This Valentine's Day we wanted to celebrate with one of Boston's best burlesque romances, Erik Liddell and Esmerelda from The Slutcracker!
Erik: Oliver Tryst, but lately I just use my real name, Erik Liddell
What are your genders and pronouns?
Essy: Born female and respond to ma'am
Where and when did you meet?
Essy: In 2013 when I decided to try out for The Slutcracker and had no idea what burlesque was.
Erik: Essy and I met about 4-5 years ago performing in The Slutcracker.
What are your dance backgrounds?
Essy: My mom forced me to take ballet in Mexico but I ended up loving it. So when I came back to Boston I wanted to continue and add Jazz, tap, modern, and hip hop. I was in a competition dance team during high school and ended up going to UMass as a dance major and exercise science major. After college I became a professional ballroom dance instructor and currently doing a little bit of everything.
Erik: I was trained in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz from age 6-18.
What brought you to The Slutcracker?
Essy: I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it sounded fun. I have not seen it before I tried out but knew in my heart I really wanted to be a part of it.
Erik: I was 31 years old and had not danced in about a decade, but my friend, Abby Normal, was aware of my ballet background and asked me to meet Sugar Dish as she was looking for a male with some ballet training to play a dancing Christmas Penis.
What led you to becoming a burlesque performer?
Essy: If it wasn't for Sugar Dish or The Slutcracker, I would have never known about burlesque. I still consider myself a dancer in general because I do so many styles of dance and embrace them all.
Erik: see above.
How long have you been performing? How many Slutcrackers have you performed in?
Essy: 25 years
Erik: 10 Slutcrackers
What do you love about burlesque/performing/The Slutcracker?
Essy: The best thing is the audience! I love that I can feel their energy and hear their reactions. I love that there is no wall between the performer and audience, and no two shows are the same. Anything can happen in theatre!
Erik: Especially when it comes to The Slutcracker and the amazingly diverse Boston Community, what I love most is the empowerment that both the audience and performers alike, inspire.
When was your first performance together?
Essy: Back in 2014 when I became his Clara.
Erik: It was about 4 years ago, when I was the lucky dog who got to dance with Essy as my Clara, in The Slutcracker.
What is your favorite performance of each others?
Essy: My favorite was when he danced as a flower in The Slutcracker and got to show off his calves.
Erik: I, like all other breathers, especially enjoy watching Essy in the "Fifty Shades of Bey" show. But in all honesty she is just amazing to watch in any role.
How and when did you fall in love?
Essy: When we went to Mexico together to see my family. We even got finger tattoos together!
Erik: Funny story here, it was probably Essy's 2nd year as a member of The Slutcracker, cast, when I turned to my 'diary,' Jane Doe, backstage and said with all sincerity, "I am going to marry that woman!"
What do you have in common with your Slutcracker characters - Clara and Slutcracker Prince?
Essy: I think the only thing I have in common with Clara is her love for diamonds.
Erik: The lines are so blurred now a days. I might have very well always been the Slutcracker Prince.
What are your plans for the future?
Essy: I want to challenge myself even more as a dancer and do more things that excite me. I see pole dancing in my future....
Erik: When I look upon all the greatest moments of my life, from joining the Slutcracker to marrying Essy, none of them could have ever been planned for let alone expected. That said, no real plans aside from doing everything I can to follow my dreams and provide support and encouragement to make sure Essy can do the same.
Do you have any future performances planned?
Essy: I have a show in March lined up for now. I'm trying to get Erik to dance Argentine Tango with me, so who knows.
Erik: Only time will tell.
What did you do for your honeymoon?
Essy: We just got back from Cancun! So eat, drink, sleep then repeat.
Erik: We went to Mexico, and relaxed in the warm sun of Cancun. Much needed escape from the cold winter rat race that is New England, and post Slutcracker decompression.
What is your ideal date night?
Essy: Staying home, wine bottle, chocolate and Netflix.
Erik: I love to cook Essy dinner, and just snuggle up on the couch with some wine.
What are you doing for Valentine's Day?
Essy: Ask Erik, hopefully it's something romantic and sexy.
Erik: Invoking the 5th amendment
What's the most romantic thing you've done for each other?
Essy: I took him to Provincetown for his birthday weekend and spent time just the two of us.
Erik: Essy took me to P-town for my birthday one year. I fell in love with her probably 6 times that weekend. She had this habit of puuting her hand in my coat pocket whenever she took my arm, so I started leaving gifts in there for her. Trinkets ranging from little turtles to encase butterfly wings.
What do you think is the most important thing for a healthy relationship?
Essy: Sex....I mean trust.
Erik: Communication and honesty.
If you could have a conversation heart say anything you want, what would it say?
Essy: My heart would say 'don't be afraid'
Erik: I love you, mummbles.
Who are your idols?
Essy: My mom. She's a strong, independent woman and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her.
Erik: So many. Lou Reed, Yma Sumac, Tesla, Joan Clarke, Stephen Merit, Kurt Vonnegut
What's your favorite movie?
Essy: I’m a fan of psychological thrillers, but oddly enough my favorite movie is Kill Bill
Erik: These are tough questions. Hudsucker Proxy, Time Bandits, My Cousin Vinny.
What is a song you can't help dancing to?
Essy: If you play any samba song I can't help but to do some batucadas.
Erik: Hall and Oats, "You make my dreams come true" or Laura Branigan's, "Gloria" (blushing)
What is your website, Instagram, twitter, etc?
Essy: You can follow me on insta @essysosa or Facebook Essy Sosa, but will be Essy Liddell soon.
Do you have any pets? Can we see a picture? Can we follow them on IG?
Essy: We have a stubborn 8lb Pomchi named Louis and you can follow him @thepomchichronicles
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Essy and Erik: Thanks for all your support and love!!!
Burlesque Boston's Blog is a collection of contributions from burlesque artists.