Perle Noire: Healing Through the Art of Burlesque
Hailing from Dallas, TX - Perle Noire discovered the world of burlesque by accident after stumbling upon an audition for a production called "Backstage at Da Fonky B", a burlesque musical written by Genie Hat Productions. She had no knowledge of burlesque prior to being cast as an ex-burlesque performer turned stripper in the production, but fell in love with the glamour and opulence. It was then that she began researching the history of burlesque performers of color, which marked the start of her love affair with the art form - or as the Mahogany Queen of Burlesque so dazzlingly put it…. "I'm originally from Dallas, TX, but Perle Noire was born in New Orleans!"
During her research, she learned about the rich history of black women in vaudeville and burlesque. Toni Elling, Lotti the Body and Josephine Baker being some of her biggest influences, and she had the amazing opportunity to meet Toni Elling and Lotti the Body, whom she credits for helping take her career to the next level.
"Toni Elling has been a positive influence in my life because of her grace, wisdom, spirit, and inner beauty. She decided to create her own destiny during a time when women had limited opportunities. She is truly inspiring."
With the help of that nurturing spirit, Ms. Perle Noire became the only black, international headliner for years, and a "mother" to other burlesque performers.
"I felt like I had a huge responsibility to not only represent black women properly, but become a beacon of light and hope for anyone who needs inspiration."
It was with that feeling of responsibility that she decided to start her own burlesque company, The House of Noire, with the intent to create a safe space for performers to evolve as artists and have a safe haven called "family". Some of Perle Noire's next goals are to create a grandiose Parisian revue in honor of Josephine Baker, and to publish a book about healing through burlesque.
Her words of advice to women wanting to start a business: "Create a vision board! Be selective with whom you confide in during this process. Sometimes people can break your spirit and passion by instilling doubt. Research! Most importantly, take business and marketing classes before you begin. If you don't have resources to take a course at a college, take free classes via Itunes or Coursera.com. Cast a spell to the universe! Write everything down. Tell your reflection what you want, and write out all of your true desires. Lastly, love yourself enough to believe in your power!"