Dita Von Teese — The Queen of Burlesque (#379)

16 Comments

Photo by Cosimo Buccolieri

“You can be a juicy ripe peach and there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches.”
— Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese (@DitaVonTeese) is the biggest name in burlesque in the world since Gypsy Rose Lee and is credited with bringing the art form back into the spotlight. She is renowned for her iconic martini glass act and dazzling haute-couture striptease costumes adorned with hundreds of thousands of Swarovski crystals. This “Burlesque Superheroine” (Vanity Fair) is the performer of choice at high-profile events for designers such as Marc Jacobs, Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, Chopard, and Cartier. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour and has a namesake lingerie collection available internationally at prominent retailers. You can join Dita on one of her upcoming tour dates in 2019 and 2020 or at her “Weekend of Glamour” event on August 24th and 25th.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Castbox, or on your favorite podcast platform.


Want to hear an episode with another artist who makes her own rules? — Listen to my conversation with Amanda Palmer in which we discuss books, trauma and grief, crowdfunding, understanding the role of pain, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I’m often asked, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is usually Athletic Greens, which I consider my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. I often take it in the mornings at home and travel with it to minimize the likelihood of getting sick. Though I always focus on whole foods first, AG covers my bases if I can’t get everything I need through meals. As a listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, you’ll get a free 20-count travel pack (valued at $79) with your first order at athleticgreens.com/tim.


This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs, which offers a smarter system for the hiring process. If you’ve ever hired anyone (or attempted to), you know finding the right people can be difficult. If you don’t have a direct referral from someone you trust, you’re left to use job boards that don’t offer any real-world networking approach.

LinkedIn, as the world’s largest professional network, which is used by more than 70 percent of the US workforce, has a built-in ecosystem that allows you to not only search for employees, but also interact with them, their connections, and their former employers and colleagues in a way that closely mimics real-life communication. Visit LinkedIn.com/Tim and receive a $50 credit toward your first job post!


QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

  • Connect with Dita Von Teese:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

SHOW NOTES

  • What is haute couture? [04:30]
  • Dita fondly reminisces about the classic cars she’s collected, refurbished, and flipped over the years. [05:27]
  • What other vintage things does Dita collect as a self-proclaimed “maximalist,” and how did this hobby begin? [09:51]
  • From where did the stage name “Dita Von Teese” accidentally originate? [11:53]
  • How did Dita go from aspiring ballerina to modern-day burlesque breakthrough — reviving an art form that had mostly died out in the 1950s? [15:25]
  • At what point did Dita realize this was a niche that she could fill full time and quit her day job? [21:22]
  • Growing up as the shy and introverted Heather Sweet from Michigan, how did Dita find her voice as a performer and spokesperson? What changed? [29:09]
  • Dita talks about getting kicked out of her father’s house at age 16, going to live with her mother, and where she got the capacity to deal calmly with this passage from her life. [33:38]
  • Why we should embrace the shortcomings and flaws that make us uniquely us. [39:01]
  • On Madonna and Mae West as ahead-of-their-time influences. [45:09]
  • Clearing up something from the rumor mill: Does Dita employ the use of stylists, or does she do everything herself? [52:56]
  • Why does Dita famously arrive four or five hours early to prepare for performances? [54:41]
  • New behaviors or beliefs that have had a positive impact on Dita’s life. [58:47]
  • How meditation, massage, and — believe it or not — going to the dentist help Dita focus and work out her best ideas. [1:00:58]
  • If Dita could give advice to a younger version of herself, what would the advice be, and at what age would she direct it? What advice does she think her 10-year-older self might offer her now? [1:04:31]
  • We discuss our attitudes about children: to have or not to have? And a bonus sure to upset a parent or two listening: are pets just as good? [1:07:01]
  • Wise advice Dita has gotten from older friends. [1:15:52]
  • At what age should a woman stop wearing clothes that show off her skin? Dita weighs in on the surprising blend of sexism and ageism being promoted by people in the fashion industry who should know better — and why she sees it as her duty to carry on, regardless. [1:18:24]
  • Final thoughts and touring/event plans for the immediate future. [1:21:24]

PEOPLE MENTIONED

Posted on: July 28, 2019.

Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.

Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

16 comments on “Dita Von Teese — The Queen of Burlesque (#379)

  1. Holy cow, this episode is amazing. Dita, you smashed it, you sex godess! I can literally hear Tim’s voice change to match your sexy purr. If you listen closely you can hear Tim drooling 😂😂

    Like

  2. amzing interview and dita is very inspirational and the fact that you had her on the show just proves how broad based and wide ranging this show is…ceers tim…amazing content again…

    Like

  3. I was kinda shocked by this interview. Dita is free to do and express herself as she pleases. Her initial interest in lingerie to working in a store to having her own brand was interesting to hear, but I was dubious of how she is empowering women. When she mentioned the playboy mansion and being on the cover of Playboy, I was really rolling my eyes, but I listened to her whole interview. Did Tim ask her the questions at the end he usually asks guests? What would you put on a billboard etc or did I miss that? When men or women are titillated by strippers, strip tease, nude pole dancers, I always wonder if they’d be proud if their wives, sisters, or daughters were performing? Would they take their friends to go see them at a club? Look that’s my daughter up there! Isn’t she talented! Would Tim encourage his girlfriend to strip on stage and think it was hot? I looked up one of Dita’s performances as I was not familiar with her burlesque. I guess I’m not her target audience as the pace was boring, and in the end, to see her swiveling around in a huge cocktail glass, WTF? If you want to see strength AND sexy, Serena Williams is someone to watch perform.

    Like

  4. Tim thank you for inviting Dita to talk. I found so much here for myself. I am glad you opened up the question about children. It’s something I am pondering myself. This interview helped me in so many ways. I enjoy your work and I am grateful you keep doing it 🙏🏻. Thanks a lot.

    Like

  5. Thank you for this great interview. What I admire about Dita Von Teese is that she is a very astute entrepreneur. Her passion and authenticity has enabled her to create a business empire that is very reflective of whom she is as a person.

    Like

  6. Not so good. I don’t think she came across as epic; not exactly in the realm of Ana Miuro-Ko. (And we heard you drooling mentally over Ana’s mind. She clearly moved you, as did so many others) Dita was interesting, not always consistent in her revelations, more like someone for The View. But the bar is very high after your hundreds of other interviews, which always teach by example and leave you reaching higher with your own earth avatar. I shut it off half way through, which is rare. But thank you.

    Like

  7. Hey Tim, your interview with Dita was great. She is a true ‘woman of beauty’. Her anxiety about it and near retirement several years ago only makes her more attractive….fine wine!

    Like

  8. Great interview, didn’t know much about her before the show but she was really inspiring. And her voice is sooo charming.

    One thing missing in the show notes is the brand of that mushroom tea she mentioned ..asking for a friend..

    Like

  9. It did not seem that you have asked really crucial questions.
    How did you choose this line of work?
    How does it feel to be this exposed?
    How do you overcome stereotipes in judgement of what you do vs what you are?
    Looking forward to your next interview with Dita

    Like

  10. Tim, RE: “Don’t Shoot the Dog” and progressive animal training with humans, Amy Sutherland wrote that book. It’s called “What Shamu Taught Me about Life, Love, and Marriage.” [Moderator: Amazon link removed due to policies, but thank you.]

    Like

  11. I must admit I was very cynical about this particular podcast, but it ended up being one of my favorites. Dita is an original and had lots of interesting and thoughtful things to say. She seemed very genuine.

    Like