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Female Trouble podcast: Kay Sera, burlesque performer (episode 25)

On @fmltrouble, burlesque performer Kay Sera discusses power dynamics, storytelling and inclusivity.

"The stigmatization of a woman taking power and revealing herself on her own terms, I think, can frighten people and make them feel uncomfortable," said Kay Sera, a Baltimore-based burlesque performer. Taking her name from Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera," Kay, who specializes in neo-burlesque, is empowered by such revelations. Kay discussed the history of burlesque and its Baltimore ties, as well as the power dynamics at play in burlesque performing. Burlesque is not stripping, but it’s not any better than stripping, Kay said, and she talked about the politics of making that distinction. Kay works with the Burlesque Hall of Fame as its head of communications and holds a day job, and she talked about the not-always-positive effect her performing has had on her 9-to-5 life. She also touched on inclusivity in the burlesque scene, evolving attitudes toward burlesque performing and of course, sequins.

 


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