We had the good fortune of connecting with Fannie Sinclair and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fannie, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
Part of being your own business means you’re constantly selling ‘you’. I think that being genuine in who I am and welcoming my clients to see me on a personal level has been very successful for me. I want to know my clients like I know my friends. Honestly, most of them have become synonymous. I also think that having them know me has been crucial in the process of teaching self love and sensuality. A type of mutual trust needs to be developed for what I do to be successful on an individual level. Being my most genuine self helps disarm my audience and allows them to welcome what I have to offer into their lives. I think, as an instructor of anything, you have to have trust. And when you teach something as personal as I do, you have to let people see that you truly live it. Also, being a supporter of my clients in their various endeavors has been such an important element. This has bred collaborations and shared respect and it has been so wonderful to explore the passions of those that find passion in what I do. I know this doesn’t work in all cases with business, but I also know that knowing my community, letting them know me, and supporting them brings an abundance of support back. It’s beautiful.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Burlesque Performer. I am an entertainer. I use dance and parody, I find it fun to be playful and sexy in my acts. I perform because it bring me joy, and builds my confidence. It also feels like something I was always called to do. I have always felt most myself on a stage. Burlesque gave me the ability to heal, explore, be creative, and find joy all at once. It was the place that fit most. I didn’t find it until I had found myself in the most vulnerable place I had ever been in my life. It became the source of light I needed in my darkness. Before Burlesque, I was a Dance Instructor. I taught Hip Hop, Salsa, and Theatrical Dance. I also choreographed a few musicals with some local productions. Transitioning to offering Burlesque was a process, and it wasn’t always successful. I started with workshops. The word ‘Burlesque’ had such a stigma when I first began, that people were afraid to try it. I was also unsure on how to market myself. I spent many nights in tears because, try as I did with marketing and booking a space, I would often end up with an empty room. It was heartbreaking. I found something that helped me blossom and I wanted to share that with the world, but the world didn’t want to share in it with me. Like most start ups, it takes time and persistence. I was able to build my brand and I worked hard to continue teaching classes and began producing showcases that ultimately grew to success. COVID and quarantine has been a challenge of our time, hasn’t it? I had just started a new set of classes with my partnership at The Studio 203 when we were locked down. I wanted to make sure to provide a space during such an uncertain time, and a week into quarantine, I began teaching what is now my Monday Night Shimmy class on IGLIVE. It is a virtual class that is Pay What You Can. This class has been so important to me, and I know that it’s helped my students find solace, sanity, and a sense of togetherness in this time apart. I have never missed a Monday and we are approaching our 45th class. Fun fact, no two classes have been the same or repeated choreography. I also quickly developed a Patreon. Now, I was completely clunky with it, admittedly. I had no idea what I was doing at first. Over time, I have discovered that, to be online is a lot of work, and that work takes structure. I now have a schedule that I keep myself on to bring content to my Patrons, and the reach has been a nice side affect of this situation. I have been able to work with people I never thought I could. I also took over and began producing a professional Burlesque Show with Golden Chandelier Burlesque, which has been incredible. This show has been an outlet and a source of work for otherwise out of work performers, which I am so glad I can provide. It is also one of the only LIVE virtual shows still around. Most of the shows, at least that I have seen in my community have moved toward pre-recorded, but we bring acts every month that are live (on Zoom)! It’s an exciting thrill for us and the audience. I enjoy this so much. Navigating the internet universe has been a challenge in itself, and getting caught amongst the noise of everything from other virtual shows and classes to the goings on has been something I have to overcome with each and every endeavor, but I stay motivated because I believe in what I do. I believe that this art form holds value and needs to continue on. I always say you can’t stop the shimmy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have to take everyone I know to Big Wok in Manhattan Beach. That place is fantastic. It’s good for Vegans and meat eaters alike. If you haven’t, you must. Make sure you go extra hard on the dragon sauce. I would also take them to the beach, but that’s a given. If I could get us an invite to The Magic Castle in Hollywood, I would. Who doesn’t love magic and some good humor? Oh and we must stop at Joes Falafel in North Hollywood if we’re in the area. Again, a great place for all types of eaters. Then, maybe off to The Last Bookstore in DTLA for a good peruse and lastly, hop across the street to Little Easy for a drink and (fingers crossed) some live music and dancing. I had hopes to perform there, pre-covid. I miss doing things.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out Lost Hat Media and The Studio 203. From the very beginning of my Burlesque journey, Lost Hat Media’s main photographer has partnered with me and been an unwavering beacon of support. He has captured many of my stage performances, and helped me to become a published pinup with his artistic expertise. We now partner and work together to create environments for performers and novices alike to flourish in front of the lens. I am forever grateful for the constant encouragement, willingness to work with me, and support rarely seen by LHM. The Studio 203 is founded by a student of mine and her husband, who turned our relationship into a bit of a partnership in early 2020. The two owners of this studio have been huge supporters in my art and have offered a space for me to teach (which will have to wait until it is COVID safe) and produce. They see my value and have been amazing from the day we’ve met. When I made my transition out of the studio I was in for over 7 years to finally branch out on my own, they were there to offer me a space that I could use for my classes and beyond.
Professional shots by Lost Hat Media