"Yup, no more running and cowering in the closet for us. The new breeds of horror female is more deranged than anything our predecessors could have dreamed up. When you go to sleep with the light on, you’ll be thinking of us. You're welcome."
There is a line in Madonna's What It Feels Like For A Girl where the lyrics mention feeling weak when you open up your mind to speak - I wonder if a woman like Tristan Risk, yes, her actual birth name, has ever had a moment like that. Born November 2nd, 1981, in Vancouver, Canada, and she would grow up in Tsawwassen.
Never one to waste time, she was performing since the age of six. Tristan left the safety of her hometown high school to follow her passion by transferring to a fine arts school, in which she would excel, unique personality intact. Nine years ago, she started performing burlesque as a joke has been lighting up venues with her fetish/Goth flair ever since.
"It’s a good reminder that we have the power to change our lives, kids."
One of the most daring, fearless, interesting, intelligent, kind, and talented women I know - I actually stalked this woman, who lives in Vancouver with me, online for years before ever meeting her. We had mutual friends, yet had never met, but did I ever enjoy creeping her Facebook and Youtube videos.
My favourite being interviews where, because of her appearance and the fact that she is a burlesque dancer, she would be asked idiotic questions and retort with such biting wit that the 'interviewer' was not even aware how well he just got served. Yes, I said burlesque, but I haven't even began to mention her bloody burlesque. A step backwards before we move on.
"Life is too short for shitty lingerie."
What does the woman also known as Little Miss Risk do with her time? This Canadian beauty is a constant performer from burlesque dancer that you can see performing in Vancouver with Sweet Soul Burlesque, gorelesque performer seen as a special guest with the Bloody Betty Troupe, scream queen, model and poster girl to everything fabulous, corsetier, chocolatier, baker, and sexiest magician's assistant you will ever have the thrill to see. Not mention a phenomenal actress who has performed in dozens of projects, her latest being a leading role in my beloved AMERICAN MARY cast.
"Again thank you to everyone who came out to see the gore, the destruction and mayhem. It was fun arousing & disgusting you at the same time"
Due to the need for the finest and most stylized choreography for the upcoming production, Tristan was brought in as head choreographer for AMERICAN MARY and head of the dancers to be involved in the project. Now, I had never met Tristan before her first interview. We had spoken in email to arrange our meeting, but everything else was much a mystery about the Scorpio knockout.
What I was about to learn is that Tristan is one of the most interesting human beings on the planet. Her adventures are fantastic, her work ethic phenomenal. As we spoke, all I could think of was whether she could act as well as she did everything else because she encompassed the every quality we were looking for in our Beatress Johnson. She would come in for her audition and not only nail the character, she would master the required voice as demonstrated in a singing performance, then end with a strip tease to Chris Isaak's Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing which started with her being handcuffed and blindfolded, blindfold, of course, the last to come off.
"I have been busy haunting the set without actually needing to be there, other than to circumnavigate my boredom and wondering what the Soska sisters were doing on set. People have asked me how did I involved, will I be topless, and was the casting couch fun. My answers to those questions are: that it’s a long story, you’ll have to wait and see, and duh."
In a world where some actors bitch and complain if they have to run or speak too much or too little, Tristan took on a demanding role that would require four hours for application, hair, and makeup, twelve hour performing days, choreographing the dances, heading the dance performer team, wrangling and supplying our parrot, and being there every day she could in addition to help and support the independent production. She did so with a smile and she knocked it all out of the park.
"I’ve seen some things in the last month that would likely give most people chronic nightmares for the rest of their days. It pleases me that the people generating these thoughts are all women. Growing up, I recall a woman’s place in a horror film was to be terrorized, possibly violated before meeting a grisly death."
And that's the way she lives her life. She doesn't let shit slide, she works her ass off day in and day out, she conducts herself with class and sass, and she's a testament to what your life can be like if you keep a clear focus on your dreams and work like a motherfucker to achieve them. I watch her perform, I hear her stories, and it makes me want to live a little braver and kick more ass in my day to day. Tristan lives her life on her own terms whether she is covered in blood on stage, screen, or just another day on the town.
I feel remarkably blessed that the world brought us together like this and hope that you enjoy this introduction before you meet her again in AMERICAN MARY as Beatress Johnson. This is only the beginning of the payoff of years of hard work and dedication. You're going to be seeing a lot more of this femme fatale in the future, and my God, will the show ever be spectacular.