Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Interview: Discussing the Stars and Stage with Astrostud

In a bit of a twist, today’s interview has me discussing the stars, stage, and more with one of the guys of Cherry Sparkle Burlesque. He is one of the few but proud men to accompany the lovely dolls on stage. And in this interviewer’s opinion, he’s one brave soul for doing it. So without further flavor text, let me introduce you to Astrostud.

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When you joined Cherry Sparkle Burlesque, you selected the out-of-this-world stage name of Astrostud. What does it mean to you?

The name is a split of my imagination describing an astrology student as well as a good looking guy.

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How did you come to join Cherry Sparkle? And how long have you been a member?

I joined last year; Ms. Cherry Sparkle and I go back at least a handful of years.

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How would you describe your role in Cherry Sparkle Burlesque and your performance style?

I’d consider myself supportive; my style is unique. I have a lot of practice and exercise to do still.

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Do you have a background in dance, theater, or performance art?

Publicly, no.

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With your chiseled physique, one has to wonder if it is a byproduct of genetics, hard work, or both. What do you have to say on the subject? And what sort of workout do you use to keep in shape for Cherry Sparkle?

Haha! Thanks, bud. I think genetics has some to do with it. Well, I do walk a lot and drink water and pure grapefruit juice. Stretching is a big deal.

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I have a friendly wager going with Kaitie over who will get the most views with these interviews. With the number of female romance and erotica writers, editors, and publishers on Facebook and my other social networks, I am willing to bet it will be you or one of the other guys. If one of these writers or publishers approaches you online and wants to use you on the cover of a steamy tale of desire, would you be game for it?

More than likely, but I’m gonna ask them there zodiac sign first.

What is your sign? And could you elaborate on your interest in Astrology and what it means to you?

I’m a Virgo Sun. I’ve had a deep interest in astrology for some years now. it helps me talk to people. I’ve asked almost everyone Iโ€™ve met since around 2010.

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When youโ€™re not practicing or performing with the other guys and dolls, do you engage in other creative pursuits or hobbies?

I like to draw.

What do you like to draw? How would you describe your style?

I like to draw people. They usually turn out looking cartoony. Haha! I couldn’t really put a label on my style. Itโ€™s eclectic.

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What’s your favorite part of a burlesque show?

The team talking about ideas and then performing them.

What’s your least favorite part of performing?

The wait.

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And last but not least, when and where will you be on stage with Cherry Sparkle again?

Our Halloween show at the Crimson Tiger (on the night of October 11th in Anniston, Alabama.)

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Thanks again for sitting down with me to answer a few questions about you and your pursuits. Hopefully, the ladies reading this and a fair number of the gents will come out to see your perform.

For more about Astrostud and the other guys and dolls of Cherry Sparkle, check out the link below:

Cherry Sparkle Burlesque’s Facebook Page

INTERVIEWER’S NOTE: The location of the Cherry Sparkle Halloween show has been changed from Darkhorse Saloon to the Crimson Tiger.

Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Interview: The Ravishing Red Dahlia

In this second interview in a continuing series with the guys and dolls of The Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company, I have the privilege of picking the brain of the lovely, vivacious Red Dahlia, a singer, a stage performer, and now one of the key ingredients of our local burlesque phenomenon.

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First of all, could you tell us a bit about the fiery, dynamic woman behind the Red Dahlia?

I’m an extremely passionate performer. Honestly, I cross the line into obsessive. I spend the entire week before a show fixing costumes, getting steroid shots to help with my tired voice, eating healthy, and nitpicking every iota of my performance. I’m a 20 year veteran of the stage. Theater is partly how I paid for my college education.

So, we can safely say that you’re not only talented and well-disciplined but also a professional on all levels. I must say that’s quite impressive, Red Dahlia.

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How did you come to decide on that particular moniker?

My major in college is Forensic Homicide Investigation. My name is a tribute to one of the most famous Unsolved homicides in history (The Black Dahlia).

Very intriguing. The more we talk the more it sounds like you could play the roles of both the hardboiled detective and the sultry nightclub singer in a noir movie. As a writer, I have to warn you now. You may end up a character in a story sometime down the line. Hard to make up a character that is as strong, intelligent, and talented as you.

