11:14am Wednesday 25th April 2012
By Rene Gerryts
IT took Beatrix Von Bourbon 15 years to find her calling and now it could see her perform for the Queen.
The Bridport burlesque artist has made it through to boot camp on Britain’s Got Talent with four ‘yes’ votes and the personal endorsement of Simon Cowell.
Beatrix, 28, went to the Sir John Colfox and Beaminster combined sixth form before going to university.
She says she was always ambitious and seized every opportunity to perform – ballet, tap and ballroom dancing, acting, singing and playing various instruments – but it was burlesque that captured her imagination even though she wasn’t convinced she had a future doing it.
She said: “I have a masters in cultural studies and always intended to take that up potentially to PhD level or at least use that in a career. I never really thought burlesque would become a career.”
But it has and while she can keep her passion for it alive she’s taking the talent contest seriously. She said: “It all happened in a bit of a whirlwind.
“I’d had a crazy day on the day of the auditions. I’d been driving for six hours already, had a paid show in London then rushed up to Birmingham.
“It wasn’t until I was standing at the back of the stage and I could hear how loud the buzzers were that I realised what I’d let myself in for.
“I find my nerves come incredibly quickly, it only takes one small trigger. I heard somebody getting buzzed – I have never heard anything quite like it.
“If the entire auditorium cheers that’s one sound – if you hear the buzzer it’s even louder and more violent – that’s what tipped me over.”
But she kept the nerves in check well enough to score with all the judges.
She said: “Simon Cowell said that he is trying to find a British version of Dita Von Teese and that is why he is going to back me. David Walliams voiced some concerns about the suitability of my act for the Queen with it being a striptease but ultimately he did give me a yes.”
Beatrix on the other hand has no qualms about taking her clothes off in front of Her Majesty. She said: “The purpose of acts such as mine isn’t to titillate or arouse – it is using striptease as a tool.
“I use it to play with the idea of rebelliousness and knowing you shouldn’t do something but going ahead anyway.”
Beatrix says the experience has been fun with the possible exception of talking to journalists. She added: “Occasionally it can be a little bit stressful with journalists.
“Of course papers want a quick hook and are immediately latching onto the sexual nature of what I do but in my mind that is not the main focus.
“It is a bit of shame for me that my point is being missed but I understand entirely that a journalist has got to have a story.”
Beatrix not only choreographs her acts, she makes or customises her own costumes, acts as her own tour manager, accountant and driver. And although she lives in London she says Bridport will always be part of her identity.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group