What is your gender (today) and your pronouns?
On stage/in character I prefer 'them', offstage female pronouns or 'dude' is great!
What is your favorite thing about Halloween?
Oh man. Haha, I'm such a marshmallow. I love the festivity of a monster, and supernatural holiday! I also REALLY love interacting with trick or treaters in costume! Oh! And my annual fried snickers bar.
What led you to become a burlesque performer?
Well, I've been in dance and theatre since I was a critter. As I got older, I realized I enjoyed creating stories and characters just as much as performing, and started branching out independently in multiple mediums to explore that. I come from a very supportive family of artsy, theatre weirdos, so luckily I had lots of encouragement. When I hit the dreaded puberty (sorry mom), I quickly got more and more comfortable in my attraction to spooky things, and realized that as much as I enjoyed being a dancer in a ballet company, it wasn't really a medium that encouraged its students to be creative, tell their own stories, and frankly, wasn't a particular supporter of my body type and sexual identity. Getting roles like the Ugly Stepsister, the Rat Queen, and the Nutcracker (first male role!), only cemented these interests. I got more and more into alt and pin up culture, I never planned to go to college, and I moved from Louisiana to Boston at age 20. Admittedly, it took me awhile to get through my social anxiety to do anything about my artistic pursuits. At one point, drawing different logos for 'The Slaughterhouse Sweethearts' on coffee cups at Starbucks, and hearing the bored, almost challenging tone in my mom's voice about another 'new idea', that she obviously doubted I would follow through, I had a talk with myself. "Ok," I realized, "you're an adult. An adult who wants to perform. No one owes you jack shit. You've not in a company with classes, and costumes your family pays for. There are no more high school plays conveniently waiting for you to audition. This is the point where you 'grow up', or you really want it enough to stop moping, get up, figure it out, and take it."
I auditioned for a troupe the following week. Short story: I got hired. Did it for awhile. They were jerks. Said fuck it, fuck your rules, I want to be a spooky stripper anyway, and make my own stories. Made a craigslist ad. Auditioned people in my living room (yes I did). Didn't get murdered. Booked the first Slaughterhouse show at the Coolidge.
What led you to start the Slaughterhouse Society?
See above! You want to tell stories, you need a crew of incredible artists! I am very lucky to have worked with creeps not just in the Society, but all over the scene, on and off stage. The troupe, and shows we present would not be what they are without a LOT of hard work from a LOT of people.
However, the transition of the 'Sweethearts' to 'Society' was because after a few years it was really obvious to me we, and who we were turning into wasn't a burlesque troupe. We were a threatre/performance troupe which features burlesque. All members are encouraged to branch out in whatever way they are being pulled creatively, and its a big part of why I love working with these diverse, multi-talented, amazing performers! I, as a creator and producer, also shift in what I want to make. I don't want being 'a burlesque troupe' to mean we can't do whatever we want! I also don't like advertising burlesque, when sometimes we don't get naked. The expectation is burlesque revolves around striptease. Its a pet peeve of mine when tits and butts are just kinda 'thrown into' an act for the sake of it being considered a burly routine.
What do you love about burlesque/performing?
I love the freedom, and I LOVE a loud crowd you can play with! Like, get on stage+music+get naked is the loose outline for neoburlesque expectations, and THEN you can bend the structure. You have all these crazy, creative weirdos who don't always have a place waiting for them in traditional theatre. So they each just cut out a little them shaped space in a community and are free to fill it however they please. You want to fill it with leopard print and a bad bitch persona? Do you just want to be a sexy Mr. Freeze? Maybe you want to do a sloshing act as Nic Cage from Face/Off with peaches (you know who you are!)? You want to put on gigantic fake teeth and make a lingerie set that looks like human skin and roll around in bbq sauce? Great! Theres space for that. Just don't be a dick.
What do you love about doing horror burlesque (aka Gorelesque)?
The way I believe a lot of femme burlesque performers feel sexy and powerful as their wanton, fuck your expectations, I'm a queen stage personas, that's how I personally feel when I do horror art. Scaring people, or bringing them into a fantasy environment, makes me feel powerful like nothing else. The energy from an entire room focused on you, half screaming in delight, half frozen in tension because of the presence of your character? Oof. Yes. Yes please. Cover me in blood, let me start screaming over the music, and let me get real ugly for you, please. I often hear people in videos of my acts commenting, "What the fuck." I like that.
