Courtney Cruz of Devil's Playground Burlesque Interview
Interview by: Geek Girl Zelda|
Geek Girl Zelda had a chance to interview Courtney Cruz of the Devil's Playground burlesque troupe.
Anyone who lives in LA and is involved in either the geeky or the alternative subcultures knows of Devil's Playground. They've been regularly performing burlesque, wrestling and stage shows since 2010. They are run by Courtney Cruz, a long time veteran of entertainment and performance. They were the original Star Wars burlesque that exploded on the internet back in 2010. I have only had the opportunity, unfortunately, to see one of their performances - a mud wrestling match between video game characters. I will be attending their event in January
to benefit breast cancer charity and will report back to you on their new Star Wars performance and with what will no doubt be some very sexy photos!
Q: Give us a quick rundown of who both Courtney Cruz and The Devil's Playground are. Who are some of the other girls involved in the troupe?
A: I have been a live entertainment producer and performance artist/ burlesque dancer in Los Angeles for 15 years.
Devils Playground Burlesque is a theatrical burlesque group of performers who like their cosplay and burlesque together. Sci fi , Video games , comic books . We have a lot more fun dressing up as tons of different characters then just being ourselves on stage every time we go up there .
regular performers with me are Sin Fisted, Audrey Deluxe, Olivia Bellafontaine , Scarlet O'keljus , Daisy Meadows, Jessabelle Thunder, Kitty Cadillac, Cannabelle Necter, Diamondback Annie, Vanessa Burgundy, Lux Lacroix, Annie Mae, Tonya Kay, Charlotte La Belle, and Mia Vixen .
Q: There are a lot of burlesque troupes out there doing geeky performances now, but Devil's Playground was one of the originals, if not the original. You have done several themed shows, from video games, to comic books, to Star Wars. What originally made you want to blend the worlds of geekdom and burlesque?
A: We are the ones who did the original Star Wars burlesque show. There have been many since in other places but we were the one that the story and photos on la weekly.com went viral online in 2010. It was quite a fun experience
I have always been a fan of all of those genres of gaming , film , tv and books growing up. As a burlesque producer and performer i got bored pretty quickly of the same old same old burlesque routine. So to keep it fun and interesting for myself i decided to use devils playground as the place where people like me, that enjoyed pop culture, could come and they would get the humor, appreciate the costumes and theatrics, dress up with us and just have fun.
Q: While there are many burlesque groups out there, there are few that have the same professionalism and quality that yours brings. What goes into building your incredibly elaborate sets, costumes, characters and performances? Do you feel like being located in Los Angeles has played a part in the pure theatrics of your show and the caliber of artists you have been able to collaborate with?
A: I have an incredible team. Beyond my fantastic collection of performers I have my host, lighting designer, video editor, DJ, and my set and prop fabricator. I am very fortunate to work with a huge pool of super talented and creative people who are very invested in the show. We are one big happy family. Always helping each other out and working together .
I have learned the art of set building and costuming through experience over the last 6 yrs with Carlos Flores. I physically build sets, props and costumes . I'm a very hands on kinda person, I love it. So much fun to make things. Its an art form really i think that I'm very lucky to have learned .
Q: Tell us a bit about your modeling career, as well.
A: I modeled from 18-28. Went to London, Berlin, got to wear wear beautiful costumes and outfits and I have amazing images taken of me, memories and experiences of working with so many creative people. I feel like my modeling is what got me into performance . it was the beginning for me. With performing I have continued to collaborate with creative talented people and travel to many locations in the Caribbean to entertain. I love what I do and feel blessed to have the job I have .
Q: What has been one of your favorite moments or experiences performing with The Devil's Playground?
A: I would have to say anytime we have gotten to go from a small stage to a big stage to do a show its always fun to expand on our productions . We went from a tiny little club called Bordello's stage with was about 8ftx4ft and the venue fit about 250 people at capacity, to the music box stage which is about 25 ft x 30 ft and the venue fits 1,200 people. It was really exciting to take the Star Wars show from such an intimate downtown club to this huge theater in Hollywood .
Q: What is it about burlesque and geekdom do you think people are so attracted to right now?
A: Well with a lot of geek stuff you already have a huge sexualization of characters. I think that's why a lot of people are doing it. I mean who doesn't want to watch Slave Leia or Catwoman do a strip tease LOL.
Q: What made you decide to bring the wrestling aspect into your performances?
A: I love the theatrics and how much hard work goes into wrestling. Its fun to come up with our routines and learn different types of take downs , slams and punches . Our show is kinda like Celebrity Death Match with strippers LOL. Its funny, sexy and sometimes a little disturbing. Funny sexy violence, good combo .
Q: Any hints as to what we can expect with future shows?
A: March 1 is our "Gods of rock " burlesque show. LA's sexiest girls performing as the most iconic and influential rock stars is music history - Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elvis - you get the idea. As for wrestling/burlesque shows, X-Men VS Avengers .
Q: Where can fans stay informed about future events?
A: DevilsPlaygroundLA.com they can sign up for our mailing list or our facebook.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO CHAT WITH ME AND TO HELP GET PEOPLE MORE INFO ABOUT DEVILS PLAYGROUND !
Photography by Curious Josh
STAR GIRLS BURLESQUE - Friday, January 10, 2014
Follow us on:
January 02 2014