Dj Rex catches up with one time underground singing legend St Eve, currently performing Sex Crimes and Marrying people to themselves! A.K.A. Gabrielle
Tell me about the journey you took to become, St Eve, then to move on to being a VJ, to then find yourself doing the Sex Crimes Cabaret and somewhere along the way managed to come up with the idea of marrying people to themselves
The journey to “become” St. Eve came after enduring years of failing bands in the spirit of paying my rock-n-roll dues, and I decided to give it one more go as a kind of drag queen – like a low budget Grace Jones karaoke fucking David Bowie. Musicians would join me for some of the gigs, but they weren’t tied to the project and I didn’t have to include their guitar solos out of guilt for their free time. Fun for the whole eyelinered family, really.
But then it was too grueling to not make enough of a living from it and be creative full time, so I reinvented myself again through video and filmmaking, and I got a well-paying gig as a VJ, which was fun, an instructive.
Professional performing and filmmaking skills allowed me to make “Sex Crimes Cabaret”, a multi-media show about sex laws and the inevitable human reaction.
“Til Death Do You Part – Marry Yourself” is a one-on-one performance art piece that encompasses dark humor and a genuine love for people’s quirks. I developed it originally for Birmingham (England’s) FIERCE! Festival and never did it there but did manage to bring it to the Spill Festival in London, The New Orleans art biennial, Figment Festival in NY, and now private clients, and so on.
So, how do you marry people to themselves, what is the process
Imagine a makeshift tribute to Lost Vegas quickie weddings where you don’t need a spousal candidate, nor in-laws for that matter. Just you. You can come prepared or you can take advantage of our wares, costumes, rings, multiple choice vows, etc. You choose your vows and I, as your encouraging priestess, say them in your ear and you repeat them to your face That’s when it gets a bit heavy and all the fun accoutrements disappear in a way – just like at a wedding between two people, I imagine, when suddenly all the money they spent on flowers seems ridiculous when it’s about living with someone forever. You then get personal wedding cake and some champagne if the budget allows. Your wedding picture is taken and I email it to you. The notes people leave in the sign-out book are incredibly uplifting and touching. So I’ll just keep doing it.
What music are you listening to right now? Apart from your own.. in fact, the St Eve project was a while ago, do you ever drag it out for a listen??
I hate hearing myself (or watching myself). So St. Eve only gets listened to out of necessity. I have lately been listening to a lot of indie alternative like The New Pornographers and The Hidden Cameras. Bands with adjectives, I suppose – very self aware. But then also huge sounding things like Blitzen Trapper and – …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead.
Do you like to sing in the shower?
No. But cars are not safe from my unbridled howling. I don’t care if other drivers can see me.
What genre of music did you consider your work as St Eve to be and who would you say are your major influences were?
Electronic Rock or “Machine Rock” as my friend Jared from Chemlab used to say. My influences were glam and new wave mostly, Eurythmics, Blondie, Bowie. If I am ever stuck in a situation, I will try to imagine what Annie Lennox would do if Audrey Hepburn isn’t appropriate. I should do it more often.
Ok, confession time – what’s the most embarrassing single or album you own?? everyone has at least one or two!! 🙂
Sorry. No shame here. I once rocked out really hard to my mother’s Fiddler On the Roof cassette in her car (at sunrise on the way to the beach) when we realized we had not packed music. We made the best of it and it changed our lives. I make people listen to “I Do The Rock” by Tim Curry.
What and where would your dream performance be, whether that’s with a St Eve reform, or a Broadway or West End show, or somehow managing to combine them all??
A gorgeous old theatre (ampitheatre?) with great tech. The show itself almost doesn’t matter as long as I feel like did something worthwhile of someone’s time.
Tell us some of the highlight gigs/shows and venues you have performed?
I love playing to big, smart audiences. When I could hear a pin drop at the London Forum was a good one. Sex Crimes’ first Saturday night at the New Orleans Fringe was pretty great.
Where are your upcoming shows?
I’m doing some shows for investors right now. Check my website for actual bookings – coming soon!
What have been your best and worst on stage moment??
Worst: All alone on a humongous stage, unhinging a dangling corset from my fishnet tights, 15 seconds before the singing was supposed to begin. Thank heavens for long intros. I dropped the spookiness, quickly camping it up with a welcome to the St. Eve Comedy Hour – mic cable between my teeth – ripping the damned thing off before singing some dark lyric about my pain.
Best: Well rehearsed and getting it all right with the band at CBGB – not overthinking, and feeling the music..
What music can someone expect to hear in your new shows??
Soundtrackish stuff. I’m still working on the new rendition. I’m rewriting the show as I write this now.
What made you pick those songs??
It’s whatever goes with the piece. Sex Crimes has a pms piece with sirens and hospital sounds with some blues guitar.
