Scarlett Storm may very well be the strangest performer you may ever get the chance to witness. Burlesque dancer, tattoo model, movie actress, and circus freak are just a few of the talents she lists on her decade long resume. No matter what she does, you can expect it to be raunchy, or at the very least…different. She is known for pushing the limits with her performances and photo shoots, with the intended purpose of evoking a reaction. Sometimes it is fear, sometimes lust, sometimes hilarity, but usually it is a combination of many emotions Scarlett Storm draws out of her audience. She is here to entertain, but her methods can be borderline madness.
Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Scarlett Storm. Catching her in between shows and tours proved difficult. She is a busy woman, and is always on the go. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I sat down to interview her. I assumed Scarlett’s answers would make me laugh a little, blush a little, and maybe I’d actually learn something in the process. Scarlett definitely did not disappoint. She was everything I had hoped for and more. Here is my interview with the tremendously talented, highly provocative, and downright filthy…Scarlett Storm. Parents, cover your children’s eyes.
Scarlett Storm now resides in my nearby hometown of Philadelphia. The arrangement to meet wasn’t overly difficult. I would like to say our meeting happened at some dive bar where we tossed back shot after shot of whiskey as we delved into Scarlett’s history, but the truth was much less entertaining. Maybe next time. We met at a local coffee shop around noon. Scarlett was easy to spot with her bright red hair and body full of tattoos. I was most interested to see the patrons’ reaction to her, and it was mixed. Most people simply paid no attention to the naughty burlesque dancer slash everything whom I was about to meet. I obviously did. She was the entire reason I was here. With a warm smile Scarlett greeted me. We made a bit of small talk about nothing very important, and then we sat down before I dove into my questions.
Although we were here in Philly, Scarlett was actually raised in Oregon. It isn’t a place I would naturally associate with burlesque, which prompted me to ask my first question, “What was it about burlesque that drew you in?” Her answer, in many more words, was the spectacular oddity of it all. Scarlett described the only burlesque in her west coast hometown. “It was very DIY, punk rock, no fucks given vibe. One of the performers smashed a big old box TV with an ax. There were clouds of glass dust in the air so everyone had to move back before the act. Another act involved a girl covering another girl in blacklight paint to a creepy Bob Ross parody voice over. There was a guy juggling machetes on top of the bar. The show lived up to its “Classy as fuck” tagline. It was pasties-optional, raunchy, hilarious and everything I wanted to be about! I had done theater and every kind of dance I could find in high school and college, but this was different. This was my intro to performance art for sexy weirdos.”
Sexy weirdos…she stated it with so much pride. I guess that is part of the charismatic charm of Ms. Storm. She wears her unconventionality like a badge of honor. Her shows, her live shows, can be downright outrageous. Expect to cringe, to laugh, and perhaps be embarrassed. This is something I would come to learn all too well. When I asked her to describe her show, she stated, “Oh boy! Well…ahem…It’s gonna be a little ‘touch-funny’ and hopefully inspire some Fear Boners.” Fear-boners, that was a completely new term to me, but I had a feeling it was probably strangely accurate. She expanded upon her answer and described, “There will probably be at least one dick in the show. Not an actual dick…but who knows, that has happened too. Sometimes there is a prop-vagina that bugs and pee come out of. But then again sometimes it a very clowny silly show…or very sparkly and classy. I want to try to be as versatile of a performer as I can be and that means I can’t be weird all the time…but I’ll take it to newer, creepier levels whenever I have the chance!” Then to my chagrin, Scarlett asked me the next question. “Are you blushing?”
“Sorry,” I half laughed and half cringed, “I guess I just didn’t expect to be talking about pissing vaginas and dicks.”
“You asked the question,” she reminded. I nodded my acknowledgement, and stared down at the next one I had on the list. I took a very long sip of my coffee and prayed my face wouldn’t reach the color of Scarlett’s hair. After a seemingly forever amount of time stalling, I finally asked, “You are obviously comfortable with nudity. Was this always the case, or were there any mental obstacles you needed to overcome?”
Scarlett immediately shook her head back and forth. She answered, “I don’t ever remember being uncomfortable with the nudity aspect of it. When I first started performing I had terrible stage fright. Naked or clothed, I was just a little ball of nerves. I still get those flutters every now and then before shows, but mostly from the excitement of, ‘wow,’ we are about to do something really special.”
Ok, that one wasn’t so bad. Feeling a little more confident again, I dove into question number four. “You perform so many different types of acts. Do you have a particular favorite?”
“That’s hard…like asking me to pick a favorite cat!” That is another one of Scarlett’s many faceted personas…crazy cat lady. She continued, “I have a Metalocalypse inspired Dr. Rockzo Act that is pretty fun. I do a bunch of ‘fauxcaine’ and climb a machete ladder. I also have a King Diamond/Golden Girls act where I come out as a little old lady in a shawl with a wrinkly half-mask…which I remove to reveal full KD face makeup and leather to King Diamond’s high pitched metal scream of Grandmaaaaaaaaa.”
I sat, and listened, and was astounded by the sheer number of different acts Scarlett would describe. Then again, she has been doing this for ten years. Finally, and with relative certainty, she finally stated, “My very favorite is probably the Beetlejuice act. It’s one of my oldest acts. I just keep adding more and more to it. I now have a giant sand worm who joins me onstage and a tiny sandworm who lives in my underwear!”
