Vintage Spotlight – Miss Betsy Rose
Oh boy do we have a rather exciting blog post for you today. Are you a fan of burlesque? Well we managed to snag one of our favourite burlesque performers none other than Miss Betsy Rose who took some time out of her international jet setting to answer some questions for us from her skin care regime to where you can catch her next show. We can’t tell you how much we adore this woman and hope after reading this you will too.
What got you into burlesque and performing and how long have you been doing it for?
Burlesque had forever intrigued me before I entered its captivating world. As a child I was fascinated by the bygone era – old movie stars, beautiful costumes, the romance in movies. My passion for history, coupled with my professional dance background led me straight to burlesque. I have been a burlesque performer for almost a decade now.
What or who inspires your acts? Also we saw on social media that you now have doves, is this for a new act?
Through a combination of imagination and research, from something as simple as a vintage print, piece of fabric or music, I will then develop these ideas and let the concept organically evolve. I let my passion for history and vintage aesthetics inspire all of my character’s and costume. Being on stage is about creating magic that whisks the audience with you, far from the realities of day to day life. This led me to including doves into my newest act which I am currently working on. I have four beautiful java doves that I have been training to get them stage ready. Their beauty and movement was the main inspiration for this number, which will echo a traditional Victorian vibe where the doves appear from parts of the intricately designed costume.
We know you’re a vintage loving woman. Do you think this is part and parcel with being involved with burlesque or were you into vintage before you started to perform?
My love of vintage was one of the initial reasons that led me to Burlesque. This keeps burlesque so special and unique, as each individual performer has their own reasons for becoming a burlesquer and their own path for reaching their persona. It needn’t be a passion for vintage, and vintage passion may not be an outcome, but I have immersed my world with the alluring world of all things vintage and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We envy that your travelling all the time. But where for you has been the best place to perform and why?
It’s so very impossible to choose just one. Each country has it’s own allure for different reasons. Performing in a country like South Korea was honouring as they were so incredibly respectful at the same time as being the most excited audience I have ever witnessed! I think one of my favourite single performances may have been last year in Portofino, Italy, for Dolce & Gabanna’s closing party at their Alta Moda show. Never have I experienced glamour quite like it. I was carried on stage in a giant shell by 20 sailor boys. Utterly divine! (Now that sounds like SRV’s dream right there)
You always look so beautiful, we’d love to know what your top five beauty products are?
Well thank you, that’s ever so lovely of you!
1- Lipstick! This is my addiction in life. I was beyond thrilled to have had a shade in the “Red Burlesque” lipstick range named “Betsy Rose”…I was even able to hand pick it from every shade of red and texture imaginable.
2- Elizabeth Arden’s Eight hour cream. I use it everywhere and it saves my skin from disaster when traveling on long haul flights.
3- Neil’s Yard Rose Water. I can’t go a day without using it as part of my cleanse, tone and moisturise ritual.
4- Face masks. Whilst performing in South Korea I became hooked. I came home with hundreds!
5- Seche Vite top coat Nail Varnish. I can’t leave the house without perfectly manicured nails and this quick drying top coat works marvellously to keep them perfectly maintained.
Where do you get your costumes? Are they custom made? Do you mix true vintage into your performances as well?
I design all of my costumes and have them made by an Indonesia based company called A5 Accessories in junction with Sublime Boudoir. They are talented beyond belief and the intricate workmanship that goes into the hand beading and carefully constructed garments is nothing less than a work of art. I draw inspiration from authentic vintage costumes rather than use true vintage pieces as they are just so very delicate and can’t cope with the amount of on stage use.
If you could host a dinner party and invite five guests dead or alive. Who would you invite and why?
My childhood hero and reason for dancing, Margot Fontaine.The incomparable and I’m sure, utterly fascinating, Marlene Dietrich. If only to tell me about that night during the Blitz whilst she sang in Cafe de Paris. One of the ladies who paved the way for every Burlesque performer today, with more sass than we’ll ever know, Gypsy Rose Lee. My feminist hero and inspiring beyond most others, Frida Kahlo. Perhaps the most wild royal of all, and surely the most stylish, Princess Margret. What a hoot of a ladies night that would be!
When you’re on the road what do you miss the most?
I miss my wonderful little pooch, Freida. She is quite the little star backstage here in London town so when I’m on international bookings I do miss her dearly. But she stays home with my darling man, which only makes coming home all the more easy when I see them both.
What is your favourite vintage piece in your collection and why?
This question is akin to choosing your favourite child! It may have to be a 1930’s gown, with mint green silk slip and black lace, complete with a built in cape. I adore it and can’t help but parade around in it at any opportunity- just ever so carefully!
Where can our readers find your next performance how can they get tickets?
The show I produce here in London, Gin House Burlesque Revue, is back on 12th February. Bringing you an authentic 1930’s experience filled with Burlesque, live music, snake charming, fire eating, vaudeville and installation shows performed throughout a four storied speakeasy venue, The Kings Head members bar…something to behold in itself!
Photography by Chris Baker
Tickets available through www.ginhouseburlesque.com/#!tickets/citf
For other London shows this month I will be at my resident haunt, Proud Cabaret, along with Nola bar, The Savoy and The Hippodrome casino. For all you Burlesque lovers outside of London I will also be appearing at Epstein Theatre in Liverpool and at The House of Burlesque in Portsmouth. And for anyone overseas I will be in Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.
You can follow Miss Betsy Rose on instagram
Images used on front cover and image with doves are by photographer Ayesha H