Bristol's Badass Burlesque Show
I don’t really do corsets. Or stockings. Or pinup. Or pin curls. Or pin anything really. I’ve dabbled with them all and have had some great experiences and some crappy ones too. The same black and white corset that has shaped my torso in some of my favourite images of myself has left a scar on my thumb from gouging a chunk of flesh from my hand upon removal at London Burlesque Week 2011.
Those of you who have seen me perform know that not one of my acts is the same. Thematically or aesthetically. My aesthete and influences are constantly changing and morphing. When I first began I was fascinated by Dia De Los Muertos and Mexican culture and thus was born my Tijuana Mama routine.
Later I was all about the 1960s and the bombshells that came with it. This heralded my Tin Soldier routine, a 60s fairytale that mashes Victoriana with go-go. More recently I’ve been predominantly listening to dance music. Dubstep, jungle and drum ‘n’ bass being my favourites. This was reflected in Vesta act, performed to a well known dubstep floorfiller (for want of a better word).
In my past I’ve been a hippie, a goth, emo, grunge, cybergoth, raver, and most recently Stokes Croft Hipster (those of you outside of Bristol probably won’t get the reference, sorry). But there are influences that have been with me long before burlesque. So to name but a few…
No. Nothing to do with Dita. Deep in my heart still burns the passion of a teenaged goth. Manson was my first real goth obsession. He and his band (along with NIN, Placebo and My Ruin) were the soundtrack to my spooky years. They saw me through my first boyfriend, GCSEs, depression and self harm and out the other side.
The occult, tarot, the Masons, Alchemy and everything between. My teen years were spent trying to figure out if there was a God (as well as wearing black lipstick and cutting holes in all my clothing) and through many metal/rock bands I grew a fascination with religious iconography, particularly Catholic. Through my own personal studies I’ve amassed a large bank of knowledge about Gnosticism, mysticism and the like. Symbolism has been at the forefront of my most favourite subjects including literary and media discussion and dissection, religions and spirituality. Though, unfortunately I never did find god.
Much like my much loved Tuesday Laveau I have a kindred spirit with the drag queen. Where she began her journey into drag with Divine, I began mine with the film Too Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar.
From the first time I saw it I used to play at being a drag queen, dressing up my dolls and Polly Pockets and creating routines for them to perform. Androgyny was a love from then on. David Bowie, Eddie Izzard, those slender hipped goth boys of my youth, Sharon Needles and so on.
Drum and Bass:
In every sense of the word. Rock ‘n’ roll, doom metal, dirty jungle and dancehall. Primal and passionate.
Ally Katte is a Bristol based striptease performer, compere and outsider artist.