Hailing out of Brooklyn New York is international burlesque performer and model, Raquel Reed. She has been seducing and teasing audiences for the past 5 years, and has carved out a strong reputation with her dangerous curves, opulent costumes and being a leading burlesque performer.
Raquel started off as an alternative model at the age of 16. She was known for her outrageous looks and colorful hair, and gained recognition from photographers all over the world. Raquel realized burlesque was in fact very similar to the creative story line of her photoshoots, but in performance. She got to express herself in a raw format, live and unedited. Raquel has performed all over the world including New Zealand, Canada and Singapore. She performs at tattoo conventions, festivals, cars shows and regularly at NYC venues such as Duane Park and Slipper Room. Her talents do not stop at performance, she is a talented make-up artist and has launched her own cosmetic line, Wink My Way, which specializes in lashes. www.winkmyway.com I have been lucky enough to watch this beauty grow over the years and Raquel has turned into such a gorgeous woman.
I truly feel she has finally found what she is meant to be doing and she deserves all the success in the world.
You’re burlesque costumes are stunning, do you design and make your own?
I do design my own costumes, but other than some small details or modifications I send out my design ideas (which take months of planning) to my costumer, Varla Va Voom in LA. I’ll sometimes incorporate a third party designer and bring in some other elements into a costume like corset basses. Eventually it all gets sent to the master of stoning, Varla in Los Angeles.
Have you had dance training or are you just a natural?
Actually as a kid I was a national champion cheerleader, lol. I also did tap, jazz and ballet. All of this was just the roots that led to my gogo dancing in my teen years. Then it evolved with me training many diverse styles of dance, contemporary and historical. I take pieces from where I can find and learn them and add them into my acts. I will always be learning. Creativity is natural, dance is learned.
Describe your dream show.
My dream show would be exactly that, mine! It would be a show which I could produce and hand pick my favorite and most talented performers. I would pay them handsomely and give them a venue and stage that everyone involved could take a sense of pride from both on and off of it. Sword swallowers, Burlesque, Boylesque, this is my world and I want to produce and see it all in it’s finest.
Who do you look up to?
Hard working alt models, fellow performers and people that are all self made. The people that inspire me the most are always thinking of what’s next in order to both make a name for themselves, but also propel their craft to new levels. If you test yourself and others in order to push your career, you are on my watch list.
What made you start to get tattooed?
Well, I grew up in California, the culture out there is different. It was more common to see fully tattooed women walking into the grocery store, or on the beach then it is anywhere else. My mom is one of those tattooed ladies, lol. I looked up to tattooed models like Sabina Kelley and Masuimi Max, and always thought tattoos were so beautiful.
How many tattoos do you have?
I have more than 30 tattoos. They are all pieced together like a puzzle in time, and they are moments in and out of my life that got stitched together.
What is your favorite tattoo that you have?
Probably my more recent adult tattoos, since they seem to be more planned out. The bullet bra on my arm is one of those. It is just relevant and appreciated at the moment, more than the others.
Have your tattoos ever held you back from any of your dreams?
Surprisingly yes! I never thought they would,but a lot of bookers are unfortunately kind of “old fashioned” and like a clean slate. On the other hand, I have bookings I get simply because I have tattoos. Unfortunately I can’t please everyone. Best to do what you want and own it. There are haters on all sides, lol.
Congrats on getting engaged, when are you getting married?
Thank you! We’re actually planning a big barn rustic wedding. It is going to be a big deal, so it probably won’t be for another year or two. First comes our new house in New Jersey, close to the city. I’m super excited for this next chapter in my life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Performing! With hard work and constant re-invigoration, I truly plan to keep performing. I’ll be newly married and working on my own company (eyelash line) keeping it growing and evolving. I will also be progressing myself as a performer. The training never ceases, both on revisiting my basics to learning and expanding vastly within my trade. I hope to do some aerial and wowing crowds with fire performances, which I’m currently learning.