I almost spit out my coffee. “A sandworm?” The question was more of a what-the-hell reflex. “How the heck does that tie in with Beetlejuice, and why in your underwear?”
“You’ll just have to come to my show and find out,” Scarlett winked.
I shook my head yes, but really I was thinking about me trying to explain to my wife what kind of show I was going to go see. I’m not so sure she would understand the concept of fear-boner. She is not a prude or anything. She is just a little more…conventional. Trying to clear the sandworms and pissing vaginas from my head, I asked my most enthusiastic guest, “Clowns…a lot of people fear them more than zombies. You portray both. Ever get any memorable reactions from your zanier/scarier costumes?”
“It always makes me so happy when someone will come up to me after a show or send me a message saying, ‘I was always scared of clowns, but now I think I have a bit of a clown fetish’ or ‘I should be creeped out, but instead I’m turned on,’ but that’s not always the case.” Scarlett almost glowed with excitement as she answered. “Sometimes at shows people will ask us to mess with their friends who have a clown fear. I think the clown business has gotten much more fear out of people than anything I ever did as a zombie or horror character.”
“I think I would be more afraid of a clown as well,” I admitted. “So, what inspires you?”
“Most of my ideas for acts come from some inside joke or drunken brain storm,” Scarlett laughed. “I’m also really lucky to work with some of the most amazing performers around. They are a constant source of inspiration.”
“I know you pride yourself on pushing the envelope with photo shoots,” I continued on, “the stranger the idea, the better. Was there ever a concept suggested that was even too strange by your standards?” My gut told me the answer was no, but I thought just maybe I would be surprised.
Scarlett thought for a moment. Slowly, she replied, “Not really too strange, but I don’t like the idea of doing anything that involves killing bugs or little critters. It’s pretty brutal and too touch funny in the bad way. I’ve been covered in real cows intestines and all kinds of gross questionable things, but for some reason killing bugs makes me squeamish.”
Of course, I thought…being covered with real cow intestines, no problem. Squash a centipede, off limits. Made sense. Yet, as I sat there and looked at this woman I had tracked down and requested this interview with, I guess it kinda did. She defies most accepted norms. I shouldn’t expect her to say what the average person would say. If she did, then my reasoning for interviewing would have been somewhat invalid. One of the things I enjoy most about Scarlett Storm is how outrageous and different she truly is.
“So how the heck did you learn to walk on machetes and broken glass?”
Scarlett leaned forward and almost whispered, “I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble with the others for giving this away, but everyone does it a little differently. Before I attempt glass walking or machete ladder climbing, I apply a generous helping of glitter to the exposed areas. Oddly enough, glitter protection can be used for sexual situations as well.” Scarlett smiled and stated, “You’re turning red again.” I just laughed, shrugged my shoulders, tried not to think of how to apply glitter protection sexually, and asked the next question. “You are also an actress. Any big roles coming up we should know about? What has been your favorite to date?”
“I have been talking to a few indie directors about shooting a few things this Fall, so that’s pretty exciting. The screening party for my latest Bill Zebub movie, Nightmare on Elmo St was in late August. I’m excited to work on another project of his, ‘Dickshark’ later this year as well. I’m also going to be involved with a horror film called Asylum by 2365 films which will be shooting in late 2015. So far my favorite project was for a live action video game called Camdrome. I play an eccentric interpretive dance cam character who mock jerks a rubber chicken and proudly strips to reveal one werewolf titty! The project was filmed over two years ago, but has yet to be released. I guess the world isn’t ready for werewolf titty. I don’t know if they ever will be.”
“Let’s hope they are more ready for Dickshark,” I added.
“It’s going to make a big splash,” Scarlett beamed.
Speechless. I just smiled, looked down at my notes, and was relieved to see the final question. It is not that I wanted the interview to be over, it’s just that I wasn’t fully prepared for the answers she gave. In retrospect, I’m glad Scarlett was as blunt as she was. At the time, I was just uncomfortable. How exactly do you respond to wolf-titty or fear-boner, which was still stuck in my head? My coffee had been finished at least twenty minutes prior because I used it as a means to not respond. Smile, sip, pray she does not see me squirm. With a long deep breath, I asked one of the most poignant questions on my list. “What are the biggest misconceptions about what you do?”
“It’s a lot of fun,” Scarlett explained, “but it’s also a lot of work. Between booking, costuming, training, and traveling, it’s a full time job. And that’s just performing! Somehow everything else fits in there too, but I’m always busy working on something or getting ready or planning. People also think I do a lot more adult work than I have ever actually done. Apparently my filth is legendary. Just another step in my Mink Stole Life Goal of being the filthiest woman alive!”
There you have it…Scarlett Storm. Yes she has made adult films. Yes I have seen them. I research thoroughly. From what I have seen, from what I have heard from her lips, from the enthusiasm she spoke about it, cow intestines, crazy burlesque shows, tiny worms in her underwear, vaginas with bugs exiting, I can go on, I have to say…Scarlett, I think you already are the filthiest woman alive. I do mean that in the most sincere way possible. I hope you keep it up for decades more. The world can use a heavy dose of your insanity.
If you want to catch her act, Scarlett will be touring the country with Thunder Snow Cone and Cut Throat Freak Show. I guarantee you haven’t seen anything like it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.