Hello MisSa Blue ,
First, I wasn’t sure if I should be excited and throw my questions immediately at you during my first message into your IG DM. So i surfed through your pictures to understand more on what you do as a Sword Swallower; which something I have only seen in movies.
So MisSa Blue, can you give me a proper introduction to your craft and a bit about your background, how you started and your affiliation to the LGBTQ community.
Que: Why is it so important to you?
I started out as a dancer when i came onto the London performer scene creating rather experimental work for night clubs and small cabaret events. Over time i hit a certain wall and had the feeling i needed a special skill to evolve further as a performer and to get better bookings to make this art my full-time profession. I shopped around the circus skills for a while to find something that is suitable for me until i found out about sword swallowing. I instantly fell in love with the art and the attached danger. With great excitement i started leaning and it has fulfilled all my dreams in becoming an international recognised performer.
Que: What is the core philosophy of your craft?
The ancient art of sword swallowing is a rare circus/sideshow skill in terms that it is not only dangerous but death defying. It is one of the only skill that puts the performer at real risk of dying in every single performance. To master a skill like this one needs total control over body and mind. It is directly connected to the Fakir in india. I believe there are about 150 sword swallowers in in the world, 40-ish of them are female and 3 black. I am practising this skill not only for performative reasons but also to keep the art alive and promote black performance art on the international circuit.
Que: What are challenges that comes with your kind of entertaining art?
The danger to my physical body is certainly the biggest challenge. I got hurt during the learning period. I cut my oesophagus and nearly died. So obviously i don’t want this to happen again and have to stick to quite strict personal routines while working on contracts. Eating healthy, no alcohol intake, quality sleep and regular exercise are the main factors. Thats not always so easy when i am on tour for example or work with a cast that likes to party.
On Identity: Many will be quick to shy away from an actual identification of their sexuality in the space and environment mostly because of the obvious discrimination and high homophobic rate even among the LGBTQ community as the sometimes first impression hypocrisy.
Que: What is your chain of thoughts on this direction? – Why and what is the reason to that pretence and an almost “Identity shock “quick denial to public identity and integrated acceptance?
I think queer folks in leading roles are worried to loose work support and maybe even their voice in their chosen profession if they would come out. And i believe this is not only true for mega stars in music and film but in every genre of Performing Arts and any other job really. We have seen many suffering mental illness and drug abuse rather then coming out with their identity to live the life they need to be happy. I have personally gone through serious personal challenges to get to where i am now and would not be able to live my life in hiding. Thats why i decided to come out and deal with the consequences.
I strongly feel people need role models especially in the black gay community because there are basically none. In my case i had reached a certain plateaux with my work where i am very respected. I also feel my queer identity is a major part of my work and i wanted it to be out there so people can connect to me and my work on different levels. All that made me feel strong enough to speak up and live my truth and i hope i can encourage others to do the same.
Que : Did you face any challenge on identity?
I only came out officially this year after dating women for about 4 years and had very positive experiences so far in my industry. I actually didn’t expect it to be so easy and still wait for the moment when i do loose work over my identity or get discriminated. I am sure it will happen at some point But the reality is that my coming out has made me stronger. For example i feel empowered to speak up when treated with sexism or homophobia at work because i have the LGBTQPOC+ community behind now.
Que: As an individual, what does being Gay mean to you and how does it shape your perspective to your everyday living and your craft?
Being gay means mainly not confirming anymore to the heteronormative structures and believes that have been indoctrinated during my upbringing. I stepped away from my middle class education and the ideology of the white people who surrounded me in Germany. I live the way i want. Unconventional and love who i love because of love and not because i need to prove to my parents or anybody else that i am capable of a heteronormative relationship.
Que: When did your identity become your reality?
I think it has been on the horizon for many years if not even ever since i was a child. But in reality i have gone through a very big personal change over the last 5 years after admitting to myself that i never enjoyed sex with men. I finished a relationship and was sure that i have to change something in order to find peace with myself. So i started looking at options that i did not allow to consider before. I opened up to feelings that i could not really read and sat myself down to learn about my real desires. For 2 years i was totally lost and actually thought i was a-sexual until i met a woman and fell for her. Things where pretty clear suddenly even tho it took me another year to admit to myself that i prefer dating females. It took me ages to work out if i dare to walk around with girl hand in hand and i wasn’t even sure that that’s what i wanted. All this was so strange and new to me. But yeah i guess the last 18 month have been quite solid for me and i started to be really happy with what i have found within myself. It was worth the search!
