Trixie Minx must be tired, but there’s no way you’d know. Her energy is palpable despite the fact that just the night before she was putting on a burlesque show at the behemoth Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey—she caught a flight back to New Orleans earlier in the day—and now she’s backstage and about to get into costume again, preparing to both perform in and coordinate another fantastic event: Burgundy Burlesque at The Saint Hotel on Canal Street.
Right now, however, Trixie’s enthusiastically detailing the history of burlesque and its special place in this city, how she developed her own playful onstage persona, and the satisfaction she gets from running a successful company with 100 employees. As she later tells me, she has no desire to be the Queen of Burlesque in New Orleans—she wants to be something else, perhaps the “Empress.” She’s kidding when she tells me this, but she says it like I should believe it—and I do.
So, even though not too many hours ago she was in another region of the country expanding the Minx Empire, Trixie is ready to go. It is, after all, Friday night in New Orleans, and that hum of possibility and experience is ebbing out from the surrounding streets of the French Quarter. Like New Orleans herself, Trixie Minx draws you in, her passion for her art and this city intertwined and yet clearly defined. Confident, warm, and funny, Trixie embodies an attractive mix of traits that come out both onstage and off. She is also bold in that distinctly New Orleanian manner, making you want to hang around for just a little bit longer, grabbing one last drink or catching one last song.
However, like so many in this city, when Trixie came here she never expected to make New Orleans a permanent stop. But then she got pulled in.
“I can pinpoint the moment that New Orleans became home,” Trixie says. “I was here for a week, and that turned into a month, then two.” Trixie, whose first stage experiences came as a ballerina, was recovering from a broken foot. She’d found herself in New Orleans, and the culture shock was clear. Things were slower in New Orleans than what she was used to, and she wasn’t sure if she’d adjust. She’s a big city person—she grew up in Miami, and her parents and extended family are from New York—but eventually the pace of New Orleans registered. And it all started with a small, everyday event: purchasing a bottle of Coca-Cola from a supermarket before heading to a doctor’s appointment.
There was seemingly no one else shopping in the store, and just one checkout lane was open. There was one other person in line in front of her, and, as Trixie tells it, “right after she finished buying her groceries, she stopped the person working at the checkout and asked them, ‘How are you doing?’ and ‘How’s your day going?’ I was frustrated at first, but all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks—the customer wasn’t just being polite, she was being human.”
This, for Trixie, came with a larger realization: the way New Orleans “cultivates a realness and rawness of human interaction. And the more that I stopped and observed this going on, the more I fell in love with New Orleans.”
Alongside the interaction between people who live here, New Orleans reminds Trixie of Paris in the way that residents are intensely proud of the different neighborhoods, “and the character traits of those neighborhoods of the city are just so defined.”
While Trixie travels regularly to perform around the country and the world, it only serves to reinforce her love for New Orleans.”I firmly believe that living in New Orleans makes you unfit to live anywhere else,” she says, words she attributes to local author Chris Rose. “It’s truly a beautiful experience.”
20 Questions with Trixie Minx
1. Who is your favorite New Orleanian, dead or alive, real or imagined?
I love that this question includes the imagined, because Ignatius Reilly is at the top of my list. Anyone reading Confederacy of Dunces can’t help but smile, laugh, and support the ridiculous endeavors of a character [who] could only thrive in New Orleans.
2. What first brought you to New Orleans?
I came to visit a friend in 2001 and never left. Finding New Orleans was a bizarre and happy accident that I am extremely grateful for.
3. In your opinion — what’s the best neighborhood in New Orleans?
I love St. Roch because of the community of friends and neighbors I have there.
4. If it’s a beautiful day, where are you going to spend it?
At the dog park with my black lab, Zeus.
5. Describe the best meal you’ve eaten in New Orleans.
I was having the Lobster Gnocchi at Restaurant R’evolution and it was so good that I had a sudden desire to literally bathe in it. I know it sounds gross, and I didn’t actually do it, but in the moment it seemed like such a shame to only experience this amazing meal by taste.
