Interview with sideshow performer and body piercer, Raven Lunatic.
I first met Raven Lunatic last year in downtown Chattanooga. I had just gotten back from Portland, Oregon and was doing work on a project that I called Beauty Redefined. I'll be posting more about it in upcoming blogs. I met Raven and asked him if I could take a portrait for the project and we got to talking about beauty and how it's defined in our society. It was a great conversation, and so in planning to do more interviews on my blog, I thought that Raven would be a great place to start!
Ricky - "Raven, what are your thoughts on beauty and the significance that it plays in our society?"
Raven Lunatic - "Beauty is so subjective in our society as well as the world that it's difficult to measure. We are marketed an "ideal" but it doesn't work for most of us. Some of the women that I'm told by a marketing firm/modeling agency are beautiful are just plain to me and some of the women that I find extremely beautiful wouldn't be called beautiful by mainstream America. I've tried to make sense of beauty and what the "It Factor" is and haven't identified it. Now, if you look at ideal beauty from other cultures, it gets even harder to figure out. Of course this only refers to outside beauty and once you talk to someone, the scale can swing up or down."
Ricky - "I completely agree. There's so much about it that is so subjective. We are spoon fed this idea of beauty and normalcy but it's all relative to interpretation. Let's talk about you for a minute. You do sideshow performances for Freakshow Deluxe right? What is Freakshow Deluxe for those that may not have heard of it."
Raven Lunatic - "The FreakShow Deluxe is Hollywood's own & ONLY carnival-style sideshow! This is a fantastic LIVE show, bringing the classic working acts of the old freak shows to life on the modern stage in a family friendly comedy stunt show that must be seen to be believed. Prepare to be amazed and astounded as the FreakShow Deluxe performs its mind-boggling physical feats with a flair for the theatrical and a touch of humor that the whole family will enjoy. See FreakShow Deluxe astonish with the Human Blockhead, the Bed of Nails, Sword Swallowing, Fire-Eating and so much more...
I specialize in mostly Pain Proof acts such as Bed Of Nails, Bed of swords, , Breaking an Arrow with my throat, Hand in a Beaver trap, Tongue in a Mouse Trap, And recently started doing Arm in a Bear Trap.And my favorite is Pin Cushion and Human Bulletin Board where people staple cash to my body using an industrial stapler."
Ricky - "Very cool man! I def want to catch the show sometime! I got to see Enigma and Serana Rose perform at the Chattanooga Tattoo Convention earlier this year. Do you spend much time out on tour? What's life like out on the road for a performer?"
Raven Lunatic - "I have yet to meet them but I really want to. I love to travel and see new places. It's one of the reasons I joined but I haven't been able to travel as much as I want to. I have too many projects going at the moment and we put a show together to meet the clients needs so not everyone wants a guy who stabs needles through his face, neck and arm. Some venues ask for less extreme stunts."
Ricky - "What are some of your other projects? I know you have Raven Lunatic clothing and your pierce too right?"
Raven Lunatic - "Those are the biggest. We just finished the first t-shirt for Raven Lunatic Clothing that was borne from a conversation with an old friend. He couldn't believe that I wasn't on drugs or drunk when I did my stunts or suspensions so I made a shirt. It's American made on American Apparel because I believe that we have a responsibility to support American companies. I've been working to bring the highest quality of jewelry to the area and removing the limits of what someone can have. I recently got a price for a Platinum navel dangle with diamonds, and rubies from BVLA. I'm lucky that there isn't a limit. Plus a pet project that I need to spend even more time on. I'm more militant than some people and think that if a business won't hire pierced and tattooed people, we shouldn't spend money there. I think it's important to support my customers."
Ricky - "Very cool man! I'll def share the links in this interview man. Before we wrap it up, I'd like to ask a couple more questions. What is one band that people should be listening to right now?"
Raven Lunatic - "The main bands I would recommend at the moment is Frank Turner. I start every morning with Photosynthesis, Love Ire and Song" and "Sons Of Liberty" and Determined out of Reno. Some of the Irish Rovers songs make me smile too."
Ricky - "What is a film that you'd recommend checking out?"
Raven Lunatic - "Films are difficult. I tend to watch some really obscure films. I have a friend who pulls out the strangest films every time I visit. But I recommend watching Modify, Body of God and Dances Sacred and Profane. But brace yourself before watching. And for a mainstream film, Point Break."
Ricky - "I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with me a few minutes. I look forward to catching up with you again in the near future. Have you received any piece of advice in life that you'd like to share to close with?"
Raven Lunatic - "The best advice I've heard is Be the person you want to be. We all do things to be more comfortable in our own skin. It doesn't matter if it's tattoos, piercings, how we dress or anything else, as long as we're a good person, that's what matters.
and one more final thought about beauty.
We all do things to make ourselves more comfortable in our own skin so it only makes sense that we all have different ideals of true beauty. Beauty in one culture may not even be acceptable in another."
Ricky - I hope that you guys enjoyed the conversation with the Raven Lunatic. I plan on doing a lot more interviews and conversations here in the near future so be sure to check back often to check out new content. I asked Raven for some links to some of his work and projects to share with you guys. You can find those below.
Also be sure to check out TRD Photography on the web as well.
http://www.trdphotography.com - TRD Photography - Chattanooga, TN -
http://www.facebook.com/trdphotography - IG @trd_photography - Twitter @trd_photography