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The Erotic Guide

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Boner Bizarre: Sex Meets Circus

A new, erotic variety show is making waves in Austin, TX. Combining traditional burlesque with darker themes, sideshow performances and performance art, Boner Bizarre represents a step outside the box; providing a fresh combination of sensuality with shock value.

I spoke to founder, producer and performer for Boner Bizarre, Zoja Ülesoo, about this unique event.

CE: Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about Boner Bizarre?

: My name is Zoja Ülesoo and I'm the co-founder of Boner Bizarre, an erotic variety show based in Austin, Texas. I've been performing burlesque, pole dance, and aerials for over 5 years and I've been more or less involved in the sex industry for over a decade. Boner Bizarre features classic sideshow acts such as human blockhead, bed of nails, and fire breathing, but also incorporates more contemporary styles of theater, neo-burlesque, pole dance and aerial arts like lyra, trapeze, rope, and silks. The show is extremely risque in nature (within the bounds of the law) with dry, offensive humor and boundary pushing themes of sex, religion, politics, and gore.

 

CE: So what was the process behind starting Boner Bizarre?

: Snake [Noel Frangeskou, co-founder of and emcee for Boner Bizarre] and I have been roommates and friends for years. We are both extremely integrated in the Austin punk scene as we've both lived here most of our lives, and we knew we had the resources and the social pull to make this thing happen. We are both inspired by all things grotesque and offensive and we wanted to create something that had never been done before. We are a great team with her comedic skills and wit and my experience in the sex industry and performance world. It started out as a house party where we would book bands, have live pole demos and get a keg of beer for our friends but we quickly outgrew that and decided we needed to move to an official venue.

 

CE: How long did that process take?

: We only had 2 house shows before we decided it was time for a venue. The first show was at The Blackheart and the second and third were at Midway Fieldhouse (now revamped as Grizzly Hall) so we've had 3 shows total.

CE: Have you had any difficulty in finding venues to work with?

: It can be difficult to find venues to book our show simply because of the dangerous aspects of it; there are insurance and safety concerns, in addition to the content of the show.

 

CE: Do you have any favourite or particularly memorable performances you could tell us about?

:  We incorporate a lot of pop culture references into the show. One of our performers - Alexander Hamilton - and I did a Silence of the Lambs tribute at the last show. He was Buffalo Bill (in full drag, with penis tucked), and I was Precious the Poodle. He did boylesque while I ate dog food, worked the crowd and rubbed lotion all over them, and then did a few pole tricks and  got walked off stage on a leash. The Valentine's Day Massacre show's main center piece was an 11 foot tall, fully operational vagina dentata with light and sound effects - for the grand finale the entire cast got swallowed up by it.

 

CE: How does a tribute to Silence of the Lambs come to fruition?

: He had been tossing the idea around to me. Originally he wanted me to be the girl in the well that Buffalo Bill skins, but I thought it would be funnier to spin it where I was his dog. We're both huge horror film buffs - we recently collaborated on a Videodrome tribute.

 

CE: I have to ask; what on earth goes into building an 11 foot tall mechanical vagina?

: Our friend Cheraya Esters who is a professional sculptor, welder, and woodworker designed it. She built it for less than $200 with a welded frame, spray foam, and layers and layers of fabric, and it took her approximately two weeks. It had LED lights and she moaned into a microphone for added effect throughout the show.

 

CE: Are there any other influences that Boner Bizarre draws from?

: Snake and I are really inspired by punk culture, and so we've definitely strived to maintain a DIY aesthetic no matter how successful the show may become. We never want to be a polished product, we always want to keep it dirty and amateur.

CE: How do you put together a show? Are you reaching out to performers to book them, are they in contact with you?

: We had a call for performers and crew members in the beginning. A bunch of us met up for drinks, and we brainstormed how we wanted to be involved in the show and what direction we wanted it to go in. Some of those people that came to the first meeting are still core members, but we've also met a lot of new performers along the way. Pretty much all of our friends are involved in some capacity; I remember telling Snake one day "gosh, we have so many talented friends, I want to put their skill sets to use". Now that we have a following we will probably hand select our performers going forward.

 

CE: Do you have any short or long term goals for Boner Bizarre?

ZÜ: We would absolutely love to become a traveling road show eventually and tour the entire US! State law varies quite a bit but generally if a venue has a liquor license then performers must have pasties and a g-string at minimum (strip clubs have a special cabaret license); we've talked about moving our show underground to a private warehouse or similar venue so that we can get away with full nudity.

 

CE: When and where will the next show take place?

: Our next show is our big Halloween show, it's going to be October 29th at Grizzly Hall in Austin, TX. We've poured a lot of money and effort into Grizzly Hall; we specifically rigged their ceilings for pole and aerials, so we will be sticking with them for a while. They've been good to us.

 

CE: And where can people find out more, and ticket information?

: Our social media: http://www.facebook.com/bonerbizarre (link is external) and http://www.instagram.com/bonerbizarre (link is external) and email bonerbizarre@gmail.com (link sends e-mail)

 

CE: Thanks for talking to us.

: Not at all.

Name of author: 
Chris Evans - cpewrites@gmail.com; Photos courtesy of Brain Vomit Photo and Rusk Photography

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