Meet the Performers: Agatha Frisky and Amber Topaz

Meet the beautiful, talented and sultry performers ready to blow your mind at this years Perth International Burlesque Festival.

By
Emily Ace
on
April 7, 2017
Category:
People About Perth
Tags:

Agatha Frisky

Meet Perth's homegirl - the devilishly charming Agatha Frisky. This jazzy little minx is a performer, producer, teacher and proud member of Sugar Blue Burlesque. The head instructor at the Toronto School of Burlesque and Miss Burlesque WA winner has graced stages and festivals all around the world. After touring through Canada, Europe, the UK and the USA for the last 2 years, she returns to bring the kook, fun and friskiness back to her hometown.

Agatha Frisky
Photography by Dale Benvenut

What most excites you about the Perth International Burlesque festival? Is there a particular event you are looking forward to the most as a performer or guest?

As a performer I am absolutely thrilled at PIBF's introduction of a convention! Burlesque is almost unrivaled in it's ability to break the fourth wall and create a conversation with its audiences. It is provocative and sparks debate and conversations about important issues more broadly. Conventions like the one premiering this year at PIBF are an essential part of this dialogue as community members are given a voice, a platform to share and grow, pay tribute to our history, and dream about the future. Whether you are a devotee, a student or an established performer I would absolutely encourage everyone to come along!

As a guest I'm excited for every damn show and event. I have a ravenous appetite for watching burlesque to revel in the creativity of other performers and to feed my own.

After traveling through Canada, Europe, the UK and the USA how does it feel to be performing back home in Perth?

It feels almost surreal at times. I've performed in dozens and dozens of venues around the world and am used to seeing seas of smiling strangers. Coming home and seeing familiar faces in the crowd means I have to actively suppress a goofy wave and yelling "hey buddy!" during a performance. At first I'll admit it was a little daunting because my style and approach to burlesque has changed so much from learning and experiencing so many new things. But... so far so good! I haven't had any rotting tomatoes thrown at me.

Agatha Frisky Burlesque performance
Photography by John Leonard

What can the audience expect from your shows?

At The Dark Room on the 16th I'm excited to present something new. Overseas I dabbled in producing a combination of immersive theatre and burlesque in a thematic way that (hopefully) provokes more thought than my usual kind of burlesque performance. I'm presenting a piece reflecting experiences from my life (some recent, some distant) in collaboration with a visual artist and photographer from Canada.

At Glitter, Garters and Tease on the 25th I'm honoring what I feel is the true spirit of burlesque and it's heroines, to the music of one of my musical heroines, Janis Joplin. I have had the honor of listening to and watching some of the last remaining legends of the Golden Age of burlesque and their passion and fire is awe-inspiring. I hope audiences will feel that fire!

What first drew you to burlesque? Could you ever imagine doing anything else?

I was first drawn to the beauty of the 1940s and 50s and never dreamed of ever performing burlesque myself. But within the incredible support network of Sugar Blue Burlesque's teachers and students I was comfortable enough to explore just how far I wanted to go. And that boundary just keeps getting pushed further and further towards the horizon. Hopefully I'll never catch up to it. I couldn't imagine my life without it or the family I have made through it.

Agatha Frisky burlesque Perth
Photography by Dale Benvenut

What has been the best part about participating in the festival along with so many other great talents?

There are two best parts! The first is seeing an inspiring array of art. Being slapped in the face with an unexpected moment of creativity is what i love most about burlesque. It is all about confounding and subverting people's expectations and festivals distill those moments into incredibly diverse showcases of not just burlesque but cabaret and circus arts as well. The second best part are the people you meet, not just fellow performers but audiences members. The smartest, silliest, craziest, sweetest and most generous and caring people I have ever met have all been through burlesque! Sometimes you go years between meetings but it always feels like family. Even those audiences members that connect with you for just a few stolen moments.

Is there a message you wanted to give to the people of Perth who are considering attending the festival?

We want nothing more than to have you come and hoot and holler at us! Burlesque can be everything and anything you want it to be, from beautiful and serene to confusing, provocative and totally WTF. We might not have the celebrity of Dita, or her shoe collection, but we will give you one hell of a bang for your buck! So come and support you local artists! Let's have a "conversation" *wink*

Amber Topaz

The hostess with the mostess, Amber Topaz rose to international stardom after dazzling her audiences with boundless energy, stunning vocals and saucy comedy shenanigans. After whizzing her way through 6 different countries recording albums, hosting theatrical spectaculars and showing off her showgirl shenanigans, this award winner lands in our little city to give it some va va voom.

Amber Topaz

What most excites you about the Perth International Burlesque festival?

I was told quite a few years ago I would be welcome anytime but wasn't sure I would ever make it here. I'm really excited to be part of it's history. They have had some stellar burlesque stars in the past and they really know how to make you feel special.          

Is there a particular event you are looking forward to the most as a performer or guest? 

I'm looking forward to the whole experience, truly. I feel like Hosting the 'glitter, garters and tease' Saturday will be a riot.

How did you get involved in the festival?

I was discussing coming to Australia with the artist Agatha Frisky backstage at the Velvet Burlesque Show in Sheffield. She put in a good word and fortune would have it A'Dora Derrière one of the producers is a fan of mine. 

Amber Topaz burlesque

What can the audience expect from your shows?

A cocktail of glamour and chaos. High-energy comedy antics from my burlesque routine and plenty of saucy shenanigans when hosting. 

What has been the best part about participating in the festival along with so many other great talents?

Such events are so inspiring. Especially when hosting, I'll get to see all the acts! You get to meet artist you may never meet, entertain an audience and visit a country you may never get to otherwise. 

What first drew you to burlesque? 

I honesty only experimented with burlesque for a giggle. I certainly wasn't expecting it to turn in to a 12 year international career! 

Could you ever imagine doing anything else?

I'm sure I will always be involved in live theatre and performance somehow. But I am planning winding down my burlesque career this year. 

Amber Topaz burlesque Perth

You have recently recorded your debut album, tell me a little bit about it and where can fans find it?

For the most part my burlesque routines are Sing and fling. I had the opportunity to record an album with an amazing jazz trio, so I did. It's call 'Tales of Seductions' and it's available on iTunes. 

I'm proud of what we achieved in such a short time on a limited budget. They were all so focused and generous and insanity talented. 

Is there a message you wanted to give to the people of Perth who are considering attending the festival?

Come, come, come. There is nothing to consider. Bask in our wacky, wonderful, fabulousness. 

Join these raunchy beauties and all things burlesque by heading to http://www.perthburlesquefestival.com/ to score your tickets!
Emily Ace

Hi Guys! I’m Emily; a cheese, pun and quilting enthusiast who spends too much time watching Friends. Thanks for sharing our passion of all things Perth and supporting the amazing local businesses we have all around us. After travelling through Europe I realised just how many amazing things we take for granted that you just can’t get anywhere else. My motto is to see all the things, do all the things and, most importantly, eat all the things.