These isolated times are especially hard on performers, and those of us that thrive (and make a living) off of live social interaction and performance. However, we are still able to connect digitally in a tangible way, and find new ways to inspire each other. I was surely inspired when chatting with Disco, creator, host and performer of the inclusive performance platform Octopussy Lounge about how she’s coping with quarantine, as well as watching her perform digitally from the comfort of her own home in Miami, FL. Watch full video on IGTV.
What is the Octopussy Lounge and how did you develop the concept? Was it a desire for inclusivity in performers/strip clubs you hadn't seen before?
Octopussy Lounge was an idea I had when I was still stripping in New York, and all I wanted was an off-the-clock spot to meet other sw's and watch each other perform without the pressure of hustling the whole time. Eventually I found the community I was looking for up there, who still inspire me in so many ways; but since I moved I needed to re-connect in Miami.
Octopussy Lounge is an all inclusive lgbtq+ SW performance platform. Aiming to bring together & feature burlesque, pole, striptease artists, musicians/djs, as well as their friends to support. We're a platform to express queer sex worker joy & artistry.
Being a performer and host, how are you dealing with social distancing and staying sane during quarantine?
I've been using this time to plot and plan what's next for Octopussy Lounge and the space that I run events out of. Unsure of how long this distance will be necessary, I'm considering new options for getting our performers paid and performing, whether its online, or something along the lines of these wild drive through strip clubs i've been seeing on instagram. I know we'll have to adapt and use the resources and platforms that are available to us right now, but the hustle never stops.
What do you like about performing/pole dancing at home?
Well, for starters I can plenty of chances to f*ck up a new trick with no audience, before trying to post it and make tips. But I love putting on a sexy song, and improvising a little combo, dancing at home has made me way more confident dancing in the club. But since the clubs closed, i've connected with virtual strip clubs which I do live performances on, and its pretty incredible to see strippers at their homes all over the world, performing for the same audience.
What are your favorite artists/genres to dance to?
I really enjoy dancing to house music, feel like that's when I can hop on the pole and feel a flow continuously. Some of my favorite artists lately for stripping to, Dreamcast, Moniquea, Galcher Lustwerk, Stefan Ringer; they all make me want to move.
How do you think performers can continue to thrive during the "new normal" that's primarily digital?
A majority of people are stuck home right now looking for new entertainment, use that to your advantage. Use this time to promote yourself and gather supporters of your work. You might be surprised the tips you get, or the connections you make.