Mr Pustra, Vaudeville’s Darkest Muse is a character drawn on the stylings of Weimar culture and performers of the 1920’s and 1930’s.With a variety of other diverse inspirations, Mr Pustra uses his skills as a performer, photographer, Illustrator and video artists to create a stunning series of shows and films.
Mr Pustra has been featured in Vanity Fair (Italy) Playboy (France) and Time Out Magazine (London) to name but a few and has performed world wide as well as having his films screened as London & Malaysian Fashion Week. Hailed by the critics, I find him inspirational in many ways and I was lucky enough to get to interview him this week.
1 - From what I have seen so far Mr Pustra is a captivating character on stage and screen. Would you describe him as an alter ego, a character you play or something stronger?
I am very introverted and private and I guess Mr Pustra allows me to be more ‘extroverted.’ He is beautiful and horrific at the same time.
2 - When did Mr Pustra come to life and how was he created?
In 2006 a friend and I created a duo called Pustra/Vile-een for fun and our act just developed from there. I went solo end of 2009 and decided to keep ‘Mr Pustra’. I was quite fond of him.
3 - How would you describe your shows?
I experiment with different things – i guess I would say my first love is theatre and film. I am not a ‘shock’ performer and have tried performance art but felt uncomfortable doing it. It didn’t make sense to me. People often expect me to do extreme or outrageous stunts on stage because of the way I look. I want to create beautiful and cinematically emotional shows. But you have to try out things, some may not work, and some may be amazing.
4 - Can you remember your first performance? And what was it like compared to now?
My ever first performance was in college play called ‘The Flies’ by Jean-Paul Sartre. I played the comedy part which got great feedback. It gave me confidence and self-worth.
5 - The feedback you have received from critics is incredible - really refreshing, did this surprise you? (as alter egos, drag and characters are most often not understood by mainstream media).
I don’t know, I always think people hate me and think I am shit so I just try to improve all the time and become a better artist/performer. I will be surprised when I am on the cover of Italian Vogue!
Picture taken by Guido Laudani
6 - Your make-up and clothes are just always beautiful and stunning - do you design these looks yourself?
As of most of what is do is self-taught and make-up is something I had to learn to do, although my style is very rough and ready. I used to paint so I love working with make-up, like grease paint that I can blend myself, etc. I have helped in designing some of my costume and that is something i would like to do more. I love costume and fashion and have met some really interesting and talented designers. My ‘look’ is my own creation, yes. It is important to have a strong visual.
7 - You are an artist through and through and seem to have say behind and in front of the camera - do you feel being in control of every aspect is very important?
I do yes. When you have a clear vision of your art and persona, it is hard to give control to someone else. I don’t have a manager so I have to do all the work myself and that is all I know. Plus I find most people very lazy and unreliable.
8 - What were you like growing up and were you always dressing up and creating characters?
I was very awkward and shy and always dreamt of being someone else but no dressing up (yet) so I created characters in my head and constantly day dreamed. I did like lipstick though…
9 - What have some of the best highlights been so far?
My show ‘Villains’ in Rome’s Teatro Palladium. I worked very hard and the result was better than I could have hoped for. We had an amazing response.
10 - What are your plans for 2011?
I am going away for 3 weeks for a holiday soon– Doing ‘Villains’ in Rome was very intense and I need to reconnect with my family and ‘real’ life. Performance has a habit of blurring reality. I want to do more filming and work on my solo show, Pustra and Poe. Oh and I am going to Berlin. I may not come back!
For More : www.mrpustra.blogspot.com