We had the good fortune of connecting with Kira Turnage also known as Lola Boutée on stage and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kira Turnage, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The Dollface Dames became an official company January 7th 2009. I’ve always loved live entertainment. I have a background in dance and theatre and when I moved to Los Angeles I was introduced to burlesque, which combined variety acts and the stage together in sexy and fun ways. I love the freedom that this artform brings, and how it can be so empowering to women. I’ve always been passionate about supporting women and I wanted to start a company that gave artists a space to create, provided performance opportunities, and offered them the freedom to explore who they truly were, both on and off the stage! The Dollface Dames started with just four women, and now under my parent cabaret company, Lola Boutée Presents, we feature thousands of artists from around the world. The Dollface Dames have become a professionally choreographed dance company as well as a separate private/corporate event division called Edge of the World Entertainment. Our performers are not just dancers and singers, we are a full-service entertainment company now booking main stage productions and soloists featuring fire performers, contortionists, aerialists, stilt-walkers, sword-swallowers, Can Can dancers, belly dancers, showgirls, sideshow artists, comedians, DJ’s, bands, & so much more. Starting my own company has been one of the best decisions in my life. I would never have imagined that I would be where I am today. I have met some of the most amazing people from the venues we work with, to the service staff, and my fabulous artists. Even through the pandemic, we have worked tirelessly to completely change our company format, from live to online events. We knew it was a very difficult time for people, and we wanted to continue to provide entertainment to our fans. We want people to feel joy every show, and maybe even inspire some new artists along the way – we’re always casting 🙂 We strive to bring people happiness, one kickline at a time 😉 and we won’t stop!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s a long journey that never stops when you own your own business. It’s a lot of work. This was my first company. Everything was a new experience. There was no specific training manual for what I wanted to accomplish, and things change all the time. I never thought there would be a time in the world, where there would not be live events. Due to COVID-19, we’ve had to completely pivot our business online. It’s been an exciting and scary journey, but I love what I do. Lola Boutée Presents has grown to be a full-service entertainment company. With everything going online, our company roster has expanded even more, with easier access to artists from all over the world. With this online transition, people from around the globe are now able to tune in and watch our shows. We take pride in our work. There is so much going on behind the scenes to make our productions happen. We always want a to leave a positive footprint – from the classes we teach, to our live productions, and now all the new and exciting online shows. We want our venues to be eager to work with us and our patrons to be excited to attend our events. Our company focuses on our talent. I get to work with amazing performers every day as we continue to create art. I think the thing I am most proud of are the amount of performance opportunities I’ve created over the years, to showcase the outstanding artists I work with. We have such a diverse range of talent. We encourage each individual to find out what inspires them, what makes them unique, and to pursue that. Through our company, you can book everything from a single solo performer to a full main stage show. We also have Cigarette Girls, Champagne Skirt Models, Atmosphere talent…the list goes on and on. No two experience are ever the same. Every venue we perform at is different and every show is original. We have over 12 choreographed main stage themed shows including 1920’s Vintage, Big Band Burlesque, Broadway, Geek to Chic, Cinema, Circus, a Patriotic Pinup show, & more – PLUS all our holiday shows!!! We really care about our clients. Through our private event company, Edge of the World Entertainment, we work with our clients one on one to create one of a kind events, listening to their ideas and visions and booking the best performers to help make their dream events a reality. We never stand still, and we do this because we love it. I remember one patron telling me he loved coming to our shows because they didn’t seem like shows, they seemed like an inviting party. That’s what we want. If you leave our events with a smile on your face, we’ve done our job. We want to share our art with the world and truly bring people happiness. Check-out one of our events online to see for yourself. We’d love to virtually meet you!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the Southbay and I love the ocean so I would take them to the Hermosa Pier. Hennessey’s has great views of the ocean right at the end of the pier. We’d picnic on the beach and walk the Stand looking at all the amazing houses, one of which will be mine someday -Ha! HT Grill has the best happy hour in the Southbay. I love supporting small local places, so we’d definitely hit up Friends of the Vine in Redondo Beach which is an intimate wine bar that is frequented by super fun regulars, and is my favorite spot to visit because the owner and his wife are some of the sweetest people I know. Once things resume, I’d take them to all our venues to watch a live show, such as Illusion Magic Lounge in Santa Monica, Muddle & Twist in North Hollywood, and TRiP Santa Monica. We also do a monthly Speakeasy show at R6 Distillery in El Segundo – there’s nothing cooler than partying in a real distillery. For food, some of my favorite restaurants in LA are Benny’s Tacos for casual dining, Casablanca in Venice, Spumoni in Hermosa, and Watergrill in Santa Monica for Oysters. I love eating at home as well so we’d just relax in my backyard for BBQ, do a lot of sunset walks by the water, check out The Getty, and visit with my LA family, which are all my friends here that have adopted this East coast girl and helped her make LA her home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a big shoutout to my family. They supported my decision to move from Maine to LA without knowing anyone and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. My mother raised me to be a strong woman, and my family’s belief in me gave me the confidence to start my own business. I also want to thank the women that came before me, who made their own strides, and helped pave the way for the women of today – to be able to own our own business and be our own bosses. It is not lost on me how far we’ve come, and how through our continuing work, we are growing and making a stronger path for the next generation of entrepreneurs. I need to thank our patrons for their continued support the past 11+ years! It’s their patronage that helps us continue to create amazing shows, and we LOVE to entertain them. Finally, I want to thank all my artists! They have helped our company grow exponentially, and their talent and passion inspire me every day. I do this because of them.
Other: https://www.facebook.com/lolabouteepresents/ https://www.instagram.com/lolabouteepresents/
Corvette Picture: Darren Eskandari Photography Feature Mask Picture: Darren Eskandari Photography Can Can Photo: @castevent.mathias