March 2023 - FEATURES: Lilith Stargazer
Lilith Stargazer is one of the unique burlesque performers in the state. With her mix of dance training and nerd-inspired ideas, Stargazer provides entertaining moments on stage whenever she performs. She talked with New Mexico Entertainment about her burlesque inspirations, what keeps her coming back, and some of the challenging aspects of the community.
Could you tell us how your journey in dance began?
I've been dancing my whole life. My grandmother took me to ballet, tap, ballet, and Jazz classes, including Ballet Folklorico, when I was two. I stopped dancing when my dad passed away, but on and off, throughout my life, I've taken hip-hop, ballet, ballroom, and belly dance classes.
How did you land in the field of burlesque?
Burlesque came to me in my early 20s. I looked around town, found a naughty Cabaret class, and met somebody in a local burlesque troupe. I joined as quickly as I could because it sounded terrific. I loved it, and it helped me bring back a lot of my confidence.
Burlesque can take on many styles. How did you develop your style?
There are so many interpretations of burlesque. Some people are very adamant that it has to be very specific. I took a lot of inspiration from some of my favorite performers of all-time - Mayo Lua De Frenchie. I try to follow her idea of keeping it about the tease. So I input a lot of my things. I like to be silly, nerdy, and funny. I'm studying astrophysics outside my burlesque career, so I'm a big old nerd! I like bringing some humor and some nerdiness into everything. Sometimes I'll do naughtier stuff, but it depends on what inspires me.
What is it about dance and burlesque that keeps you coming back?
It's just such a fun thing for me. I feel happy. I feel empowered. I get to be whoever I want to be and express myself in a way comfortable to me. I'm not very good at Visual Arts - I can't paint or anything like that - but Performing Arts is where I shine. It lets me be who I am.
What do you find to be the most challenging of being a performer in this town?
It's disheartening when people don't want to pay to come to watch us. Most producers, who are also burlesque performers, are willing to pay each other. But outside of that, sometimes you get people who want you to do burlesque for free, and we spend hundreds of dollars on costumes and time choreographing. I'm skilled in multiple styles of dance. So, to ask to do a burlesque performance for free is so disheartening and annoying. Sometimes the audience doesn't want to pay ten dollars to see a local show, which is also disheartening. So I include folks to come out and check out a show and support local performers.
To learn more about Lilith Stargazer and her upcoming gigs, follow her on Facebook and Instagram @lillithstargazer.