An Interview with Suzil Von Schtupt!

Hey folks, I’m pleased to say we’re starting a new feature on Hunny Bunny Burlesque!

By way of introduction, I’m Brian, and Hunny has given me the rare and exquisite honor of interviewing one of the lovely ladies of her troupe, Hunny Bunny and Her Hot Toddies, once every month! For this premiere post, I had the unique pleasure of chatting with Suzil Von Schtupt! Her intense energy has always captured the attention of the audience and her creativity has always been in evidence through every act I’ve seen.

We talked about dance, the challenges of living in the Bay Area, her musical choices, and future plans.

Without further ado, the interview!

Brian Vo:
Hey, good to be chatting (virtually) with you Suzil. Isn’t technology amazing?

Suzil Von Schtupt:
Eh, much rather do it in person.

BV:
Haha, agreed. We can do a follow up in person interview.

SVS:
Agreed!

BV:
So, how long have you been performing burlesque?

SVS:
About 3 years, but I have been dancing since I was four years old, so thats almost 24 years.

BV:
How did you get started? Did your parents get you into that?

SVS:
I graduated with a dance degree from Humboldt State university. I moved back to the Bay Area and began auditioning for modern dance companies. I went to a bunch of auditions and they had two open spots and hundreds of people auditioning.
After a few months of that I was starting to get bummed and then I saw an ad on craigslist looking for burlesque dancers and I answered it and I did it.

BV:
That sounds like an incredibly disheartening start to post college life. Sounds like you bounced back though.

SVS:
I honestly don’t remember who’s idea it was for me to start taking dance lessons. I do remember my first day of ballet I put my leotard on right when i woke up, I was so excited.

BV:
How long have you been performing with Hunny Bunny? Was it with her that you first started working in this biz?

SVS:
Nope. I met her about 8 months after I started performing. Loved her right from the start.

BV:
Is working with Hunny different from the previous gigs then?

SVS:
Her show is very casual and open. It’s also different in that there is not a regular stage and its “in the round” so to speak so I have to adjust my acts a little bit
its a fun challenge and i like being able to walk right up to people and interact with them

BV:
Yes, it’s pretty great, I’ve had good fun watching you perform!

SVS:
Thank you.

BV:
So, I’m no dance expert, but I definitely enjoy watching you dance, so what would you call your style of dancing?

SVS:
Goofy as fuck.

I have no clue. I tap dance sometimes. I get sultry rarely. I just like to make people laugh and forget about the crap of life for a few minutes.

BV:
Now, is “goofy as fuck” an emphasis you can chose in a dance major at Humboldt? Where do you draw inspiration and moves from?

SVS:
I majored in dance as language and culture.
I draw inspiration from anything and everything. Moves mostly come from my brain. And I dream about dancing a lot.

BV:
Sounds like dance is on your mind quite a bit then, do you have time for other things then? Any hobbies?

SVS:
I love to read, take walks around Lake Merritt or Jack London square, and I spend ALOT of time sewing.

But dancing and being weird is my #1.

I can’t help but think about it all the time. Its my job and my passion and my hobby.

BV:
Definitely sounds like a passion!

So, music choices. What do you look for in music for your performances, and do you mostly listen to that same kind of music when you’re doing other things?

SVS:
I like to think that my music choices have a nice range for my acts. I have some hip hop, soul, pop, 40s blah blah. I like all kinds of music and when I am working at home i just put my itunes on shuffle. but my favorite music that i can listen to at any time is shoe gaze. Its good when I’m happy, sad, sleepy, hyper, sexy. it blends with my brain well

BV:
Shoe gaze, that’s a new one for me. Any recommendations for someone new to the genre?

SVS:
Oh hmmmmmm, I LOVEEE [the] Jesus and Mary Chain. Listen to the album Darklands. I am also known to just type shoegaze playlist into youtube… I love all the mixes people have put together.

BV:
Fantastic, I’ll have to take a look.

BV:
So, do you fully support yourself as a dancer? Do you need a day job?

SVS:
For the past month or so I have been covering shifts at my old job while my former boss finds a replacement. And yes I should totally have a day job because its ridiculously expensive to live in the bay area. But all I want to do is be creative.

I’m going to be moving out of the state at the end of summer. I want to be an artist full time and the bay area is just too expensive. But before I was covering shifts, I was dancing/acting/modeling full full time.

BV:
It is ridiculously expensive here, and I totally sympathize with that, being in a similar situation. Was it much better years earlier?

SVS:
I grew up in the east bay (Richmond) and its always been expensive, but in the past few years it has skyrocketed. I pay the most I ever have for rent and I live in a warehouse in a bad neighborhood.
I would need to pay at least double what i am now in order to live in a neighborhood that I feel safe in.

BV:
And do you think we’re going to see a brain/art drain because of this rental crisis?

SVS:
And yes, I do think that artists are going to move but there is a huge amount in the Bay Area, there will still be plenty left over.

BV:
It’s definitely a shame that you’ll be leaving us. Where are you going?

SVS:
Not sure yet, my boyfriend and I are buying a van and driving cross country and we are going to see what we like. right now we are leaning towards Vegas or New Orleans, but who knows.

BV:
Wow, sounds like an adventure! Alright, so with adventures in mind, let’s move to some happier questions to close up. What is your favorite day of the week, and what would that perfect day of the week be?

SVS:
I like all the days.. since I don’t have a conventional job they all kind of meld together. A perfect day would be sleeping in, cooking something delicious with my honey, taking a walk, and then dancing

BV:
And rinse, repeat?

SVS:
…And cooking up funny show ideas, routine ideas. I love talking about performance art

BV:
That does sound like fun!

Alright, one last question Suzil. If you were a food or beverage, what would you be?

SVS:
Chocolate covered nuts. Heh.

BV:
Interesting! Because…. they are nutty and sweet with a surprise in the middle?

SVS:
I’ll leave that to your imagination.

BV:
Sorry, one last question! When are you performing this month \and what should audiences be looking forward to?

SVS:
I’ll be there June 12 and the 19th.

Expect some tap dancing and a new goth/old-timey Western inspired act.

BV:
Great hope to see you there!

SVS:
Me too!