interview with vegan burlesque performer and a capitol lady, Missy Aggravation!

August 25, 2011

I found out about Missy on facebook as our vegan worlds combined. Based out of D.C. we made little vegan remarks back and forth before I realized I should definitely interview her for this blog!  

Vegan Burlesque: How long have you been doing burlesque?

Missy Aggravation: I’ve been doing it for 4 years now.

VB: What first got you interested in burlesque?
I’ve been performing all my life–I started dance lessons at age 3, did theater and sketch comedy in high school, and majored in Performance Studies in college where all my performances had to do with gender and sexuality. When I saw my first burlesque show in the early 2000s I thought “I should do that!” However, it took me a long time to get there since performance and I had a break-up after college– I just needed that fire in me to perform again. Once I got my groove back I hit up my local burlesque troupe and here I am 4 years later.
VP: Which burlesque performers inspire you?
MA: Delivering the effortless sensuality of legendary burlesque performers is my current goal so Jennie Lee is particularly inspiring me right now. The legends of burlesque have so much to teach that I want to learn, whether it is by listening to them speak now or watching their old (and new!) performances on YouTube. Everyone inspires me in their own ways though and I have learned something from every performer that I’ve watched or interacted with. Of the current performers… Julie Atlas Muz, Michelle L’amour, and Dirty Martini stand out as those who I’ve learned the most by watching.
VB: Do you have a favorite venue you perform at? Is it vegan-friendly (food/drinks/etc)?
MA: I mostly perform at the Red Palace, a music and burlesque club in DC, which is not particularly vegan friendly… but the neighborhood is! You can go to Souk, Dangerously Delicious Pies, Sticky Rice, Ethiopic, or Toki Underground and get a good vegan meal before you go see a show. I also really enjoyed performing at the Windup Space in Baltimore which has an awesome Twin Peaks Red Room inspired stage.
VB: Do you have a favorite routine you’ve done?
MA: This is like choosing children! I’m currently creating my favorite routines right now so I sadly can’t pick those. I think my Audrey Horne (from Twin Peaks) number to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face was particularly inspired.
VB: How long have you been vegan?
MA: I’ve been vegan for 14 years. Next year is a big anniversary!  (Vegan Burlesque side note: CONGRATS!)
 VB What made you decide to be vegan?
MA: I was vegetarian for 5 years before I went vegan. I wanted to be veg since I was 10 when it really hit home to me how meat was made but it took me a few years to realize I could defy my parents and become vegetarian. I created an animal rights group in middle school and everything. I was inspired to become vegan on a trip when I was in college and met this 16 yo runaway vegan and I was like “Damn! If she can do it, I can do it!” I went vegan as soon as I came home and have never looked back. It was the best decision I ever made.
VB: Favorite vegan drink/food?
MA: Hummus. Not like hippie hummus, but good Middle Eastern resto hummus with freshly baked pita bread.
VB: How do you deal with the non-vegan aspects of burlesque (such as boas/feather fans)?
MA: I think having to deal with this off the bat forces one to be more creative much earlier in your burlesque career than you otherwise would be. From day one we have to look outside the box in terms of our costuming (no silk!) and other traditional burlesque elements. I’m lucky because my costume designer is my best friend of 15 years and a vegetarian. She not only knows all the tricks of good costuming but respects my ideals. If I want a custom fabric boa or fan, she can do it, as well as her amazing knowledge of all the kinds of fabric out there and their properties.
VB: If you could change one thing about burlesque, what would it be?
MA: All the non-vegan elements. Fur and feathers in particular are so cruel and it makes me weep how common they are.
 VB:  Where can we see more of you?
MA: My website is http://missyaggravation.com and I’m performing next at Capital Tassels and Tease September 14th at the Red Palace. I’ll be doing my sexy librarian number for their Back to School special!
Also, a note to other vegan burlesque performers out there, Missy and 2 other vegan performers are going to BurlyCon this year and are looking for a 4th vegan performer to room with. Interested? Email her at booking@missyaggravation.com to figure out details!

One Response to “interview with vegan burlesque performer and a capitol lady, Missy Aggravation!”

  1. Thanks Anja! I’ll note that the first photograph is by Todd Gardner (http://toddgardner.com) and the other photographs are by Sophie Spinelle of Shameless Photography (www.shamelessphoto.com).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: