Fancy Chance: interview



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Comedy burlesque star Fancy Chance loves performing so much, finds Simone Baird, that she sometimes can't keep her hands off herself

  • Fancy Chance: interview

    Fancy Chance Ted D'Ottivo

  • Where did you grow up?
    'I was born in Korea, where I was orphaned and adopted by my US parents when I was 11 months old. I was raised in a small town called Everett, Washington, and lived in Seattle until I moved to London several years ago.'

    Why 'Fancy Chance'?
    'It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I needed a burlesque name and always liked the term "fancy pants" so I did what most burlesquers do and had a play with words.'

    Your got into burlesque thanks to Miss Indigo Blue in 2001. How has the scene changed since then?
    'Since Dita Von Teese's determined rise to A-list celebrity and all the press burlesque has received, it's been elevated from the underground to a new level in terms of popularity and exposure. There are a lot more people trying it out and starting their own club nights.'

    What's your favourite routine?
    ' "Star Trek" is my current favourite. I found a "Star Trek"-style outfit and knew I needed to develop an act for it. Obviously Uhura is the sexiest part of the show and Sulu is the token Asian, so I decided to be their love child and "go where no one has gone before" by feeling myself up. I've also discovered that I look really good in an afro wig. It gives me Samson-esque powers.'

    What's your favourite London club?
    'Grind a Go Go at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club has to be my favourite club night because I get to go-go dance with one of my favourite performers, Trixie Malicious, boogie to my favourite 1960s garage rock tunes and get money at the end of the night! One of my other favourite venues is the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for its satire, absolute queerness and outrageous antics.'

    Is burlesque a dirty word in 2009?
    'I know a lot of people now who prefer to put on variety nights that just incorporate burlesque. A lot of people I know have gone to a burlesque night just to find out what it's all about, only to end up seeing amateur performers or organisers thinking that there mere act of stripping is entertainment. People then walk away thinking that that's what burlesque is and never go to another event.'

    Who shouldn't 't take up burlesque?
    'Anyone can take it up – it's just a matter of being honest enough with yourself to know if you're a good performer. Burlesque is not therapy for increasing your self-esteem – it's live entertainment and should be respected.'

    What are your plans for this year?
    'I'm going to be closing the Circus tent in Glastonbury, as a player in the Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus, having knives thrown at me, clowning and being suspended by my hair!I hope to be doing more events with my girls from The Cramps Fetish Night, my troupe BurlyQ and French Kicks Can-Can. I'm also going to be a contestant in the Alternative Miss World at the Roundhouse in May.'

    Why should people see your show?
    'They'll see a funny lady. There just aren't enough of us around.'

    Read Fancy Chance's blog

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Users say

Bryan Ryan
Bryan Ryan

Fancy Chance is amazing, she was great at the Bizarre Ball last year, I have a sneaking suspicion she's just been added to this year's line-up as well definitely worth checking out!!

May LR
May LR

I loved Fancy Chance's 'lazy' burlesque routine created specially for Festival of Sins: Sloth. There's a video of it in the Multimedia section of