If you like to combine your thrills with chills, then you’ll want to be sure to catch The Apocalypse Peep Show, hosted and produced by Buster Britches, this Friday, July 3rd at 9 PM at the Black Cat. I got a chance recently to chat with Mr. Britches about his “by misfits for misfits” brand of show biz that combines burlesque and horror!
Tell us how you got started in burlesque.
Mr. Britches: Well I was a professional actor for three years and I wasn’t feeling very fulfilled with the art form in a lot of ways. So I found my way to burlesque as a way to express myself and create worlds that I wanted to see on stage. I also have a huge passion for vintage Americana and Victorian fashion, so it seemed like a perfect fit! I started about three years ago, almost four.
What was your first gig?
After I went through Deanna Danger’s Boom Boom Basics. My first show was Vaudeville Galore, a variety show in Richmond, VA.
Were you involved in the scene before that?
Not the burlesque scene exactly, I worked as a haunt entertainer – haunted attractions, hayrides, trails, that sort of thing, and in the theatre scene since I was in middle school. Deanna worked in the haunted house that I worked at.
You’re also involved in the Virginia Independent Horror Film Festival. Tell us about that.
Yes, I am the director of the festival. I created the festival as a way for Virginia filmmakers working in genre films to have a place they could showcase their pieces. Now we have grown to so much more than that. The festival is four days, 18 feature length films and 30 shorts. We have gotten submissions from 52 countries! This will be the first year that we have a burlesque show as part of the festival.
That’s awesome! When and where is the festival and when is the submission deadline?
Halloween weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester, VA. Submission deadline is July 1.
You moved to DC from Richmond last year?
Yes, last August.
How do the two scenes compare?
Well the Baltimore, DC and Richmond scenes are strongly connected, so I had performed in DC a bunch. The scene is definitely bigger up here, but with a similar heart.
When did you start producing shows?
I produced my first show in March of 2012, a show called The VooDoo Sideshow.
Was that in Richmond?
Yes, it was at the Firehouse Theatre.
How many shows have you produced since moving to DC?
I produced two shows in DC before moving here and The Apocalypse Peep Show will be my third since moving to DC.
Is there a theme to your shows?
Usually there is. Usually I like classic burlesque and vaudeville with a dark twist. There is also a loose story line. I like audiences to enter a world, not just come to a show.
Cool. What’s the storyline to The Apocalypse Peep Show?
A group of survivors, after the bomb that destroys the world, find a box of old records and they put together a cabaret show for all of those who are left because it’s the end of the world as we know it … and we feel FABULOUS! Usually my plots are a group of misfits, (ghosts, movie characters, zombies) put together a show to raise the spirits of other misfits.
How meta. And who are your survivors?
Do you know what everyone’s doing? Is there any act in particular that you’re excited for?
I’m excited for everyone’s act! I had a dream about a show with 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s music and post-apocalyptic costumes and I am so glad that we have that!
The Apocalypse Peep Show plays July 3, 2015 at 9:00 PM at the Black Cat – 1811 14th Street, N.W. in Washington, DC. Tickets are available in advance for $12 and at the door for $15. This event is for 21 and over.