Duchess deBerry | Supporting the Sisterhood – Kiwi Women in Business: Venus Starr
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06 Sep Supporting the Sisterhood – Kiwi Women in Business: Venus Starr

As a full-time burlesque performer, there are a huge number of facets to my job. I simply can’t do everything myself, so I regularly outsource some tasks/aspects to experts.

Sometimes we collaborate to create art together, sometimes I commission custom designs, and sometimes I just have a project I need help with. Wherever possible, I like to support local small businesses, and especially my fellow self-employed women. I’ve decided to write a series of blogs introducing some of the amazing Kiwi women that I work with, who help me keep my brand running. Over the next 10 weeks, I will be profiling each of them individually. I look forward to sharing them with you, darlings. I know burlesque is built on a very DIY attitude, but remember, when you support your friends, it means they can afford to live their dream jobs, too!


Venus Starr, performer and producer
Venus Starr’s School of Burlesque and Aerial Arts

Back in 2010, when I was first discovering burlesque, my mentor, Ms Tittle Tattle, told me about a show in Wellington called Carousel Cabaret, produced by one of New Zealand’s top performers, Venus Starr.

It became an immediate goal to perform there, even though I’d not yet had my burlesque debut. But, unbeknownst to me, Ms Tittle Tattle had already been in touch with Venus, and a few weeks after my first show in Hamilton, I was offered a spot in the two-night run of the October Carousel Cabaret.


I was humbled to be in the lineup, and I rather suspect that my acceptance, sight unseen, was a testament to the trust Venus placed in Ms Tittle Tattle’s judgment. However, Venus clearly deemed me worthy of her stage, as I’ve since performed for two more Carousel events, and in 2015, hosted and performed in the inaugural Dark Starr Pageant.

Venus Starr is a name synonymous with New Zealand burlesque, with more than 10 years of experience in the industry, and numerous accolades and awards to her name. Venus has performed all over the world, headlining shows and events, is a published model, and even has a diploma in circus arts. She is the creative director of the ALT Photography Shoots, alongside Black Friday Photography (which I’ve previously written about), and runs the Dark Starr Modelling Agency and Dark Starr Pageant.

Venus is based in Wellington, and it is there that she has recently opened her burlesque academy, in a space she shares with Courtney L’Amour’s pole dance academy, Studio L’Amour.

Venus’ school offers lessons in burlesque, from beginners to advanced level, and also boasts aerial silks and hoop classes. Available for hen parties, photo shoots and private hire, it is a versatile space, and it is here that I always hold my workshops or one-on-one lessons when I’m in town. It’s fabulous having a central venue to teach in, and I would much rather support my friends than hire an expensive dance studio.

12440701_1074105695966377_7640715060281073286_oThere’s always something happening in Venus Starr’s world and I’m proud to count this incredible businesswoman as one of my friends. She has supported me since I first started performing burlesque and I’m excited to share her latest endeavour with you.

Support the Sisterhood: For more information on classes and tutors at Venus Starr’s School of Burlesque and Aerial Arts, visit the website and follow the academy on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also up with Venus Starr on Facebook and Instagram, or on her website.

Next time, meet my website and branding manager.

Always the Tease,

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