Today we’d like to introduce you to Madeline Sinclaire.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Madeline. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I spent most of my life sexually inhibited and shy. I wasn’t always that girl you see in the photos or videos on my websites. Before my divorce, I was SO unhappy and was always waiting for permission to do ANYTHING. I was kind of just going through the motions and not living my life for me. I didn’t think I was pretty, much less sexy and I was being the good girl, trying to make everyone happy and fulfilled but me.
After my divorce, I went to a Burlesque class to “learn to dance sexy” (my exact words) and have been hooked on this amazing form of dance and art creation ever since. It gave me confidence at work, socially (I was a wallflower) and romantically. Suddenly, I was a great public speaker, found my wit and became a great first date! Having also worked in the Consumer products industry for 20+ years, I added all of this to my business background. As a designer, creative and businesswoman, I funneled all of my energy into my entertainment and coaching business for the last 3 years. I currently work on branding, social media, marketing and product design for other brands as my “day” job.
Back to the burlesque, though: After 12 years of experimenting, entertaining, teaching and feeling good, I now perform at celebrity events and headline shows and festivals internationally. I’m also an expert in management, motivation and coaching for teams and professionals as well as in branding and image.
I’ve helped women in over 20 states feel sexy for themselves, gain confidence, build brands and businesses and rediscover themselves.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not always… but I find that when you want something, obstacles show up that need to show up so that you are capable of having the thing you want. I struggled with being a single mom while being a performer while my child was small- finding sitters was always fun and being judged was interesting. I even had a run-in with DCFS earlier in my career due to the misconception about burlesque and exotic dancing. I am not alone in that story, which I won’t elaborate on here.
Being a burlesque entertainer and dating is a challenge because many men don’t like the idea of their girlfriends taking their clothes off for money or even receiving attention from other men. I was fortunate in that I found someone who is neither controlling or jealous. When I was an exotic dancer, he just told me to be careful.
Another struggle that is a major bone of contention in the “community” is pay. The longer I perform, the lower the pay due to oversaturation of shows and performers, quality levels and basic poor business practices. Many of us who have been around for 10+ years simply don’t perform as often, as we aren’t willing to work for less than minimum wage among other things.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Madeline Sinclaire – what should we know?
My business has a few sides to it. On one hand, I am a classic burlesque performer who specializes in the classic old form of the art form and dancing to relatively classic music or repros of classic songs and standards, i.e; Brian Setzer is a newer artist who plays big band originals and standards.
I also am the brunette in the production company Blonde Brunette Productions, with my partner Audrey DeLuxe, who produces all of the burlesque events at Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. Together, we produce shows in LA that lean towards classic and neo-classic burlesque in style and include A Strip Through Time (which is either a celebration of decades of burlesque dance or tributes to legends), Audrey DeLuxe’s Original Burlesque Bingo (Hers was the first original Burlesque Bingo show, ever), Champagne Room (Burlesque to live band) and Bang Boom Bash- a punk rock show and festival. We produce monthly shows all over LA.
Thirdly, I also run Showgirl Propshop, which is now only on Etsy, where I sell custom feather fans to show girls and Las Vegas productions. I have had this business for over 5 years and business has never been better!
I’m proud of sticking to my guns and making my own path where there really wasn’t one. As a single Mom, navigating show business and finding my small community was not easy but now that I have it in place, I’m happy with it. I’m ecstatic to have a business partner like Audrey, who has produced shows for a very long time. We compliment each other and understand each other… and often have psychic moments. As a prop shop – while it is sometimes overwhelming when I have orders piling up, my business is growing and I’ve found that people find value in quality work, so I strive to have every customer loving what I make and feeling like they made a good decision in choosing me shop to make what is a very expensive prop.
What sets me apart is my business acumen and design background. I have degrees in fashion Design, Toy Design and Makeup Artistry.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My first burlesque teacher and mentor was Trina Lance – she owned Heart and Pole – a dance studio that offered burlesque and pole arts. She trained me and gave me the burlesque program at the studio after a few years, where I passed on my knowledge and started coaching women to go for their dreams and goals and do it for themselves.
I also had another mentor early-on – Ava Garter. She trained me in the art of fully classic burlesque and fan dancing and schooled me in the art of always showing up on the brand. I super miss her.
I have a fun story about Lili VonSchtupp. I first reached out to her about 10 years ago after I had been guest starring in shows with the Sassy Minxx. Lili told me that I might not be a good fit for her show based on the fact that the Sassy Minxx were more of a troupe/cabaret show. So, I went to her show and persisted until she booked me. She has been a great production mentor to me since those days and has given me so much great advice and support.
Of course, there’s my boyfriend, Jeff. He has supported me always and only pipes up when I want him to. He lets me run my businesses but also is there when I need to vent or bounce an idea off him.
Satan’s Angel is my fire momma. She taught me how to use fire in an act and sanctioned me as one of only 2 fire queens in the world who set their nether regions on fire in burlesque. I am known as the Queen of the Fire Poussey. Yes – I set my crotch on fire. Yes. It is dangerous. She has also coached me through many acts I’ve taken to big stages and festivals, bringing her legendary flair and coaching to my acts.
I’ve also studied and workshopped with Kitten DeVille, Michelle L’amour, Dirty Martini, Tiffany Carter, Shannon Doah and more!
- Private classes: $100
- Group classes- $25-$40
- Feather fans- $300- $650
- Tickets to a Blonde Brunette show- $15- $25
- Website: www.madelinesinclaire.com, http://www.madelinesinclaireitfactor.com, www.blondebrunette.net, https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShowgirlPropShop
- Phone: 3103447984
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @madelinesinclaire
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MadelineSinclaireBurlesque/
Janet Barnett, Shannon Brooke, Tim Hunter