Charm City’s Trixie Little: a Q&A
Baltimore’s Trixie Little & The Evil Hate Monkey are legendary for their combination of burlesque, vaudeville, and circus arts. The pair won Best Duo at Exotic World in 2006, and this year the Monkey scored Most Comical as well as Best Boylesque. Trixie’s taken home her share of titles as well- 2nd Runner Up and Most Innovative in 2008. Paula The Swedish Housewife brings them to Seattle for The First Annual Seafarer Follies August 6 & 7 at The Triple Door- and Trixie graciously took some time to write about her fantastical career:
You and The Evil Hate Monkey been performing together since 2002- how did that start? You have an amazing chemistry and friendship- it’s very visible even in YouTube clips.
Monkey and I started out swing dancing a long time ago and we got really good at all the throws and acrobatic moves. It wasn’t long before we wanted to focus on the flipping and cut out the dancing. We began going to study with former Cirque Du Soleil acrobats in Vermont for several weeks each year and over time we cultivated our unique style of “flipping-and-stripping!”
Your bio mentions high-level circus training- and it shows! Your physicality is awe-inspiring. What’s the background and training behind it?
As you can imagine, Monkeys are hard to keep up with! They really do have about 7x the strength we do- so going into trapeze and acrobatics seemed like the best thing to do with him. A little ways back, we actually moved up to Vermont for two years to study more intensively at our favorite circus school and we go back to continue training whenever we can. The way I see it, it will take a lifetime to truly master our art.
You’ve performed in such an amazing array of places- what has been most memorable to you?
We are so lucky to travel so much! We have annual trips that we look forward to each year- we always look forward to Seattle and Key West the most! As for individual shows, one REALLY memorable show was called “Elegance.” This was a show I produced two years ago in Baltimore’s former burlesque/vaudeville theater district that is now the red light district, called “The Block.” It felt majorly radical to stage a burlesque show in a fully nude strip club. There was literally not even five minutes between the nude girls dancing to Poison and the start of our show with Miss Astrid and Catherine D’Lish. It was so funny to watch our audience file in and sit down on the red velvet couches beneath the giant coochies framed in marabou- major deer-in-headlights looks going on. It took a few drinks, but the audience relaxed and went bananas for the whole experience. The stage was in the round on a granite table top with people seated all around it staring up at us. We tried to incorporate the two stripper poles into the show as much as possible and Monkey and I made several amazing entrances from the second floor by sliding down from the top balcony! The performances were off the charts too! It just felt historic to bridge the gap between burlesque and stripping for just one night.
So you’re from Baltimore? What’s it like there? The John Waters mental images about being from Baltimore are pretty alluring in a cult-kitschy kind of way.
Baltimore is AMAZING and John Waters is pretty much a patron saint here. There are definitely parts that have the classic “Bawlmer” (that’s how Baltimore sounds with a proper local accent) vibe- there really are women who call you “Hon” and chain smoke on their stoops. But it’s also an arts-friendly town with major art and music schools, cheap warehouse space, great audiences, a supportive arts council and a down-to-earth / do-what-you-want mentality which allows people to cultivate a wild sense of individuality. This past Saturday alone, I attended a community water ballet in a public park, performed in an Aerial Festival that was staged in a two story alley / graffiti gallery and then went to a burlesque show in a rock club!
Speaking of John Waters- what/where did you perform with him?
We opened for him once when he was doing a one-man Christmas show. It was a huge club in Washington, DC called the 9:30 Club. Afterwards we actually hung out and talked about our favorite dive bars, most of which were being bought by developers at the time, so it was a nostalgic conversation. I told him about my favorite corner bar that used to be on my street- it was called Fran’s. Fran was the owner and bartender- a grandmother who actually crocheted doilies and covers for the liquor bottles, the bar back was her butch daughter who always wore a sleeveless plaid flannel shirt and taped her knuckles. That place had the best juke box ever too, all doo-wop.
You’ve been here before, for Moisture Fest- what are your ties to Seattle?
A fan/friend in Washington, DC told me about the festival about 5 years ago and I remember seeing photos of the Aerialistas dangling from chandeliers over Hale’s Brewery- I was mesmerized! Every part of that equation sounded like something I wanted to be part of! So, our friend encouraged one of the producers, Tim Furst, to bring us out and he actually DID! Now it’s one of our favorite trips each year, we have been out 4 years in a row now. Also, we know Paula the Swedish Housewife and Indigo Blue from the national burlesque community. In my humble opinion, Seattle has the best burlesque scene in the entire country. Beating out my second fave, NYC, based on the quality and quantity of venues, performers, producers and professionalism.
Seeing as the Seafarer Follies are sea-themed- I’m guessing we *might* see your mermaid act. Any other hints on what you and Evil Hate Monkey have in store for Paula’s show?
Yes! That Mermaid act was one of the reasons Paula wanted us to come. Also because she really wanted to see a life-size Sea Monkey singing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. But make no mistake; we’re bringing an ocean-full of shenanigans with us! We are also polishing up two brand new numbers just for Seattle: one will be a new duo trapeze number and the second we will be auditioning to become host Cap’n Bloodbeard’s pirate crew and we’ll stop at NOTHING to please him! It’s kind of a “pirate casting couch” situation with Bloodbeard!
Seafarer Follies tix: www.thetripledoor.net