A Burlesque Queen and A Lady
A vision dressed in a red bustier and holding an enormous fan of red feathers, Trixie Minx glides across the stage of Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel like an ethereal vision. Men smile and ladies lean in to get a better look at the woman who has captured the attention of the men.
“It has been a strange and wonderful ride from my first striptease to being a burlesque queen,” Trixie says, as she explains that being a burlesque performer is not cheap. “Sparkles and feathers aren’t budget items. My accountant thinks I am crazy when he sees how much money I spend on costumes, gowns and lingerie for work.”
And then there is the other side of the closet for Alexis Graber, better known as Trixie Minx. “When not working I know how to transform myself into an elegant lady for a night out dining in a grand setting such as Restaurant R’evolution, also in the Royal Sonesta. “I especially like wearing dresses when I am away from work,” she says. “I think dresses are glamorously feminine.” Her favorite place to shop for dresses is Trashy Diva. “I like the vintage inspired designs that fit a woman’s body. “I’m a sucker for a dress with a cinched waist.” She also loves wearing high heels and says that her favorite brand is Miz Mooz because they are comfortable and come in beautiful colors. “I believe a night out on the town should be just as much fun and glamorous as doing my burlesque show, so why not dress to impress?”
Then she shares a secret about creating her personal style. “I can create a ton of elaborate costumes when it comes to working, but I’m not as confident about how to coordinate my wardrobe without sparkles.” Then the burlesque star adds, “Don’t be surprised to find me wearing a simple day dress with pockets, or yoga pants and a comfortable top when I am walking my dog or just relaxing between rehearsals.
And how does she always maintain her stage-ready figure? “I mostly stick to a strict diet of coffee, champagne and cheese. I do work out with a trainer once a week when I’m not traveling and I try to do Pilates on my own, but I just love to perform and I think that’s what mainly keeps my body in shape.”
A native of Miami, Florida, Trixie attended the New World School of the Arts. “I grew up in a very loving and supportive family. Everyone was involved in the arts in some way and my parents always encouraged us to pursue these interests. As the oldest I would get Sarah, my younger sister, and Zach, my brother, together to do big shows in our living room. My favorite was the Graber Family Circus, that involved gymnastics, clowns, magic and puppets.” Then she smiles and tells about her Grandmother Maxine: “She grew up during the depression and was a self-taught pianist and dancer. She gave dance lessons and it wasn’t until she retired that she started her own troupe of dancers, who wore some very tiny but glamorous showgirl costumes.” When Trixie finished high school she started working as a dancer with a ballet company.
She moved to New Orleans in 2001 to join an ethnic dance ensemble. “One of the other dancers in the troupe was a burlesque performer and said I should try burlesque. I quickly answered her: 'Oh no, I would never do that!’ Then I went to Paris and saw shows at the Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse and I fell in love with burlesque. I honestly had no idea it could be done in such a grand, theatrical and artistic style.”
Trixie did join a burlesque troupe and later formed her own company that garnered rave revues in town. In 2009 Irvin Mayfield approached her about starting a show at the Royal Sonesta that she still stars in today.
“I am now rooted in New Orleans, busy with Fleur de Tease, Burlesque Ballroom and Burgundy Burlesque, a cruise ship show (Fantasy), and producing entertainment for private events, corporate parties, and various functions throughout the city,” she says. “I also have traveled to Atlantic City to perform with ‘The Burlesque Show’ at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa for the past three years.” Her “Trixie Minx Productions” is designed to turn any outrageous idea into a beautiful reality. “I work with a large crew of talented artists, producing burlesque, circus and showgirl inspired shows, and I’ve done everything from staging beautiful vintage French Can-Can dancers to a modern New Orleans interpretation of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ as a full scale show.”
How does Trixie explain her burlesque style? “It’s best described as a playful spin on the classic glamorous striptease. There is usually an element of comedic flirt or coy wit in my acts. And from my ballet background, I tend to perform more graceful dance moves than traditional bump and grind. If you think of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers and add a bit of Lucille Ball and Marilyn Monroe, then you pretty much got me covered. My special talent as a burlesque queen is my ability to truly connect and give everything I have to an audience – my heart, soul and lots of love.”