Interview with Lolita Va Voom and Viva Lamore – The Hunger Moon
On this weeks Friday you can experience the unique and surprising show The Hunger Moon presented by Lolita Va Voom and Viva Lamore in the Freudenzimmer Berlin. Burlesque, Vaudeville, Dinner and much more are waiting for you to spend an unforgettable night with The Full Moon Cabaret.
We are happy to announce that we managed to get an interview with two of the most outstanding and interesting burlesque artists here in Berlin, Lolita Va Voom und Viva Lamore, as an exciting appetizer for what their show will be about. Have fun reading the interview!
indieberlin: So what’s the Full Moon Cabaret? How is it different than other cabarets in Berlin?
Viva: The Full Moon Cabaret is an immersive art party that happens every full moon with burlesque, varieté, live music, and theater. It’s inspired by the Full Moon Show in New York City, where I’m from. You’ve probably never heard of Tom Murrin but he was a beautiful personality who’s very missed in downtown New York; a generous bighearted spirit that resulted in this amazing meshuganah of a show that ran from the 1970s until the 2000s. All kinds of things happened at the Full Moon Show, from contemporary dance to stand-up comedy to experimental music to theatrical happenings. So in the spirit of Tom Murrin, the Full Moon Cabaret likes to mix things up: high brow with low brow, but never middle brow. There’s usually a burlesque dancer or two, but you might also see an opera singer, or a human blockhead. This month, there’s a butoh dancer and a blues singer. And each Cabaret features a wacky little theater piece, private shows with a couple of Art Prostitutes, and a mooning contest where the audience can win a bottle of moonshine by baring their derriere.
Indieberlin: Why Hunger Moon?
Viva: The Native Americans had a name for every full moon. We use this to build a theme. I think Hunger Moon comes from the Northeastern tribes. It made me think of Food Porn and all the wild and wacky things you can do around that theme.
The Hunger Moon and the wild and wacky things you can do around that theme
Indieberlin: What food-related performances can we expect on the night?
Lolita: We don’t want to give too much away, but our spectacular headliner is an absolute DISH! Coming all the way from NYC, Hazel Honeysuckle is one of the top classic burlesque dancers in the world. She’s also a gorgeous pinup model and makes all of her own costumes. This will be her only Berlin appearance this year.
Indieberlin: Viva, according to your interview in Berlin Loves You, you’re a 75-year old gay man. How does that work for you when doing burlesque?
Viva: Shhh, that’s supposed to be a secret. I take my viagra. I dust that picture in the attic every so often.
Indieberlin: Why Berlin? What brought you here?
Lolita: I was trained as a professional ballerina in the USA. I got tired of it, as it isn’t a sustainable lifestyle. I wanted to go somewhere free, artistic… and cheap! So, Berlin it was. The history of cabaret and subversion in the city really drew me here, as well as the city’s historic embrace of all things weird.
Viva: I came here accidentally. It’s not easy to convince a dyed-in-the-wool New Yawker to leave the dirty sidewalks of home. But after I was evicted from the apartment that I had lived in since I was 18, I couldn’t make things work in New York. I mean, the reason why New York was the leading edge of culture for a hundred years was because an artist could survive okay working 3-4 days a week. And because you’re on a narrow island, everyone knows everyone, so for artists, it’s incredibly fertile and inspiring. But now, forget it. Everyone is working three jobs trying to pay over $1,000 in rent and no one has time to meet anyone or see anything or make anything. After losing my apartment, I tried for three years before throwing in the towel and moving to London. And I was in London for two months when my documentary was accepted to a film festival in Switzerland. Of course, I went. But I when I tried to return to London, I was denied entry. I drifted around France for a month and didn’t want to go back to New York, so I came to Berlin.
From New York to Europe – a successful journey made by accident
Indieberlin: Two things that you miss about home.
Lolita: I’m from Seattle, I definitely miss the seafood and the water. You don’t realize how lucky you are to live by a giant body of water until it’s gone… the Spree isn’t exactly what I’d call scenic.
Viva: The beautiful community of New Yorkers. At least that’s the New York that I miss; the New York I grew up in. You know everyone in your building. The guy at the bodega will pass along your keys to a friend. The row people sitting across from you on the subway are an old Chinese grandma, two black homeboys, a dusty Polish construction worker, a Muslim schoolgirl, and a young Dominican couple with a big eyed baby. And if someone gets up in the face of the Chinese grandma, they’ll all stand up for her. Anyone who’s ever experienced the level of community in New York City tries to recreate it their whole lives.
New York City is another level of community
And I miss the amazing level of artists. That you can find hundreds of actors and writers and dancers and musicians who really have astounding insights about how we live or what’s going on right now Or they give you startling new ways to think about movement or language or beauty or form. Art matters in New York. Art is the future.
Indieberlin: Two things you don’t miss about home.
Lolita: The high rents and bad public transit.
Viva: The ridiculous struggle of trying to pay more than $1,000 in rent. Everyone in NYC is a nervous wreck of a hustler. They’re juggling six balls while trying to eat a sandwich and sing a cheery song and tap dance on a narrow plank above a sea of hungry sharks. When you leave New York, you have PTSD for months.
And I’m thrilled not to be creeping past garbage cans at night. I swear the narrow 19th century streets of downtown NYC can’t cope with the number of restaurants that have mushroomed in the past 10 years. Every freaking garbage can at night is alive with squeaking and rustling. If you’re not careful, you spook a hundred rats and they make a beeline to the gutter over your shoes.
Indieberlin: Two things you get in Berlin that you don’t get at home.
Lolita: Like I was saying before, I just love the fact that the city embraces the alternative. I can walk down the street in full drag (wearing all of my stage makeup), and besides the typical German staring nobody says a word! I think it’s a really special thing that you can be whoever you want whenever you want here. I also think the Darth Vader that walks around by the Brandenburger Tor is pretty great.
You can be whoever you want whenever you want in Berlin
Viva: I was born in NYC and I’ve never really lived anywhere else. So Berlin is a real adjustment for me. Here, you have all the space and enough time to practice your art, but there’s absolutely no financial or commercial incentrive. So you have to learn to put fire under your own butt. And I guess what I find most valuable here is the opportunity to rediscover why I do all the weird and wacky shit that I do.
Indieberlin: You talk of food art. Tell us a little something about the 8 course banquet planned for the night.
Viva: We’re thrilled to be collaborating with Inés Lauber. She’s not really a caterer, more an artist who works with food. The first thing she told me when we met was that she likes to tell a story through food. This totally fits with how I saw the evening. There are eight courses and each one is a different way in which we relate to food. Food as ritual, food as sacrifice, food as celebration, food as comfort. Interestingly, art is all these things too. So we’re not just going to slap food on a plate and give it to you. There will be a real presentation in all the courses, and by that I don’t mean a teeny weeny hill of an unknown edible substance on a giant platter. It’s a sumptuous banquet and everything will be lavish, down to antique china plates and silver-plated forks.
Indieberlin: You’ve said “a lot of problems can be solved if people just got together and had desserts. Or better yet, if they baked a cake together. And then smeared it on each other’s bodies and licked it off.” Is this the kind of thing we can look forward to at the Hunger Moon?
Lolita: No spoilers!! You’ll have to buy a ticket to find out.
Viva: There are lots of ways to have your cake and eat it too.
Indieberlin: Do you think world peace could be finally achieved with cake?
Lolita: If everyone had the exact kind of cake they wanted exactly when they wanted, I truly believe that. And that’s not a metaphor. Give me some funfetti right now.
Indieberlin: Where can we get tickets?
Viva: Advance tickets are available at ticketor Banquet seats are only available in advance and almost sold out but there are still a lot of Gallery seats. You won’t get to eat with Gallery seats but you’re definitely part of the action. You can also get Gallery seats at the door.
Indieberlin: What has no one ever asked you, but you always wished someone would?
Lolita: How do you get the glitter off your laminate flooring? (I don’t know.)
Viva: A serious interview question? (Is that too bitchy?) (Is that two questions?)
Thanks to Lolita Va Voom and Viva Lamore for the interview!
Production for the show is handled by Wolfgang Fischer at Adrenalin Studios – check out his site here!