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What skill set do you bring to the Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company?

As a 20 year stage veteran, I’ve had tons of training. 12 years of ballet, 12 years of tap, 10 years of jazz, 2 years of opera training, and a background of almost 30 musicals under my belt, in mostly leading roles. One of my favorite shows I’ve done, “Seussical” at JSU, is still one of the highest grossing musicals they’ve ever put on.

Wow! I guess that explains your soulful sound, professional demeanor, and amazing legs. Just remember this poor struggling writer when you’re performing on Broadway someday. I’d like to be there in the front row for that too.

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So, what’s your favorite part of a show?

My favorite part of the shows involves my audience. A performer is only as good as the responses they elicit from their audience. When people begin singing along or dancing to my songs, it’s like pressing the NOS button in a souped-up car. I feed off of how much they enjoy my singing.

Well, I can’t speak for the rest of the audience, but your performances certainly rev my engine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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What’s your least favorite part?

Hecklers and classless bores who believe we are strippers. Yes, you paid money to see a sexy, occasionally raunchy show. But we shouldn’t have to have a bodyguard to prevent thirsty, desperate people from trying to insert ones into our clothing. Keep your sad little singles and your hands to yourselves.

I’m constantly amazed by the ignorance and idiotic behavior of my own gender. I am constantly apologizing for it.

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As a follow up, do you run into biases or misconceptions about burlesque and the men and women who perform it?

Oh yes, all the time. I encounter it so much that I use it as a deterrent for clingy men. They introduce me to their moms, and I tell them what I do. They typically don’t respond well, ha ha.

I actually had to correct a JSU educator, a PhD, who referred to burlesque dancers as strippers. I raised my hand and said “ma’am, burlesque performers aren’t strippers. No one’s putting singles into panties. I’d get the facts straight before you start judging.” I guess they’re just handing out doctorates to any idiot now.

There does seem to be a bumper crop of educated idiots nowadays. And I guess it’s not just men who mistake burlesque performers for little more than eye candy and glorified strippers. Hopefully, we can change some minds and hearts with this series of interviews about you and your fellow performers.

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If you could perform any song on stage during a show, what would it be? And why?

My dream song has always been “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. Idena Menzel has been a vocal idol for me for the last 10 years, and I wish more than anything that I possessed that level of talent.

From my experience, you possess more talent than you’re giving yourself credit for, but I find that to be the case with many people. However, this means we can add “humble” to the list of adjectives to describe Red Dahlia.

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Are you working on any new numbers at the moment or is that top secret?

Right now, I’m working on a few Queen songs, “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid (Broadway version, of course), and “Let it Go” from Frozen. I’m giving my vocal chords a real workout.

Queen! *swoons* The Red Dahlia singing Freddy Mercury may be the best performance coming to the northeast Alabama region in my lifetime. Be sure to let me know when you’ll have those numbers ready. I’d love to volunteer to be in the test audience for that sensational serenade. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Finally, when can we catch your next performance? And can we find any of them online?

My next performances with Cherry Sparkle are May 23rd, May 31st, and July 31st.
And check out Cherry Sparkle’s YouTube channel to see me in action ๐Ÿ™‚

I really appreciate you taking the time to sit for this interview. You are truly one-of-a-kind. And I can’t wait for your next performance. If I can’t make it in person, I’ll definitely check it out on YouTube and direct as many fans there as possible. Good luck in your future creative and educational endeavors, Red Dahlia.

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If you’d like to check out the Red Dahlia, here’s the link for Cherry Sparkle’s YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6URM2rFn6RVrXbrseA9keQ

And this link will take you to the Red Dahlia performing Cabaret:

You can also check out Red Dahlia’s fan page on Facebook at the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/Cherrysparklesthereddahlia

For information about the Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company, check out this one:

https://www.facebook.com/thecherrysparkleburlesquecompany

Thanks again to Red Dahlia and the rest of the guys and dolls of the Cherry Sparkle Burlesque Company. And keep your eyes on this blog. There will be more interviews coming soon from these performers as well as a few choice writers, artists, and other creative types.