An NSFW Chat With London Burlesque Darling Rubyyy Jones

Photo credit: Verena Gremmer Fotografie 2017  verenagremmer.com

The beginning of summer once again carried with it the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender on a tide of glitter, rhinestones and feathers. The cream of the burlesque crop descended upon Las Vegas during the first weekend of June to celebrate their art, their finest and their newly crowned royalty.

The convention/festival/four-day pool party is, in essence, a fundraiser for the Burlesque Hall of Fame museum, its collection currently housed in a temporary location at Downtown’s Arts Square. BHOF houses an assortment of art and costumes dating back to the birth of burlesque. Joyously, the annual weekender has become an establishment in its own right.

This year, the Tournament of Tease—known affectionately to the community as “the Oscars of Burlesque”—featured a debut performance by Rubyyy Jones, who flew in from my own dear London to compete. Of course, as Jones is a compatriot and genuine hero of the burly scene in London, I made sure to have the opportunity to pick her fascinating, original and sparkly brain. Her act was spectacular and earned her a well-deserved Most Innovative award.

Read on for an interview with Jones. (Note: This is delightfully NSFW.)

When is your burlesque birthday and how long have you been in the scene?

I don’t celebrate the actual day, but it was around my actual birthday, October 24—start shopping now!—in 2010. I made my debut at the final heat of the U.K’s Tournament of Tease and the special guest was Dirty Martini! It was amazing!

What was your motivation to get into burlesque?

I liked the autonomy of being a solo performer and the possibility of sole creative control. … I was fascinated by it, by what it was, what it could be, what “her” boundaries were, what they weren’t. … I wanted to know everything about “her”—burlesque, that is.

Your acts are politically themed. Have they always been like that?

My acts have always been political, but in a less obvious way. I think all burlesque is political. When I first debuted, I was working as a sex writer; I referred to myself as a “neo-burlesque sex educator.” And a decade ago … I was one of the few “out” sex writers/bloggers [one who does not write under a pseudonym] in the country. Pretty political, I guess.

Photography by Eddie OK Adams

What is your favorite act that you’ve done?

Gosh, this is so hard. … I love my Pottyyymouth Princess act that I did at the Burlesque Hall of Fame this year, because I created it for this industry and the thoughtful, political and powerful women and people who fill it with life! It’s an act that extends all the conversations we have backstage, online and between us, regularly; I love to be the bridge between the burlesque audience and the burlesque community in that way. I also do a lip-sync addressing domestic violence that, in a different way but similarly, feels like a performance and a piece made by and for others.

What do you get up to offstage?

Offstage I work in voice-overs! I do a lot of cartoon and video-game work, but I’ve also done work for Skype, Nike, PokerStars and more. I love teaching and mentoring my queerlesque babies and neo-burlesque babes! My partner, Prinx Lydia, is an innovative fashion and costume designer and I love to spend my time with them—dreaming, creating and collaborating.

What and who inspires you?

I’m inspired by the journey an artist takes. Most of the people I adore are elders in the field. And I love to take in inspiration from all corners of art and expression so I can stay stimulated, surprised and special as a creator.

How do you like Vegas?

I love Vegas, and it’s like I only shared one dance with her. I need to know more! She’s inside me, haunting me, holding a part of me in her swirling throbbing energy, and I never want to be free!

What went through your head when you won your award?

“Yes! Fuck! We did it!” I was so happy! I was honored! To be acknowledged by my peers—people who likely didn’t know me or my work before—[and] to be accepted by [my] community with a little trophy, it was wonderful and, honestly, a dream come true.

Can we look forward to your Miss Exotic World submissions in the future?

Definitely! I don’t know when. I want to enjoy BHOF another year or two as a spectator only and also save up my pennies! And I have a gorgeous duo with West End sensation “That Naked Guy,” and I’d love to bring that along, too. So many plans! But I was so happy to see how queer-friendly the event was, and I’m even more excited for future events knowing this.

What message would you like to send to our readers?

Love yourself and fuck yourself, darlings! And tipmefuckerrr.com!

DTLV

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