As Women in Horror Month powers on, I was lucky enough to have a chat with American Mary’s own, Tristan Risk. Little Miss Risk is a multi-faceted persona, who can act, burlesque, model, and do everything in between. So, lace up your corsets, my horror lovelies as we have a 7 Question Session with Tristan Risk!
How did you become part of the world of burlesque and fetish/pin up modeling?
I had initially started with fetish modelling, which then lead into pin up modelling in a retro style. I started a non-nude pay site that let me be creative with some ideas I had for more contemporary pin up and retro erotica styles. I got into the burlesque seventeen years ago this summer. I had started it initially as a joke, and then found myself getting more and more bookings. I eventually found other net-burlesque artists in Vancouver, and we all started doing shows and cabarets together.
Working in the horror industry, how have you seen the role of women changing?
I’ve seen not the roles women play changing. Women have always worked in horror from day one. From writers, to monster-makers, directors, editors, producers… What I am seeing now is more visibility to female made horror. I think that while women have always contributed, they have not gotten equal recognition for their work the way their male counterparts have. I think now because women-driven industry is being seen more, and is now validated, that we are seeing more focus. It’s a healthy growth, but I still see some challenges ahead, but I feel we are on the right track for equality.
What are some of the misconceptions you get as a female working in horror?
That if you are a woman in horror that you are automatically an actor or willing to do nudity or raunchy acts. I think with horror still having a reputation as being ghettoized that film folks still side-eye it as being low brow, and this isn’t the case. And there is an automatic assumption that if you are a female that you are an actor alone.
How has being in American Mary changed your life?
It’s given me a certain credibility with a very broad crowd. Horror fans can be tough to please, and given the warm reception that Mary has enjoyed, it has certainly boosted my visibility in the film world. I’m grateful that I’ve been given the opportunities to work with the talented folks that I have from it.
What films and individuals have been the most influencing in your life?
Labyrinth and Dark Crystal were my first two early loves of puppetry and live action. I feel like CGI hasn’t managed to quite get the warm, organic quality of some practical effects. Ginger Snaps made me want to be in films, ironically, and it was seeing a confident Katherine Isabelle striding down a high school hallway that kick-started that idea in my head. But it wouldn’t be until I met Jen and Sylvia that anything would truly come of it. So I feel that I’m pretty lucky to have such a series of serendipitous moments like that.
If money were no object and you could choose whoever you would like to be a part of it. What would your dream film project be?
Oh gosh… I’d love to have the Soskas direct Anne McCaffery’s Dragonflight in New Zealand, and I get a chance to play Lessa. I love the idea of making a movie in that perfect South Pacific paradise, with my best friends, where we make a movie about riding giant dragons. Fewer things would be more ideal, in my mind.
What’s up next for you?
I’m currently filming a kid’s movie called Aliens Ate My Homework, based on the book of the same title by Bruce Coville. I’m excited to start my touring schedule with my circus/sideshow troupe, The Caravan Of Creeps in between filming engagements, and I look forward to working with more talented folks this year… Sometimes with new faces, and a few times with old friends…
Interview by EvilQueenB