From rural park life to sexy NYC nightlife, burlesque fans know that this stunning young star is The Moment.[Cover photo: Roberto De La Cruz]
Thotyssey: Hello Ruby! Thanks for chatting with us today! How was your 4th?
Ruby Quinn: Great! I went to Coney Island, and saw all that this country had to offer!
Coney’s good like that! As a burlesquer, you probably spend a lot of time in that hood, right?
No, usually I’m working in Brooklyn and Manhattan. But I did see that sideshow they have on Coney. And I saw some friends in it!
So where’s your original hometown?
I’m from Wyoming; my parents worked in the national park, and we lived on park property for their work. I was pretty shy as a kid, but I always felt comfortable on stage and protected up there.
That must have been a very serene upbringing, growing up in a park!
Yeah, but you used to have to take the bus 1.5 hours each way to get to school! But I saw some amazing natural experiences.
How did burlesque, and New York, enter your life?
I moved to Long Island for college, and then transferred to the city once I graduated. Burlesque started a year ago, when I auditioned for Honey Burlesque. I was doing exotic dancing before that to pay the bills, though.
As an exotic dancer, what about burlesque appealed to you as being different from that, and special?
Being able to perform for queer audiences who understood me was what I was missing. There is an art to tease that dancing in clubs lacks. And the audience is the biggest difference! I love how I can express myself outside of a “sex appeal” box.
How would you describe that types of numbers you like to do today as Ruby?
I love “dumb sexy”… like, she’s so hawt, but God had to make her stupid. I think “draglesque” is the best way to describe it. But my burlesque mom Scarlett Snow likes to say I’m a wildcard!
Yes, Paris and I went to college together… and now we produce “Bimbo Babes” together. I started performing with Quench during Pride last year. My first time performing was in Paris’s birthday party! We are checking into new venues now… but we have leads, lol!
Absolutely. I first saw the news about it in our Haus group chat; it’s disgusting to see it happening. Quench’s founders and leaders are Trans BIPOC community members, and are truly the most legendary performers I’ve ever seen. We have to shut all doors associated with hateful and racist behavior to uplift the queer community. So yes, we are very conscious of our decisions going forward.
And you can’t go wrong with the mother of liberated queer nightlife spaces, Stonewall! This Saturday, you’ll be part of a double feature there: performing with Honey Burlesque for their recurring showcase at 3pm, and then guest performing for what may possibly be the very first drag king-led “Stonewall Invasion” show, care of Myster E. Mel Kiki!
Oh, I’m so excited! I’m just bringing my suitcase and living there for the day, lol. I love hosting; it always gives me the Attention Whore fill that I need. And i’M hyped to dance with Myster E. Mel again! They are such a talented performer, and a kind human. It’s gonna be sexy! Also, I had no idea it was the first-king led Invasion at Stonewall… about fucking time!
I’m honestly not exactly sure it is, but I’ve been at this for a while and I can’t remember another one!
Anything else coming up for you that the Kids should be aware of?
I’m hosting the Cancer party for Honey Burlesque on the 15th, and have a couple of other fun themed shows with them this month. And I’ll be dancing at C’mon on the 27 for the “Love’s a Pitch” dating show!
Excellent! Okay, my traditional last question for burlesquers: what is the absolute worst song to perform to??
Literally any number from Burlesque with Cher. Unless you decide to be Cher… but in every other sense, it’s wrong, lol!
Noted! Thanks, Ruby!