Monday, July 7, 2014

July Performer Spotlight: Nikki Nuke'm

Photo by Trent Chau Photography
I met Nikki Nuke'm almost a year ago at the open house for The Atlanta School of Burlesque.  She was an amazing teacher, a wonderful person and with Ursula Undress's recommendation I began hiring Nikki for Tease Tuesday shows that evolved into her having a open invitation to perform with Syrens of the South whenever she was available.  She's a great addition to the Atlanta Burlesque community!

1. How did you come up with your stage name and tag line?  Does it have a special meaning to you?

I came up with Nikki Nuke'm while I was driving in my car coming home.  I was thinking about my persona...whacky, daring, almost cartoonish.  Nuke'm (like Nuke Them!) holds a special place in my heart from my love for the Fallout franchise and all things post-apocalyptic themed.  

2. How did you get started in burlesque?

I was first introduced to burlesque by Ursula Undress, Lola LeSoleil, and Fonda Lingue!  I saw them perform at the South East Mosaic Festival last year and became enthralled with this fabulous art and dance form.  Within a month of moving to Atlanta I was performing in local burlesque shows as a fire eater and snake dancer and before I knew it...I bought my first pasties!

Photo by Lisa Eckman June Tease Tuesday

3. What has been your best moment as a performer so far?

Honestly it would have to be when I was stripping for the first time and my tearaway pants got stuck in my butt cheeks.  I was SO scared all night that my butt was going to grab hold of those pants and I was going to be so embarrassed.  And it happened.  But it really wasn't as dramatic as I thought it would be.  Everyone laughed and cheered anyway and no one died and I relaxed way more with my mistake.  Mission accomplished.

4. What is your favorite act to perform?

I really love eating fire and it's the act I perform the most.  I love the "rise" I get out of the audience!  But honestly...I would have to say my favorite act to perform is anything with my ball python Mordecai.  A lot of people have misconceptions about these gentle creatures and at EVERY SHOW I bring him to, I get to show people just how sweet snakes can be!  Some people who were too scared to be near him will have him around their necks by the end of the night!

Photo by Broken Skulls Productions
5. What is your burlesque dream show?

Oh gosh...I don't really know!  I'm still so fresh to the burlesque scene I haven't even witnessed a fraction of the possibilities!!  I guess...I would be tickled pink if I could see an all "legends" show...I have a love for classics and to see women who ruled the stages then, take those stages yet again, would be really amazing to me.

6. Where do you see your self in the next five years?

TAKING OVER THE WORLD!  But no seriously, I see myself getting more involved and more brave and going on tour--with fire, snakes, swords, canes, and more!  And of course...making more and more sparkly costumes for people I adore!

7. Tell us something outside of burlesque that you are involved or interested in.

Outside of burlesque, belly dancing is actually my main source of income.  But I could talk about dancing all day!  My actual hobbies include:  swimming (recreational and dance, of course), exercise and weight lifting, video games, and drawing.

8. What do you think is your greatest skill, not including burlesque?

I'm a pretty great swimmer, not gonna lie.  Not just swimming laps I mean, but modeling underwater, inversions, free diving, coaching, etc.

9. What are you most looking forward to this year as a burlesque performer? As a civilian?

As a burlesque performer, I am most looking forward to learning!  There is so much history and knowledge for me to access that I can barely contain myself.  It's like entering a huge cave system--but instead of stalactites, it's tassles!  As a civilian, I love how many shows there are in the area that are so easy for me to access.  As someone who performs constantly for a living, it's very refreshing to have so many options to just put on a nice dress and grab a cocktail and see a show.  

10. Who is your favorite performer to watch?

Photo by Trent Chau Photography

That's a tough one...there are so many I love to watch!  But I'll go ahead and choose the latest celebrity performer I saw--Franki Markstone.  Her muscular isolations, her smile, her costumes... everything!  She's funny and has a great stage presence.  And she's super sweet to boot!  She's definitely someone I look up to now.