Let me tell you, when a child sees me walking down the street, its way more exciting for them than Big Bird.
  • "Let me tell you, when a child sees me walking down the street, it's way more exciting for them than Big Bird."
Just as I suspected: the creme de la creme of Seattle's burlesque/drag/performance scene likes to sleep late. "This is officially afternoon but still my morning," Ben DeLaCreme tells me. I chatted with Ben on Tuesday afternoon... er... morning (for both of us) out of curiosity about this weekend's upcoming holiday spectacular, Homo for the Holidays. The event is happening in the West Hall of the Oddfellows Building, this Friday and Saturday, December 4th & 5th. Insert puns about holiday gay-ety, and read on.

Gina Young: So I've heard that this is your "directorial debut." What does that mean, exactly?
Ben DeLaCreme: Many of the shows I've been involved with are of the "variety" variety. Which is to say, the performers bring whatever material they have, and we string it together with an emcee. The setlists are always carefully constructed, but the show is largely about the quality of the individual works... [Whereas] this show has been put together entirely through a collaborative process, under my direction, in which all the acts are directly related.
So what do you bring to the directorial process? Intense method acting training? Meticulous attention to detail? An iron fist?
Exactly. All of the above. And booze.
Haha.
Largely, [directing] just means that I top the crap out of everyone in order to maintain a uniform aesthetic and an effective show arch rather then leaving it up to the chance that is the basis of your average variety show.

Gina: Cable has more sex, I bet.  Ben: But we have more glitter!
  • Gina: Cable has more sex, I bet. Ben: "But we have more glitter!"
So what inspired you to go into this line of work? I know for some people it's their activism; to explore transgressive gender expression. Others are just in it for the shoes.
Once upon a time I went to get a BFA in the questionable field of performance art... which involves a lot of screaming and dragging yourself through mud or sitting still for hours in a white room...
(Or holding your breath for a long, long time. Not to mention the yams... Oh honey, I've been there...)
...but at the same time, I was moonlighting in a number of [Chicago-area] "drag reviews" that provided many more exciting costuming options but little in the way of subtext. So there I was, lost and alone between these two worlds, when I discovered all these wild radical feminists, who were passionate about saying something important with their work, but also wanted to wear lipstick and fake hair!
Kind of like the holy grail. Except with extensions. Where did you "discover" them?
Originally, actually, in the form of The Chicago Kings, who were a pretty big deal all over the country before they disbanded. I was their token Queen for a while. They were largely connected to the Sissy Butch Brothers and Gurlesque Burlesque, and that became my entrance to the burlesque world.
So now what are you infamous for? Or better yet, what do you THINK you are infamous for?
(Extremely long pause, like five minutes long.) I think whether I'm hosting a show or doing a song and dance, I try to strike a fine balance between classic beauty, glamor and poise— and a sense of humor and physical comedy that is uninhibited by crap like beauty, glamor and poise.
Aha.
People also love to watch me eat candy out of my underclothes.

So how has it been, working on Homo for the Holidays? It's a big cast of Seattle-based burlesque performers, no? Fuschia Foxx, Honeysuckle Hype, Cherdonna and Lou and the Shanghai Pearl will grace the stage, to name a few.
I love all these performers, and that's what the show's really about. Forming your own kind of family during this season.
I've heard Homo for the Holidays described as an "annual holiday tradition," but I've also heard that this is only your second year presenting it! Who's lying?
Well, this is an instance of complex multiple truths. It is in fact our second year, however we are building a grand tradition to be passed down to little queerlettes for generations to come.
So it's for the children, really.
Yes, adopted ones. Or ones made by science.

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