Interview Done With Mike Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
HB: My name is Helvetica Bold. I am the founder of Rockalily Burlesque. I’m known for my comedic style, and for being one of a small handful of plus-size burlesque performers in Ottawa.
MW: Tell me about the Rockalily Burlesque?
HB: Rockalily is Ottawa’s longest-running burlesque troupe. currently in our 7th year, we boast of having the most diverse group of performers in town. We are a group of women of varying age, race, sexual orientation, size, and performance style. We offer neo-burlesque that’s been inspired by our own unique backgrounds. In a Rockalily show you will see influence from vaudeville, comedy, fetish, Polynesian dance, bellydance, roller-disco, classic striptease, fire performance, social and political commentary, and whatever happens to be inspiring us at the moment. Our focus is on human empowerment; on challenging gender roles and traditional standards of beauty, and promoting sex-positive and body-positive messages.
MW: How many people are involved in the troupe?
HB: Our roster includes 7 performers
MW: How many different shows do you all have?
HB: We produce 2 annual shows: The No Pants Dance Party, and Zombie Strippers. We work together as a troupe regularly when booked by other promoters, and we all freelance as solo performers. Rockalily is our unifying banner, a name recognizable for high-quality and original entertainment.
MW: Tell me about each performer?
HB: Gypsy Laroux is a red-haired, voluptuous woman, with a background in traditional Hula dance, and music. When not doing the Hula, she croons the crowd with her cabaret numbers.
Kicky Laroux is a svelte, leggy brunette who embodies old world elegance, but every now and then she will shock you with horror-inspired gorelesque.
Helvetica Bold is a natural comedienne who commands the stage with the presence of a schoolmarm, and mesmerizes with her jiggly thighs. Helvetica studied theatre as a child, and is known as a bit of a drama-queen.
Mighty Afrodite is a sex educator and theatre Goddess with hair straight from the 1970’s. Her rollerskate clad striptease, erotic spoken-word, and disco-inspired dance numbers garner hoots and hollers like you wouldn’t believe.
Rhapsody Blue may look harmless, but she’s a firestarter. Rhapsody is a statuesque, pink-haired, fire-breather. Her name may be classic, but her acts are colourful, upbeat, and modern – ripe with cultural references and commentary.
Sahara Starr is an elegant brunette who will surprise you with what she can do with a sword. She’s an exceptional bellydancer and a master of burlesque-bellydance fusion. Miss Starr is Helvetica’s right hand woman in event production.
Sweetpea is a buxom babe with enough attitude for the whole troupe. She shimmies and pops to a melange of obscure music. Her flexibility and unique style set her apart.
MW: How long has the troupe been together?
HB: going on 7 years
MW: Where is the troupe’s home base?
HB: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
MW: Does the troupe travel?
HB: Rarely as a whole, although Rockalily was featured in the first ever Montreal International Burlesque Festival and Nuit Blanche TO 2010. Often, a small number of us will travel together or we travel solo.
MW: How can someone book the troupe?
HB: By emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
MW: Where is the troupe’s favorite place to perform?
HB: Babylon Nightclub, in Ottawa, is where we got our start and where we hold our annual events.
MW: What is in the future for the troupe?
HB: Many years of No Pants Parties, and hopefully a constantly evolving offering. There’s nowhere for us to go but up!
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
HB: thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Our website is www.rockalilyburlesque.com