How far back does your love and interest for burlesque performance/fire dancing & eating/acting, go; and where did it stem from?
I've always been a performer. I recall when my granddad got me to host his church's concert when I was seven years old, and they gave me the microphone for the first time, I never wanted to let go of it. I got lots of opportunities to perform growing up, even to the point of making my family and their guests watch my best friend and I act out Monty Python sketches. Those are funny in and of themselves, but having two nine year olds re-enact them I think must have been something... unique to say the least.
I got into burlesque by accident after doing a show for a friend's birthday party and I've not stopped since, though I've incorporated various other sideshow and magic performance elements to my regular striptease. I love it, and through it I've made lifelong friends, seen some crazy places, and had some ridiculous adventures. All of which I've no plans of stopping any time soon.
Is there any one thing you find more challenging than the other?
Trying to find time to workshop things can be a challenge for me. Between concept and final product I'm working on focusing more and more on perfecting nuances and trying to learn and incorporate new tricks/moves/techniques/skills to keep my game up. There is so much talent out there, I want to make sure I can keep up with my peers and still express myself in the most powerful way with m art, whether it's live shows or film work.
Which do you find yourself gravitating more towards - Performing in front of a live crowd, or in front of cameras?
The stage is my first love and always will be. Very few things beat the rush of performing for a live audience and being able to connect with them. I often joke that I'm married to the stage, but I've since taken film as my misteress. However, I do find as I get older that being able to work with a team of people on a piece together with film is really alluring and then being able to present a final, polished piece. The advantage to that being, while I can't perform everywhere all at once live, I can with film, and it lives on in perpetuity. I'm learning to find the balance between the two.
What's the craziest experience you've had while during a live performance or filming a movie?
Crazy is a subjective term. Something I think of as 'business as usual' might seem outlandish or deviant to the rest of the general population. I recently gave fellatio onstage to a strap-on for fetish queen Jean Bardot for her TRON number at the Vancouver Fetish Weekend, which was fun, though nothing that made me personally clutch my pearls. I did manage, however, to run 8km recently which is a new one for me, and something I never thought I'd be able to achieve. Now I'm hoping to train for my first marathon for 2017!
You're an extremely busy person - What do you love to do during any downtime or personal time you have?
When I get a day off, if the weather is amenable, I love going to the beach. One of the advantages to living in a water-locked city such as Vancouver is that we've a ton of beautiful natural scenery around us. It really encourages us to get outside and enjoy it and our environment, which is part of why I feel conservation is something that should be part of the standard curriculum in elementary and high schools, so that the next generations learn about preserving our resources so it's there to enjoy on a more permanent basis.
I also love a chance to go take in the shows, as there are so many great live shows that happen here. Our other national resource is insane talent, and I feel spoiled we've so much of it in Vancouver. I think that going out to support it is the only way it can be sustained and survive.
What is One thing about yourself that would surprise others to know about you?
I love to bake and to cook. My mother has trained in numerous culinary arts (not so much of the black arts variety) but just as magikal. She was the one who inspired my love for cooking and food and always encouraged me to try new things, hence my, um, lifestyle choices. But I adore cooking for my friends and lovers and feeding them awesome food. So it might come as something of a shock that I love swanning around my kitchen in my apron getting ready to entertain, much to the chagrin of my cat, Garfield, who assumes any reason I'm there is to feed him...
LITTLE MISS RISK
Sweet Soul Burlesque
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Find out more about Ayla here