Daring Dame: Immodesty Blaize
So to whip up the excitement about the release of SASSY in September, I'm sharing some delicious delights from the Daring Dames that appear in it's pages. So ladies, please join me as I slick on a blood-red, cupid-bow pout and shake my diamond-encrusted pasties in homage to Britain’s best loved showgirl, Immodesty Blaize.
Immodesty is quintessential SASSY – she’s an international show-girl superstar, she’s a striking, statuesque bombshell with Ava Gardner-esque looks and a kick-ass 1950s pin-up girl figure, she’s the Reigning Queen of Burlesque at Las Vegas’ Burlesque Hall of Fame and quite frankly, she’s the eptitome of fabulousity – who else dazzles audiences in London, New York, Cannes and Las Vegas with an eight-foot Swarovski-encrusted rocking horse, an enormous glitter vintage telephone and a be-jewelled array of simply de-voom costumes?
If that wasn’t enough, I am beyond excited that Britain’s number 1 showgirl has written the foreword for SASSY - ohhh la la- kicked off her fluffy mules and is now reclining seductively in SASSYville – to say I'm excited would be quite possibly be an understatement.
Describe Immodesty Blaize in 5 words… Va va va va voom!
Is there anything you can’t do, Miss Fabulous? Sassy showgirl and now amazing author – what made you want to write books too? Aw thanks! And yes, there is, I can’t make Hollandaise.
People have often asked why I would write novels if I am primarily known as a performer, but I do like to work in different mediums – as long as I get to create my fantasy worlds, whether that's on canvas, on film, on stage or on the page. It was Paul O'Grady who got me thinking about novels after he gave me a hilarious vintage book about life in a burlesque grindhouse. Since I am also such a fan of Jackie Collins, Lace, Dynasty and all things glam and campy, it seemed like an obvious step for me to write my own bonkbusters.
Writing a book could not be more different than performing on stage in front of a sell-out crowd – can you tell us about the book-writing experience, we imagine you reclining on a chez lounge, sipping a cocktail as you dictate to a hot boy – are we far off? That sounds very Barbara Cartland, she had it sussed I think. Actually I started writing Tease between shows, but then I decamped to my little French chateau for the summer, and shut myself in a room with a view and 24 cases of Montrachet. Although, funnily enough, I seemed to end up outside by my swimming pool with the laptop most days, it seemed more inspiring there for some reason. The process of writing was great fun, and instead of the usual long winded and intensive preparations for an actual live show, I could give my leading lady dancing fountains, diving tigers, and a ten foot glitterball to emerge from, all in one paragraph and ten minutes, from the comfort of my lounger.
If we wanted to rock our inner showgirl what must-have traits would we need? Just be what you always wanted to be but thought you were never allowed! You're unique, no-one else can be you so there's no right or wrong. Some sparkling confidence and a little exaggeration of your positive characteristics is a good place to start. Thinking of a great stage name should help point you firmly in the direction of your alter-ego too. Then maybe a good thigh master and a well oiled personal trainer to get you into your itty bitty rhinestoned costume, watch a Jayne Mansfield movie or two as a guide for mastering the wiggle, and a glass of Crystal before your big debut always helps too.
Who are your style icons? Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner, Liz Taylor, Alexis Colby, Jessica Rabbit, Grace Jones, Schiaparelli, Liberace.
What era would you like to go back and visit and why? Perhaps ancient Rome, all that debauchery, communal bathing and stylish drapery. And think of the big strapping centurions, I feel a new act coming on!
What are your five must-have items? Hot rollers, 6 inch heels, diamond merkin, a can of Elnett and Nifty, my little Yorkie. Oh, and red nail polish. And Illamasqua's 'Blaze' lipstick. And a headscarf. You see, this is why I can never travel light.
Who inspires you/who do you admire and why? Liberace is well documented as my camp performance muse amongst others, but actually different people inspire me at different times. Musicians, writers, artists, performers. I just admire genuine talent, and those who walk their own path.
What's your life motto? Be prepared to accommodate but never compromise
What’s your secret to success? Success is just an ongoing journey and even then the goalposts change. Best to have a great journey then.
Quick fire round: What's your favourite:
Shop: Cocomaya the chocolate boutique, Conduit St Book: Me Cheeta, an autobiography Website/blog: www.planetfabulon.com Hang-out: Claridges Fumoir City: Budapest TV prog: Madmen Food: Gin martini (it has an olive, right?)
To find out more about Immodesty, visit her online swank-pad, www.immodestyblaize.com or buy my book, SASSY: The Go-for-it Girl's Guide to Becoming Mistress of Your Destiny, and delight in her delicious Daring Dame interview where she reveals more burly-girl secrets and how we can really find our pleasure - ohh la la!