Close-Up: An Interview With Burlesque Dancer Red Tongued Raven

Burlesque dance Red Tongued Raven chats to us about her creative process, her experience winning burlesque competitions, and her evolution as an artist.

Q: Hi Raven, welcome to Close-Up Culture! We’re excited to talk to you about all things Burlesque. You recently won four worldwide burlesque competitions. How was that experience?

A: It was exciting and such a whirlwind because it all happened within the span of a year. I’m so grateful to have won, but winning also means more to me than just having a title or an award. It means that people across the world relate to my burlesque acts. 

Q: Do you have a pre-show ritual that helps you get ready for the stage? 

A: I love the process of doing my makeup. It’s a great way for me to ground myself and start to get into the character I’m portraying on stage that night. Other than that I try to snap at least one photo backstage. Each show is unique and the audience brings a different energy, so it’s nice to have a few memories. Also, it’s nuts to look back at old photos and see how much my style has changed. 

Q: How have you evolved as an artist?

A: At the beginning of the pandemic I was like everyone else, trapped inside and thinking that it would end soon. At a certain point, I realized there was no clear end in sight and started to find ways to stay connected to performing even as I was off stage. I have a burlesque act as a queen and one day I decided to totally redo the costume and upgrade it. I’m really proud of how it turned out.

Q: What’s the most challenging part of being a burlesque dancer?

A: I feel like there is an unspoken expectation on social media to constantly share your innermost thoughts and everything you do… it’s bizarre and toxic. I made the decision recently that I want to invest my energy into performing rather than keeping up with the joneses.

Q: What’s the best part of being a burlesque dancer?

A: Connecting with people in the real world! I love seeing the excitement on people’s faces as I perform. 

Q: What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

A: To have longevity and impact as an artist. 

Visit Raven’s website: 

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