B Is for Burlesque

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Why you should care

Because there are actually several second acts in most American lives.

“I was terrified.”

In a world where folks fear public speaking more than they fear death, the fact that San Francisco’s Trixie Fou Laurant hesitated before heeding a calling to the stage is not especially stunning. The fact that she was contemplating doing so in some stage of undress? Maybe a little more so.

She had previously been contented to live her whole life off the stage, with a lifetime of costume design for film and television under her belt. But for her own complex reasons, the statuesque but shy 5-foot-8-inch Fou Laurant chose another mode and method of expression. And beyond the stage, she ventured into webcamming and even an embrace of the somatic side of things — a turn quite at odds with what this daughter of the South ever expected she would do. For fun or for a living.

So from costuming to acting to action, Fou Laurant’s story is as sometimes unexpected as it is curiously cool. Proof that life might indeed begin at 40.

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