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Artist Interviews

Meet Burlesque Performer Ivory Woodpecker

Burlesque Performer Ivory Woodpecker

Meet Burlesque Performer Ivory Woodpecker

1. What’s your real name?

Sienna Hawk

2. What is your stage name?

Ivory Woodpecker

3. How did you come up with your stage name?

My real first name is a color and my last name is a bird so I swapped color for color and bird for bird! Birds are a very present theme in my art and life, and I’m also a bird nerd who loves long walks with binoculars. Ivory Woodpecker is also a shortened version of one of my favorite birds, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, a beautiful and mysterious bird from the south that many think is extinct, but I still believe it’s out there…

4. What style of burlesque do you perform?

I’m trying to make my own new style… Bird-lesque! Otherwise, I love lots of dancing, teasing, sultry vibes, and a touch of playfulness.

5. How long have you been a burlesque performer?

I am just getting started on my burlesque journey this year, I’m still a newbie!

6. Are you actively performing now?

Does performing at Thursday night karaoke count? Just kidding, my first burlesque show is in a couple weeks!

7. What makes you want to perform?

Burlesque, dance, and modeling has been an enormous boost to my confidence and self-body positivity. Performing gives me goals to work towards and milestones to remember and look back on when things get tough.

8. Do you do a solo or group act?

My photography modeling work has all been solo, and I have some solo acts I’d like to perform, but this upcoming show is a group act and I’m so excited for everyone to see it!

9. What is your favorite costume or thing to wear on stage?

My absolute favorite piece of lingerie and costuming to wear is my red Medusa bodysuit by Thistle and Spire. It’s a bold and striking stand out in my collection, and I’m even planning a Halloween costume around it!

10. Do you make your own costumes?

I do! I’ve made many costumes in the past, both sexy and dorky. I love to sew and craft unique outfits and accessories. I’m also a metalsmith and make my own jewelry to complement costumes and outfits.

11. Do you have a special self care or beauty product you can’t live without?

I’m not experienced at all with makeup and beauty products (I only just learned how to fill in eyebrows last year) but the Eminence Stone Crop Hydrating Mist is something I use almost every day because it feels and smells so amazing!

12. What fascinates you about the art of burlesque?

Burlesque walks the line of teasing so well, and it’s such a push-and-pull performance that celebrates the human body in a way most performances don’t. I love the artistry of the costumes, the makeup, the dancing, the props, and of course…the pasties!

13. How did you find out about burlesque?

I’ve always been enamored by burlesque, pin-up, and dance, but never made the push to get into any of it. Late last year I saw an Instagram post about a burlesque group in my town and finally said “Hey, I should do this”

14. What are your top 3 go-to burlesque songs?

Pony by Ginuwine, Love On The Brain by Rihanna, and… The Home Depot Beat

15.What do you do to mentally prepare to perform?

I have this horrible habit of getting incrementally more nervous as a performance or photoshoot gets closer, but once it starts I lock in and just thrive on the energy. So my mental strategy has just been to let my nerves go crazy and build up adrenaline, then harvest the energy of it on stage.

16.What is the most challenging thing about performing?

The hardest part of performing is all the small details that you absolutely need to nail to make the whole show smooth and crisp. The worst part is most people won’t notice them when they’re done right, but if they’re done wrong it shows.

17.Do you have any regrets about being a burlesque performer?

The only regret I have is not going for it when I was younger and had interest. I think it would have done wonders for young men’s confidence!

18.What do you wish people knew about burlesque?

I wish more people were comfortable with burlesque as an art form, rather than seeing it as just another form of stripping. Performers work so hard to choreograph acts, nail moves, and make the perfect costumes. A lot more goes into it than simply taking your bra off and wiggling to the music.

19.What is your favorite thing about being a burlesque performer?

I love having a way to justify my lingerie addiction. Now I don’t feel so guilty about buying every bodysuit I fall in love with (which is all of them).

20.What advice do you have for someone who wants to try it but is too nervous?

If you’re on the fence about burlesque, or any type of dance performance, start by putting on some of your favorite songs and dancing in the mirror. Do a sexy dance on a chair, or put on lingerie and pose to the music! Take baby steps in finding your style and gauging your comfort level.

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