As I pull up to the “Dance Factory” in Atlanta, GA, I find myself somewhat nervous about meeting Candice Caine, AKA Candie Reign, the Artistic Director and Founder of Liberal Ladies Ent. Why I’m nervous, I’m not quite sure, but maybe it’s because this is my first interview with such a big name in the Burlesque industry. I was in town meeting a model named Paris Tokyo, who also happens to be a Liberal Ladies performer, and she was nice enough to arrange for me to meet the legendary Candie Reign one-on-one.
Yeah, I’m not nervous.
I knock on the door of the Liberal Ladies Dance Factory, and my fears quickly evaporate once I am greeted by a familiar face…Paris Tokyo. Once inside, my fears are totally a thing of the past, as I am greeted by several beautiful models who are preparing for dance practice.
And then I meet the legendary Candie Reign.
She politely introduces herself, shakes my hand, and introduces me to all of her performers. Then she ushers me back to her office, where we small talk about my business, my goals, and how I ended up at her doorstep. After a few minutes, it’s time for the highly-anticipated interview.
Please enjoy the following exclusive interview with Candice Caine, a raw uncut discussion about Urban Burlesque, the challenges she faces, and how she has become an inspiration for the everyday working woman.
How did Liberal Ladies get started?
Basically I started Liberal Ladies in 2009, and I had dancing experience as a young girl. That’s how I got started. As time progressed, I started conversing with a lot of Male Revue performers, so that’s how Liberal Arts started.
When you say male revues, you mean like Magic Mike male revues?
Yes, like Magic Mike male revues. [laughs] And I made a rapport with them and we made a connection. I was doing a lot of Art Directing for the Male Revue shows. And, one in particular, his name was Silk The Exotic… he’s now deceased. But, he saw my vision and he respected it so much… and again, this was in 2009 when burlesque wasn’t really going on. It was starting to slow down, especially Urban Burlesque. So, I wrote my vision on paper, and I gave it to him. I didn’t really have the money, but he took the time to invest in my shows. The first one I did was in 2009 and it was supposed to be just for women, period. My show was different because it was nothing but women staff, women cast, and women audience.
Very creative. Please define Urban Burlesque.
Urban Burlesque is basically a remake of classic burlesque, and it’s just a way for women to express themselves sexually, but more in a classic way. For those who don’t know, I always compare it to a striptease. It’s just really classic… Urban Burlesque is more so of a mixture of striptease and Hip-Hop, versus classic burlesque, which is more so of a…
Yes, yes! So that’s the difference between the two. I prefer Classical more because it’s more acting, so you can express yourself theatrically. Whereas, Urban, which is more so dancing… it’s more sultry and sensual. So that’s the difference.
Do you have a definite timeline for completion of your vision? Or is it something you see gradually happening?
Well, I tell you… and you know doing business, the hardest part is finding people on your team who are going to be consistent and have the same vision as yours. Because you can’t do a business by yourself, it’s impossible. So when you have a group of people who are on the same page, which I pray that finally I do, it can start to progress. I started in 2009 and I have a vision, so if people can’t get on the same boat, then you eventually have to cut them loose and find a new group or some people who can see what you see and be consistent. My goal is to eventually, in 5 years, be able to tour the way I want to consistently, and just make a change in people’s lives, especially for women. That’s my main focus. And all women. Like in my group, the team that I have, it varies from short, petite women to larger, full-figured women. All women are beautiful. And they all have a certain type of flair that they can give Liberal Ladies. And another good thing about Liberal Ladies is that it’s for everyday working women. You know, you have women out there who bust their butt for their family and they lose that sex appeal. Something that God blessed us with, being feminine. So, the good thing about Liberal Ladies is that we are able to show them and let them know “hey you are able to project this in your everyday life.””
Wonderful! Who, or what, inspired you to create Liberal Ladies?
To be honest, most people would say the burlesque foundation. You have Dita Von Tees, you have Bettie Page, you have all of these classic performers who paved the way. You have Josephine Baker, she was a burlesque performer. Not too many people know that. You have people like Esther from Sanford & Son, she was a burlesque performer and nobody knew that…
I didn’t know that…
Right. So you have these people who paved the way. But, to be honest, my inspiration came from male revues, male performers.
What specific challenges have you faced in your business other than a lack of consistency?
A lot of the challenge for me is that I’m a Libra, so I’m very creative by nature. And, when I have an eye for something and create it and make it my own, unfortunately, I am so open about my idea that people take my ideas. That’s the biggest challenge… having to find something else, switch it up. The thing is you can’t put a patent on what’s already out there. So, I make sure I’m always five steps ahead of the next brulesque company that tries to come in. But I’m always open to help other businesses or other burlesque performers who are interested. So, thats the most challenging thing, you know… keeping it current and keeping it moving. I’m always trying to find something new.
Absolutely. Last question… if your fans want to check out your next show, 1) how do they contact you and 2) where is your next show going to be held?
We do shows all over. We are always booking shows. The easiest way for them to get in contact with Liberal Ladies is to visit www.liberalladies.com. That is the best way.
The website lists all of your show dates, times, and locations?
Everything is on there, we even have a calendar.
Cool, I’m coming to your next show. [laughs]
You should! Our next show is on August 14th at a location called Coves in Atlanta. It’s an intimate affair. It’s a cocktail mixer but we’re also doing a show there, so it’s like an all-exclusive type of intimate show.
Sounds great. Candice, thank you so much, I really appreciate your time and I wish you and Liberal Ladies the best of success!
Liberal Ladies Ent presents “ExoticShowNTell”
The Theatrical Exotic Feminine Urban – Lesque Revue Show
Burlesque at its Sexiest!
Experience Feminine Energy!
Experience the Show!
Candice Caine – Artistic Director and Founder
Contact info: exoticshowntell.blogspot.com