Kitty Love’s Sultry Sunday is a monthly burlesque show on Second Sundays. I met the owner of the Red Light Cafe who invited me to produce burlesque shows on Sunday nights. Sultry Sunday is different in that it is in a cafe and intended to replace dinner and a movie. We are also an early show and hoping to appeal to people that can’t necessarily go out late night or on Friday and Saturday.
How did you personally get into burlesque, and what appeals to you about the art form?
I started as an exotic dancer in 1991. I have always loved to dance. I was not allowed to dance or have any dance training as a child, and stripping was the only dance career that was open to me.
My favorite part of a show is seeing excited women in the audience. I love burlesque because it is so empowering for women and not just the performers. I believe that a woman owning her sexual power in public is a revolutionary act! In 2007, I met Katherine Lashe and Talloolah Love at a burlesque meet-up and soon after attended every burlesque show that I could find. I admired that Syrens of the South was so inclusive and fun, so I joined their first burlesque classes. I made my debut with Syrens of the South in August 2008 as my comedic character Rosie Palms.
My favorite classic performer is Gypsy Rose Lee because of her wit and sophistication. My favorite contemporary performer is The Lady Miss Vagina Jenkins. She exudes sensuality and power. She makes the audience feel the heat all the way to the back row.
What’s the story behind the stage name of Kitty Love?
“Kitty Love” is a metaphor for female pleasure. I am a passionate advocate for female self pleasure. I have coached women as an “orgasm coach,” and my first advice is to practice!
This week’s performance features Reigning King of Burlesque Russell Bruner, Mistress Kali and an all-star cast of local performers. How do you decide who’s on the roster and can you share anything about what they’ll be doing?
I do not travel much, so this will be first time seeing Russell live and I am really looking forward to it! It only took one video to convince me that he would create an amazing experience for our audience. Soon after I changed the date to January 13, Mistress Kali contacted me about performing in the show because she would be traveling this way with Russell. That’s why I am calling it my “Lucky 13” show. Mistress Kali will be giving up the fire show.
I choose acts according to how they fit together to make a well-balanced show. But it’s not easy for me to decide; I’m a Pisces! In this show I am showcasing a lot my local friends that I met through Syrens of the South. For Cheeky Belles shows, which will be back in February, I like to showcase new performers from my classes and independent performers who really bring the heat!
Will you be performing yourself? If yes, without giving too much away, can you give us a tease of what your act will be like?
I will be performing. I hope that my act inspires a lot of female pleasure!
My favorite performance to date was at the first Sultry Sunday. I did an improv with Paul Mercer and Regeana Campbell [The Changelings] performing live music. I love performing with Paul Mercer because it is always magical. I made my burlesque stage debut with Paul at an event in 2008.
At the last show, I had a very memorable moment! I love my mind and stepped onto a table and started dancing up there! Then I realized that I didn’t have a plan on how to get down. Fortunately, I picked a table full of friends and a gentlemen stood up to help me.
You also have been teaching sacred rituals and goddess mysteries since 2000 and believe that the healing of the world depends on celebrating the goddess in every woman. Have you always been drawn to this way of thinking or was there a specific incident or aha moment?
I have always been unconventional. In 1997, I read a book called APHRODITE’S DAUGHTERS about temple dancers in ancient India. Shortly after that, I dedicated my life to service of the sacred feminine.
How does this spiritual side dovetail with your burlesque?
I feel the most spiritually connected when I am dancing. Dance has been used in worship for thousands of years. I hope that I represent that Goddess energy when I am performing. I try to bring out the inner Goddess of my students so that they can learn to access that energy when they want.
I teach my students to use the elemental energy in their bodies to enjoy their dancing. There are no choreographed routines or required dance moves. I call it sensual dance because it is about feeling good, not just looking good. My next classes start on January 13 at the Red Light Cafe. To register, contact me at email@example.com.
You also read Tarot cards. What’s your philosophy of approaching the cards, and how can someone get a reading from you?
I look at the cards as postcards from God. Everyone is here to learn on their journey, and the cards are like a map of what lessons are coming next and how to best approach them. I do readings at The Shelter for the monthly Ritual parties [the next, themed Gangster Speakeasy, is this Fri. Jan. 11] and at the Georgia Renaissance Festival in the spring. I am also available for private readings by appointment and at special events.
What’s next for Kitty Love?
I am developing Cheeky Belles into a community of like-minded performers that use dance as a spiritual expression.
Admission to Kitty Love’s Sultry Sunday is $20 at the door or $15 in advance (available on the Red Light Cafe website. And in case you wondered, the Red Light Cafe just got their liquor license!
Editor’s Note: The first photo also should be credited to Kellyn Willey, PinUp Girl Cosmetics. All artwork is courtesy of Kitty Love.