Interview: SuicideGirls Co-Founder Missy Suicide

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Throughout the past thirteen years, SuicideGirls.com has flourished as one of the most popular and influential alternative-lifestyle websites in the world. Originally launched in 2001 as a platform to showcase beauty that was thought to be incongruent with mainstream standards, SuicideGirls has proceeded to leave its mark on a slew of media. Movies, comic books, magazines, and much more have all been released bearing the SuicideGirls name, but the company’s most noteworthy venture beyond the Internet realm is undoubtedly its infamous Blackheart Burlesque Tour. ThisConnect.ca had the pleasure of interviewing SuicideGirls co-founder Missy Suicide in order to learn about the steps the company is taking to ensure that 2015 proves to be a landmark year for its flagship tour. 

The Blackheart Burlesque Tour was originally launched in the early 2000s, and has since become something of an institution. What will set the 2015 edition apart from previous iterations of the tour?

Our first tour was very different. The girls came up with their own dances and costumes, and the audience participation aspect was a bit messy. Think beer, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. The girls still create their own solos, but the group dances are choreographed and many of the costumes are professionally designed. We’ve always had a really great variety of music, but I’d like to think our themes are even more entertaining now!

 

This year, the tour will feature an extensive Canadian leg. Oftentimes, much of Canada gets neglected when it comes to tour routing. Why was it important to make sure that Canada received a great deal of attention this time around?

What a shame! Canada has always been a lot of fun for us. The cities are beautiful and the crowds are so fun and enthusiastic. We want to reach as many fans as we possibly can, and our Canadian fans really are amazing. We could never neglect them! :)

 

derekbremner-com-0183A major component of the Blackheart Burlesque experience is pop-culture reference and parody. How did this come to be a staple of the show, and how do you go about choosing which movies and TV series to pay tribute to?

So many of our girls have these great, geeky interests, myself included, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to incorporate those into the numbers. Some themes just click and are so perfect, like the Star Wars and Zelda numbers. Others took some work to find the right song and work out the choreography, like our Game of Thrones routine. And sometimes there’s an idea I love, but it just won’t translate well – I don’t think we can figure out a away to turn the Serial podcast into a dance, for example, haha!

 

How will the tour appeal to hardcore SuicideGirls followers, as well as people who are newcomers to the brand?

Longtime SG fans and new fans alike will enjoy the show! It’s an awesome introduction for anyone, but the people who have been members since the beginning will have a blast, too. For those who have seen us on multiple tours, they’ll enjoy seeing all of the new numbers, too!

 

What has been one of the most memorable, funny, or outrageous moments to take place on the Blackheart Burlesque tour in the past?

There have been so many great stories, but one of my favorites is about our host, Sunny.  We have a dance contest where we pull up a few ladies from the crowd, and the audience chooses a winner. At our New York City show in 2013, this gorgeous girl won the contest and was given a membership to SuicideGirls.com. She fell in love, flew out to auditions, and now she’s the host of the tour!

 

SuicideGirls has grown from humble beginnings into a new media juggernaut. There’s no doubt that it is one of the most popular lifestyle websites in the world. To what do you attribute your success and longevity?

Not being afraid to try new things and make mistakes. We live in a world where technology and people are constantly changing, and everything is a learning experience!

 

sg1Are there any more milestones that you would like to see the company reach, or a medium that you’d like to explore that you haven’t yet? 

World domination! Haha, actually we would love to continue bringing our Burlesque show to as many different countries as we can, and we would love to have even more gorgeous ladies around the world model for the site! That’s pretty much world domination, right?

 

How would you describe your relationship with the women who model for your website and perform on the Blackheart Burlesque tour? Are you a friend, a parent, a colleague, or perhaps some sort of hybrid?

All of the above! Most of the first SuicideGirls were close friends, and I’ve made it a point to be very accessible to the girls from the very beginning. If they have questions, concerns, or whatever, I’m here for them. This company is my baby, and these girls are everything to me. It’s not easy having 2,700 charges, but I do what I can! :)

 

In what ways have you seen the media landscape change since you first founded SuicideGirls in 2001?

There has been a definite shift from primarily print-based media to a world rooted heavily in social media. Major publications like the New York Times and National Geographic have Twitter and Instagram accounts, and they’re, of course, hugely popular. Small businesses like Nasty Gal can network and market their way toward a larger audience and become wildly successful. It’s fantastic, and kind of course crazy! If you had told me 13 or 14 years ago that the internet would be available to you 24/7 in your pocket, I don’t know that I would have believed you!

What’s one thing about SuicideGirls that you think absolutely everyone should know?

It is impossible to leave the show without a smile. :)

 

SuicideGirls: Blackheart Burlesque Tour Dates:
April 6th - Victoria BC – The Strathcona Hotel -Buy Tickets
April 7th - Vancouver BC – Rickshaw Theatre -Buy Tickets
April 8th - Kelowna BC – Flashbacks -Buy Tickets
April 10th - Edmonton AB – Encore -Buy Tickets
April 11th - Calgary AB – Flames Central -Buy Tickets
April 12th - Saskatoon SK – Louis Pub -Buy Tickets
April 13th - Winnipeg MB – The Pyramid Cabaret -Buy Tickets
April 16th - Toronto ON – The Phoenix Concert Theatre -Buy Tickets
April 17th - London ON – London Music Hall -Buy Tickets
April 19th - Ottawa ON – Bronson Centre -Buy Tickets
April 20th - Montreal QC – La Tulipe 

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