Vivienne Von Coffin | SA Wildcard Feature
Devastatingly beautiful with charismatic charm, Vivienne Von Coffin in as known for her fierce stage presence and those tantilising licks of ink that run all over her body. Vivienne Von Coffin is one of those creatures who’s just got IT and whatever IT is has earnt her one of the coveted Wildcard spots for this year’s Grand Final of Miss Burlesque Australia. She serves face on every performance platter and I have to admit that her recent “Which Vivienne face are you” post on Instagram got me chuckling and dying to see her perform these acts live.
Performing burlesque since 2012 when she took up lessons with Peaches ‘n’ Gin in Adelaide, Vivienne set her sights high when she entered Miss Burlesque SA only one year into her burly career and placed top five. With a performance in her upbringing baby Vivienne claims that growing up she had her fingers in a lot of pies – ballet, gymnastics, singing you name it. “I studied dance in High School and even back then people in class told me I put in too much effort and tried to use my expression through dance to tease me.”
Fast forward to 2012 when she began lessons with acclaimed Adelaide burly school Peaches ‘n’ Gin and learnt that tease and expression is nothing to be made fun of, but all about fun fun fun!
Alyssa Kitt caught up with Vivienne to talk about earning that Wildcard spot, personal growth and the hot competition that came out of South Australia for 2018.
You’re an established performer kicking off your burly career in 2013. You took no prisoners one year in and made top five in the SA finalists in 2014. This is your second time competing in Miss Burlesque Australia – what made you want to enter in 2018.
It is indeed my second time competing in Miss Burlesque and it has been such a great experience especially with the new rule changes in place. I had competed previously in 2014 as quite a new performer with only just over a years experience. I really wanted to compete last year but the competition did not run in all states so I decided to take a year preparing myself for this year! For me I needed to do something to make a statement about my career in burlesque and to push myself into producing some of my best work.
You’ve been in burlesque for a number of years – how long have you been performing? What was your first experience of burlesque?
I have been performing for a while now! I started taking lessons with Peaches ‘n’ Gin way back in February 2012 and made my debut that November. My first routine (which has only been performed twice! haha) was a classic to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell on You. That same night I did a group routine and the ‘Gin House Floozies’ debut!
What do you think is your most identifiable aspect to you as a performer? What is Vivienne Von Coffin famous for?
FACE, FACE, FACE! But seriously… I think my classic routines set me apart as I have quite a different style compared to other performers here in Adelaide. I choreograph my routines down to the ‘T’ and use a lot of bluesy style music that have a ‘darker’ feeling to it. Or being the female embodiment of Spongebob could also be something people remember haha!
Tell us what you’ve been busy with in Adelaide including any shows or teaching or news!
Mainly I have been busy since the start of the year preparing myself for Miss Burlesque SA! I kicked off the year with an AWESOME run in the Adelaide Fringe with Bazinga Burlesque (Nerdlesque), taught a heap of hens parties for Peaches ‘n’ Gin Burlesque and now off to Miss Burlesque AUSTRALIA! I’ve also got a HUGE announcement coming soon so keep an eye on my Instagram/Facebook for that.
Your bio has some pretty big accolades in them including an AAPC Burlesque Babe win in 2013, a well as being crowned Miss Ink Adelaide in 2017 – what have been some of the other highlights of your career so far?
I have done a lot within the 5 years that I’ve been performing! Along with AAPC Burlesque Babe my next big win came in 2015 at Burlesque Idol Adelaide, following that was Miss Ink Adelaide and winning the title of ‘Miss Charisma Queen’ at the Miss Ink Australia Grand Finals last year. Aside from the titles, my highlights have honestly been becoming friends with some of the most beautiful and talented people. I have gained some life long friendships and developed a sense of who I am as a person. Also going to the Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekender in 2014 was INSANE, hopefully will go back soon!
What was your Guiness Book of Records entry for? I’d love to hear more about it!
In 2014 Burleskathon was created by Dolores Daiquiri and Elena Gabrielle – Basically it was 24 hours of non stop burlesque! Performers from all over Australia ventured to Melbourne to be a part of this Australian burlesque history. We were all on a time schedule of when we would be performing, as soon as one routine ended the next one started as the rules were that a performer has to be on stage at all times. It was INCREDIBLE!! The amount of performers that I met and networked with, the shared struggle of having to perform at 3am in the morning and taking naps under dressing tables were all part and parcel. By the end of it I had performed I think 9 times in the space of 24hrs and everyone was completely delirious!
How did you prepare for the competition? What was your game plan/ goals?
As I previously mentioned I put about a year of preparation into the comp. I knew I wanted a new Traditional (classic) act and to revamp my ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ comedy routine to the next level! My game plan was to take into account the new rules but still stay true to myself and what I really wanted to achieve out of it which was two rock solid routines to be proud of. I loved choreographing my new traditional act – I pushed myself to use some different styles to fit in with the guidelines and fell in love with it. Last time I competed I put so much stress on myself to place and when I didn’t it completely broke me. This time I went in with a new attitude and I think the more calm approach to it actually helped. I think you can see the amount of fun I was having in my videos from the night!
Tell me about your routines:
Can you describe your Traditional for me?
My traditional routine is based in the 40’s with music from Sidney Bechet and Tommy Dorsey. The first half is essential Vivienne, very constructed and poised. The second half is where I really let loose and bust out the cornerstone Tempest Storm moves but with my own flavour infused. I’m really proud of how it turned out and I feel like I’ve kicked it up a notch with this one.
What did you do for your unique and how do you think it will set you apart going into the grand final?
If wearing a Spongebob mascot suit 3 times the size of me doesn’t set me apart, maybe the huge light-up jellyfish will! Jokes aside, I have well and truly revamped this routine for the competition. I am also suuuuper proud of it – I had a light bulb moment when listening to RuPaul’s ‘Peanut Butter’ song, if you know it you’ll get the reference to jellyfish and sandwiches! There are a lot of innuendos and basically is my view of what the show would look like while off the air!
What was the first thing that came into your head when you were offered the Wild Card spot for the Grand Final?
Honestly, I was sitting on the toilet checking my emails and BAM there the offer was. I couldn’t believe it! It made me feel recognised and appreciated in the scene. I believe it is also the first Wild Card spot that has ever been offered to South Australia and I couldn’t be more proud. I’m still pinching myself!
Did you enjoy your 2018 Miss Burlesque experience and would you recommend entering this State Final?
I had an absolute blast! I would highly recommend entering especially with the new rules. I feel like it gives the performer more opportunity to show who they are and not have to compromise themselves too much to fit into criteria. I’ve always believed in this competition – It provides you a space to try new/big acts that you may not be able to perform elsewhere, you get to meet and network with so many people and walk away with 2 solid/competition standard routines.
I can’t wait for peanut butter and spongebob squarepants and to see that serving of face live in Perth this year.
Follow Vivienne Von Coffin’s journey to the Miss Burlesque Australia Grand Final: