Burlesque performer turns to music

She’s provocative and might not be for the faint at heart. Since we can’t have the surgeon general slap a warning label on her live show, we are here to warn you, dear reader: take care should you find yourself in the vicinity of Plan B Lounge on St. George Street on Monday evening.

The self-described firecracker and burlesque performer-turned-musician Ginger St. James will be taking the stage for what will be an exciting evening of music.

Having divided her time between an urban and a country setting while she was growing up, St. James says that the latter environment played a big part in shaping her future.

“I grew up on country music and hot rod shows,” she says. “It ultimately helped provide a rather extensive musical vocabulary for me.”

Confessing that she was a ham for attention while growing up, venturing into being a performer was somewhat of a given for the entertainer.

“I sang all the time when I was growing up. I used to watch musicals and ended up becoming a closet singer that would record songs onto my tape recorder in my room.”

Her first stage experience wouldn’t come from music but would stem from a performance as a part of a Toronto-based burlesque troupe. From the moment she stepped onto the stage, St. James knew that she had found something that would become a huge force in her life.

“I loved being on stage and ended up forming my own burlesque troupe in Hamilton, writing sketches and songs to be performed, incorporating elements of growing up,” she says.

The live show has become an integral part of St. James life, providing her the opportunity to incorporate theatrical aspects of her burlesque past to her music shows.

“I was into the theatre as a kid so I have tried to make my shows very theatrical and entertaining for those in attendance. I personally don’t do burlesque shows but my songs and the show are inspired by that though. I really like pushing the envelope.

“By doing that, I think that it ultimately helps make the show stand out.

“Plus the shows are a lot of fun to do. I want to entertain people; I like to have that connection with them and give them a show that they will remember rather than just going on stage and playing my songs.”

Article published in April 29, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript