Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed for Motif Magazine! Click the button to read my responses to their burning questions in this February's Romance Issue...
Wishing all you lovebirds a safe and happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy a glass of wine with someone you love! <3
Shakesperotica will be presenting a slightly reworked version of our debut show The Filth Folio on September 24, 2016! We have many returning acts and the night will also feature local guest stars! This show is so much sexy fun for burlesque and Shakespeare fans alike. It's a little bit different from the type of theater that usually goes on in Southern, RI.
I am so very excited to be performing burlesque where I grew up. If I happen to see any of my old teachers or classmates at least they will all know that I really put my education to work! Reading is sexy.
Photo Credit: The talented George Ross
These two pictures were taken on the Fourth of July. What do you see? A smiling, curvy, and lighthearted girl basking in the summer sun on a wooden boat? A healthy and vivacious young couple enjoying the holiday fun?
This blog post, unfortunately, isn't about what is in these photographs that you can see. This blog post is about the chronic and worsening illness that I have been dealing with. I wasn't sure about posting publicly about this issue. I like to keep my corner of cyberspace full of adorable images, sexiness, glamour, and fun. However, it is my hope that by sharing this with you all that perhaps someone else who has struggled with these symptoms can identify the disease and seek help sooner than I did. I am also writing this with the duel goal of informing my friends, family, and fans about the illness that is finding it's way into every corner of my life.
Recently I have begun treatment for interstitial cystitis. It is a chronic pain disease that primarily effects the bladder. My struggles with these symptoms began about ten years ago and over the last decade I have visited many doctors and received several different diagnoses. I had been told incorrectly that I have chronic UTI , overactive bladder, endometriosis, and more. Not one treatment provided effective relief. Getting this illness diagnosed accurately was made more difficult by the fact that I didn't have health insurance through my early 20's. I began to think that I would have to live with pain and discomfort. That it was just part of my life.
It wasn't until the end of my senior year of college that someone even mentioned IC to me. The LPN at Rhode Island College was the first person to suggest a diagnosis that fit all the issues I was experiencing. I tried to find a urologist or a urogynecologist in Rhode Island that would help me. I got on "Obamacare" through the RI health connector with the help of the Health Services staff at the school but couldn't find a doctor that was accepting new patients. The whirlwind of the final days of my undergraduate career and subsequent move to MA put my health concerns on the back burner. Although I was uncomfortable, I was managing my pain and otherwise living a normal life.
Over the last year my symptoms have increased exponentially. The last two or three months have been particularly brutal and prompted me to seek treatment more aggressively than I have in the past. Once I finally found a doctor who would take my Mass Health insurance, that was actually accepting new patients, and could see me with less than a six month waiting period, I felt so happy I could cry. Even though I still had to wait over a month for my appointment, at least I had one.
As a person, I am very tenacious. I love what I do and I have been aggressively been pursuing a full time career in the performing arts for several years now. I was a model student and I try to make all of my friends feel well remembered. It's important for me to make my commitments. It's not in my nature to take breaks or to slow down, even though I am the first to advise others to do so. I like being busy and being the girl who solves problems! Recently I have been forced to miss rehearsals and social engagements. I have had to find coverage for gigs and jobs. Several of the shows I have appeared in, classes I have taught, or events I have attended have been through sheer force of will.
Take another look at those photos above. The same girl floating through the lake in the New Hampshire air with a catlike smile painted on her face was writhing in pain that night. She's been unable to get a good night's sleep in months. She has been experiencing exhaustion, pain, nausea, and come close to passing out several times in recent memory.
I am an actress and I don't like to feel weak. Frequently I put on a brave face and only those closest to me know the pain I have been experiencing. It is important for all of us to remember to be kind, caring, and compassionate. You may not be able to look at me and see that I am feeling horribly ill but it doesn't make it any less real. Chronic pain diseases are hard to diagnose and even harder to treat. I love you all and I thank you for your patience while I learn how to treat this illness and continue on my path to wellness. Personally, professionally, and socially I am lucky to be surrounded by love and understanding. Not everyone has the good fortune that I have come to know. I have the absolute best friendships, fans, and professional networks.
I am confident that the support of my loved ones and the medical care I am now receiving will eventually lead to an improved quality of life for me. I am going to keep trying to take over the world one rhinestone at a time! You will still see me in class, in films, in plays, at gigs, and more as much as I can be. Just know that behind every sexy picture is another story. The story of someone who is coping with interstitial cystitis.
You can learn more about IC by clicking the button below and visiting the Interstitial Cystitis Foundation's webpage.
