Guaranteed to leave you breathless: Jacqueline Hyde on her new show at Julia's

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Jacqueline Hyde — Photo courtesy of the artist
Jacqueline Hyde — Photo courtesy of the artist

Self-proclaimed "baroness of burlesque and alchemist of tease" Jacqueline Hyde is bringing a showcase of sensual fun to Julia's on Broadway in her upcoming show Breathless.

Hyde is not merely a performer; she established a career in burlesque to wide acclaim shortly after her first exposure to the art and has been proving her "jill-of-all-trades" nature throughout her career. For years, she worked in information technology for Microsoft in addition to arduous hours of hand-beading, makeup production, wig crafting, and garnering two master's degrees (marketing and project management).

Her IT background left her serendipitously prepared for the difficulties presented by the advent of the pandemic, but she is bringing back lively, in-person performance with the debut of Breathless on February 10.

The SGN had the pleasure of chatting with Hyde about the ins and outs of burlesque, show curation, and how Breathless stands out in her wide catalog of performances.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Nick Rapp: What is your favorite part of being a burlesque performer?
Jacqueline Hyde: Well, just performer at large, let's just put it that way. The ability to curate a moment that will give people either joy, reflection, or a moment of escape — especially considering what we've been having to go through these past few years. That moment of escape has really been helpful as an entertainer, not only for myself to curate but to have others experience. I want to create experiences.

NR: How does Breathless differ from your typical show at Julia's?
JH: It's focused more on the sensual side. A traditional Le Faux show or throwback brunch focuses on a lot of high energy, a lot of different movements, a lot of real structure. Breathless is hyperfocused on sensuality, gender, self-reflection, and stillness. So, it's like the polar opposite in many respects, but at the same time works in tandem.

I think a lot of people don't really understand how burlesque in general works. And so we're going to be going down that exploratory journey for some folks. As one of the cast members says, "We're going to get sexy." And there's a certain vulnerability when we do burlesque. It can be scary for some folks to do it, and it can create a different tension in the body for other people.

Jacqueline Hyde — Photo courtesy of the artist  

NR: How did you curate the list of performers in Breathless?
JH: Well, I looked at my direct peers at Julia's and reached out and said, "I would like you to do this. This is what I'm envisioning for you."

I mentor one of the gentlemen in the show, Rhode Island Red, and we've been working together for years. Nox Falls is a joy in general. I've worked with them several times over the years, and I was like, "If I was going to use the word 'breathless,' who would leave me breathless?"

I was just looking around and kind of inviting the players, like, "I see this for you. Will you bring this content to me? Let's extract pieces that people have not seen from you yet." And so that's been fun to play with.

NR: Is this a one-time performance?
JH: Well, that's a very good question. I [bear] the financial responsibility of it all, and having worked almost two full decades now in burlesque and within the community, as somebody who's being looked to for standards, I pay above the minimum.

The goal is to make it monthly. And... this first one helps to determine that. I know that it's going to be good. I'm not going to worry about that in any way, of course. I have a great team (performers and tech) and a beautiful venue. I like to think of it as on the level of Julia's — Mr. Eladio has standards in his production, and we all work really hard on refining, refining, refining. We're going to do it again, hopefully, but it's all dependent upon this first one.

NR: Do you have any other performances you're excited about on the horizon?
JH: I am debuting a new piece at Breathless. In a couple of months, I'll be doing a new one at Afternoon Delights, which is produced by Shay Fox. And then I've got a couple new acts coming to Le Faux in the next month and a half, two months. It takes me a long time to make costumes, because it's a lot of hand-beading.

Read Jacqueline Hyde's origin story at and secure tickets to Breathless at