Challenger: Heart Crimson
Store Assignment: Grocery Store
Born completely naked, Hell’s resident belle Heart Crimson is a New York- and Chicago-based burlesque performer/producer, alternative model, and stage manager.
Since their performing debut in 2013, they founded the Co-Conspirators, a rough-and-tumble burlesque troupe based in White Plains, New York. The Co-Conspirators’ focus on intersectionality and DIY have gotten them called “the garage band of burlesque.”
Heart’s previous exploits include performing all over NYC, including at Coney Island and Galapagos Art Space. With the Co-Conspirators, they’ve produced and performed in numerous shows, including Alfred Hitchcock Undressed, which is exactly what it sounds like, and BURLEXES: an Ode to Post-Relationship.
On their burlesque journey: “I was an amateur burlesque performer/producer in New York for just over two years before moving to Chicago. In addition to kittening/performing with the New York City community, I founded and ran a troupe called The Co-Conspirators, based out of Purchase College. We operate with a focus on DIY, intersectionality, and neo-burlesque. We are called “the Garage Band of Burlesque”– not that our shows are punk in theme, but punk in execution. We often performed barefoot in student-run venues/gallery spaces. We created with the intention of experimenting with burlesque tropes and site-specific events. We took our studies and re-angled them to strengthen our senses of authenticity and narrative as performers/story-tellers. Since moving to Chicago in September, I’ve enrolled in classes at Vaudezilla and the School of Girlesque to finally embark on my formal burlesque education.”
On the personal connection to Thrifty Thrills: “Thrifty Thrills sounds incredible. I am mentally ill and have struggled with depression since I was a very young child. Much of this has been informed by my gender identity (which files as follows: trans>genderqueer>nonbinary) and by my economic status- I am one of three siblings raised by a single mother with no support from my absentee father. Intersectionality has informed my entire career as a performer.”
On accessibility in burlesque: “A big part of what the Co-Conspirators focused on was accessibility– the free shows, the budgets and resources we had as loan-riddled college students; our diverse range of economic backgrounds. Our DIY approach to burlesque represented the multi-faceted socioeconomic spectrum.
Burlesque CAN be as classist as any other creative art (poor kids often aren’t the ones in dance camp, poor kids often can’t afford to take time off of work to costume/choreograph/perform), it CAN be ableist, of course!
My dream is to make burlesque accessible. It’s not always glamour and fierceness and sparkle– at its heart, it is story, vulnerability, power, Realness. There is power in quiet, there is power in simple, there is power in resourcefulness and thrift. That’s why I wanted to participate in Thrifty Thrills.”
Thriftiest burlesque achievement: “I was booked to perform in a fundraiser to benefit environmental consciousness. I visited my local dollar stores and Frankensteined together a costume for a mermaid dying in an oil spill.
-creating two mermaid tails out of two shower curtains and a laundry bag.
-creating pasties from the laundry bag fabric
-cutting the feet and crotch out of a torn pair of sheer black tights to wear as a form-fitting top
-repurposing one of the stocking feet to use as a mask
-using cling wrap to form my “bra”
-lots of fake pearls”
Get your tickets now to see what Heart creates with $20 and the grocery store! Catch up with The Scrappy Kid Sibling of Burlesque Forever and Ever DIY for Life at heartcrimsonburlesque.tumblr.com!