Be well everyone,
The last few days I have been hard at work updating my website! Welcome to the newly redesigned CorinneSouthern.com! I still have a little bit of work to do but I am too excited to share it with all of you to wait. Check back often in the coming days as I add more content. I am loving the new layout!
While working on the new page I was so lucky to have lots of excellent pictures to choose from. Currently the photos on my page don't have credits listed but you should all expect that to change soon! I am so lucky to get to work with so many talented photographers. Even some of my friends who shoot amateur work have given me some amazing stuff over the years. Looking back over all of the memories has me feeling a bit nostalgic as I work!
Hope you all enjoy the new look!
I am so excited to announce that my favorite lingerie store is now the sponsor and official lingerie choice of Corinne Southern Presents: The Burlesque Speakeasy! Zoe & Co. is a fully stocked lingerie store with locations in Westerly, RI and Concord, NH. They specialize in bra fitting and carry cup sizes from AA-K and back sizes from 28-54! They also have everything that a show girl could desire! Stockings, pasties, rhinestone bras and panties, corsets, bullet bras, waist cinchers, feather boas, gloves, head dresses... I could keep going on and on all day!
This sponsorship holds a very special place in my heart because I worked for Zoe & Co. for several years when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I remember opening a coffee table book in the Concord store and seeing a picture of the beautiful burlesque star Candy Barr, with star pasties and prop guns a' blazing. Pictures of Tempest Storm, Bettie Page, and Mata Hari decorated the Westerly store. I can honestly say that my love of lingerie, vintage, pin-up photography, and ultimately burlesque came from my time spent working at Zoe's.
I trained as a professional bra fitter, fitting 100 women correctly to earn my certification. Here is a picture of my 100th fitting party!
Look at that fresh-faced hippie chick! Little did I know then that I would soon be embarking on a journey to follow in the footsteps of the wild and fearless women that decorated the walls of Zoe & Co.! Burlesque performance and beautiful lingerie go together like peanut butter and jelly. I am so excited about the possibilities that this new relationship with old friends will bring to my burlesque business!
On Thursday the 17th The Burlesque Speakeasy will be going up at The Spot Underground in Providence. I am looking forward to displaying some of my new goodies at the show! You'll have to come check out the event to see the lovelies that I left Zoe's with this weekend.
If you are looking for some new goodies or a bra that fits I HIGHLY recommend making an appointment and seeing all the amazing products that Zoe's has to offer!
So excited to have recently been cast as an understudy for Murder On Us! In the current show, "The Wicked Funny Murder Mystery", I play a character who is a parody of Miss Scarlet from "Clue". Lucky for me when I got the call I already had the dress! Murder Mystery dinner theater has always been fascinating to me.
With my flair for the melodramatic, my improvisational training, and my burlesque wit, playing this character was right up my alley. I had so much fun chatting with the crowd while in character! I was a little nervous for the first show because I hadn't worked with the cast at all before the first performance with an audience. *EEP* The rest of the cast had been at this gig for a while and whenever I had a (rare) misstep they were right there to catch me! We had an amazing time and the crowd was roaring with laughter! One audience member even told me I was her favorite character at the end of the night! Not too shabby for my first time if I do say so myself!
One of the most fun and rewarding gigs I have is as the Emcee and singer for the Island Paradise Dancers, a division of Wingmaker Entertainment. Today Sarah, the owner of the company and lead hula dancer, and I met in Auburn Massachusetts. Understandably we get really busy in the Spring and Summer with parties but this afternoon we were headed to a luau at a nursing home!
I love doing nursing home gigs. The audience is always so excited to see us. Both the residents and the staff alike enjoy the show and get involved in a way that other audiences just don't. After the performance it is always a humbling experience to talk to the residents and hear how they felt about the show. Sarah said that it really "takes the ego out of performance." Which is true, it's not about us, it's about the joy we can bring to the people who are watching.
Sarah is a lovely dancer. Today it was just the two of us but she works with several other dancers and a drummer. She makes many of her costumes or purchases them from authentic and reputable places. Some of the outfits are so stunning that the audience applauds when they see them! Beautiful headresses, skirts, lei, hair flowers, kukui nuts, and of course coconut bras are all on the menu for a Island Paradise show. We have even done events with a fire poi show! There is always a teaching portion for the brave people in the crowd aching to release their inner hula dancer.
