It’s almost Christmas and we have a real Christmas cracker of an interview for you. Since I started working for UKHS this year I have had the pleasure of interviewing some great actresses and this lady is the angel at the top of the Christmas tree, she is talented, beautiful and one hell of an actress just check out her performance as Beatress Johnson in ‘American Mary’, she is truly awesome and steals every scene she’s in. Please welcome the one and only Tristan Risk.
Hello Tristan, it’s an honour to talk to you, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene.
UKHS – Tristan, you are super talented in many ways from performing with the lovely ladies of Sweet Soul Burlesque regularly in the Vancouver area to your superb acting in ‘American Mary’. How did you get started as a burlesque dancer, model and actress?
TR -I’ve always been an entertainer. I got into burlesque by accident. I’d been modelling a few years prior to burlesque and I’d danced a lot as a child/teen. A friend was throwing a birthday party for her boyfriend and she wanted to have someone pop out of a cake and do a campy little striptease for him. I volunteered and he liked it so much he asked if I’d open for his band. From there I started doing regular shows and next thing I knew I was touring as a dancer for a band. The prophesy of watching Jem and the Holograms all those years ago came true!
TR – The most outrageous thing I’ve done onstage? Geez, that’s a subjective
question. Something that one person considers outrageous wouldn’t raise an eyebrow from another person. So something I consider an average thing to do onstage might have someone not used to my performance art style clutching their pearls. I think some of the most challenging things I’ve done that pushed my comfort levels would be singing with a live band and stripping at the same time, doing a tango with an upright bass player while he played and then dancing on his bass… eating things I shouldn’t, and allowing myself to be tied up onstage before escaping… Things that have all pushed my own boundaries, scared the shit out of myself, and made me feel exhilarated.
UKHS – Tristan, you were sensational as Beatress Johnson in ‘American Mary’. I really loved your performance along with your nightmare Betty Boop cartoonish face. How did your role in this movie come about and did you stay in character throughout the filming process?
TR – I didn’t stay in character for the WHOLE of filming, but I slipped into ‘Beatress’ quite often. I still do, come to that. Especially when I get drunk and frivolous. As for how it came about, the Soska Sisters had asked me to come on board as dance coordinator. They had been trying to find their Beatress and none of the actresses they’d seen at that point were working for them. They asked if I’d be interested in auditioning, which I was having read the script. I went in, did the lines, danced, and sang. I wasn’t giving up that role for anything! My gamble worked, and evidently so their betting on the dark horse in the running…
TR – I do! I have a few favourites: ‘Batman Returns’, ‘Gremlins’, ‘Scrooged’, ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’, and ‘Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer’. Any of the sappy Christmas Disney cartoons are fun too, after the right amount of mulled wine.
UKHS – Those are really cool, I love ‘Gremlins’. Finally, If you could have Christmas dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
TR – Christmas dinner with three guests? I’d have to say Peter Steele, Prince, and Lux Interior…. I’d serve all my best Viking-style feast food!
UKHS – Thank you Tristan, I really appreciate your time and this opportunity to interview you for UKHS. I hope you’ve been an awful good girl this year and Santa brings you lot’s of gifts. Have a wonderful Christmas and keep up the great work.
Image courtesy: Shimona Henry, Black Opal and drawings by Adrian Syrja.