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: Nat Harman
Which character/s do you play in the Underground? I play Ivory Black, Baelian’s submissive.
What other jobs/responsibilities do you have during a Funday?Stage Kittying, helping with greeting/seating guests, fetching things for performers, keeping a drink in Baelian’s hands and general set up/pack up/tidying.
How did creation of this character come about? Pretty much entirely organically. I didn’t even realise I had started playing the game when “Microchip” (Ivory’s nickname before she was claimed) started forming. Jasper gave her the name and her trademark suit, and when I started playing sub to a friend for fun, he challenged her to keep it up for 6 months. Since then, there have been very few things Natty and I have planned. Ivory has kind of created herself, with Baelian’s help of course.
What’s your favourite Underground memory involving your character? One night, a few years ago now, Baelian was teasing Ivory while talking to Bella. He said to Bella “She loves you more than me,” and Ivory responded “I love all Blacks equally…except Betty.” Baelian about doubled over laughing and Bella gave Ivory a very icy stare and crooned “Watch yourself, little one.” Definitely one of those moments where you’re glad not to be in your character’s shoes!
What do you do to help you get ‘in the vibe’ on a Funday? Ivory’s clothes definitely help, since I never wear cream or gold, but what really does it is putting on her mask. Normally she’ll spend all day on Fundays getting stronger and more active in my head, but as soon as the mask is on, the body is hers.
If you could play one other character, which one would it be? Belladonna, easily. Erm, the Belladonna of the Holy Trinity, that is 😉 She’s so delightfully manic, and so elegantly dangerous. She’s one of my favourite characters, for sure. One of Ivory’s, too.
What’s your funniest Underground moment? Oh wow, that’s a hard one. It’s almost certainly something Betty said. Maybe her speech at Jasper and Bella’s wedding? “If I had 50 cents for every time my husband threw me down and ravished me…I’d have 50 cents.” Classic.
What moment in the Underground has upset/disturbed you most? Probably the time Baelian force-fed Lyra chocolate, back at Bohemia. It was the first time I had a really strong emotional reaction to something that my character didn’t mirror in any way. I felt so horrified, and she was so calm. I wanted to yell at the people around us who were turning away or leaving the room to do something, to help Lyra, but Ivory sat looking directly at them, Baelian’s drink in hand and an almost bored look on her face. So I was unsettled both by what was happening on stage and what was happening in my head.
What’s your favourite onstage act? Bella’s fan routine (Todliche Haute). It still gives me chills and I’ve seen it a hundred times, at least.
Go-to song for your character? Coming Back – Gotye. Funnily enough, my favourite routine by Red, Ivory’s predecessor, is to this song.
Favourite quote from your character? “I’m only sorry if you’re upset,” to Baelian, after insulting someone she shouldn’t have.
What is the hardest thing or something odd about physically portraying your character? Definitely her physical strength and endurance. I have quite a few health issues, and she’s as fit and healthy as is humanly possible. It’s actually harder to get her to slow down than to pick up my game though, sometimes.
What’s been the most difficult thing for you to do/overcome with your character and how did you over come it? Her submissive nature is in direct contrast to my dominant personality. Kneeling and crawling isn’t exactly a challenge, but the whole mindset is different. She is completely dedicated to her Master, and always thinks of him before she says or does anything. That’s the hardest part for me, I think…making sure she doesn’t get too uppity.
What can we expect from your character over the next 6 months? Mayhem. Wanton destruction. She’s going to have an interesting time of it this year.
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 © 2016. Natalie Ristovski.