Que: Do you have an opinion about the conception of “ Being Gay due to rape “ as this is peculiar to the female reality as your ethnicity ? ( kindly elaborate and please do not shy away from answering).
In my youth i have been exposed to ‘mild’ forms of abuse and i feel this is definitely playing into my identity today. At the same time of these unfortunate happenings i experienced my first sexual encounters with women and started to identify as bisexual. However it took another 10 odd years before i was ready to get into my first same sex relationship. Considering my own experience i am a little indifferent about the “ Being Gay due to rape “ Statement. I’d like to believe there are many ways of realisation in female identity and not all of them have to be connected to painful experiences in life.
Que: Did your family play any role to your identity and achievements by your personal standard to the definition of success?
My parents where actually very open minded and i guess if they could see me today they would be very proud. Unfortunately they have already passed away. So i guess i have learned from them that any sexual orientation is okay. But still my upbringing by the influence of my grandmother; the schools i went to and the friends my parents had where pretty standard middle class conservative. I was moulded by that and i think thats why it took me so long to find myself.
Que: Are you a Gold star Lesbian or Bisexual woman? What do you identify with as your sexual preference.
I am a Lesbian and former Bisexual women.
Que: Have you ever been marriages to a man?
No i haven’t.
Que: Are you into tag and labels? – Which of them do you identifying with?
I actually don’t like tags and labels but they inevitable come with gay identity. I guess i am identify as femme but actually would rather be fluid without moving into trans direction. I love being a woman and wearing dresses but i definitely have a masculine side that sometimes feels neglected. It is something i am still trying to work out.
On Career: As a queer woman living in the coloured space of the everyday reminder of how criminal the act of being attracted to same sex is with unbearable discrimination from even the labour market / work force.
Que: What has been your biggest break in your career?
I have always felt i have to work much harder then any of my fellow white colleagues and thats why i probably ended up learning such a niche skill. To get out of that hideous situation an industry offers that is predominantly run by white men who judge the female body out of a patriarchal view where a strong black woman barely has a chance. So i guess being gay has not actually added more problems to the already difficult situation. I needed to be better in everything then everybody else to success as a performer and i still have to work hard to maintain this. Gay or not.
Que: What has been your experience in working with colleagues and employees in the present or past?
Considering that i have only come out beginning this year i had surprisingly positive experiences. Interesting is that many of my colleagues where very surprised. I am sure it has to do with my femme presenting look but also because in circus and Variety are just not many out lesbians. There are many out gay man but that’s it. I feel nobody is even questioning a woman sexuality in this industry and when they find out abut mine there is a lot of curiosity really.
On Faith: Many love to idolise themselves after a deity by their personal convictions towards the existence humans.
Que: so what describes your spirituality?
I am atheist. But i believe in energies and karma
Que: Any preference to any religion at all?
No i don’t like any of them if i am honest.
Que : what personal view do you have towards identity shock towards Transgender – and do you ever consider the switch?
I have quite a few transgender friends now and i am very fascinated and inspired by them. Going through such a major identity change takes a lot of courage. Also the reality of living as transgender isn’t easy. Personally i am really comfortable living as a woman and i don’t desire a change at all.
On Lifestyle: The standard of living isn’t just about the basic need of life but it cuts across to choices of what these basic needs mean to you as an individual.
Que: How best do you rejuvenate?
I like to go on tropical beach holidays, but a good bottle of wine and some good company will do too.
Que: What is your usual routine from your week days to a weekend?
If i am working on a contract i am usually off Monday/ Tuesday and then performing the rest of the week 1 or 2 shows per day. In times between contracts i am off most weekdays an fly out on the weekends to do jobs all over Europe and sometimes world wide. Sometimes i perform in 3 different countries on 1 weekend. It’s crazy but really good fun!
Que: single or dating?
Que: Sex on first dates or after three dates?
I prefer rather after 2 or 3 dates. But honestly don’t always stick to that. Especially when i meet somebody during my travels it can be a ‘now or never’ situation and if i like the girl i will likely go for it. That again would change totally if i get into a relationship with somebody. I am monogamous love honesty and would always stick to my partner.
Que: Is labelling a determining factor to who you date? – and why?\
I guess i have to answer that with yes. I do like masculine women labelled as butch. But besides that i think masculine women are super sexy a big reason is that they portrait some traits that i would like to have myself but shy away from developing because i don’t want to loose my femininity. I love muscles and women that work out but i would not like it if my girlfriend would actually use my make up and wear my clothes. I am a little hypocritical tho as i love to wear suits as well and would not let my partner tell me not to.
Que: When was your true love experience with a woman?
