Admit it. The name Boo Boo Darlin' moves you.
There's something perfectly Southern, almost Faulknerian, about its sweet-natured charm — especially when you consider how much the Nobel Prize winner would've loved watching a burlesque dancer shake her tail feathers to a rap hit by Juvenile. Deep reading of his work confirms this.
It's also the stage name of Kendra Lansing, a 26-year-old Church Hill resident who recently took home the golden pastie for hottest freshman at the eighth annual New York Burlesque Festival before a packed Highline Ballroom.
As co-founder of Richmond Varietease, she performs every second Saturday of the month at the Canal Club. With her new celebrity, she joins the likes of previous winners Roxi Dlite, Creamy Stevens and Scarlet Sinclair.
That's right, bitches, she's a star.
Style: How did you get started?
Darlin': I started a year and half ago after I saw the World Famous Pontani Sisters at a Yard Dog Road Show. The burlesque community here is really open. I took classes with Runaround Sue from Sugar Shack Burlesque.
What is the major difference between a stripper and a burlesque dancer here in Virginia?
A stripper pays her rent and a burlesque performer blows it on costumes.
How'd you get the name?
My dad called me Boo Boo. I'm sorta tagged as the Carol Burnett of burlesque, kinda cutesy and funny. That's where the Darlin' comes in.
What was award night like?
Insane. It felt like the stage was growing. … I had my “Showgirls” costume, big white headdress, silver-beaded costume with feather boa tail, and danced to Juvenile's “Slow Motion,” a really dirty rap song. … The more the audience participates, the better the performance. [After an online poll] I was dumbfounded that I won, and my idols like Dirty Martini, World Famous Bob, Amber Ray now know who I am. … They gave me the giant golden pastie, actually not made of gold but with a functioning tassel, and a gift bag with certificates to spas, lotions, make-up, and a bullet sex toy. Bambi Galore, my burlesque mother, was crying.
And the plan moving forward?
Make it more of a business, work on the website. Facebook just deleted my Boo Boo account [with 1,600 friends] and wouldn't tell me why. I'm assuming it was false identity. There was no nudity. So I started a fan page which is coming along.
On Mother's day, I had my mom, Mama Darlin', dress up like a sexy cabaret lady, a stage kitten. They clean up after everybody and set the stage. We may or may not be working on a mother-daughter act together.