An interview with Missy Suicide, founder of the SuicideGirls, before this Friday's Blackheart Burlesque Tour

An interview with Missy Suicide, founder of the SuicideGirls, before this Friday's Blackheart Burlesque Tour

CultureOctober 15, 2013

Consider this a dulled out, hindsighted cliché, but when we look back at the past ten years, it really does seem like a long fucking time. We’ve seen oversize pipe jeans turn into boot cut, and the boot go to skinny, and then the skinny go to sister size...and so forth. We’ve seen the undulation of the metrosexual as a thing; and with most pizza places opting for the convenience of online ordering platforms – we can literally sit at home comfortably not talking to anyone for days at a time. Objective achieved! 

And through it all, one brand of beautiful misfits has been able to weather the trends and stay suited for the times. The SuicideGirls, started in 2001, entered into a breakneck rise of popularity when social media sites like Friendster and MySpace took hold of a new generation. The distinctive label became a household name, and continues to put out products based around their members only, body-modified beauties.

Co-Founder and outspoken artist Missy Suicide has managed to keep her eremitic brand of uniqueness relevant for more than a decade. While other social sites have shot up faster than a junkie with a handout then fallen into oblivion just the same, SuicideGirls has been able to maintain success with its core values that garnered them lifelong fans to begin with. Before this Friday’s (Sold Out) showing of The SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque Tour, Missy offered The Rooster an insight to the revival of the show, and how the SuicideGirls just keep on truckin’.

The Suicide Burlesque Tour has been missing from our lives for a number of years, why did you decide to bring it back now?

We did a mini book tour last spring for a book we put out called “Hard Girls, Soft Light” and even with just listing the book signings as Facebook events, the word got around so quickly, and the turn out was so incredible, we were just blown away by the enthusiasm for seeing and meeting the girls live in person. With 500-750 people showing up to have a few of the girls sign a book in a comic shop, we knew we had an opportunity to create a better experience then just a signing for our fans and so we decided to re-imagine and re-create our Burlesque show from the ground up and put it back on tour.

SuicideGirls can attribute a lot of its success to the long gone days of the MySpace era – what have you all done to keep up with the new social media trends?

SuicideGirls started as a social network and we have maintained a presence on all social networks. We carve out our corner of the Internet and make it our own. For every social network no matter how mainstream, there will still be that outsider who would relate to what we do on SuicideGirls. 

After the dramatic climb of SG there were many sites that opened up almost as carbon copies of your blueprint. What do you think you did differently to keep yourself relevant while others failed?

Imitation is the highest form of flattery right? We just kept doing what we were doing and not worry about anyone else. 

Is SuicideGirls still taking applications the old-school way that they always have, or has the process changed with the times?

Girls still apply through the site, we have updated our application process, but we still ask them to submit photos and tell us why they want to be a SuicideGirl.  We of course now ask them for their social media profiles as well. :)

There are fantastic references to pop culture within the dances of the show – what made everyone decide that this is the direction you all wanted to go with the performance?

People love pop culture. The girls are true nerds at heart and were inspired by their favorite comics and movies to create their super sexy dances. 

The show has upped its game with more accredited dancers and choreographers this time around, whom are we going to see in the show and who was it that choreographed the sets?

There are some new faces and some fan favorites that are in the show. Razzi was in our last Burlesque show and she is just getting better and better. Bricksie is a new SuicideGirl who is an amazing dancer as well. We worked with Manwe Sauls - Addison to choreograph the dancers, it was really an amazing experience working with him. We threw pop culture ideas at him and he would come up with brilliant numbers. We were really lucky to work with him. 

Contrary to popular belief, there’s big differences between burlesque and just good-old-fashioned stripping. What are some of the main differences to you?

Burlesque is the cleaver tease that stimulates the brain and the body. :)

Burlesque has always been a very empowering thing for women in some not so female-friendly times. Does this kind of empowerment still translate well today with your audiences?

I think so. I think our audience appreciates the skill and sexiness that the girls put into their show. They embrace their sexuality and sexiness and aren't ashamed of it. The girls are strong and confident and beautiful.  I think that is something that is refreshing in the (world today).

There are critics to what you do; there are always critics. What’s the best way you’ve found to handle them and their negative critiques?

You can't please everyone 100% of the time. If you are then you aren't doing something right. Art should piss people off and not everyone should get it. I think our core demographic understands what we are trying to do and love and respect it. We are true to ourselves and you can't really ask for more than that. :)

What can fans expect from the future of the SuicideGirls Burlesque show and the SuicideGirls movement?

We are hoping to take the show international and see how it does, we just wrapped a new movie, and we are hoping to have a new book out at Christmas. Pretty much world domination :)