|Photo by Stuey Hamilton|
I have the pleasure of introducing Lady Catalina to you all. This lady is a very unique performer with a cracking body and personality to match. From the images here you will understand when I say she has an amazing body! Lady Catalina is a burlesque performer and choreographer for The Cream Tease show. I recently saw her perform live at Chrystal Cabaret at London’s Hippodrome Leicester Square and wow….a real fun lively performance, I couldn’t take my eyes off her! Here is your chance to learn more about the lovely lady and see some images for yourself!
How did you get into the Burlesque industry?
I began dance classes aged three, and spent my whole life on stage. Performing is really the only thing that I know how to do. But in 2008 I came across a video of Dita Von Teese performing on pointe, and I absolutely loved how she incorporated classical dance. I was hooked, and the next day I choreographed my first Burlesque routine, and showcased at the Whoopee club.
|Photo by Stuey Hamilton|
How did the name Lady Catalina come about?
A friend of mine actually used to call me that. I have absolutely no idea why he did ha ha, but it seemed the obvious choice. And as being ladylike is extremely important to me, I’m glad that I chose it.
You have performed in a huge amount of places. Do you still get nervous about going on stage?
Absolutely!! Every single show!! Sometimes just a few butterflies or excited anticipation, but sometimes I can be really nervous and convince myself I’ve forgotten a part. But I often think that the day when I’m not nervous, is the day I would question whether my heart is still in it enough. Or question whether I had gotten too complacent.
Who is your favorite Burlesque performer to watch?
Ooh, that’s hard to pick just one… I love a few performers for different reasons. I absolutely adore Ginger Valentine for her stage presence, and she’s a fantastic dancer. I love Inga Ingenue for her originality, and again her dancing is beautiful. I am always totally mesmerized by Eivissa Rose from my show; her isis wings routine has me stood completely gormless, haha! And Vicky Butterfly is another beautiful performer that mesmerizes me.
Well, I’ll say my bath. Which is so much fun. But I have some incredible new props, that will be revealed in our new show…….
What did you do to earn a living before Burlesque?
I’ve always worked in entertainment. I did the holiday parks for a while in the beginning, had a cabaret troupe in which I sang, and worked abroad dancing. But I’m also a qualified dance teacher, so I’ve been teaching and choreographing pieces for many years. Also I trained to be a personal trainer and a lifeguard. And recently took a course in systemic therapy, so I have that for later years.
How did the Cream Tease come about?
Well when I first started burlesque, nobody where I lived seemed to know what it was. So I decided to put on the first Burlesque show on the Isle of Wight. In the beginning, I simply booked in acts, and choreographed routines for my resident troupe ‘The Trinity Belles’. But more and more dancers that I knew were asking me to teach them and choreograph them routines, so then I decided to choreograph a whole show. And we just naturally became a set group of performers. We all love working together, and I can’t imagine having more fun with anybody else. They’re such a talented, beautiful group of girls, but completely unpretentious. There isn’t an inflated ego amongst them; they’re simply very, very nice girls. And they work so hard.
How would you describe your style of Burlesque?
It’s definitely very dance based in our show. Some of my acts are glamorous, showgirl acts. While others are sensual and passionate. I’ve had a couple of audience members come up and tell me that my fan dance made them cry. And that was kind of where I was going with it, when I chose an extremely sad love song and lyrical dance. If one person is moved by my performance, then that’s great. For me, it’s about giving an honest, heartfelt performance.
You have a very unique look in the Burlesque world. A lot of performers nowadays support the 40’s/50’s style, whereas you resemble a Californian tanned bombshell! Talk me through your look.
Haha, I love how politely you put that. I’ve had a few people say something similar, but in a rather derogatory manner. Well firstly I have poker straight, very difficult to do anything with hair. I do curl my hair for every performance with setting lotion etc, and it will eventually curl, but it’s a struggle. I tried victory rolls and other styles in the beginning, but I just never felt quite right. It really doesn’t suit me. I also just tan very easily, and I feel more attractive with a bit of color. I have to be honest though, in that I adore the sun. That lovely warm feeling of the sun on your skin makes me happy. My Nan was also tanned in the few pictures that I’ve seen of her from the fifties, so I’m sure not everybody was pale. Also the thing that I love about Burlesque is the freedom of expression. And the celebration of women and their femininity. The fact that every shape and size is not only accepted, but appreciated. So I decided that I didn’t want to feel pressurized in to looking a certain way, that doesn’t feel comfortable for me, as that will inevitably affect my performance. So for me it’s about feeling glamorous, and as attractive as my current mood will allow. I’d say style wise, if I’m influenced by anybody it would be Mame Van Doren.
What do you like to do with your time off from being Lady Catalina?
Well presently if you asked my husband he would say that I’m never off duty. But we’re creating something very special, and I have to give it my heart and soul. But I do try to switch off, and in that time I just want to be with my family. Doing nothing more than laughing, and just being together. I do like ‘me’ time, and I’m very happy with my own company, but I’ll usually just end up dancing anyway. Unless of course the suns out, haha!.
