It’s a common misconception that the art of burlesque is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors, that virtually anyone with a decent collection of lingerie, a feather boa, and the guts to strip tease in front of an audience could do it. We are here to tell you that that notion is the biggest piece of bullshit we’ve ever heard, burlesque is one of the most underappreciated art forms around. While we’re 100% for the greats like Dita, Betty, and Tempest Storm, we think it important to shine a light on the lesser known girls in the sequined outfits, namely Raquel Reed, our forever and latest #WCW.
CEO, makeup artist, and model by day, burlesque queen by night, Reed is a force of nature. Best known for her unique acts like the infamous Gorilla Girl routine in which she somehow makes a gorilla costume and bedazzled banana look sexy, Reed is an entertainer to her very core. As a burlesque performer, it would be so easy to heavily rely on use of costuming and props as a crutch of sorts, but that’s what sets Reed apart from the rest of the chorus. Instead of relying on them, Reed instead seamlessly incorporates them into her routines, often using them as more of an embellishment or comedic anecdote than anything.
Perhaps the most refreshing part of Reed’s acts is her unique ability to not take herself too seriously. While it’s true that burlesque has always been thought of as highly refined, with the “never let them see a sweat” attitude that so often comes with the territory of show business, Reed manages to be a mistress of her craft while also possessing a certain light heartedness.
If you’re a fan of her makeup, you’re in luck, Reed is also the CEO of a relatively new false lash company, Wink My Way. Cruelty free and all under the highly affordable $10 mark, consider her line of false eyelashes the easier way to get that glam showgirl look without having to commit to the actual striptease part.
So whatever hat she may be wearing, CEO, model, makeup artist, or showgirl, it’s clear that Reed is well on her way to becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the burlesque industry. This is no small feat by any means, and one that we say with utmost sincerity, “Bravo.”