Gina Stirling: she puts the ‘G’ in ‘G Spot’ and reveals herself to be a “Radical, queer, self-loving act.” Let’s find out more…
Gina has been performing internationally in Burlesque, cabaret and musical theatre for over two decades. One of her career highlights was being voted into 21st Century Burlesque’s ‘Top 50 Most Influential Burlesque Figures’ in 2021 and headlining Perth International Burlesque Festival in 2022.
As well as being a performer, Gina is a freelance life model and a dance teacher at Melbourne’s leading Burlesque school, ‘Maison Burlesque’ offering private mentorship and group choreography. She is extremely passionate about body confidence, sexual empowerment, compersion and seeing her students flourish through dance. Feast your eyes on this femme fatale as she allures you into her world of pleasure.
What is your burlesque name? Gina Stirling
What first got you interested in burlesque? My mum put me into dance school when I was 2 years old, and I did my first musical when I was 6. Musical Theatre has been a big part of my life and was the original direction I was going in, until I came across cabaret and burlesque around 10 years ago. I was instantly drawn to Burlesque, as I loved the idea that I could create my own art and build my own business.
The more I’ve delved into this art form and gone inward with it, I’ve realised how much it has given me in terms of sexual confidence and queer exploration. I’ve revealed myself as a political statement and stand for radical empowerment. I’ve found so much connection and power through the vulnerability of being on stage and I feel gratitude every day that I get to do what I love for a living.
What style of burlesque do you perform and why? I would describe my style as forever changing. I love to mix it up constantly and respond to the ebbs and flows of life. I enjoy mixing fashion, classical burlesque, punk, fetish and comedy to make my own little flavours.
Where are you from and where do you live now? I’m originally from Wolverhampton in the UK, but I lived in Liverpool for a long time before moving to Melbourne, Australia. Liverpool is where I discovered Burlesque and really started to establish myself as an Artist. The people I met there were so inspiring and it was the first time I felt like I belonged.
The creative community was rich in culture and beautiful humans that constantly inspired me and helped shape me into the person I am today. I ended up in Australia after backpacking for 2 years, I was instantly drawn to Melbourne as the art scene here really reminded me of Liverpool and I’ve been here ever since and would call this home.
Who are your inspirations and influences? I draw my inspiration from lots of different places. I’m inspired by history, music, people, fashion, dance, books, films, life experiences and how I’m feeling. Everything is inspired from something and I love seeing all the ways people interpret themselves through art in all forms.
Who do you like working with most and why? I feel very lucky to be based in Melbourne as the community here is super supportive and encouraging. I’ve met so many incredible performers who are now dear friends.
I love working with my burly wife Evana De Lune, she and I are very in tune with one another. She’s the kindest and most hard working person I know plus, we have a double act and support each other’s careers. I love being a part of the Queerdos crew, we do GoGo dancing at POOF DOOF and everyone involved is so special to me. Being a part of Maison Burlesque school is so inspiring as well – surrounded by great teachers like Maple Rose, Egson Ham and so many more, constantly inspire me and we uplift one another.
How often do you perform? I’m extremely lucky and perform full-time every week. Burlesque is my full time job, I model, teach, do private mentorship, life model and much more.
Where can people usually see you perform? In Melbourne I’m a regular at Speakeasy Theatre, The 86 and POOF DOOF. There is always events popping up too and I travel interstate every month in Australia – you can find where I am through my website: www.theginastirling.com/events.
Any upcoming burlesque tour plans? I would love to come to America next year, so I’m currently working towards that!
What other things do you do in the burlesque industry besides performing? I have lots of different things that I like to do. I’ve been life modelling for ten years, this has been a big part of my body acceptance. I also model, make costumes and I really enjoy making and editing videos. Being creative in all different ways, fuels me, I feel lucky that I get to express myself for a living.
Which social media accounts can people follow to keep up with you?
What are you available for and how should people contact you?
How can the burlesque community support you, your brand and your business? Thank you to everyone who shows me their support. There are so many ways that this can be done, such as sharing my work online, buying merch, tipping me, coming to my workshops, booking me for private mentorship or coming to see a live show.
What do you love about burlesque? There are so many things that I love about Burlesque, from the rhinestones, to the feathers to the radical self expression. I love our community, how we uplift and encourage diversity. Being a part of such a vibrant scene has allowed me to truly come into myself and my queerness, excepting all parts of myself, my body and my creativity. I’m forever grateful to have stumbled across a show all those years ago and have never looked back.
What else would you like to add? It’s an honour to be a Burlesque teacher and to help guide people on their creative journey.
My advice to new emerging performers would be to be true to yourself, don’t stay in one lane – explore all different styles, always learn by trying new skills or taking new classes, be playful, have fun, collaborate with people as we can learn so much from others, deepen your understanding as to what you want to express with your art by going inwards, practice compersion every day, support and uplift people in your community, have multiple income streams, strengthen your marketing skills and online presence and most of all take up space – you are worthy and have so much to give.