I had a lot of fun being a poetry whore at the Poetry Brothel at The Biltmore Cabaret.
The Poetry Brothel is a unique and immersive poetry event that takes poetry outside classrooms and lecture halls and places it in the lush interiors of a bordello. Based in concept on the fin-de-siecle bordellos in New Orleans and Paris, many of which functioned as safe havens for fledgling, avant-garde artists, The Poetry Brothel’s “Madame” presents a rotating cast of poets as “whores,” each operating within a carefully constructed character, who impart their work in public readings, spontaneous eruptions of poetry, and most distinctly, as purveyors of private, one-on-one poetry readings in back rooms. For a small fee, all of the “poetry whores” are available for these sequestered readings at any time during the event. Of course, any true brothel needs a good cover; The Poetry Brothel’s is an immersive cabaret, offering a full bar, live jazz, burlesque dancers, painters, and fortune-tellers, with newly integrated themes, performances and installations at each event.
I dressed up as Angel Rouge, and participated in a mysterious and wondrous event called the Poetry Brothel.
Here was a bit of my bio as Angel Rouge:
Angel Rouge is 5 foot tall with a few inches added in thickness from her velvet lipstick. She was born a love child between a scarlet potion and a mysterious elf. The night she was conceived, a tiny piece from every blushed cheek around the world fell off. The collective redness bits went into the potion, bubbling to eventually become a baby. When she was grown, she started as a mysterious clown nose and then into a quill, within three years she has transformed into a mystical creation. Every night in her adolescence, she would rehearse nursery rhymes while applying a thick pink to her cheeks and lips. At age 13, she was separated from her parent elf and found her way into the Lagoons of Vancouver, BC, where she put on a human suit and began to act natural.
As she was raised, she began to be fond of theatrics, wine tasting and checkerboard skirts. Her hobbies include plucking her eyebrows, slapping her lips together and jumping up and down escalators, all while howling at Tarot cards and kissing the forgotten moon. Religiously, she is a clown, but biologically, she is an elf. In practice she is a poet, but in reality she is a flamboyant star-counter, hoping to spiral herself in enough syllables to one day map out her way back home.
In my persona, I walked around trying to seduce folks so I could give them a private reading in a back room. They would give me a coin and inwards they would enter into a magical place of velvet couches, bright candles and gold.
This show, which came from New York and has been at it for years- was a true weird gem in my life. In my private readings I had some of the most intense performances to date. To look at people and share my poetry in this intimate setting was beautiful, weird, brilliant, and unlike any other kind of performance I’ve had.