As a proud partner for the inaugural Sugar & Spice Festival that’s happening this 1-15 August 2020, we are bringing you this series of interviews with presenters so that you get to know them better and their workshops.
Today, we have Joyen Santos, a multi-talented model and performer, who is delivering the ‘Burlesque’ and ‘Art of Online Stripping’ workshops at the festival. We ask her some questions about the workshops and her background. Please enjoy and sign up for her workshops!
Q: How would you advise newbies who may be shy to approach your workshops on burlesque and stripping?
I understand that my classes seem intimidating, and indeed I am also intimidating as a person, so the best way to advise newbies is to remove myself from that conversation almost entirely. Although my persona and publicity materials provide a doorway to my offerings, my students are the best ambassadors. Unlike me – who comes from a very niche and taboo background and is incapable of anything vanilla – my students are regular people who were brave enough to give my classes a shot. They are marketers, call center professionals, interior designers, hotel staff, librarians, – average people who automatically generate an amicable mental image because you have most likely interacted with analogous people before.
Q: What advice do you have for participants who want to take their skills further?
Two internal and external things come to mind – first, make sure you understand your own reasons for doing this, and second, make sure you learn as much as you can about the subject.
Start with self-examination: what exactly are you interested in doing? What are you expecting to gain from this? What are your soft and hard limits?
Next, what is your current experience level, and what level would you like to attain? What are the steps you need to take to reach your goals? Whether it’s taking classes, doing thousands of hours of training, getting in touch with people who are in your target level of achievement, or buying books on the topic, you need to immerse yourself in the craft.
Q: Tell us one interesting story or experience in your work as a dancer or dominatrix.
One of my usual anecdotes happened the first year I started dancing. I was doing a show at a bar during prime time. There was nothing particularly special with what I did. In fact, that performance was quite unremarkable because it had been the very first act I conceptualized as a burlesque performer, and it was about the 769th time I have performed it. A very regular looking Joe from the audience approached me after my dance and told me that it was the most amazing thing he had seen. Again, that is nothing new to hear in this line of work. What he said next astounded me – he said it was amazing, but he can’t remember anything I did, anything I wore or took off. All he could remember was how I gave face. Best. Compliment. Ever.
Q: How would you describe your teaching style? As tough as a dominatrix or smooth as an aerialist?
As a teacher, I teach as if I am teaching myself as a student. Yes, I like to be very controlled and structured in my classes. I overprepare with class outlines, character studies, technical and artistic goals, and painstakingly crafted execution…with room for all foreseeable errors. BUT!!! You will feel NONE of these. You actually feel like the experience is the exact opposite because my #1 aim is to help you find some sort of beauty that resonates with you in my classes. It has to be information-heavy in a package that is a feast for all senses.
The Dominatrix, striptease artist, and/or the aerialist may have gotten you curious and lured you in, but you will stay for the nurturing and slightly corny educator.
Q: You are a woman of so many fascinating talents (dancer, dominatrix, model, vocalist). How do you manage it all?
I am a little bit old school I guess. I still believe that entertainers should be at least triple-threat artistes such as broadway performers or Audrey Hepburn. That is the basic standard for me. Entertainers may be known most for one thing, but they must be professionally capable, if not proficient in other fields as well.
If you’re interested to attend Joyen’s or other presenters’ workshops, please go to www.sugarandspice.asia to get your festival pass!
Images: Joyen Santos