You are on the stage and being photographed a lot of the time. Looking after yourself must play a big part in your life.
What are your favorite beauty products and why?
Baby oil definitely. And Palmers Cocoa butter, as they make your skin feel so soft, and the smell is incredible. My face is quite sensitive so I tend to stick to good old Nivea, and a homemade olive oil and sugar face scrub. If my skin is playing up, I’ll use honey as it’s a good natural antiseptic.
I put on baby oil after every shower whilst still wet, then just pat it dry. Then I smother myself in Palmers Cocoa butter. Even in winter, when you jump out and it’s freezing, I will do it religiously. I do a weekly intensive hair masque, which again I use olive oil for. And I deep condition my hair with Aussie as it smells beautiful. I do try to always remove my make up at night and moisturize well, but when I get back from a show, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
Who is your beauty idol?
That’s really hard to choose just one……. I love Bridgette Bardot, Mame Van Doren and Sophia Loren. They are all just otherworldly.
What are your must have pieces of make up?
I couldn’t be without my Estee Lauder double wear foundation, or Mac studio fix. Also I love Fake Bake legal sunburn blush, in a lovely rosy pink color.
Do you style your own hair yourself?
I do. I certainly don’t do a very good job, and it’s not the style I’d love, but I’ve managed to master getting big bouncy curls finally. I’d love to have Veronica Lake waves, but it rarely goes to plan.
How do you keep your skin so perfectly tanned?
As I mentioned earlier, I do love the sun. So I try to grab 20 minutes or so a day to sit out in the sun, whilst sewing or answering emails. But in the winter months, I do like Sally Henson airbrush legs, or a moisturizer with a little tan in if I feel my skin looks pasty. It just makes me feel better about myself.
Do you have any tips to share to get your glamorous look?
Hmmm, not really. But as somebody with poker straight, long hair, I did discover that setting lotion only actually works on my hair when applied to dry hair, not damp. It goes crazy curly, like Shirley Temple, then I spend around 10 minutes brushing it out to big loose waves. But applied to damp hair….. nothing!! I like one from Superdrug. Cheap and cheerful, extra firm hold setting lotion. Oh and somebody told me to get a Bamboo brush, which prevents frizzy curls, and it’s been amazing.
|Photo by Stuey Hamilton|
Everyone no matter what shape or size wants to feel happy and confident about themselves. What advice would you have to feel glamorous and boost your own confidence?
I can honestly say hand on heart, that Burlesque changed me drastically. For the better. I had a lot of weight issues etc growing up as a dancer, and Burlesque allowed me to feel like everything I wish I was, if only for five minutes. I love performing, and it’s the only time I feel truly confident. So I would say find that one thing, that you love, and that allows you to feel amazing. And make time for it. I don’t feel glamorous all the time, but I relish in every second that I do. Finding something that you excel at, is a very rewarding thing.
What is your favorite perfume?
DKNY Be delicious Intense is my favorite. But I also love their fresh blossom. I’ve worn Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers for about 10 years too.
What is your approach to fashion?
I’d love to say that I dress glamorously every day, but that simply wouldn’t be true, or possible really for me. I spend an awful lot of time rehearsing, therefore I’m in leggings and crop tops a lot. But when I don’t have dancing, I’ll be in a dress. If it’s winter then it’ll be a dress and tights, but I love finding lovely little vintage dresses. I have a disturbing amount of them. There are so many styles that I love, but some just don’t suit me, and I like to feel feminine in a pretty dress. I do like a nice smart pair of indigo jeans, with a pretty blouse. But I’m afraid I don’t change my style a lot.
Where are your favorite places to shop, both for Burlesque goodies, and for yourself?
|Photo by Neil Lewis|
I’m not very good at spending money on myself. It’s terribly boring. I’ll spend a lot of money on costumes, jewellery, etc for our show, but I feel bad treating myself. So I’ll spend hours going through the vintage section on eBay for my dresses, and I find some incredible things that are a real bargain. I love Etsy, for unusual pieces of jewellery, or headdresses. But we tend to get our costumes made.
What are your biggest aspirations and why?
To have the show that I’ve created and completely choreographed, run for years and years, even after I’m too old and stiff to perform in it. I’d like to see it go to as many wonderful countries as possible. And with a live band, so my awesome husband who’s a drummer can come too.
What advice would you give to a girl (or guy) reading this interested in getting into this industry?
I’d say to never try and please everybody. If you believe in your act, never change it to suit other people’s preferences. And keep honing your craft until it’s perfect, take classes, and constantly strive to be better. A great costume can’t hide a shabby performance. And don’t let it all go to your head, be kind and polite.
What else is coming up for you?
I wish I could tell you, but it’s a secret!! I’m very lucky to finally be creating the show that I’ve wanted to produce for a very long time. It’s all extremely exciting.
And I’m finally off to perform in Vegas in November. Which has been my dream since I was little. So after Vegas, I will be straight back to rehearsing the new show. Watch this space……..
|Photo by Stuey Hamilton|
I would like to thank Lady Catalina for this wonderful interview! As always stay tuned for more soon!