35-21-35

Banbury Began her career as an international showgirl in 2008 at the infamous Madam Jojo’s in Soho. She has quickly become the shining star of European Burlesque, and is showing no signs of slowing down.and showing no signs of slowing down.

Signed to agencies across the globe and an already impressive and increasing list of exclusive clients, Miss Banbury Cross is set for superstardom!

This Blonde Bombshell, Pin-Up Sex Goddess has been dubbed the “Neo Marilyn” of Burlesque and it is from the Hollywood actress that Miss Cross draws her inspiration from, as well as the great icons of burlesque history.

Her champagne striptease is legendary, her signature fan dance is unlike anything you have seen before and her costumes are beautifully and superiorly hand crafted. The image of total glamour.

How did you get into the burlesque industry?

Completely by accident, it was at a time in my life where I wasn’t sure of my direction. Having graduated with a Theatre degree that was the path that I was trying to force myself down, unfortunately it is a tough industry to get into and so I followed other avenues to earn a living - luxury retail, admin, reception work. Burlesque came along and swept me off my feet quite unexpectedly and I have never looked back. 

How did the name Banbury Cross come about and what does it mean to you?

There was never a eureka moment with the name either….it just naturally happened. One day I was researching for my debut act, something with horses and nudity I imagine and there we have it, I somehow ended up with the name Banbury Cross. It means a lot to have a unique name that people remember and that doesn't sound too strange. It could actually be someone's name! Nothing infuriates me more now is counting 15 performers with the same variation of a name (yes I counted) Do your research! be memorable! And don't allow yourself to be confused with every other black haired Betty Page lookalike! 

Do you have a favourite routine/performance?

The routine I debuted with was my champagne Showgirl act. In the past 4 years I have spent time and a hell of a lot of money building it up, developing it and making it what it is today!
I am all about having 4 or 5 very strong acts that you keep investing in, and perform constantly, rather than churning out shit low quality acts that you'll retire in 6 months time because you're not willing or able to let it grow. 

You are on stage and being photographed a lot of the time. Looking after yourself must play a big part in your life. What are you favourite beauty products and why?

I swear by Erno Laszlo, a company that has been around since the 20s and the recipes never change. Used by Monroe herself, and many of the products that I use were used by her also, and there is nothing that is better for my dry skin or makes me feel as fabulous! 

Do you have a set beauty routine?

The Erno Laszlo routine is basically, drenching face in cleansing oil, splashing 20 times with warm water, lathering with sea mud soap soap, splashing again 10 times then patting on their signature cream.
I love having a routine, and I never fail to do it, no matter how tired or inebriated I am. 

On that note how to you keep yourself in shape for your performances?

Looking good on stage and having a great body takes work, effort, dedication and a lot of motivation. It doesn’t come easily nor are you ever going to achieve it through quick fixes or laziness. I work out 5 times per week… a mixture of HIT, cardio and Pilates. I also eat 5 small high protein meals a day to keep my metabolism fire up! Also WATER! I drink about a gallon a day, it stops me from feeling sluggish and gives me loads of energy, plus great skin and hardly any cellulite! 

Describe your fashion style?

My style varies really, I don't do "pinup" every day. I actually feel a lot more at home and comfortable in jeans, boots and t-shirts (my inner cowgirl) Californian girl style is what I would describe mine as. Hippy Boho surfer chic by day and Hollywood glamour puss by night. 

Where are you favourite places to shop?

Etsy is amazing for vintage, though I rarely buy clothes as most of my time, money and love goes into buying new costume pieces! 

What are your must have pieces of make up?

Moisturiser, eyebrow pencil and mascara. 

What is your favourite perfume?

Reflection by Amouage, for me it reminds me of summer and falling in Love and frolicking in fields! Shame it's so pricey, as I have run out of it :(  

What do you like to do with your time off from being Banbury Cross?

I love sex music and travel :). I scuba dive in exotic location and then relax in a hammock on a beach with a good book and cocktails. That is my long term plan, to work hard now and then chase the sun into my old age! 

Who is your favourite burlesque performer to watch?

I have so many, so to keep it brief and to spare your readers a lesbian crush gush ;) I love to watch Kitten Deville and Catherine D'Lish. Nothing epitomises the amazing variety of talent than them. Kitten is a classic sex pot, grinding, quaking, explosion and Catherine is a sensual, slow, powerful neo performer. Both are huge icons for me.

Who are your biggest inspirations and why?

The 2 performers above, Dixie Evans (the original MM of Burlesque) Tiffany Carter, Rita Alexander (both whom I have gotten to know a little on my travels) Both sensational people and unique performers in their heyday!
And of course, Marilyn herself has been an inspiration and idol since I was an awkward 8 year old, and will be until the day that I die. Her beauty was incredible, her story was so heart breaking, she exploded on screen like I can only ever hope of doing on stage. A lot of people gave her a bad rap, but having her as a role model effectively made me who I am today. 

What advice would you give to a girl reading this interested in getting into this industry?

I guess I would start with; Be Unique - do your own thing and don't worry if things don't 'happen' right away. Never compare yourself to other performers; the beauty of this industry is the diversity… would be pretty boring if we all did fan dances.
Know your worth and never accept anything less, not only does this devalue what you do but lowering rates will eventually result in the industry crashing to the ground and none will ever want to pay for quality again!
I don't mean to be all doom and gloom, but the future of our industry starts here, and it's up to us to ensure it stays alive, that it keeps getting better and continues to inspire future generations. 

Thank you to Miss Cross for her time with this interview for me to share with you. Keep up to date with news on Miss Banbury Cross by checking her website
I have more very exciting interviews lined up for you so keep reading!

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