syracuse side hustles

E9: The Pin-up Life

As the headmistress of Salt City Burlesque, Talia Shenandoah, a care manager and educator for LGBTQ youth, embraces the art form’s ability to promote acceptance.
Talia Shenandoah

There are always going to be people that don't want to see my body type. But I don't really care. I put a lot of work into what I want to present and it's take it or leave it.


Talia Shenandoah



Side Hustle:

Headmistress at Salt City Burlesque


LGBTQ Youth Development Specialist

Who is your hustle hero?

Amber Ray, Lou Lou La Duchesse Deriére, and Egypt Blaque Knyle.

Where do you get your materials?

I make a lot of my stuff but if it’s something I need to outsource I generally shop a lot with plus size or retro focused companies. For makeup I shop at Ulta, Sephora, or order online through theater companies like Mehron.

Where have you found support in Syracuse for your side hustle?

I have found the most support in the audience that I’ve built. I’ve continually tried to provide the highest quality of entertainment and awarded my loyal patrons with discounts or exclusivities. As a result we have some of the most amazing supportive people behind us enjoying our art and loving what we do!

What's a Syracuse event not to miss?

While I’d like to say every one of our events are not to be missed, we are actually working on a couple of really special events, first off would be our Halloween show on 10/12 at Wunderbar featuring Reigning Queen of Burlesque Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière (NOLA), and we are also working on producing a solely POC production in collaboration with artists from across the US. Stay tuned to our social media or website for more details!

Talia Shenandoah
Talia Shenandoah knows misconceptions about burlesque abound, but she encourages people to focus on the art of the work — from costuming to brainstorming sets. “Not everybody is going to love my art or my figure, but a lot will appreciate what I’m trying to do, and I think that’s enough for me,” she says. Photo by Molly Bolan.

What is a quote you live by?

I have several: "Sparkle the entire world," "If you aren’t setting the bar you can raise it," and "Never give up!"

Connect with Shenandoah

On Facebook or on Instagram