1 hour, 4 minutes
Released: February 26, 2018
Recorded: February 3, 2018
In this episode of WEBurlesque The Podcast, Viktor Devonne interviews Attica Wilde, a New Jersey based producer and burlesque performer.
Attica starts off by talking about her own humble beginnings as a performer and how she can’t get rid of the video evidence entirely no matter how much she tries: “I wasn’t even supposed to perform; I was supposed to be a stage kitten. And the week before, [the producer] was like ‘Hey, so I have an opening, come up with two acts.’ And I already kind of had one with a giant coffin because I never do anything small, so I said ok and I did them and they still exist on the internet.”
Along with being a producer and performer, Attica is also a burlesque teacher. She goes on to talk about some of the tips she gives her students and how she is tired of everyone doing acts to the same old burlesque classics: “Don’t always pick the obvious choice. I tell that to my students a lot… If it’s an obvious choice that you’ve already seen someone else do… It’s really hard… as a newbie to be like let me reimagine this completely.”
From there, Attica recounts her time as the producer of the classical review Smoke and Mirrors and why she decided to go in that direction when it was created and what led her to eventually realizing she wanted to get out: “At the time, it felt to me there was a gap to what we offered here in Jersey in terms of styles of burlesque…there wasn’t really any classical here… I thought that was the easiest way to make my mark…One of the many reasons [my show] Smoke and Mirrors isn’t around anymore is that I found it very confining…and I didn’t have room or space to be more creative or to cast the more creative or weird out there things.”
Attica is recovering from back surgery and is slowing getting back into performing after having to recover. She recounts why she had to get the back surgery in the first place and why it was so hard to receive the care she needed: “I was in a car accident and I had cracked one of the disks in my L4, L5, like almost in half…it’s the lowest part of your spine… it was one of those quiet injuries where no one believes you are actually injured because you can’t see it…. I had the surgery after about a year and a half of trying everything else because I was 27 at the time and [the doctors] were like ‘You are too young for back surgery.’”
With all these experiences behind her, Attica finishes the podcast by reflecting on what being a burlesque performer means to her and where she sees the artform going. Society has made many strides in the past few decades, but she admits to still being insecure in her identities: “There is an implication to being a burlesque performer and talking about it. Now, I generally don’t run in circles with people that don’t get it or who cast shade or look down on me for it because I just don’t have time for that in my life. However, the fact that we are having more politically toned shows more obviously speaks volumes to where we are at right now and I see them all the time… [Despite the more widespread acceptance] I still have feelings of not being queer enough in queer spaces. I’m currently dating a girl and seeing a trans person and I’m still not queer enough because most of my relationships have been straight passing.”
- Synopsis written by Raina Sinclair for WEBurlesque
- Intro and Outro Music: “On A 45” by This Way to the Egress – used with permission.
- Interlude Music: “Professor Umlaut” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
- photo of Attica Wilde by Atticus Media Productions
- everything else (c) White Elephant Burlesque Corp