I am actually yet to experience a really happy working relationship. Since i started dating women 4 years ago i have had some interesting but difficult long distance relationships and one and the other short not very successful one in the U.K.
Let get a bit out of the closet!
Que: Anything in particular for personal attractions to a same sex?
I like girls that dress well and have a good sense for style. I always imagine my partner to be a fashion blogger. Hahaha, i guess that wishful thinking right here! But yeah i like the ‘power lesbian’ look and definitely short hair. Sporty is cool too.
Que: What are your personal Gay Radar methods?
I watch women lips when talking. Lesbians have a certain way…
Turn on Versus Turn Offs
Que: Turns on – bad breath or Body odour?
Both are an absolute NOGO. I can’t deal with any types of bad or weed smells. Actually my nose is really sensitive and i suffer from smelling everything really strong. So yeah ladies – go wash hahahaha.
Que: Kisser limit or Kisser? – For how long?
I can kiss for hours. You have to stop me. Best way with food!
Que: Sex position – 69 or scissors?
All of it.
Que: Music: Rap or pop? (State any other)
I love Black Music. Classics and new stuff. Yes to Rap, Afro beat, any Urban really but maybe not pop music. Also i am not a great fan of the new R’n’B or Beyonce sorry.
Que : partner – Stud or Butch ?
Yeah both as long the person is still happy to be a women to some extent.
Que: Movie or hangout?
Movie night in , movie night out , hang out i can do either …
Que: Wine or Spirit?
I love both. In fact i am studying to be a Sommelier! So my big love goes out to wine and the knowledge around it. A good wine tasting in a winery or at home. Or just sharing a bottle over dinner.
Que: Clubbing or Movies
I do love clubbing. Ive been going out regularly since i am 15 years old and i don’t think i will stop any time soon. That doesn’t mean i go out every weekend…i like to stay in too. But i have certain events i like to be part of and i like to stay connected to the LGBTQPOC+ scene in London.
Que: Solo fun or crew?
Again i do both. I have a gang of people i like go out with but sometimes i also just get ready and hit the city alone. It’s a complete different experience and i often feel i get to know new people easier if i go out alone.
Que: kids or adoption?
I don’t want kids. It was a major part of defining my identity. After i finally came to terms with this and accepted that i don’t want my own kids i actually freed the way for myself to start dating women more seriously. I stopped looking for that guy i never found who could be a good father. Now obviously there is still adoption and i guess if i had a partner that really would love to adopt i recon i could re-think my decision.
QUE: what best describes you between work, fun, family?
I am a workaholic and i a proud of that. As a teenager i was quite lazy. But then i went through a 13 year long illness called Bulimia. The many years i was suffering from that and the long fight in recovery have taught me to be thankful to be alive and able to work. I have gained willpower to reach achievements and today i am really proud about how i have managed to turn my life around and become a role model for other performers who are suffering an eating disorder. So my work will always come first. But of course i love my friends and family and if any of my loved ones would call in for help I‘ll be there. If i wouldn’t have lost most of my family members already the situation would maybe be a little different. I guess i would spend more time with them and work less. But there is a certain freedom in not having a big family and i can concentrate on my career and also in supporting the LGBTQPOC / Performer of Colour community more.
Round-up Question: Can you tell us what are the evolving opportunities within the circus industry and projects you might be currently embarking on? – How can people participate and be part of the many values your platform is offering LGBTQ women and individuals in general? ( Add social media handles and links for participation)
I have just been signed with a major German Variety company called GOP and will be touring though their theatres with a brand new show for the next 2 years. That means i will be living between the U.K. and Germany and i hope to get a little break from travelling so hectic around the globe. I have also decided to write my first own show in these next 2 years as i will have some free on my hands. Stay tuned for that – it’s really exiting. Further i am wrapping up this year with headlining a couple of big European Burlesque festivals and will be speaking on TEDx in November. The dates are found on my social media and website. As for my time in London i have a few dates booked that are connected to the LGBTQPOC scene and i will keep up working with these producers thought 2018 to stay connected with the community.
Motivation speech to our readers and to those who are still struggling in the closet?!
Come out! The only way to live your truth is through dismantling your fears and move forward with honesty about your needs. Personal grows is riddled with breakdowns but every step back allows two steps forward. An open and honest person might be seemingly easier to attack but in the bigger picture i believe that people who are following their calling will be more respected and heard after all. We need more role models and leaders in the LGBTQPOC scene and especially more black lesbians in higher positions. As for the Entertainment industry. They are only starting now slowly to employ black performers for leading roles. Go get them today!
I look forward to having you back on Being Gay…