In our ongoing Q&A series –“The Candy Gram“– we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque’s various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop us a line at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to Sydni Devaraux.
What is your hometown?
How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
I performed in plays and did recitals as flutist in childhood until I hit high school and found the wonderful world of Jazz. I’d always been interested in singing and did behind closed doors, though it wasn’t until I sang the National Anthem at an assembly and a wonderful teacher by the name of Mr. Brown came up to me and suggested that I perform in his vocal jazz group-did I think being on a stage expressing myself was really possible. From the world of singing jazz I found burlesque. I think I always knew what burlesque was in the back of my head-but it wasn’t until I heard that beautiful women in lovely costumes and jewelery were dancing to the music that I was having a love affair with did I actually seek it out. I mean, to me, burlesque was everything I loved-music, movement, glamour and wit. Finding that those all existed in this world was ecstasy.
How many pairs of pasties do you own?
Probably about 15 though I favor about 5 pairs that are completely covered in rhinestones. Rhinestones really make pasties fantastic!
What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Anything with an excellent beat and a dynamic melody! I mean, my three most well known acts are to Shake Your Lovemaker by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Magdalenha by Sergio Mendez and Fat Bottom Girls by Queen. I love to have diverse acts.
What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Fake eyelashes, my music, and perhaps a shimmy belt. When I’m cranky or in a bad mood it’s a lot of fun to slip one on and bop around the house to some music. I’m happy in no time!
Who had the biggest influence on your career?
I think it’s a tie between 4 people: Catherine D’Lish, Dirty Martini, Tigger!, and Julie Atlas Muz. Watching them perform is so wonderful, and they make everything look so easy-it’s very clear that they enjoy what they do. I love to see performers where personalities shine, and their stage presence is larger than life. Seeing these performers made it clear I needed to stay true to the things I love, no matter how wacky my ideas can be.
Who is your favorite burly queen?
This question is simply unfair! But I’ll play your game and name a legend from the past, as clearly she’s still a diva: Tiffany Carter. That woman simply blows my mind. Seeing her perform at BHOF 2009 was simply divine. Her movements are so smooth, her smile so bright-I have a mad crush on her. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t know her when she was younger. I probably would have said something improper!
What is your favorite item of clothing?
I have this red wiggle dress that I can wear and instantly feel sexy and wonderful. It doesn’t even matter if I’m in my show makeup or date makeup-that dress looks smashing on me.
What’s the last movie you saw?
The documentary on Metallica. So fascinating.
What’s on your must-see-TV list?
Pretty much everything on the Bravo channel. It has Top Chef, the Real Housewives series, Rachel Zoe…. That channel rocks my world.
What book is on your nightstand?
2 books: Horrible Prettiness by Robert Allen, and Surviving your Saturn Return by Schostak and Weiss.
If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Pretty much anywhere with a great dance party, a delicious Manhattan and an intoxicating city scape. Those twinkling lights full of possibilities are so magical! Exploring cities is one of my favorite things to do when I’m not performing.
If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
The power of persuasion. I mean, then you could just walk into Tiffany’s and convince someone that they should give you a diamond ring and then go to Louis Vuitton and persuade them to sponsor a fabulous burlesque tour around the world-with their luggage, of course! I suppose this power could get out of hand…but I’m capable of having some restraint!
–Tanya Cheex, The Candy Pitch, 12.17.10
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