Underdweller Interview #2 - Michael Nero

We all know the Burlesque Underground and the Seven Families, but who are the people behind the notorious characters we love to hate and hate to love?


Blacklight brings you a series of exclusive one-on-one interviews with the cast and crew of the Adult Playground.


Let the Games Begin!

Name: Michael Nero

Which character/s do you play in the Underground? That wholesome gentleman and man-about-town, Lucas ‘Luxx’ Van Horne.


What other jobs/responsibilities do you have during a Funday? General atmosphere.


How did creation of this character come about? Luxx had an ‘interesting’ gestation process. He began as an expy of a character I’d played MCing a few other events (That was Lux with one X), who was your standard ‘devilish’ fellow. Fun, but a little one dimensional and he tended to rub people the wrong way – he antagonised, he didn’t entertain. Eventually Lux with one X was retired, and I tried out a more sober German take on the same character..that didn’t really fly either. Then one night I watched The Decline of Western Civilisation Part 2 – The Metal Years, Mötley Crüe’s Dr Feelgood came on the stereo, and an 80s hair metal obsessed drug dealer and party host was born.


What’s your favourite Underground memory involving your character? There are SO MANY. One of the classics from the early days was convincing Luxx’s paramour at the time to climb into a straitjacket he ‘happened’ to have handy, which he then tied a rope to and walked her around in for a while. All fun and games until he handed her to the recently-debuted and still pretty damned homicidal Alina Bellamantis…resulting in two classic sentences: “Jaspew..hewp…Awina has me..” and my all time favourite – “YOU ARE NEVER GETTING WAID AGAIN!!”


What do you do to help you get ‘in the vibe’ on a Funday? Pump Mötley Crüe’s Dr Feelgood/Saints of Los Angeles or Guns n’ Roses Appetite for Destruction extremely loud.


If you could play one other character, which one would it be? That’s a tough one. I’d say Jasper/Baelian, but I really don’t feel I could do him justice. Though to be honest, I wouldn’t mind playing somebody with a little more freedom to be antagonistic – for all his flaws, Luxx is incredibly loyal to his friends and loves them all.


What’s your funniest Underground moment? Gotta go with Jasper using a certain feedery female as furniture during one of the Fundays at Bohemia. Either that or the night Jasper was absent, yet still phoning in/Facebook messaging instructions to everybody from across the country.


What moment in the Underground has upset/disturbed you most? Without a doubt Nikolai’s rape of Lyra. It’s the one time I’ve had to hold Luxx back – to have your headmate screaming at you “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?! HELP HER!!!!” is pretty disturbing.


What’s your favourite onstage act? Toss-up between Bethany and her cats in ‘Pussy Love’ and ‘Eat You Alive’ with Baelian and Alina. Only because the song fits the on stage action so fucking well.

Go-to song for your character? Want the list? Mötley Crüe – Dr Feelgood (Demo – alt lyrics)/Saints of Los Angeles Guns n’ Roses – It’s So Easy/Mr Brownstone/Welcome to the Jungle Cinderella – Shake Me Faster Pussycat – Bathroom Wall


Favourite quote from your character? (Sidles up to the Professor) “Chupa Chup?”


What is the hardest thing or something odd about physically portraying your character? The tricky part is having a clear image for Luxx’s appearance in my head, and trying like hell to accommodate that. He’s a little taller than I am, a bit slimmer and covered in tattoos – not to mention ENORMOUS 80s hair. Workin’ on it 😉


What’s been the most difficult thing for you to do/overcome with your character and how did you over come it? The major thing, and something that has gotten easier with time, is remaining positive/upbeat no matter what else is going on in my head or in my life. Luxx is probably one of the ‘happier’ characters about – it can sometimes be hard to find that voice.


What can we expect from your character over the next 6 months? You’ll learn a bit more about Luxx’s past, and what happened to him to cause him to be continually off his tits. You may even see him sober one night, which is fucking scary compared to what he’s usually like – much quieter and more focused.


The Burlesque Underground plays bi-monthly in Melbourne. For event info visit: https://www.facebook.com/burlesqueunderground/


All characters and story lines remain the property of N.Ristovski and the Underground. All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Copyright © 2015. Natalie Ristovski.

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TALES FROM THE BURLESQUE UNDERGROUND