And, of course, I have to give Jacques-Imos a shout out. Again, it may seem ridiculous, but their menu is so incredibly delicious that I create a game plan the day before to figure out how I can eat the most before getting full. I even have special “eatin’” pants.
6. Where’s your favorite brunch spot?
Home, because it’s the only place that will let me dine in my drawers. Seriously, though: I regularly host Sunday brunches at my house, and it’s my family of friends that make it so special.
7. What’s your favorite type of po-boy? Where do you get it?
I almost always get a fried catfish po-boy. Occasionally, I’ll change it up for fried shrimp if I’m feeling wild.
8. You’ve got friends visiting, and it’s their first time in New Orleans — where are you taking them?
Everywhere I can! I usually start at Canal Street and walk them through the Quarter to Frenchmen Street. I love telling stories about each place we see, from the historic horrors of the LaLaurie House, to the magic of Mardi Gras, and even the bizarre burlesque shenanigans of the night before. I try to show that each place we visit isn’t simply a bar, restaurant, or a shop; it’s a living piece of the constantly evolving narrative that is New Orleans.
9. What’s your favorite neighborhood bar?
Siberia and St. Roch Tavern are both my Cheers. Siberia is a small punk bar where I always feel welcomed, and they have the best little restaurant that serves Slavic soul food (if you haven’t been, please go). St. Roch Tavern is also a mellow slice of heaven, and their Tuesday haircut with a PBR special for $10 is simply awesome. Both venues host a wide range of shows from burlesque to bounce music. It’s easy to love a place where so many unique aspects of NOLA life can blend together.
10. What is your favorite New Orleans cocktail, and where do you go to get it?
I honestly prefer champagne to a cocktail, but when you can combine the two, it’s a win for everyone. At least once a week I’ll get the “Lust” champagne cocktail at the Saint Hotel. Jaimie Burton who bartends at the Royal Sonesta makes me a St. Germain champagne magic mix, which I also love. In fact anything [Burton] creates is awesome. Really, you should just give him your money and let him decide what to make.
11. What’s your favorite dessert or sweet treat in the city?
I’m obsessed with the chocolate almond croissant at Cake Café. It’s gotten so bad that they told me to call in before I come to the bakery so I don’t get upset if they’ve sold out.
12. Best spot to see live music?
I love seeing music on the street. The only other place in the universe where you regularly have music on the street is Disney World, and that’s not even real.
13. Favorite New Orleans musician or band?
That’s not a fair question in a city that is literally made of music; it’s impossible to pick one.
14. Favorite New Orleans festival?
French Quarter Festival! I love that this is a free festival featuring our local musicians, restaurants, and artists. While I wish there was space for some burlesque, too (and hopefully in the future there will be) this event truly showcases the best of New Orleans in a very accessible format.
15. What’s your ideal New Orleans date night?
It starts with dinner, because I’m always hungry. I can’t cook so eating dinner is a huge component to a successful date night with me. Afterwards we would go out to a show, preferably to see something that makes ya smile and celebrate. Ends with go-cups by the river, on the porch at home, or anywhere mellow that you can feel the warm night air.
16. What are your favorite local shops?
Trashy Diva and Fifi Mahony’s!
17. What is your favorite New Orleans museum?
The Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum in Arnaud’s. Every time I go it feels like I’m entering a secret garden of Mardi Gras glamour hidden in time.
18. Where do you go to watch The Saints play?
I have a crew that goes to JJ’s in the Bywater so sometimes I tag along with them. But I also have a friend who thinks she jinxes the Saints if she watches them (they really do lose every time she sees a game), so mostly I hang out with her until the game is over. Doing my part to keep her away from the game feels like I’m helping in a weird way.
19. Describe New Orleans in one word.
20. When was the last time you fell in love with New Orleans, and why?
Right now. Answering these questions feels like I’m talking about a crush. New Orleans is a beautiful, broken city with a heartbeat. It is a bohemia where people, art, and history mix together to create the most bizarre yet glorious place I’ve ever been. You can live in any city, but only in New Orleans can you truly experience all the joys, sorrows, and everything in between that make us so beautifully human.