Moi: My character Mademoiselle Demi Monde is a continental coquette who personifies the typical vintage showgirl. This aesthete of note signifies the ambivalent socio-sexual mores, both on and offstage, generally from the periods between 1850 until 1960 in Paris, London and New York. I really enjoy ‘embodying’ different modes of being a seductress through referencing art history, literature and mythology. And yes, aspects of the showgirl, artist, and sexual woman present in my persona and in my work may conjure an ‘umbrella’ theme of the femme fatale.
The femme fatale is a mythical figure as she heralds from the beginning of human history and continues to exist in the psyche, exposed in the materialized imaginations of artists, poets and politicians. It’s so stimulating to play within different themes and eras that are still relevant and indeed prolific in cultural references- I’m always exploring! My name, which I derived from the French term ‘demi-monde’ denoting ‘underworld,’ really encourages me to continue to do whatever I please within the realms of vintage erotica.
Demi Monde has a feline sense of humour in that she does laugh at herself, but only sometimes and only on her own terms. She more often enjoys toying with an audience using her eyes, gestures and attention to musicality. She’s most often presented as a 19th Century French showgirl because I’m convinced I performed at the Folies-Bergère in a past life. Other than that she’s simply très chic and generally sports her own seemingly iconic hair style.
It’s actually only been nine months since my first solo performance, can hardly believe it myself! It feels like I’ve been at this for a life-time and a mere instant, simultaneously. Although I am acutely aware of my novice status, I do feel a strong sense of belonging in this niche world.
Moi: Well, it all started with a morbid fascination with dyed ostrich feathers and sequins as a child… I was the girl who wore the red, not baby pink, Barbie lipstick and aspired to grow into my mother’s heels from the 1980’s. Mom bought my sister and I swathes of material with which to play dress up, we weren’t allowed to cut or sew these so constantly used our imaginations to come up with different costumes for our play-time. I loved rounding up fellow children to put on performances for the adults with me, great memories. In high school I was always immaculately turned out and kept a comb and makeup for touchups handy! I would often change my hair colour, wear red lipstick and paint my nails in multi-colours (I got sent to the science lab to remove this art by more conservative teachers).
Oh and I’ve had a penchant for lingerie since the age of 16 and seemed to be type cast as the coy vixen in class plays. I was even Tallulah in the school production of the musical Bugsy Malone, a role I had fantasized about playing since I was a child watching the young Jodie Foster sashaying around Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy!
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