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 Tanya Cheex a line at t.cheex AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to Miss Exotic World 2007 and the author of Tease, Miss Immodesty Blaize.
How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
From about the age of 5
How many pairs of pasties do you own?
I’ve never counted. I tend to wear the same few pairs as I have them custom made by my jeweler, but I do seem to have accumulated plenty of novelty, wholly impractical ones.
What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
I get bored easily. It changes. Let’s say Blues In the Night, Stairway to the Stars, and Chivas Regal. I’m determined to work out a way to do classic to ZZ Top some day though.
What three items could you not live without as a performer?
Hot rollers, rhinestones, heels. Oh that’s so unoriginal. But the basics are best!
Who had the biggest influence on your career?
No one has influenced my career. But I have personally been inspired by many things. Everyone knows my main performance muse is Liberace. And then Ava Gardner, Grace Jones, Jayne Mansfield, Divine, Irving Berlin, Claude Cahun, Evelyn Waugh, Russ Meyer, Beardsley, Roy Orbison, French chateaus, Russian orthodox churches, Chinoiserie….so many things.
Who is your favorite burly queen?
You want me to choose? Just one? No way. Obviously our 2009 reigning queen Kalani Kokonuts. Lilly Christine. (The heat!) Zorita. (She’s the reason I have a streak in my hair) Lili St Cyr. Liz Renay. Satan's Angel. April March. Dirty Martini. This is a mean question, choosing only one indeed.
What is your favorite item of clothing?
A simple black Dolce Gabana dress. I can wear it in any country, any time of day, any occasion, TV show, press interview, fashion party, funeral, wedding; it packs down to the size of a pair of Wolford stockings, doesn’t need ironing.
What’s the last movie you saw?
Mommie Dearest. Actually it reminded me of someone I know.
What’s on your must-see-TV list?
I don’t watch much TV. Flight of The Concords, The Wire, Mad Men, I’ll make the effort to watch those. I did a chat show with David Simon (The Wire) recently, I was a little lost for words.
What book is on your nightstand?
Me Cheeta, the autobiography.
If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
Capri maybe. I can wear diamonds in the sun and sip a mean dry martini, and us Europeans don’t freak out about topless sunbathing. I can’t have tan lines, now can I?
If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Time travel. Apart from being able to source the best wardrobe ever, learn the dance of the seven veils first hand, and dine with Robert Mitchum, I wouldn’t mind taking out a few evil dictators with an AK47.
Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Nasty Canasta, Vivienne Vermuth, Scarlett James, Tura Santana, Tatah DuJour, Susie Caboose, Gigi La Femme, Kitten on the Keys, Virginia D'Vine, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Champagne Sparkles, Selia Carmichael, Pyra Sutra, Roxi Dlite, Scarlet O'Gasm, Bombshell Betty, Foxy Moxy, Bambi Galore, Mis Rosie Bitts, Sahara Dunes, Mimi Rockafellar, Baby Le Strange, Rose Darling, Satan's Angel, Ophelia Flame, Panache La Plume, Ginger Valentine, Madame Rosebud, Little Brooklyn, Victoria Veneance, Sauci Calla Horra, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, HoneyLu, Kimberlee Rose, Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini, Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.