Little BrooklynI’ve known Little Brooklyn since before she was “Little Brooklyn,” and didn’t even know she was doing burlesque until I stumbled across her at The Cutting Room pulling all manner of sweets out of every orifice to the tune of Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” (that one’s a stunner). Turns out, she has made quite a name for herself with her sexy, creative acts that are always innovative, fun and sexy. Read on for her burlesque secrets and Brooklyn love, and catch her Thursday nights as part of Starshine Burlesque and with Red Hots Burlesque, and check out even more sexy photos at her website.

How did you get started doing burlesque? When/where was your first
show?

I had been a fan of burlesque, vaudeville, circus arts and "low brow" live performance in general for a long time, but my first "real" gig was go-go'ing for DJ Jack Fetterman. Jack introduced me to Starshine Burlesque at Rififi, where I transitioned from front room go-go girl, to back room performer, to my current role as co-enabler of the show. Along with Creamy Stevens, we now produce the show, which happens every Thursday at 10pm.

You've done some pretty outrageous bits like your idol Peewee Herman and 99 Red Balloons, to others that are just as creative such as the dishwashing housewife, shark attack, and spider web...how long does a typical act take from the moment of inspiration to you performing it? How much time and preparation are involved?

Some acts come in a flash, and completely write themselves. I hardly have to think, its just obvious... "The tootsie rolls come from my butt" or "of course! The shark chews off my bra." The ones that need more fleshing out I tend to develop on-the-fly. The show we run (Starshine) is very low key -- so if something needs help or a little more finessing, it's a great place to try it out and get audience feedback.

Where do you get your ideas from? How do you keep it fresh and exciting
for both you and your audience?

This is gonna sound a little sick, but I get a lot of my inspiration from the children's section at the library. I find the simple cute story lines lend themselves to translation well. Also, most of my acts are based on props I happen to "luck into", like the shark and spider puppets, which both inspired whole routines. I mean, how can you receive a Pee Wee Herman suit and not
find a way to turn it into an act? Others routines of mine are more of an homage to classic archetypes like the "cowgirl" or "housewife"; and The
mechanic act is a tribute to my Grandpa -- he was a mechanic, and the oil can I use at the end actually belonged to him.

Keepin' it Fresh? For the audience, I try not to do the same act at the same venue for at least a few weeks. For me, the audience dynamics are different every night, so it's always new.

What's your favorite routine that you perform?

Fortunately, it changes for me all the time. I wake up the morning of a gig and ask myself "who do you want to be tonight?"

You have an incredibly busy schedule, with Thursday nights as part of
Starshine Burlesque, performing regularly at the Slipper Room, Le Scandal, and Coney Island along with other special events. Do you ever get bored or burned out?

Show me a New Yorker who doesn't ever get burnt out. I would rather be
overwhelmed and busy, than bored, sitting at home watching TV. Once in a
while, I might find myself spread a little too thin or "burlesqued out", but after a few nights with no shows I get the pastie withdrawal shakes and need another hit.

What do you think about the revival burlesque has made, both in New
York and nationally, in the last few years? Do you see it as a reaction to
our increasingly X-rated culture?

I'm sure that's part of it. With all of the in-your-face, fake, over-the-top sexuality the media feeds us, it's refreshing to have an alternative. For some people, the attraction is the campiness, for some it's the innocent titillation, and for others its the realness. And when I say burlesque is "real", I mean it's about REAL women: Fat, thin, stacked, flat... How nice to be able to see all sorts of unairbrushed body types slowly revealing themselves before you.

You've performed all over, from Coney Island to Wigstock to Siberia and
Pussycat Lounge. What's your favorite venue? What's been your most memorable burlesque moment?

My favorite venue is my weekly stomping ground, Starshine Burlesque at
Rififi (332 E. 11th St. between First and Second Aves. 212-677-6309). We always get a great audience and even have a few loyal regulars. Its like "Cheers", but with boobies.I also have a special place in my heart for Burlesque at the Beach in Coney Island, one of the first places I recall watching shows. I also had the honor of performing at this year's Miss Exotic World Pageant, out in Helendale, California -- you'll have to just check out the Exotic World website, 'cause I can't even begin to explain the place or do it justice.

As far as burlesque memories go, my favorite stories are the snafus. They suck at the moment, but are the best to talk about in retrospect. My favorite involves me crawling off a stage and feeling my knee snag on something. I assumed my fishnets were caught, and being high on post-performance adrenaline, I just kept going. When I got backstage, I looked down and saw a nasty rusty screw sticking out of my knee. No one was backstage to help, so I just stared at it for a moment dumbfound, then yanked it out. Cept, it didn't budge. The force of me dragging my knee forward actually SCREWED IT IN -- I had to turn it to get it out. Unscrew it from my flesh. It took about five or six turns, and to this day, I can't believe I didn't pass out. But, I have a nifty scar and a badass story, so it was clearly well worth it.

What's a goal or dream for your burlesque that you'd love to see realized?

So many have already come true. I think I'm outta dreams for the moment, and just enjoying the ride, for now.

Who are your role models/inspirations?

Little Egypt: the original "hoochie-coochie" legend and my namesake. Laura Herbert: told me I need to be doing this before I knew myself. Now its her turn. My personal Holy Trinity: reigning Miss Exotic World Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz and Tigger have and continue to inspire me. Everyone I've ever worked with: yeah yeah -- it's mushy, but the backstage camaraderie is a major draw. It's like being in a band, only with a different sorta g-string. Haw!

Best place to have sex in New York?

Whooo! Whatta transition -- way to warm a girl up. Your house, baby? Haha, just kidding.

Brooklyn, which is where you grew up and still live. What's so special
about Brooklyn anyway?

When people ask me what my nationality is, I say "Brooklynese". What's
so special about Brooklyn? That's like asking "What's so cute about a Poodle?" or "What makes a cupcake so yummy?" You just have to experience it to know, I guess.

Describe your perfect New York day.

It involves Piña Coladas, getting caught in the rain, and giant blue bunnies.

Do you consider yourself a confirmed New Yorker, or do you see yourself moving at any point?

Hard to say. I used to think I would never move, but that was before there were more Starbucks than roaches here. But the problem isn't something you can really run away from -- it's global. I'm sure there are strip malls in Kenya. I'd like to think that we can be part of the solution. Turn off the TV, Put down the half-caff mocha frappacino, grab a beer and enter our world. For me it's about escapism to some degree -- giving the public something else to think about, if only for the night.

Is there any city that's sexier than New York?

Paris (Sorry, New York). The people in Paris look at you like you're made of fine Belgium chocolate and they have a sweet tooth. Also, they're hot. But they're also French, hence not New Yorkers and at the end of the day, home is where the heart is.

Any words of advice for newly arrived New Yorkers?

Catch my show.
Grab a slice at DiFaria's.
Ride the Wonder Wheel -- in a swinging car.
Walk right.

Find out more about Little Brooklyn at Little Brooklyn.

-- Interview by Rachel Kramer Bussel