Monday, December 7, 2015
This weekend was the Double Horror Burlesque Feature down in Coney Island. We had Serial Killer Burlesque VII and Killer Clowns of Coney Island. It was my second time producing at Coney Island and my first time hosting at the Sideshows by the Seashore.
I was extremely thrilled that It's A Little Stormy gave me a chance to help out with her with her Serial Killer Show. Living upstate, sometimes it's hard for her to make it to her shows and I offered to help her as co-producer in case she was stuck up in the mountains again. I have always enjoyed working with Little Stormy because she never censors my art. She encourages me to get wild on stage, and it's something about the magic of Coney that lets me feel like I can be the freak I am on the inside. My first performance in one of her shows was "Twilight Zone Burlesque" that was done in complete grayscale. I only took the gig because I happened to have an entire black and white costume for a cutesy silent film act I created a long time ago. Picking the Twilight Zone episode "The 16mm Shrine" transformed that cheeky little act into this incredibly intense story of an aging woman grasping onto her youth. My act ran over six and half minutes, way over the standard burlesque performance, to the complete Mars Volta song "Roulette Dares (In The Haunt Of)" and Stormy never complained about the time. The crazy guitar solo was her mental breakdown, the act took on a whole new level than the actual episode. I felt the connection to the character because I sometimes wish I could go back and make changes to my early burlesque career. I must say the experience completely changed my feelings about the art I wanted to bring to stage. Yes, burlesque involves nudity, but it's so much more than that. I wanted to tell stories, create a reaction out of the audience besides tightness in their pants. I have never performed the cutesy version since.
As much as I love creating interesting and complex acts, my experience in the burlesque community and everything I learned from working so closely with the Slipper Room made me also understand not all producers or audience are not fit for such acts. Some people come to shows as a pleasant escape from a stressful work week. They want a little humor, and a little sparkle. I have acts to fit these certain needs but I know whenever I work with Little Stormy, I can go balls to wall. And acts like that is what I look most forward to. When I first performed in her Serial Killer show, I did a tribute to Aileen Wuornos and Stormy told me that the act brought tears to her eyes. I put a lot of thought and research into this act, exploring the roots behind such vicious murders. Why she stood out so uniquely as a ruthless serial killer, not normally a slot for a woman to be in. But if you learned about her life, you can't really blame her. She went through so much abuse in her childhood, adulthood, all her life that one day she just snapped. Though I do feel sympathy to her innocent victims, I also feel an incredible pity for her. And I feel my act pays a proper tribute to her life, victims and circumstances. I think any girl that has been exploited or hurt by men can understand what brought her to such insanity.
A man hater- but can you blame her?
Producing this show also allowed me to make a few other people's dream come true. For one, my friend Obsidian Absurd made her debut there and also my darling co-host Clown Kong. I was very surprised that Clown had never performed at the Sideshows by the Seashore, he loves Coney Island so much. He always says that his two favorite holidays are "Halloween and Mermaid Parade"- and I think that's why we get along so well. It's mine too. We had such a great time hosting together, I may even say (write) that it was our best show yet. I felt at home. Clown really shined that night. His roommates came to the show, dressed also in clown face, and I got a good laugh seeing them beam about the show as we were crammed in a taxi on the way home. Three drunk clowns all stuffed into the backseat. I wish my camera hadn't died because that would have been a great sight to share.
Matt Knife as HH Holmes The darling Obsidian Absurd
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Sincerely Yours here. Yes, I know it has been a long time. I apologize for such a long absence. There has been so much that has happened since my last entry and I don't know where to begin. It's been a challenge figuring out the best way to talk about the last three years of my life. So I started to think about that time I met the author Ron Rosenbaum, a writer mainly of non-fiction. I met him at a coffee shop in Midtown at a communal table and wound up talking about writing.
A few weeks later, we met up to have lunch at a nearby Indian restaurant. Probably the nicest one I have ever been. He let me pick his brain for a bit as he picked about the rest of the several dishes we ordered. One thing I will never forget is how he described his process. He told me:
"Write everyday. Get yourself a good book, a good pen and start the habit of writing something everyday. Even if it's just ten minutes. It doesn't matter what, just write something everyday."
So that's what I decided I should do. I have committed to this by writing something here everyday for the next 30 days. With my schedule it certainly will not be a set time but I promise to share something every single day to those who care to read it.
I'm getting very excited about the next big Debauchery show. It will be our first show back since Kings County Saloon closed down and also Clown's 50th birthday!
As much I loved our personal little home at Kings County Saloon, it's great to be back in the East Village. Clown's Debauchery show was originally home there, to several different venues. His former co-producer owned Kings County Saloon, so we moved there back in January.
Doing this show together at a new venue is almost like a re-affirmation of our commitment to one another as co-producers. When I heard the news and Clown talking about finding a new venue, it was kind but also kinda a relief. I am a baby producer, he took a chance with me when I had only produced one show in my career at that time. So it made me happy to know he take me with him to the next new adventure, next night spot. The show will go on!