Balloons in the bathtub? Walnuts in the studio? Cardboard censoring? Virtual and Studio photoshoot experiments with the one and only Fou Fou Kaboom
How would you describe Fou Fou in 3 words?
Joyful, energetic, cartoon-ish (if that's a word!)
What do you hope your audience experiences when they see you perform?
It feels corny to say, but I always hope it will make them smile. My favourite performances from others are ones that completely transport and energise me, and I aspire to be able to do that for my audiences. I want to help them forget any cares they may have, if only for five minutes. The world is dark and full of terrors, and I truly believe burlesque can be a sparkly, multi-coloured beacon of light in the midst of that.
"My favourite performances from others are ones that completely transport and energise me, and I aspire to be able to do that for my audiences."
What has been your proudest moment or greatest achievement throughout your career?
The first time a stranger came to a gig specifically for me was a really special moment; they'd come across me on Instagram, liked what they'd seen and decided to come and watch me IRL. I was so surprised and flustered at the time that I think I just thanked them and then awkwardly shimmied away, but now I so badly wish that I'd brought them a drink and had a proper chat!! And, of course, winning Rising Star of the North was amazing and unexpected!
Out of all your amazing acts, which is your favourite?
It's like choosing between children! Probably 'Powder' because I love a good pun and because I really get to let loose. Also pink is my power colour.
Have you ever had any performance hiccups and how did you overcome them?
Once I forgot my gloves and didn't realise until it was time to take them off, so I just started caressing and drawing attention to my derriere instead. If in doubt, use your butt! (A motto which applies to life in general.)
"If in doubt, use your butt! (A motto which applies to life in general.)"
If you could perform alongside anyone, dead or alive... who would it be?
There are too many living people I want to perform with! I'm a huge burlesque nerd so the list is long and divided into many categories and sub-categories! If I could meet any striptease artist from history, however, it would have to be Empress Theodora from 6th century AD; she was a badass erotic dancer and actress who went on to become empress and a champion of women's rights. She supposedly did an act where she scattered grain on her naked body and had geese peck it off (sounds 'fowl' ba-dum-bum).
Have you found any positive outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic?
I started doing more exercise to try and keep my mental health balanced during lockdowns; I've never done any strength training before but I've started doing a little and it's so empowering to feel oneself get a bit stronger each week.
What is your creative mantra?
"Do *I* like this?" I've learnt the hard way that doing an act I don't find fun or intellectually satisfying is a recipe for trouble. It means no matter how much people tell me they like an act I'll never actually believe them. Whereas if I like the concept and the execution then I'll have fun, and so then the audience will have fun. Knowing that allows me to feel less nervous and more excited in those few seconds before I step onto the stage.
How would you review your Atomic Tangerine photoshoot experience?
Fabulous! I can get very nervous in front of a camera as I don't feel like I know how to pose or how to 'do pretty', but you made me feel so relaxed. What's more, you can tell from the photos that I was having a great time - I really love that!