Stage personas are just that. I'm not Fem Bones you see on stage at my day job or at home. I don't like confrontation, I hate hurting people's feelings, and I startle very easily! When I get to be scary Bones though... Lets just say the release of really losing it on stage, letting something really horrible pilot you is addicting, and I feel very fortunate to have that opportunity.
What is the scariest burlesque act you've ever seen?
This one is tough! I really like Rayy Gun's Jabberwocky act, and obviously Red Rum's horror costumes are BEYOND comparison. To be honest, of the Boston scene Michael Geary, Jane Doe, Karin Webb, and Ginny Nightshade have all been guilty of acts that have been delightfully frightful! Its rare that I feel actually scared. Yes, that's a challenge.
What is your personal favorite performance?
As a producer, my personal favorite is Revenge of the Robot Battle Nuns. As a personal performance, I haven't found my favorite yet.
What is your favorite Halloween candy?
The last Reese's that my brother always tries to claim, but I'm the eldest so he can suck it.
Who is your favorite monster?
Goofy: I like Tarman from Return of the Living Dead.
Scary: I'm super into that body mashup fella from Zygote. I like that you can't tell where he's screaming from.
Which do you prefer, getting scared, or scaring others?
Scaring others! But its a close call. If I'm at a show and something either REALLY gives me a lady boner, or truly spooks me (potato/poh-tah-to), the reaction is the same. I'll stare open jawed, and shake my head, or I'll start laughing.
Are you working on anything exciting you'd like to share with our readers?
Our Somerville Theatre shows where we have an hour of themed burly and then show an awesome film on the big screen are gonna be more frequent next year! Keep an eye out for news about deals and the upcoming Slaughterhouse Society Movie Club season!
I've also been writing a new, original play since December 2017. Its inspired by Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys album Come Black Magic. Its about stealing other's true power, rival witches, ruthless revenge, and has some pretty hot demon sex in it. Its working title is Llyuba, but it might change. Hopefully that project will be able to move forward to the stage in 2018!
There's also talk of a potential gender-bent Bram Stoker's Dracula that would be a team-up of myself and some really awesome, creative forces. Its not immediate, but I think its so fun I kinda can't shut up about it.
Who are your idols? (dead and alive!)
Puss N Boots
Mr. Lee Valone Velour
Trash and Suicide from Return of the Living Dead
What's your favorite horror movie?
Oof. Thats impossible. Heres a few I like a lot. Slither. Hellraiser. I like the two new Chucky movies a lot (fight me). The Witch. Ginger Snaps. Nightmare on Elm Street. Taking of Deborah Logan. Devil's Candy. Rosemary's Baby. Re-Animator.
What would you bring to a Monster Mash?
The booze and the babes.
Why do you think Burlesque Boston is important? Tell us about the community!
Community for creative types is important. Community for queers is important.
I think the way Boston supports each other is really amazing. I truly believe that if you are personally responsible, communicative, kind, have a brave, weird brain, and are happy to work hard for what you want, then you have everything you need to make it here, no matter where you're from. The same can be said in reverse. If you are cruel, or inconsiderate, or in anyway see this community or its members as something you can mistreat, man.... Good luck with that. There's a station to the left with ointment for the level of burns your ego is gonna suffer. I find a lot of comfort in that. This is a place where we really lift each other up, and I find it constantly inspiring.
Whats your website, Instagram, twitter, etc?
show_ghoul and slaughterhousesociety on insta, Fem Bones, The Slaughterhouse Society, and Spookshow a GoGo on Facebook!
Do you have any pets? Can we see a picture? Can we follow them on Instagram?
I do! You can! No.... Floozy the cat is fond of naps and peeing on mom's expensive costume pieces, not photos.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Don't give up on your dreams. Don't compromise what you deserve. Don't let people who don't lift you up into your life. Be brave enough to admit when you fuck up. We're space dust in fragile, meat puppet casing, on a mud rock, hurling through space, around a dying sun. Live your life, be a slut, and eat two breakfast sandwiches if you want.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Burlesque Boston and/or any/all contributors to this site.
Burlesque Boston's Blog is a collection of contributions from burlesque artists.