I had the opportunity to sit and chat with Indiana’s Jewels last Friday before Ellie Quinn Presents Girls Just Wanna Have Fun at the Bier Baron. We were joined by her boyfriend/costumer.
It was fun to talk to Jewels about Jewels. She works alongside GiGi Holliday in various capacities including assisting her with Studio Holliday. Indiana’s Jewels is also very committed to the local burlesque scene and puts a lot of effort into behind the scenes and burlesque community focused work. Because of this, in the past when I’ve spoken to her it wasn’t about her, it was generally about the community.
Jewels is excited about the upcoming graduation of Studio Holliday’s Budding Burlesque Beauties students. They will be showcased in a show at the Black Cat on April 17th. We reminisced over our first performances. Indiana’s Jewels started performing as part of Capital Tassels and Tease four years ago. Her first performance involved all sorts of props including jewels and a treasure chest to really introduce her Indiana Jones inspired character. She is happy that her performances have evolved to include more tease and less gimmicks. Her biggest piece of advice to new performers is no matter what, DON’T PICK THE WEDGIE. Jewels is excited about the new group of performers she’s helping to get their start and is glad that there are more ongoing classes to help them get stage ready.
My favorite aspect of Jewels’s performance career is the support of her boyfriend, who has turned into her costumer. Indiana’s Jewels purchased a sewing machine when her costuming needs demanded it, unfortunately she couldn’t figure out how to work the thing. Lucky for her, her boyfriend was not going to see all that money go down the drain and he figured out how to operate it. Now she conceptualizes an idea, he’ll sew it up and she’ll do the stoning and embellishment. She is very appreciative of being able to have custom costumes where each piece matches exactly, since it was cut from the same cloth.
It was so much fun watching Indiana’s Jewels perform. She is one of those performers whose backstage versus onstage personalities do a total 180. One minute we’re sitting down discussing how it would be nice to see more diversity in burlesque shows. Jewels is telling me how she’s observed that there’s a clear line between shows that are diverse and shows that aren’t. We’re brainstorming ideas to get more participation from less represented groups on stage. Everything is very cerebral. Next thing I know this woman has turned into a total sex kitten crawling on the floor and doing one of the hottest stocking peels I’ve ever witnessed. Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun was a great show to see Indiana’s Jewels in, her acts to Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” and Ke$ha’s “Your Love is My Drug” included Jewels’s signature silliness, but also had a raw sex appeal that was quite entertaining.
I quite enjoyed my conversation with Indiana’s Jewels and her boyfriend and am really glad I had this opportunity to learn more about her.
Chè Monique produces Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret and is a Jill of many trades. Learn more about Chè at www.chemonique.com and Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret at www.chocolatecityburlesque.com .