Fans of burlesque will be all too familiar with the extravagant likes of Sutherland Shire showgirl, Mae de la Rue.
Having recently performed in a festival in New Zealand, she is back and ready to once again represent the shire on the Burlesque Idol Australia stage in its Sydney final in March.
The energetically vibrant performer has competed in three previous competitions since 2014, strutting away with a runner-up prize tucked under her feathered glove.
This year she hopes to stun the crowd to take out the final.
Mae has made burlesque her second name since taking up the talent in 2012.
Five years later she took over the Risque Bizniz School of Burlesque, based at Wollongong, which she wants to expand into the shire.
Burlesque was a turning point in her life, she said.
“It lets you sparkle on the inside when you can't sparkle on the outside,” Mae said.
“From a time when I was low and had little self-confidence, to now when I can be a bright shining star any time I choose. It's like I'm a super hero on stage with a secret identity by day.”
And for the fabulous final, it’s all about entertaining the crowd, who will vote for their favourite shining starlet.
“It's all based on the audience vote, so you have to make sure you're bringing a strong story, an entertaining concept, and lots of energy to the performance,” Mae said.
“This is the last time I'll be competing in Burlesque Idol, so I want to make sure I go out with a bang. An extravagant, over-the-top act is the only way to go.”
The winner will progress to the national final on March 23.
Fellow performer Miss Surely Not (Sarah Hurley) will represent Peakhurst in the Burlesque Idol in Newcastle on March 8.
The sassy performer pursued her burlesque dream after her cousin died of breast cancer.
“I realised life is too short to not follow your ambitions,” she said.
“When they say life begins at 40, I never thought it meant I would be performing on stage doing something I adore.
“I hope this shows other women out there that you can be empowered as you get older.
“Known for my quirky routines, funny faces and generally just having a ball on stage, my warmth opens up to the crowd ensuring they have a ball watching my routines.”