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xmag.com : August 2005 : I Love Las Vegas

Portland’s reigning Queen of Burlesque, Lucy Fur, is typing a resumé, packing a moving van and forsaking us for Los Angeles.
For seven years our Lucy has been a downtown fixture: stripping at a handful of clubs (most often Mary’s), go-go dancing at rock shows, producing her own ultra-fabulous cabarets (including 2001’s totally rad Cartoon Cabaret) and performing über-awesome burlesque acts at Dante’s Sinferno.
Amply endowed with boobs and brains, Lucy sews and bedazzles (and fringes and feathers) her own costumes and regularly travels to the Miss Exotic World Pageant to compete amongst burlesque’s crème de la crème. She is also a photographer (see “Exotic Art,” December, 2004) and a book of her photographs will soon be published by Daniel 13 Press.
Portland nights will undoubtedly be darker without her. We love you, Lucy!

VIVA: When did you start dancing?
LUCY FUR: I began dancing in March of 1998, three months before I graduated from Lewis and Clark. I started dancing so I could have time to finish my thesis: “Gender Analysis of Female Archetypes in Hitchcock Films.”

VIVA: Were you always interested in burlesque, or was there a watershed eureka moment?
LUCY: I don’t think I even knew what burlesque was when I started dancing. I did Miss Mona’s Lingerie Show at Mary’s Club and then Danzine had me do something at Berbati’s. After that Kitty Diggins got me into it. I go-go’d for her for about a year before I decided to try and do something on my own.

VIVA: Describe how you learned to twirl tassles.
LUCY: I never learned from anyone, I just kind of jumped up and down. If you jump up and down with your arms outward, over your head, the tassles twirl outward. If you jump up and down with your arms at your sides, they twirl inward. If you put one arm up and one arm down, they’ll go in different directions. It’s really just gravity.

VIVA: You joined Sinferno at the very beginning. Can you recall some of your favorite acts?
LUCY: I used to really love coming out of an ape costume while Natalia played guitar to “The Cavegirl,” a total homage to Marlene Dietrich in the movie Blue Venus. But someone stole the ape costume so I haven’t done that one in years. I like my barbecue set which I retired a long time ago. I’d eat barbecued ribs onstage and drink a beer and have watermelon and just chow and make a big mess. I’d come out to “I Dig You” by Boss Hog, then do “Mississippi Queen.” I used to do a lot of food shows.

VIVA: How many Miss Exotic Worlds have you performed at?
LUCY FUR: 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

VIVA: Who in your opinion should be crowned the Ultimate Miss Exotic World of All Time?
LUCY: Of all time it would have to be Dixie [Evans] ‘cause it’s her deal and if she weren’t there none of those woman would have a place to go to talk about what it means to do burlesque. But of the newer girls I’d say Kitten DeVille.

VIVA: What is it that makes Mary’s Club so unique?
LUCY: It’s run by women from top to bottom, and by a family. That cuts out a lot of the bullshit. The thing about [manager] Vicki is that she treats you like a human being; and she treats you like an intelligent human being if you warrant it. Other clubs have no interest in you outside of your ability to take off your clothes and what money you make them.

VIVA: What are your favorite songs to dance to?
LUCY: Lately I’ve been really excited about playing thematic sets. I found out that we have three songs about monkeys on the jukebox, which made me ridiculously happy. Three songs about flies. Three songs about honey. I also like any song that makes me a lot of money.

VIVA: Which songs make you the most money?
LUCY: It always changes. There are certain bands that will consistently make you a lot of money. The Pixies. The Ramones.

VIVA: Why oh why are you leaving us?
LUCY: It’s time. I always said I wanted to go out happy about dancing, so I could look back on it and be happy and not be bitter. Plus I’ve danced for seven years. That’s a ridiculous amount of time.

VIVA: Why L.A.?
LUCY: ‘Cause I’m happy there. It’s got all the irony about the American dream. It’s the place that encapsulates everything that is wrong with this country. It’s a great fuckin’ city.

VIVA: Will we ever see you onstage again? At Miss Exotic World, Sinferno, or in L.A.?
LUCY: I’m sure that I’ll come back up and do Sinfernos. I’ll most definitely still be auditioning for Exotic Worlds. I’m too much of a performer and a ham to totally give up the stage. I’ll probably start doing burlesque right away when I get to L.A.

VIVA: When is your last shift at Mary’s?
LUCY: August 12th. Friday night.





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