Today I sang Blue Hawaii, while Sarah danced, in my best lounge singer Elvis impersonation. I also enlisted the help of some bubble blowing audience members for Tiny Bubbles. My favorite part of the show is near the end, when I get to use some of my musical theatre training to belt out a rendition of Bali Hai from South Pacific. Sarah claims that she has seen me bring tears to the eyes of the audience in the past when I have sang this song. I don't know if I believe her but it always goes over really well, especially with the nursing home crowd.
The most fun part of the day was when a young and *ahem* buff member of the nursing home staff approached Sarah and I at the end of the show asking if she ever hired male hula dancers. One of the women in the crowd kept yelling for him to take his shirt off because he was "all muscle"! Sarah gave him a crash course in male hula moves and he picked it up very fast All of his coworkers were in stitches and Sarah ended the gig with a blush that may or may not have been due to her high energy Tahitian finale!
We are booked for several more gigs this summer and I am looking forward to each and every one of them. If you are interested in adding some hula to your luau you should check us out by clicking the button below!
Last night we had an amazing show! I was nervous this month, lots of people are away for the summer and finding the right performers for this month was difficult. Although our audience was smaller than we usually have, they were mighty! Some awesome folks got on stage and competed in our "Barry White Dance Off!" Natalie and Sparky killed it! Later in the night we also had a fun embarrassing story contest. Everyone who participated walked away with signed pin-up prints of yours truly, and chocolate!
My good friend and former roomie Travis Woods came down from Boston to do some stand up comedy! His jokes about the RIPTA, his love life, and pop culture had the audience in stitches!
Also from Boston, the bodacious and sweet Kitty Levesque brought a beautiful classic striptease! She wore a gorgeous royal purple costume and I suspect great things are on the horizon for this girl!
Mr. Wrong entertained with his musical comedy and proved he was a nice, handsome guy. :)
Bettysioux Tailor was as delightful as ever performing two of her signature acts, "Catwalk" and "Bettysioux has a Sandwich". I can't say enough about what a talent she is! Her costumes are lovely and her dancing is superb.
Kylie Why brought back one of my favorite characters, Grannie, for the July Speakeasy. I was so excited, Grannie is so funny and then her bones crack and she turns into this strong, sexy, punk rock goddess! It's always fun to banter with Grannie before the show!
Sweet Re performed a high energy dance number that had jaws dropping! Not only is Sweet Re beautiful, but she can move! She is also a choreographer and I need to get this girl to teach me to dance so expressively. Her dynamic neoburlesque number to Jessie J's "Sexy Silk" was one of my favorite parts of the night!
Michelle the Kitten is rocking our new tip jar, an over-sized beer mug. Last month our big tip bowl smashed right after the show! I have known Michelle forever and she does the best job as kitten/stage manager. She takes a lot of stress off of me and looks adorable while effortlessly thinking on her feet and solving problems.
Thank you so much to our venue, The Spot Underground, for hosting another Burlesque Speakeasy! Also, all of the performers thank you so much for doing my show! Lastly to the audience, my friends, and fans, thank you for helping me build this show. I couldn't do it without you. Everyone who shared the event and joined us for the show keep me going!
After a talk with my friend Mikey Shake, producer of All The Rest Burlesque, I am feeling very creatively inspired today. There are some big ideas brewing around in the head of mine. I can't wait to bring all these thoughts to life! Producing the Speakeasy and being around creative people makes me want to get to work!
It's always fun to snap an adorable pre-show selfie!
Tomorrow night we have an amazing show planned for all of you burlesque fans!
We have the talented and beautiful Bettysioux Tailor bringing glamour and class to the stage! Local favorites Sweet Re and Kylie Why are in the line up, and I have it on good authority that "Grandma" will be making an appearance! The bodacious new comer Kitty Levesque will leave you begging to see more. Comedy from Mr. Wrong and Travis Woods will have you gigglesnorting between the beautiful ladies.
And of course Corinne Southern, the Shakespeare of Burlesque, because what would Corinne Southern Presents: The Burlesque Speakeasy be without me!
I am so looking forward to seeing you all there! Here's a little leg to entice you to come to the show! Tickets are only $15.00, doors @7pm, @ The Spot Underground in Providence, RI!
Had an awesome photo shoot with the talented Jim Carey this past weekend! He is always fun to shoot with and we took some great shots! 4 really fun looks including a sexy shower pin-up set. I will be posting more in days to come and can't wait to sell some signed prints at The Burlesque Speakeasy on June 18th!
Corinne Southern is a renaissance woman and performer living in New England! Just trying to make it as an artist in the world! Welcome to the blog where you can follow all of her adventures in performing!