Paula the Swedish Housewife, is once more bringing House of Thee UnHoly to Seattle’s favourite Burlesque venue, the Triple Door. The show is now in its fourth year.
Paula has used her beguiling charms to persuade a smorgasbord of Seattle’s most beloved burlesque stars to join her including Waxie Moon, Inga Ingénue and Lou Henry Hoover in a performance the advance PR refers to as an epic psychedelic 70’s trip down memory lane of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. (see the slideshow to the left)
One of the stars, Waxie Moon, now star of a feature film, is described as a gender-blending queer lady boylesque performance-art solo stripping sensation.
That prompted some follow-up questions, and I was delighted to find out that the man behind the Moon, Marc Kenison, was happy to … er .. wax lyrical about Waxie.
STEVE: What is the difference between gender-blending vs. gender-bending?
MARC: I prefer the term gender-blending. It sounds more contemporary, more current. Bending is something of performance-art past, we’ve done that already. I think the term “blender” suits Waxie. He/she is a blend, because I incorporate and fully embrace both the male and female parts of myself. In the creation and expression of Waxie Moon, I amp up my male and femaleness to their fullest. They merge together in one being, which is why the character is larger than life.
STEVE: What is the secret to satirizing women so accurately?
MARC: Loving women so completely. I never think of what I do as satirizing women. I consider it a celebration of femininity. Also, being gay affords me some comedic license. Although what I do is different, I am part of a rich history of gay female drag and impersonation. And, come to think of it, in performance, I am naturally inclined towards more (stereotypically) feminine ways of moving. Throughout my professional dance career and training, I’ve always been considered a more soft, lyric and elegant mover.
STEVE: What can we look forward to in “House of Thee Unholy #4”?
MARC: “House of Thee Unholy” (at The Triple Door September 23-25) is the extraordinary artistic vision of Paula, The Swedish Housewife. It features brilliant performers (including Lily Verlaine and Miss Indigo Blue), sexy salacious staging, and 70’s rock and roll played live. Did I mention, there’s a giant bed? Paula is not only a great performer and producer, but also an innovator. She pushes the envelope as to what a burlesque performance can be. This show doesn’t resemble a typical burlesque show. It’s much much dirtier.
STEVE: What is “Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel?”
MARC: “Waxie Moon in Fallen Jewel” is a new feature-length fictional film, directed by Wes Hurley. In it, Waxie searches Seattle for love, meaning and hermself. There are lots of plot twists, amazing costumes, original music by Eric Lane Barnes (of the Seattle Men’s Chorus) and yes, striptease. It is a ridiculous romp! Wes directed the award winning “Waxie Moon” documentary film, which had its regional premiere at the Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. After the success of that film (it continues to garner festival awards), we decided to collaborate on a project.
We’ve been writing and filming like crazy, all summer long. It is really inspiring to explore the Waxie Moon personae in a new medium. The film features all our friends, including Marya Sea Kaminski and Sarah Rudinoff (both are Stranger Genius Award Winners), Polly Wood, Inga Ingenue, John Osebold (from the local band “Awesome”) and many other familiar faces. Practically every person we asked, said yes, absolutely, whatever you want. I looked at some of the footage yesterday, and am super excited and inspired.
STEVE: Why have Seattle audiences warmed so much to Burlesque?
MARC: I think Seattle audiences have warmed to burlesque because we have a high caliber of artists working in the form here. Many of the Seattle shows are extremely well produced, sophisticated and edgy. We are lucky to have the support of many high end venues (like The Triple Door). No other city in the US has that. It allows us to create a much fuller vision than other cities. Also, Seattle audiences are up for having a good time. And that is practically synonymous with burlesque.
STEVE: What advice do you have for a male wanting to be involved in boylesque? What does it take?
MARC: This sounds like a plug, but it’s true. My sincere advice to budding male boylesque performers is to enroll in Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque Six-week boylesque course. In it, you will learn boylesque history, how to choreograph, costume and ultimately perform an original striptease act. That’s what I did, and it changed the course of my life completely. I’ve never been happier. Beyond educating yourself and creating an act. I think being a boylesque star requires determination, a sense of humor, stage presence and a healthy sense of audacity. Stripping in front of people, definitely requires that.
STEVE: Finally, what is the difference between Marc Kenison and Waxie Moon?
MARC: Marc is actually kind of shy. I have difficulty talking to people I’m attracted to. Waxie doesn’t.
Waxie of course is unapologetic. S(he) never uses the words “thank you”, only “you’re welcome”. Marc is extremely gracious.
Waxie assumes that everything s/he talks about is extremely interesting. S/he has no hesitation to really take up space. Marc, not so much.
Marc rarely acts like a diva. I feel guilty if I am perceived as being demanding. Waxie DEMANDS!
I eat yogurt and granola for breakfast. Waxie eats glitter….and men!
Billed as “Broadway Level Burlesque” by Seattle Weekly, this production features three performances for the 17+ crowd and two for 21+ audiences. Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 day of show.
You can check out show times and buy tickets at the Triple Door website.
Seattle Fine Arts Examiner – Read All our Burlesque Articles
House of the Unholy – An Evening of Led Zeppelin Burlesque – Review (Sep 09)
The Incomparable Lily Verlaine – July 09