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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Interview with Chi Chis DelFuego

Photo from Bombshell Betty Pinup Workshops, San Francisco, CA. Copyright 2007-2008.

I met Chi Chis DelFuego earlier this year at a show. My friend Josie Starre introduced us, and I've been seeing Chi Chis perform around the Bay Area ever since.

One of the things I've noticed about her performances is the theatricality with which she imbues her acts. For example, last night at the Knocktoberfest benefit show at the Uptown, she performed to Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes." She dressed in what resembled "good girl" conservative attire, and proceeded with an artful striptease. At the end, she encouraged the audience by pausing before removing the last, most intriguing item of clothing.

During another one of her performances, she strips to reveal a Wonder Woman costume under her clothes. Her appearances aren't simply a striptease, but a well-choreographed story containing its own narrative, whether humorous or provocative, or both.

Recently, Chi Chis DelFuego has launched her own 2009 calendar at She's also started her own website at

In the midst of all this activity, Chi Chis was gracious enough to answer some interview questions.

How did you first become interested in burlesque? When did you decide to become a performer?

I fell in love with Swing and Big Band Music, and back in 2005/2006 I started to take Swing Dance classes. This led me to classes at the Verdi Club. The Verdi Club is on Maraposa Street in the Potrero Hill area. I highly recommend going on Tuesdays. Anyway, I started to go to their Christmas parties and that's where I saw Burlesque for the first time. Funny enough, I didn't realize that it was Bombshell Betty (who would later be my Burlesque teacher and friend) that I saw dancing in front of me. Later on, a friend and I decided we wanted to take classes. I feel it was destiny. We found Bombshell Betty and I took classes for almost two years. I think after about 8 months I decided that I'd throw my bra in the wind and go all the way, strap on the pasties, lashes, gloves and Boa and start out as a soloist.

You have an interesting and very descriptive stage name. How did you choose it?

Thank you. My name was born when I took my baby steps towards my first solo . On August 18th, 2007 there was a recital at Bombshell Betty's studio and I was going to do my first solo. I didn't have a name so I went as Miss Anxie-Tease. I did my Like a Virgin solo and it went great but my second number was a gift for my boyfriend Shay. It was his birthday and so I came out with confetti, streamer, and balloons all glued to my panties and bra. The topper to the birthday song was my candle pasties that Betty helped make. I lit them and Chi Chis DelFuego was born.

Fire Tits just lacked a little culture. Besides I was born on Cinco De Mayo!

I remember seeing you perform your “Wonder Woman” act several times. Where do you get the ideas for your acts?

When I first started it was very hard. I felt overwhelmed by everything but now I feel the more you perform the more you see where your stage persona feels the most comfortable. Chi Chis is very melodramatic, sexy, campy, cheesy and fun.

I love making my way through some of my favorite music. Rock and Roll and '80s camp are among my top faves.

Working with Hubba Hubba Revue and their themed shows every month at the DNA Lounge is a great challenge. They push you to come up with great stuff. I started doing shows at Hubba Hubba at Uptown in Oakland in January and the DNA shows in April. They are the best.

Doing the Wonder Woman Act was a great moment for me. I work hard to find that twist that will make me stand out. The show was a Greco-Roman show and I knew a lot of the girls would be dressed the same. Doing each show has become so exciting and I love creating an act. My boyfriend Shay is very supportive and he's also an actor so he's a great partner to throw out ideas to. We both have a love for similar music and he was helpful in breaking the Wonder Woman idea and it went well with my pick of song, "I Need a Hero," by Bonnie Tyler. For other performances please check me out on YouTube. (

It's important to have supportive loved ones in your life and in the beginning when i was green Bombshell Betty and the Burlesqueteers were fabulous and so supportive and helpful.

How has being a burlesque performer influenced your life? What have been the positive and negative effects, if any?

If anything I've found a place where I feel I can be myself. Funny, since we all use fake names. I never got into the club scene and I never understood the "kids these days," even when I was one of them. I was always a bit retro. I still live in the '80s sometimes. I love Rock AND Roll, Swing, Blues and everything related.

Burlesque has been a great avenue for me to be different than the mainstream. I was always a bit bawdy, naughty and loud. No one really got me and I never fit in before. I was never one to be a carbon copy of everyone else. I never wanted to follow what others told me I had to do. So Burlesque really was the place I fit in best. I love my second home.

I've meet so many wonderful people in this business. I just want to do all I can to keep it positive. I know it can get competitive and hard to find work but I believe in being professional, doing good work and acknowledging all our collective talents.

We are some pretty fabulous Ladies and Gentlemen.

What are some of your most memorable burlesque-related experiences? Can you point to one as being your favorite?

Being a part of the Burlesqueteers. It is where I started and if it wasn't for Bombshell Betty I wouldn't be here. It was a great beginning. Tease-O-Rama was my last performance with them this year. I will be branching out to work on my solo work.

I have a calendar on for next year and I'm hoping to maybe be a producer in the future. I'd also love to work with so many wonderful ladies out there.

I'm loving life right now. I'm loving getting my name out there and making friends. I love to hear from friends and fans and I love the well wishes and wonderful feedback.

I'm loving it all.

See more of Chi Chis DelFuego on MySpace at, and at her website at

Che Chis DelFuego Calendar image

Her 2009 Pin-Up Calendar is available at for preview and purchase at

Ms. DelFuego may be contacted at Her next scheduled performance will be at Hubba Hubba Revue's Oktoberfest show, Friday, October 17, at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. Doors open at 9pm.
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