Philadelphia is a Pro Wrestling town, no doubt about it. Being the ancestral birthplace of lauded 90’s hardcore institution ECW and current home of Chikara’s family friendly lucha-mania will do that to a City. Philly also has a thriving Burlesque scene as well, and with the recent debut of the universally beloved GLOW series on Netflix, chronicling the lightly fictionalized exploits of everyone’s favorite 1980’s Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, what better time for Philly’s Burlesque and Wrestling scenes to collide under the banner of GLOB: Gorgeous Ladies of Burlesque.
We had the recent pleasure of speaking with Kate Nyx: Burlesque luminary, Wrestling gear maker extraordinaire, and one of the masterminds behind GLOB, to learn all about this unique undertaking melding the city of brotherly love’s pro graps and pasties sets:
Riot Nerd: We’re big fans of both Ophidian The Cobra (recently reborn as The Ouroboros) and his high flying ring work in Chikara and elsewhere, as well as Kate Nyx‘s heavily stylized brand of Burlesque. How did the idea come about to finally merge to two?
Kate Nyx: Ouroboros and I met at a wrestling burlesque show in Detroit, burlesque and wrestling have long been pals in entertainment. Promotions like Lucha Va Voom and Mondo Lucha, or the show we met at, Square Circle Revue, have paved the way for Gorgeous Ladies of Burlesque to take place. When Liberty Rose and I started Broad St. Burlesque in 2014. we discussed running a GLOW themed show, but were nervous about the interest level. With the new Netflix show, we finally had a reason to bring this show to life and make it bigger and better than we had ever hoped.
RN: Streaming is a regular thing for Chikara, but something new for Broad St. Burlesque. What made you decide to stream this show?
KN: I’m fascinated by the ways technology and entertainment intersect; I’ve been thinking about streaming shows for a while, in part thanks to Ouroboros’ advice over the years, and we are fortunate enough to know one of the men behind Powerbomb.TV, Gerard Durling. Wrestling reaches unreachable crowds by streaming events and it’s part of Broad St. Burlesque’s mission to bring burlesque to new audiences. What better way to reach new audiences than to broadcast live to the whole world?
RN: Did creating Wrestling gear with your company Closet Champion make you eager to step into the ring yourself?
KN: Absolutely. I can lie to myself as much as I want, but I want to be a wrestler. I don’t want it to be my job, but learning about the psychology and storytelling of wrestling has been incredibly helpful to my work as a burlesque performer. The wrestling audience is the ultimate truth teller. Sometimes, I wish people would yell at me when I mess up at a show. That feedback could be really useful!
RN: What kind of format can we expect? Matches? Promos? Routines? A combination?
KN: If you think of this show as a spectrum, with wrestling on one end and burlesque on the other, we have something at every stage.
RN: What’s it been like working with your husband on a Burlesque project?
KN: Our passion for our work can be exhilarating, and sometimes aggravating. I’m lucky I married someone so passionate about their work, with such an unwavering vision and dedication, but dangit, can’t he realize that I’m the one who’s always right?
RN: What other local Wrestling and Burlesque performers can we expect to see in the show?
KN: As far as local burlesque performers, we have Josh Schonewolf, Renaissance Noir, and Jezabelle Von Jane, plus a few special guests. The producers of TASSELMANIA, Bunny Buxom and Schaffer the Dark Lord, are coming down from New York City. Some of the students from the Chikara Wrestle Factory will be joining us, along with The Amazing Rory Gulak and Stokely Hathaway. The cast is incredible. I can’t believe I’m wrestling Rory Gulak!
RN: What does Professional Wrestling mean to you and how has it impacted your life?
KN: I married pro-wrestling. It wasn’t my passion my whole life, I fell into it because of my husband. Through his passion, I saw what I couldn’t let myself see in wrestling as a pretentious artsy type. Wrestling begs you to enjoy it authentically: you can check your irony at the door. It’s really helped me lighten the fuck up, honestly.
RN: How brutal has the Wrestling training been?
KN: The things you think would hurt don’t and the things you think shouldn’t hurt hurt the most. [Also, my cardio is terrible. I didn’t need to know that, but now I do.]
RN: Have the Wrestlers involved gained any wisdom imparted from the Burlesque world?
KN: I’m not sure yet! One of the things that attracted me to wrestling is the similarities in psychology behind the performance. The build of tension and the actualization of release is very much the same. There is definitely a chance to for them to learn a few tricks from us. At the very least, I know we’ve definitely imparted some terrible Dad jokes on the students who have joined us for training.
RN: Do you see a future for this concept as an ongoing series of events with its own storylines, feuds, championships, etc.?
KN: I would love to make this into a series; we’ll see how this one goes first! If the people want GLOB, we will give them GLOB.
GLOB: Gorgeous Ladies of Burlesque emanates LIVE from Chikara’s Wrestle Factory in beautiful Northeast Philadelphia at 8pm on both September 1st and 2nd! Get tickets here!