Back in the St Eve days did you ever play any covers and if you did, what made you choose that particular track to cover?
I was asked to do a Tori Amos cover record and a friend suggested She’s Your Cocaine. I still don’t know why I went with it. My brain was on hiatus.
Has their been any links between the songs from St Eve and the music in your new Sex Crimes Cabaret??
I do Secret Special Toy Surprise because it could be about sex toys. The new version of the show may not have any old St. Eve at all.
Did you write your own song in St Eve or did you have people you collaborated with?
I collaborated with a few people, giving credit to anyone who wrote a significant, memorable line. I still miss Brian Gocher.
Same question for the Sex Crimes Cabaret?? Is it totally your brainchild, or do you have co writers??
Right now it’s mine, but I would love some help. I have a hard time figuring out how to ask.
Can you tell the readers what they will expect to get from your Sex Crimes Cabaret???
Information and strange perspectives. Some validations. Lefty thinking and general sauciness.
Same question for the marry people to themselves project, what will people gain from doing this???
Lightly – it’s fun and it twists your brain a bit in an environment where you may not have expected it.
Heavily – You may see yourself more lovingly afterwards, with some forgiveness, and humour. I’m serious. Or you’re already evolved and this is all totally normal.
Some people really have a hard time saying the vows to their own eyes. In the words of Hunter S. Thompson – buy the ticket, take the ride.
What are your rehearsals for the Sex Crimes Cabaret generally like?
Me. The music. A gorilla suit. A naked male blow-up doll. Self-criticism.Fear. Regret. Mild satisfaction.
What has been your biggest challenge as a performer?
Balancing expectations. Others’ and mine.
What’s your ultimate direction as a performer? Are you seeking massive fame and fortune, or an artistic impact, good times, or something else??
Yes. Without some level of fame, nobody will see it and you will burn out from the wasted effort – unless it’s a hobby. “Massive” fame? Focusing too much on that might kill you and your art. If you deserve it and you’re riding the zeitgeist, it will come. Without money, you spend too much time surviving. If you don’t make an artistic impact, you’re just wanking. A wanker who makes an artistic impact is fun to watch. If you’re not having a good time, you’ll burn out.
What advice do you have for people who want to get into show business or music?
Be objective. Videotape yourself. Strap yourself down and watch it. Fix the bad bits or quit. Do it because you want to make the most amazing thing that will touch people on some level – even the most inane music is cathartic and powerful to someone, but it needs to come from the right place. You know when you hit it.I know this from my many misses.
How can fans-to-be gain access to your music, or have a sneak preview of your shows? Do you have a website with sample show clips and St Eve tunes, or do they just need to come and experience the show or track down some CDs??
It’s all at http://www.TheSaintEve.com
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for giving you support over the years??
Mom. AJ Tissian. Nicole Blackman. You. I suppose we could give Frank a wave hello.>
Ok, some silly questions –
On line or real shops??
Both please. I shop online a lot but I need to get out of the house, too.
What is your biggest weakness?
What are your biggest strengths?
The ability to go on in dire circumstances. Empathy. Getting out of my body to see that I am complete wingnut.
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
I’ve given up everything from time to time. Losing garlic would make me sad. I’m kind of fierce about garlic and onions.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
In the financial black and producing meaningful pieces of art, even if they’re very silly and of various genres.
Have you ever gone cow-tipping?
No. I’ve only enjoyed the benefits of others’ adventures.
What should your catchphrase/life’s motto be?
Actually, I have a coat of arms and the phrase is EX TENEBRIS LUX – “Out of the darkness, light.” It helps me get over myself.
What do you dream about?
The occasional prophecy but usually whatever I’m anxious about.
Have you ever gambled at a casino?
Yes, though I kind of hate it and will stop at about five dollars.
Favorite TV show
I don’t own a TV but I can like just about anything from sitcoms to HBO dramas like Six Feet Under.
Strangest thing a fan has ever said to you
“I want to have a baby with you.”
What scares you the most and why?
Strangers wanting to impregnate me. And… intimacy. I know. There’s a pattern of sorts.
What do you do in your free time?
When I find it, it gets a glass of good red wine, a friend and something salty.
Do you like chocolate?
Yes, but I’m not a chocoholic.
Do you scream on roller coasters?
I find them rather zen, so , no. They scream so I don’t have to.
Do you like rainy days or snowy winter, summer days or spring time?
Autumn, actually. Snowy winter is good in small doses, rainy days when I am indoors having to work. Coming from Florida, summer is way overrated unless you’re somewhere chilly. Heat is oppressive. You can only be so naked. What do you wear after naked? Vick’s Vaporub, a pair of sandals and a grimace?
What makes you bored?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I need to go to Asia. I like going where I haven’t been.
Any last words?