We thought you might like to know more about Don’t Blink Burlesque co-founder and co-producer, Ida Tapper. So….we found her gluing rhinestones on her doggies and son and asked her a few questions for you!
Q: How did you start doing burlesque and become a performer?
IT: In 2011, I went to a show and saw Fanny Galore perform a gorgeous fan dance. After her routine, I went up to her and got to know her. I took some burlesque classes at Fanny’s Fox Den and never looked back. I became addicted to the glamor, sparkles, positivity, and energy surrounding burlesque.
Q: How do you pick your music?
IT: I’m a lifelong musician, so I feel pretty confident with music and musicality. Bottom line is that I pick music that I absolutely LOVE! I know it’s a winner if when I listen to it, I can see the choreography come alive in my head. If I don’t really love the song, I won’t use it in an act because I have to listen to it ad nauseum for hours while I choreograph and rehearse that act. The music needs to light that fire in me every time! I try to chose the music that has variations in it, has a good message (i.e., my “Smell Yo Dick” routine), or is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.
Q: What is your favorite act to perform and why?
IT: I love my Elvis “American Trilogy Act” because Elvis is my favorite singer, and I had a blast blinging out my Elvis cape….and by blast, I mean I inhaled glue fumes for 80 hours while I sparkled the cape. In that act, I get to be beautiful and elegant and then whip out some Elvis-style karate moves. The entire piece is one big crescendo and no one accompanies the climax of a burlesque act quite like Elvis!
Q: Do you have any pet peeves about burlesque?
IT: Not really – there’s something for everyone in burlesque and there are no real rules! But…I guess my only frustration would be when someone makes assumptions about the world of burlesque! This world is beautiful and sparkly, full of fun, creative, genuine people who are brave enough to share their bodies and art with the masses. It is comedic, artistic, and very freeing. Sometimes, burlesque is misconstrued by folks who have never been to a show or by the mental image that might come to mind, but it is really a wonderful celebration of the human body and creativity. I feel we harken back to the days of live theatre, handmade costuming, endless rehearsing, larger-than-life hair and make-up, and do-it-yourself productions! So, it’s my wish for everyone to be open to enjoying burlesque and recognize the incredible efforts that go into this art form.
Q: What are some of the characters you have played in your burlesque acts?
IT: I get around with my characters! I’ve been: Doc Brown from Back to the Future, Snow White, a ninja, a housewife, Rocky Balboa, a puppeteer with Kermit the Frog, a witch from Hocus Pocus, a 50’s tap dancer, a chef who relies on her mixing spoon for “coverage,” Elvis, a doctor/patient, Mrs. Claus, a cow, a love-hungry fish, and a piccolo player in the marching band. I love that I can be so many different characters, yet at the end of act, it’s me!
Q: Honestly, how long does it take you to get ready for a show
IT: It used to take me approximately three hours, and I am proud to say I have halved that time! It takes me about an hour and a half to get hair and makeup done. However, because I’m a slob apparently, I wait until I get to the venue to do my lipstick; otherwise, it is always smeared…or gone…or on a straw…or on my dinner…or all over my teeth.
Read an article featuring Ida Tapper from # Story Magazine: