Monday, December 7, 2015
The Coney Island Double Horror Feature
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