Catherine D’Lish Interview
(Striptease Virtuoso)

Catherine D’Lish is known as a “Striptease Virtuoso.”

She’s competed in and won nearly every pageant and title available to striptease performers, holding over 30 titles including Miss Nude USA, World’s Performer of the year, Miss Erotic World, Showgirl of the year, Miss Exotic America, Miss Nude International, USA’S Best Shows, and Miss Exotic world.

She is known for her extravagant costumes and elaborate props.

Q — Catherine, what were you doing before you were a dancer? You have a musical background?
A — Yeah, I do. I play a few instruments and I studied throughout school.

Q — Did you play in a band? Did you play professionally?
A — No, not professionally.

Q — So, how did you get into the business you now find yourself in?
A — Well, that was really just kind of a fluke. I needed a part time job and I was looking through the classifieds. I saw Nude Dancer and I thought it was just the funniest thing in the world, and the last thing that I would ever do. So, of course I went down to the club. (Laughs). I auditioned just as a joke. It was funny. It was really a seedy little place. I thought it was really strange. I had never seen a place like that before. I auditioned and they asked me to stick around ‘til it opens and I made $100, and that was it. (Laughs). I said O.K. this is a great part time job.

Q — Were you a shy girl?
A — No, I wouldn’t say shy, just kept to myself. I just thought it was a funny place, a lot of funny people. It was fun and just such a silly job.

Q — Are you offended by the term stripper?
A — Oh, no, that’s my terminology that I use myself. I’m not going to call myself anything else.

Q — Some women like to be referred to as Exotic Dancers, Feature Entertainers, and I don’t know how many other descriptions there are.
A — Oh, there’s a lot. But, I’m a stripper.

Q — When you perform in a city, is it like having The Rolling Stones come to town? You have costumes and props.
A — It’s probably not quite as much equipment as the Rolling Stones. I do have a lot of things. More often that not most of the things I do are one off. So, I’m just coming into town to do a show for one night. The most I’ve done is 4 shows in one night. That was on a tour and I was traveling with 3 different props. It was a small trailer.

Q — How many people do you take on the road with you?
A — Well, that depends. When I did the Playboy Tour it was a huge staff and that wasn’t just my show. That was a bib, big production. If I’m coming into town to do something just by myself I usually only have one crew member and then the crew at the venue can help.

Q — Do you have roadies?
A — It depends on the event. Every event is different. It depends on what the situation is.

Q — How expensive is it to make your costumes?
A — They’re pretty costly, but they’re fun. It’s the way I like to do it. I like really extravagant costumes.

Q — Who makes those costumes?
A — I make them. I enjoy it.

Q — What you do would be more of a show than your typical Feature Entertainer wouldn’t it?
A — It seems to be. I like to do my shows with big costumes, big props. For me, that just makes it fun. When you’re referring to Feature Entertainers are you talking about the Gentleman’s clubs?

Q — Sure. The Upscale Venues. Places that book dancers for a week at a time.
A — I used to do that. You were booked in anywhere from 3—6 nights, and do anywhere from 2—4 shows a day. That’s pretty fun. I haven’t done that in awhile. It’s totally fun. You have a lot more freedom. It’s more relaxing than doing a corporate event.

Q — Your act is reminiscent then, of someone like Gypsy Rose Lee?
A — Yeah, something like that. I do mostly Classic Burlesque.

Q — How many women would you guess there are doing what you do in the U.S?
A — I have no idea. I’ve been pretty out of touch with the whole Gentleman’s Club scene. There must be hundreds of clubs that book Features, on a regular basis. There are all different levels of girls that work as Features, from magazines to Porn stars to Penthouse Pets.

Q — Sounds like you’re pretty particular about where and when you play.
A — Well, yes and no, I’ve been doing this for a little while, I’ve been in little strip clubs in very small towns at the end of a dirt road, and had a great time, I’ve been in Las Vegas and the biggest, best, most beautiful nightclubs doing big Corporate events. They’re both completely different events, but they’re both completely fun. I’ve had a great time with guys in $3,000 suits, or guys in flannel shirts with baseball hats, drinking Bud — it’s fun. It’s fun to do shows. I really enjoy going to the different kinds of venues and doing different kinds of events.

Q — Do you tour just in the U.S. or have you gone overseas as well?
A — I’ve gone overseas, not as much as I’d like to, just cause I’m busy here at home. I hope to do more.

Q — Would you recommend your work to other women?
A — Sure. Why not? It’s totally fun. I would recommend it to anyone who would not take it to seriously. (Laughs). You certainly have standards you need to be aware of as far as trying to look your best and do your best.

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