An Interview With: Burlesque Performer Gidget Bardot

Dec 9, 2020

Whilst 2020 has been such a tough year, one of the absolute best things to come out of it has been my Virtual Boudoir Shoots. Shooting virtually has opened up so many ‘doors’ to me this year, not only strengthening existing relationships with friends in foreign lands I dearly miss, but the start of some gorgeous new friendships with incredible humans. One such incredible human is Nashville based burlesque performer Gidget Bardot, who I’ve had the pleasure of creating magic with three times this year. From outdoor art nude shoots in a bathtub with beautiful dappled lighting, to provocative lounging in layers of delicious velvet and tulle, Gidget was one of the first clients to approach me with a DSLR camera and help me push the technology of virtual shoots far beyond their humble origins. I’m so grateful to be bringing Gidget Bardot to the blog today, along with a few images from our most recent shoot together…

Gidget Bardot's Virtual Boudoir Shoot with Tigz Rice

Gidget Bardot

Occupation: By day, I am a scientist.  By night, I am a showgirl.  Or at least I was before the pandemic.  It’s where my tagline comes from: The Scientifically Sinful, Ms. Gidget Bardot!  

How would your best friend describe you?  I am bad with compliments of any kind so I had to outsource this question.  The most common responses were – brilliant, ambitious, and caring.

Name three things that you always carry with you?  Headphones, chapstick, and a notebook of some sort.

What was the last book you read? Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.  Before burlesque, I was a voracious reader, and I have been working hard to find my way back to books during this pandemic.  I have been looking into online book clubs to see what others are loving right now, and it led me to this gem.  I also love horror films, and have been reading a lot of dense academic film books on topics related to the horror medium.  I recently brought one of these books, “Men, Women, and Chainsaws” (about gender in horror film) with me while voting, and it worked wonders to make sure everyone around me stayed at least 6 feet away.

Do you remember how you originally found me?  I had seen your work with several other burlesque artists that I admire, mostly on Instagram, and had put you on my “in my wildest dreams/someday goddamit” list.  I love how your images focus on the model and the beauty of their form, with a real eye for finding the best lines.  When I saw Helena Handbasket post their virtual collaboration with you on social media, I reached out about their experience.  Helena had nothing but amazing things to say, and encouraged me to message you.  So I took a deep breath and did.  And three virtual shoots and a growing friendship later, I am so very happy that I did!

What inspired you to book a photoshoot?  Staying motivated and creative during this pandemic has been hard.  While I know remaining socially distant is the smart (and right!) thing to do, I miss my friends and the magic I got to make with so many artists.  In booking a virtual shoot with you, I had an opportunity to work with a creator on the other side of the world, which is not something that happens every day.  It gave me a chance to explore new ways of making art and friends, and while it’s a lot work, it was inspiring.  And you made it so easy and fun!  

Who would play Gidget Bardot in a movie of your life?  When I was younger, a lot of people said I looked like Kate Winslet.  I also get Anne Hathaway comparisons.  So, maybe one of them?  I actually haven’t been told I look like many movie stars, to be honest.  Feel free to submit your ideas 🙂  

Whats the most interesting thing about you that the internet doesn’t know about you yet?  I was once a champion swimmer!

Gidget Bardot's Virtual Boudoir Shoot with Tigz Rice

Tell us about one of the outfits you wore for your shoot – why do you love it?  I love wearing things created by other performers, since it gives me another excuse to shout out their work.  I wore creations by Sheena Something, Vivacious Miss Audacious, Blue Lawless, and Glorious Pasties for our various shoots.  Getting to work personally to develop custom pieces is my favorite, though admittedly I mostly give the artist control.  I love seeing people’s creativity!

Describe your shoot experience?  All my shoots with Tigz have been virtual, and each one has run smoothly.  Tigz engages with you early on to make sure you have the tools and tips needed for a successful shoot, from discussing ideas, themes, and options to posing direction and encouragement.  I am fortunate enough to have a camera setup that Tigz could remotely control, which I did not even know was a thing, so I learned something new as well!  Each shoot felt like connecting with an old friend who knew exactly what outfit looks best on you.  

What song gets you on the dancefloor?  In Your Eyes by The Weeknd has been the song to get me moving this year.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?  I have a signature act that I was sure no one would get/enjoy/find humorous/etc., and yet it is the act I am most known for, and the one that gets booked the most often.  I have even won awards with it!  I am proud of the fact that I got to do something I love so much that has resonated with people.  It’s the act that is the most “me”, and it brings me joy to this day to do it.

What is your top body confidence tip?  Choose to love your body in every moment.  There are days where I feel terrible in my own skin, and I have to make a real effort to actively love it.  Changing that internal narrative has helped me to feel better even when I don’t want to.  I would never say the kinds of derogatory things I say to myself to a friend, so I shouldn’t say it to me.

What will your autobiography be called?  “The Rhinestoned Road Warrior – The Musings of a Traveling Showgirl Who Chose Coffee and Willpower Over Sleep and Logic”.  Before the pandemic, I was performing locally at two different clubs, as well as local shows, and traveling for festivals and productions.  And working full time.  If it was within 10 hours of my home, I considered it driveable.  There were times I’d drive after work to a show, perform, turn around to drive home, then go to work…rinse, repeat…my personal record was doing this six weeks in a row.  I accumulated enough travel accessories to turn my car into my own campground/hotel room.  But I loved it.  I love travel.  But I have definitely reflected on it during quarantine and wondered how I managed to do all that.  The answer is coffee, in case you were curious, with a hefty dose of podcasts.

If you could be a model for any brand, which brand would it be and why?  I love to model custom costume pieces from some of my favorite performers (since so many of them also create their own costumes and clothing!).  I have dreams of having full customs costumes made by Blue Lawless, deLeerious Dressings, and Manuge et Toi, to name a few.  I’ll be calling you to photograph me in them as soon as I achieve that goal!

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about booking a session of their own?  DO IT.  No, seriously, DO IT.  Don’t feel you need a certain wardrobe or a certain set or a certain something.  Wear your favorite piece of clothing that makes you feel beautiful.  Wear your hair and makeup exactly how you love it most.  Tigz has managed to bring out the best in me even when I wasn’t feeling my best.  I have spent so much time stressing about making sure everything was “perfect”, and really what I needed was someone like Tigz to help me embrace what made ME feel good.  I love everything we have created together because no matter what the look, I feel authentically myself, and that shines through more than ensuring my backdrop is the correct color.  Find what you love and create it, but don’t talk yourself out of something because it’s not up to some arbitrary standard.  Tigz manages to make you feel comfortable and safe, and will work with whatever you have to make the absolute best photos you could ever want.  So bring you, the real you, and let Tigz show you how beautiful you are.

What exciting project are you working on right now?  I am working on learning how to sew so I can create more costumes for myself.  I love cosplay as well, and hope to be able to bring some of my favorite characters to life.  As I can’t perform right now, I am trying to keep up with creating art whenever I can (and sharing it to my fan pages), and trying to get better at being a part of virtual shows.  Learning how to be your own production team has been both enlightening and frustrating, but I love all the innovation I have seen and I want to be more a part of it.  

Want to see more of my Virtual Boudoir Shoots? You can find plenty more interviews with my gorgeous clients here and then why not book yourself in for your own moment in the spotlight!


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