How and why did you begin to be creative?
I was always a really creative child, I painted, danced, sang, worked with multimedia art and had a drive to entertain and make things. I was always thinking up new ideas for "shows" I would force my parents to watch after dinner. I had it in me to be a performer of some kind!
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
I try to get as much rest as possible. Of course I am writing this at 3:40 in the morning but I woke up and here we are. Anyway, I take a lot of moments for myself. I meditate often before I sleep and that is when I usually get my best ideas. Free time is vital!
I also try my best to not keep negative company. I try to open my mind to others but negative people can really throw you off and mess up your creative process.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into formula? How do you stay fresh?
I think every Artist has a formula of some sort. It's like a trademark, you notice it in their work and that is when you know who you're watching on stage. I know for a fact in my performances I have moves that repeat themselves often. I feel that it's a home base that you can check into but it can be rough when you're going for something different and others tell you it is similar or the same. That can be a buzzkill.
I try to think of new moves, new costumes that would require me to move differently. I challenge myself often and that will keep you on your toes!
Or falling or tripping!
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Always, my shower. Scrub in scalding hot water, Dr.Bronners Eucalyptus wash and relax. Meditation is key for a happy version of myself the next morning.
What cultural sources do you draw from the most?
American movie studios during the "golden age" of Hollywood. I have been loving classic films since I was a child and I collect books on movie actors from the 20s to the late 50s. The creation of a glamorous image and lifestyle is very "rags to riches" for me. I also look at other cultures from around the world, books on Tribes and Tribal rituals fascinate me. High Fashion photography from the 50s, Break dancers, Punk rock music, Opera, the Renaissance. I have very eclectic interests.
Who have your teachers been?
I have had many amazing teachers who nurtured my love for art and performance. As for being a Burlesque performer, I am self taught but it doesn't hurt I have worked as a modern day stripper for 5 plus years now. I have a lot of creative freedom where I work and the money goes to my ever growing costume creations and ideas I aim to build upon.
When you accept a job, how much value do you place on each of the following? Money, creative liberty, visibility, and to work with the best.
Money isn't always what I count on when I am booked for a show. It isn't the most important but it sure doesn't hurt!
Creative liberty is very important, that is the reason I do any kind of performance. I would feel stifled in my endeavors to express myself if it were not considered.
Visibility is important, how else are people going to know who's who and what's happening. Get out there and bring it to the audience. If you're feeling it, it shows. Even if it's an audience of one or one thousand. Get out there and shake it till you break it!
The best in the business to me are the people who are professional and dedicated.
Local producer Rayleen Courtney of SinnSavvy Productions is a great example of one of the best.
Have you ever had a job that was so stimulating that you could not get your mind off of it?
Dancing consumes 90 percent of my life. I live, breathe, love and hate it (sometimes) but I always go back to it. I love to dance, I can't live without it.
I will keep being apart of the Burlesque community/modern Stripping community one way or another when I am an old broad. It'll be fun to see what develops when I retire.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
I personally have never given birth but I know many women who are close to me that say that it inspired their life's work. I do think of the expression more from a mental stand point, like Zeus birthing Athena.
All my ideas that I love the most and cultivated after my thoughts came from meditation before I rest.
Does spirituality contribute to your creativity?
I am not a real Church goer to be honest, as a kid I went with my friends but I never was raised in one by my family. I do think Buddhism is a fantastic way to relate to others, recharge and be in this society. I enjoy reading ancient philosophy when I am feeling under the weather or just screaming randomly when I need to release tension. I take part in Primal Screaming all the time! Good for the soul kids.
It is possible to fall in love with a bad idea simply because it is yours. How do you avoid this?
I am stubborn like no ones business so when I try to execute an idea that ends up being a hot mess I only know unless I try it out. I learn and move on. I remember what works, what didn't in the past and I think to myself what are the pros and cons of XYZ.
Must someone be the leader or boss in order for a creative team to function well?
I have had the pleasure to work with some great people one on one for my personally funded projects but as a team for a large production there usually is the Producer and anyone else working with them that does the leading for the event.
They inform us, maintain the shows time, make sure everything is on cue with music for the performers, bounce rude people from the event and just about everything and anything you can image.
Declaration: With what person or business would you like to work?
Person, well, most of them have passed on (Le Baker being one of them) but there are many performers I would love to perform in a production with. I get a tad anxious to name names because I feel I may jinx myself!
I would love to start my own website for my Lingerie collection and Shoe collection some day.
As for Companies: Fredericks of Hollywood, Trashy Lingerie are fabulous and a total dream would be to work as a model/muse for some high fashion houses. I have been an avid reader of fashion news since I was a pre-teenage girl.
What criteria do you use when selecting someone to be a part of your creative team?
Personality is important. You have to know you're working with someone who isn't possibly going to kill you in the future! Ha ha!
I do look at their professionalism, their respect for others and their overall work to see if it fits the initial idea or style of project.
The armchair psychologist: Is creativity an act of rebellion for you?
It can be sometimes and it's pretty awesome to explore.
What is the best advertisement you've seen recently?
The Oregon Timbers ads. There are these women holding axes & Chainsaws with these serious expressions. I love it!
Do you work well under pressure?
I can get things done but I tend to make mistakes and it's not pretty. I try to do my best and I feel I can be my best when there isn't as much weighing down but not everyone or everything is perfect in life. So if the shit has hit the fan, so be it! Have fun!
What city in the world currently attracts you due to its creative environment?
I am curious about Berlin, Italy, Paris and Greece.
There is something about Berlin that I keep wondering about and hearing about that sounds exciting to me.
After watching this travel show about Greece, this amazing Drag Queen talked about what it was like living there and I was sold!
How is an idea sold?
In my life it's about how you execute it and if you really believe in it. Makes for a better show when you're kicking ass and you feel good about something because it means something to you. Someone out there will understand or appreciate it. If you love it, it shows.
What do you feel when, after two or three years, you see an idea of yours again?
I think it would be really cool If someone did an act of mine. I would be excited to see their changes and developments to it. Of course I better not being doing that act still! Ha ha!
Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another. How do you explain this phenomenon?
I would say similar interests will do that. It's as if you're in a contest trying to find a clever comment for a comic strip and a few people will think up the same comment. I love that! I think it makes us all the more connected.
You are as good as your last idea. Wouldn't you like to have a more secure type of work?
That always cracks me up because it's true but it's also brilliant for your business if you think about it.
As for secure work, I mange myself well, save and aim to keep learning about where I want to take myself/my business.
It never hurts to pay your taxes on time and get some pleasure from your work. If you're happy, then no one can really tell you a damn thing!
When did you start modeling? What kind of jobs do you usually do?
I started doing pin up modeling when I was about 19 years old. I had worked with all kinds of people but I quit after some bad experiences and I began to look at the work, learn from it and think about where I wanted to go from there. I started to take it serious again about two years ago when I started performing Burlesque.
I began hiring photographers I knew personally or worked with people I had learned were professional through friends.
Most of the jobs I do are in relation to my Burlesque performance pieces.
I have had the pleasure to work with some great people I have come to know well and when you're comfortable with your Photographer and have control over your image it makes a WORLD of difference!
Is your 'book' online? Can you provide a link to it?
I am actually working on a press kit for my Burlesque this month so we shall see when I put the video portion online! Stay tuned! Otherwise, I have MANY live performance shots from shows that are on my myspace, facebook and at times twitter.