13 Photos Reveal The Lives Of Off-Duty Burlesque Dancers, Drag Queens & More

Photo: Courtesy of Samantha Fielding.
Photographer Samantha Fielding spent three years traveling some of the world's largest cities in search of one thing: the inner workings of the performing artist. Her curiosity piqued while she was photographing burlesque dancers and she realized how vast and freeing the world of nighttime performance truly is.

"Night is a time for reinvention," she tells me over email. "No one understands this better than the underground performer," she adds, before describing the singular kind of freedom that comes with performing. Fielding explains that most of the people she photographed and interviewed consider performance as the only path their lives could have taken. It's more a way of life than a simple job. These performers see their time on stage as a chance to become their authentic selves: "Bursting free from the limitations of routine and shedding the skin of an everyday identity, they become someone else. Someone braver. Someone wilder. Someone truer."

Fielding is posting outtakes from her project on Instagram now. Click here for the latest news on Performer, the full book. Click through for a selection of Fielding's images.