As a fat queer performer of color (QPOC), I have faced countless obstacles since beginning my career as a burlesque dancer. Today, I tackle those issues as a performer, producer, and activist by opening doors for other fat QPOC.
Eat Your Hart Out: A Fat Burlesque Revue was born in 2017, from my frustration with producers who openly discriminated against fat performers, and especially fat performers of color, along with my disappointment at the treatment of marginalized communities in this industry. EYHO creates an intentional safe space for fat performers of all genders, races, sexualities, ages, and abilities, while giving casting priority to performers who exist at the intersection of various marginalized identities.
EYHO is a chapter in the story of more inclusive burlesque in Washington DC. It showcases large bodies as beautiful, capable of creating art, and deserving of the same respect as thin bodies. Moreover, it shows local producers that arbitrary size requirements are harmful, damaging, and fatphobic. In its mission of inclusivity, EYHO also addresses the other issues that plague the casting process of many burlesque shows, from ableism to racism.
EYHO is attempting to flourish in Washington, DC where economic obstacles, social media censorship, and changes in venues are creating a dangerous environment for the variety arts. Venues are closing, rebranding away from the variety arts, or increasing their prices. This lack of access to venues has been killing many productions, and Eat Your Hart Out -- the city's only fat burlesque revue -- is not immune to these changes. Our home venue is closing, and all theaters are not financially accessible. In an effort to keep Eat Your Hart Out alive, I am attempting to raise funds, through grants and personal donations, to rent the Gala Hispanic Theater, pay a cast of performers, and engage in an integrated marketing approach to advertise the show.
Funded by Washington, DC (January 2019)