This larger-than-life star of the burlesque stage has been a fan favorite in the genre for some time now, and this year he finally got some GLAM love. Let’s give it up for the Peacock Prince of Pasties, Broody Valentino!
Thotyssey: Broody, hello! So, it’s been a few weeks, but I was wondering how the “HUNG with Care” showcase went at Green Room 42?
Broody Valentino: Oh, it was a very fun show. The crowd was great, very responsive… and I loved the performers I was working with.
This seems like a difficult season for burlesquing though, doesn’t it get cold?
Oh, it can. But I would personally rather be cold than hot. In the summer, there are nights you can’t wait to get your clothes off, it’s so hot.
So where’s your hometown?
I am originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Were you always into performing and creating art of some sort, growing up?
Oh, definitely, I started working in theatre at about 8 years-old, and I have been doing it ever since.
What roles were you playing at 8?
My first role was Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol, and then I was in a bunch of ensembles and such.
How seasonably apt! At what point did you discover burlesque?
I always had known about burlesque from shows and films, but I didn’t know that there was a scene until about the late 90’s when I saw some shows in a few nightclubs. I had no idea there was anything like Boylesque until about 5 years ago.
Your performances always go over very well, and a lot of that has to do with the shablam factor with your costumes and reveals!
I thank you so much.
Do you make a lot of your own stuff?
I make pretty much all of my own stuff.
Oh yeah, my “Bear of Paradise” act! That was one of my favorite costume builds. I loved trying to figure out how to make that tail. It always gets a huge reaction.
You also have the best Vaudevillian mustache in the biz… that must take a lot of work to maintain. My facial hair looks like a pile of cats fighting!
Hahaha! Thanks! It took a long time at first to get it long enough to curl at the ends. But once you train it, it’s not that much work. You do have to keep up with trimming it, so it doesn’t get too bushy.
One of many things that makes burlesque different from other types of erotic dance is body positivity… you are a big guy and you evoke lots of sexiness in your routines, even the comedic ones. Did you have to overcome body issues to perform, or where those issues never there?
They were there when I was younger. I have always been a big guy; even at my thinnest I was big. But it was when I was in college that my confidence just blossomed. I just got so tired worrying about what people thought about me. It wasn’t instantaneous, but I started to care more about how I felt about myself. And when I started doing burlesque, that just came through. I mean, I still have days where I am not thrilled about how I look… but all in all, I love who I am.
One thing that’s always struck me as wonderful about the city’s burlesque scene is how tight-knit the community seems, and how everyone has each other’s backs. Is that really how it is, or does it just seem that way to an outsider?
Oh, for the most part people get along and have each other’s backs. But as in every scene, there are those who don’t like each other, who can’t work together for various reasons. I tend to get along with just about everyone.
Werk! Burlesque is pretty popular these days, but do you feel that it sometimes gets overshadowed by drag?
I do, mostly in part that the mainstream has Drag Race; the general populace has a reference for drag. For burlesque, the closest thing we really have had in a long time was the Cher and Christina movie. And that doesn’t properly represent what burlesque is.
Not at all! What if there was, like, a Dita Von Teese’s Burlesque Race… would you watch the hell out of that, or even be on it?
Oh, of course! I would love to try out for it. But what I think would be the coolest would be watching people I know on the show.
That would be amazing! And there are so many legendary performers in the biz still working! Do you think you’ll still be burlesquing when you are, like, 80?
I plan on doing it until I am in a box! I did a show in October with a woman who was in her 80’s, and it was beautiful.
And now, congratulations on being a GLAM nominee for Best Burlesque! That’s incredible! And it’s generally a great group of nominees in your category this year. How excited are you?
Oh, it’s definitely really cool! And yeah, the nominees are all fantastic. I can’t wait to see who takes it. Anyone of us who wins it, truly deserves it.!
As far as I know, it’s the only weekly burlesque show in the city! But I do love performing with White Elephant, they are a wonderful group of beautiful weirdos. They are so supportive, and I look forward to seeing them every time I am there.
Oh yeah, they are amazing too! They have created such a magical space with their shows. I am so fortunate and so blessed to be working with so many talented artists!
And then on Sunday, you’ll be with another favorite West Village burlesque troupe, Homo Erecuts at Stonewall, fronted by Matt Knife. The crew is bringing a Female Trouble / Christmas theme that night!
I love doing Matt’s show; he was the reason why I got started in burlesque.
I met him online, and we chatted for years. And he told me about a Boylesque class series at the New York School of Burlesque, where he was the teacher’s assistant. In that class, we had to create an act and then we would perform it in a showcase at the Slipper Room. And that is what got me where I am today.
Any other appearances coming up, or anything at all you wanna plug or discuss before I ask the closer?
Oh, I will be at the Slipper Room December 12, 23, and 28. And White Elephant just about every Wednesday.
Great! So now, here’s the last question that I like to ask burlesquers: what’s the absolute worst song to perform to?
Well, there are too many acts to “Feelin’ Good.” And for me, a song that I think is just a bad song is “Stars are Blind” by Paris Hilton. There is a show where people do acts to a song that they hate, and if I were to ever do that show I would do “Stars are Blind.”
But that’s my fav– I mean, yeah right, what a bad song! Thank you, Broody!