Dirty Dancing - The Classic Story On Stage is back! The hit stage musical is currently making its way around Australia as part of the 10th Anniversary Tour. We got the low down on all things beauty and style related from Dirty Dancing star Kirby Burgess. She plays the iconic role of Baby, and her years on stage have taught her a thing or two about makeup – and how to deal with an awkward Leonardo DiCaprio encounter.
We’re so excited to see Dirty Dancing hit the road and travel around Australia – what has been the highlight of playing Baby so far? Opening in Sydney with all my friends, my amazing family and gorgeous man cheering me on was pretty special.
Be honest with us, how many times did it take you to perfect the iconic scene with ‘the lift’? The lift is actually quite hard. Not only that, we do the lift two different ways in the show- the field/lake which is static and in 'Time of My Life' which has the run in and rotates for 4 counts of 8. So yes, it took a while to perfect it- but thankfully we are nailing it now and it's an amazing pay off from the audience every night.
Set in the summer of 1963, there are some fabulous costumes in Dirty Dancing. Which one of Baby’s outfits is your favourite? I would have to say her Pink finale dress. Its beautiful to dance in and is such a famous image from the film. I feel very special in it.
And in ‘real life’ do you share any similarities with Baby’s style, or how do you classify your everyday look? Baby and I almost couldn't be more opposite! Baby's style is innocent and practical. I wouldn't say she dresses to highlight any strengths and definitely just grabs the first thing she sees that morning. I like to play around with genres. Mix edgy with classic , mostly highly impractical for my daily routine. And the major difference between Baby and myself- you will never catch me in flats unless I'm at the gym.
Having worked across TV, stage and film, you must have sat in many makeup chairs along the way! Have you ever learnt any amazing tips from the pros? I actually used to be a makeup artist myself! I think the easiest way to learn tips and tricks is by doing someone elses makeup. Find the difference between your 'canvas'. What works on them won't necessarily work on you. Understanding your shades and shapes will be your best friend when experimenting with makeup styles.
Stage makeup can be very heavy – what are your tips for removing it at the end of the day and keeping your skin in good condition? I've tried absolutely everything and although my products may change one thing has remained the same- always take your makeup off with a wash cloth. Just rubbing on a makeup remover and splashing water on your face will never do the trick no matter how light or heavy your makeup is. And I always wash my face twice just to be sure it's all off. There are a lot of expensive products out there, most of which I have enjoyed, but my best tip is Coconut oil. Put it on a dry face then wash off in the shower with your wash cloth. Coconut oil is a gentle, natural, healthy way to look after your skin- in and out.
What are your top three beauty products that you can’t live without?
1. Water- it's not usually listed under 'Beauty Products' but it absolutely should be. When your body is hydrated you will glow at any age.
2. Tinted moisturizer- its a quick pick me up in the morning and usually has a Sunscreen in it so two birds with one stone. My favorite is Chanel CC cream 30+.
3. A good natural lip colour to brighten any mood. I'm loving MAC Creamsheen Fanfare and coincidentally so does 'Baby'.
How do you stay healthy and energised when you’re performing night after night? 8 shows a week can be exhausting. Knowing your limits is the key. If you need sleep then sleep in. Its hard not to feel guilty or lazy when you sleep half the day but we forget we are athletes and the body needs time to recover. Drink PLENTY of water. Plus making sure you have a life outside of work is everything for mental health.
You recently featured as a dancer in Baz Lurhman’s The Great Gatsby. Was this experience as amazing as we are imagining? Yep! Baz is truly an incredible individual and has the ability to make everyone feel important and special, even when there are a thousand extras on set! Working closely with Tobey Maguire was exceptional. He is a very kind man and incredibly talented.
And… any Leo sightings?! Yes- quite embarrassingly. I wasn't on set when they asked everyone to not talk to Leo or Tobey during filming- which sounds odd but if you think about it they would never get anything done if 2000 extras wanted selfies! But as I said, I didn't get that memo. We are standing on set between takes and this rather tall man walks up next to me and what do you know, its Leo. So as a friendly country girl I say "hey! How are ya?" He looks at me confused, like I have spoken some foreign language, looks behind him because surely I'm talking to someone else. When he realizes it's him I'm embarrassing myself infront of he was equally as inarticulate until he got called to shoot to which he said "Sorry. It was nice to meet you". He was actually quite lovely and after all the embarrassment I got to meet a legend of our time!
We’ve teamed up with STABILO to give one lucky bellabox member the ultimate Melbourne trip with their bestie – and if you’re the winner we’ll be sending you off to see Dirty Dancing with your BFF! Get all the entry details here.