In Company XIV’s newest show – based on the Judgement of Paris myth – Paris might be the title character, but the goddesses are the real stars of the show. These three talented performers tower above us mere mortals, their audience, in lavish gowns and high heels, and each of them gets multiple solos to show off their stunning voices.
Just before the final weekend of Paris, Venus (Storm Marrero), Athena (Marcy Richardson), and Juno (Randall Scotting) took the time to answer a few questions about playing divine beings on-stage and what they admire most about their fellow goddesses.
What is your favorite moment in the show for your character?
My favorite moment is when Athena and entourage break out into a soprano-esque cover of “Seven Nation Army.” The choreography and dancers are so fierce, and I love parading around in this completely insane gown and golden armor. The whole number makes me feel totally kick-ass and gets me in the perfect head-space to do the acrobatic/operatic pole number that follows. I always want to feel excited and confident any time I’m about to get up there and do something crazy on the pole.
All the goddesses are, well, goddesses, but pick a moment in the show featuring one of the other goddesses that takes your breath away.
I would have to say it’s a tie between Hera’s final coloratura/rage aria and Venus belting out “All is Full of Love” from the balcony about 10 feet away from me. Both Randall and Storm are a force to be reckoned with and their vocal techniques are absolutely outstanding. They both blow me away in these moments night after night!
If you had to sum up your goddess in a song, what song would it be?
“Brick House” by the Commodores.
What is the most challenging aspect of a Company XIV production?
Ugh, just one?! Aside from the obvious physical and mental challenge of doing acrobatic numbers night after night and keeping the voice rested and healthy – THE COSTUMES. We just all have to make it work.
I used to hate doing pole and aerial in crazy high heels but after a few shows with XIV (they pretty much insist on it), you could probably attach bricks to my feet, and I would be just fine. It just means I have to make adjustments and not do choreography that would require the bottom of my feet in any way on the pole or in the hoop. Pole dancing and singing in a stiff corset that does not even allow you to bend over – not sure how I am making that work, but it’s happening.
I’ve also had to pole in masks that take away all of my peripheral vision. It’s very disorienting when I’m spinning and want to land facing the audience, but at this point, I am used to it and you could probably blindfold me up there. Then there are environmental factors. Glitter falling when singing upside down has certainly been a hazard, and the fog machine can make the pole wet, so I’m constantly wiping it down and covering it in liquid chalk. The pole should ideally be slightly warm in order to stick on it, so when the theater is cold, I spend a lot of time warming it with my body and applying sticky tack to myself just in case. Additionally, if it’s too hot and I’m sweating, that’s not good for pole either, so on those days I’m covered in extra liquid chalk to avoid slipping. All the dancers are in heels (often stilettos), stiff corsets, and vision-impairing masks, and sometimes they risk slipping on glitter or fog condensation. Many of them put Coca-Cola on the bottom of their shoes if it’s really slippery. I know Storm’s red dress weighs a ton and is a challenge to walk and move in. The costumes and environmental factors are a challenge for everyone, but when you see the big picture, it’s well worth it.
If you had the golden apple to give, which goddess would you give it to and why?
I’d award it to Athena, of course! Who needs the love of a mortal woman when you could have an opera-singing-pole-dancer-goddess-bodyguard? Just saying!
Paris is running through Saturday, November 12 at the Irondale Center in Brooklyn. Balcony tickets starting at only $25. For tickets, click here or call 866-811-4111, and check out the full Paris photo gallery here and a rundown of the 5 times Paris made my jaw hit the ground.