Missy Suicide

Missy Suicide, Head of SuicideGirls website, discusses the traveling Burlesque show, Blackheart Burlesque which will come to Cincinnati October 4th. 

The legendary SuicideGirls are transforming venues across the United States into raucous, sexy parties featuring dancing and entertainment from scantily clad women in pop-culture themed costumes.

The Blackheart Burlesque, SuicideGirls’ traveling show, will hit Cincinnati’s 20th Century Theatre Sunday. 

In preparation for the event, founder of SuicideGirls Missy Suicide spoke with The News Record about the philosophies behind her website, her nerdy obsessions and what Cincinnatians can expect of Blackheart Burlesque.  

TNR: How would you describe Suicide Girls to someone who has never heard of it?

Missy Suicide: SuicideGirls is an online community where women have been posting erotic — well, not just erotic — but nude photos of themselves since 2001. 

SuicideGirls is a pin-up site dedicated to celebrating the unique beauty of women everywhere. 

TNR: And what are some of the philosophies and ideas behind SuicideGirls?

MS: That confidence is the sexiest attribute a person can have. And beauty comes in many sizes and shapes and forms and it doesn’t, you know, adhere to a singe cookie-cutter mold.

TNR: How do you actually become a SuicideGirl?

MS: You apply at our website and our model coordinating team will help you through the process — from paperwork to getting a set shot. 

Then, once you have a set that is on par with what our idea of a good photo set is, it gets put into our member review queue and it goes live and our members get to view it and provide feedback. 

If it’s super well received and spot-on the first try, then chances are you will become a SuicideGirl. And, you know, if the feedback is like, “this seems a little off” or “you seem a little intimidated” or whatnot, then the model can take the constructive feedback and try again.

TNR: What kinds of things can we expect at the Blackheart Burlesque this weekend?

MS: The burlesque show is a really incredible live experience. The show is all pop culture referential, so each number is themed out to represent a different thing we nerd out about — whether it’s a video game or a movie or a TV show or a comic book.

And it is sexy and fun and silly, and just an all-around great time.

TNR: What are a few things that you nerd out about, in particular?

MS: Game of Thrones, Adventure Time, Star Wars, Legend of Zelda — to list a few.

TNR: Is there a SuicideGirls community in Cincinnati?

MS: There is. Ohio is a really, really large SuicideGirls contingent. Cincinnati is wild.

TNR: Will the Blackheart Burlesque feature Suicide Girls from the Cincinnati area?

MS: The shows are all very highly choreographed and the dancers are all professional dancers that rehearse for quite a while before the show, so the actual show itself is a traveling show and doesn’t feature girls that are Cincinnati-based.

There is a local troop that will be opening that show, but they are not part of SuicideGirls. 

Cin City Burlesque, the local burlesque troop, will be opening for us. We are really happy to be working with local burlesque acts in each of the places we travel. They really help us and show us some burlesque love.

TNR: Has the burlesque show been going on as long as the website has been?

MS: No. The burlesque show — we did a kind of iteration of it from 2003 to 2007 and then in that time, we opened for Guns ’n’ Roses, we opened for Courtney Love and we travelled to some places in Europe. 

It was a really amazing time, but we decided to take a little break to do a book. And after that was finished, we were like, “let’s do a movie,” so we put the burlesque show on hold for six or seven years.

When we put out our third book, “Hard Girls, Soft Light,” in 2012, we sent two girls on a book signing tour up and down the West Coast and by the time they reached Santa Cruz, there were 750 people waiting outside of a comic book shop just to get two girls’ autographs. 

So we knew we could provide a better live experience than just walking into a bookshop to see two girls, and we decided to put the burlesque show back together. 

In the years since we had done the show, the burlesque world has really upped its game a lot. Everything from the Star Girls Burlesque to even the large-scale, spectacle performances like Lady Gaga. We knew we really had to up our own game, so we decided on the pop-culture themed everything with modern soundtracks and super highly choreographed dancing — great costumes too.

We just really put our all into this and think we came up with something pretty unique and different.