Interview: Debay De Lux – 'With every garment lost, there is more to see than what you expected'

Burlesque star talks tattoos, performing live and her upcoming set at The Lighthouse Late

Interview: Debay De Lux - 'With every garment lost, there is more to see than what you expected'

Courtesy of Debay De Lux / credit: Louise Cantwell

Tattoo apprentice, model, actress: Debay De Lux is an artist who wears many hats. On Fri 9 Oct she will don the one that marks her out as a talented burlesque performer, as she entertains throughout the evening with a specially designed routine for The Lighthouse Late's Berlin-themed event.

We caught up with Debay to chat burlesque, inspiration, her love of body art and some of her favourite performers and experiences in the biz.

You're performing at Lighthouse Late in October, where the theme is 'Berlin'. What does that mean to you, and how are you planning to incorporate it into your act?

To me, Berlin has always been a city that is perceived as open minded and innovative. Expressing yourself creatively, and even sexually, has always been encouraged within their culture. That liberation, creative expression and 'anything can happen' vibe is mainly what will inspire me. As for the rest, you will just have to come and see.

How do you usually come up with your routines: do you have a starting point such as a theme, or do you find your inspiration elsewhere?

It can literally be anything. From hearing a song or seeing a clip in a movie to even falling in love with some lingerie. I have found inspiration in sometimes the most random of places, sometimes I didn't even realise at the time. A lot of the time with Club Noir, the owners, may could come across something that they could see you creating a performance with. Other times it’s simply that there is a gap in a show for a type of act. The nice thing about having others to bounce ideas with is that broadens the type of performance you might create.

Have you seen the rest of the Lighthouse Late lineup and does anything else catch your eye?

Well I used to study fashion design with Rebecca Torres so I'm really looking forward to seeing her. It’s awesome to see how well she is doing within the industry.

You also work as a tattoo apprentice. How does body art play into your work in burlesque?

I think it helps me to stand out from the outset. I love tattoos and I think that they can really add something special when they adorn the body well. When it comes to incorporating it into my acts, I feel like it gives my 'reveal' an extra dimension. With every garment lost or flash of skin, there is more to see than what you expected.

Your work as an actress has seen you land roles in everything from the film adaptation of Filth to American drama Million Dollar Princess. Do you prefer performing in front of a live audience, or working on camera?

I prefer a live audience. I have found myself on set often but, as much as I have loved every experience, it is never as amazing as being on stage. I feed off of an audience and the energy they give to me. It makes it all even more exciting and fun.

Interview: Debay De Lux - 'With every garment lost, there is more to see than what you expected'

image: Debay performing at Club Noir / credit: Mike Bishop
The Glasgow Festival of Burlesque is coming up. Will you be heading along, and if so, who are you looking forward to seeing?

I probably will head along and catch some shows. I will mostly find myself going to show support for local talents such as Daiquiri Dusk and Tom Harlow, who I have worked with on different ventures over the years.

Do you feel as though burlesque has grown in popularity in recent years?

Yes, I do think so. It is always hard to gauge though as with every new generation the popularity does seem to come in waves. However, it is definitely more mainstream in general.

What inspired you to take it up?

To be honest, since I was young I have been drawn to performance and stage. I remember going to Club Noir and just falling in love, I went on to become acquainted with Tina Warren, one of the directors. Tina liked my look and invited me to come along as a 'Daddies Darling'. I guess it all went from there and I never looked back.

Which burlesque performers do you admire and why?

Dita Von Teese, obviously! I know it is very cliché, but she is incredible. Dita was the first modern performer I really seen, when she appeared in her martini glass in a Marilyn Manson music video. Being a young teenage girl, I was completely awestruck. More frequently I find myself admiring an act or a costume more than one person consistently. However, being part of the Club Noir troupe keeps me close to some of the most talented and beautiful people I know. I’m always full of admiration for my troupe and I think we help to inspire and encourage each other

What's been the most interesting or unique venue you've performed in?

Over the years I have been invited to work with some stunning venues and lavish events. However, what stands out for me is a weekend of full shows that we hosted in the Citizens Theatre. It was such a beautiful venue. What made it interesting was the fact that it was a seated venue. I know this sounds maybe trivial, but it totally changed the dynamic.

Generally we perform at events and clubs, where people interact with you on different levels. They are also free to dance, walk around and watch when it suits. Being seated completely limited audience reactions and put full focus on you. I have never felt so aware of my entire performance. The memory of that feeling has really stayed with me. I’m constantly thankful for all of the experiences I have had during my time as a performer.

The Lighthouse Late is at The Lighthouse, Glasgow, Fri 9 Oct, 7.30pm, £15. Tickets are available via

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