Behind The Beat | MsEasy on Dancing, Creativity, and Perseverance
Though I’ll likely never pursue GoGo dancing, I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who possess the stamina, grace, characterization, and attitude of a great GoGo dancer. From a completely in-character crew of clowns galavanting around the Electric Daisy Carnival to a dancer with precise moves that make the crowd groove at your favorite club, good dancers can add so much to a concert-goers experience. If you’re familiar with MsEasy, you know that she’s the perfect embodiment of all of these qualities and more, as a dancer herself and owner of Team EZ Entertainment.
As a longtime veteran of the dance and electronic dance music industry, MsEasy has been able to do what many dream of: turn a true passion into a career. With a hard-working attitude and passion for excellence, MsEasy has been able to develop her skills as a performer and artist, as well as the abilities of others, through teaching dance classes and coaching her Team EZ dancers.
Even if you don’t know MsEasy by name, you’ve probably seen herself and her work for a variety of shows and festivals. For all the Seattleites out there, remember that FreakNight poster?
Yep, that’s her. And if you’ve been to EDC (or at least seen the trailers or the 2010 documentary), this group of crazy clowns with their ringleader “PeEZy”:
But behind the extravagant costumes and onstage theatrics is an entrepreneurial, smart, and savvy woman with a lot to share. Stay tuned for a great interview from Easy herself on a range of topics, from being a small business owner, to balancing a relationship with someone else in the EDM industry, to her favorite costumes and places to grab a cup of tea!
OTB: Where did your stage name come from?
MsEasy: During my teen years I became a notorious dancer and party promoter in the EDM scene. I came to be the recognizable “EZ Girl” by wearing a shirt donning the car salesman slogan “I’m Easy.” When partygoers didn’t know my actual name they began to refer to me as this and it stuck. Ive always enjoyed the play on words and the boldness that lies in the name.
OTB: Where do you get inspiration for your costumes from? Any favorite tv shows, movies or music artists that inspire you?
MsEasy: I think its important to find your creative voice in everything. My work is a culmination of what inspires me in others and who I see myself as. I can be inspired by fiction, art, fashion, music, history, or purely by color. My designs always show some trace characteristics of my New Orleans carnival and burlesque past. I have definitely found fashion inspiration pertaining to music movements such as new wave, goth, and glam. I think that David Bowie really changed the game visually and influenced not only myself but an incredible amount of artists by being so unique and fearless. I like to take inspiration from multiple places and marry them into one comprehensive new design that has never been seen before. I like to create the unexpected.
OTB: Any favorite costumes you’ve designed or worn throughout the years?
MsEasy: There are definitely my favorite quintessential Mseasy characters. My horror themed clown “Nibbles” was definitely a challenge to design and became my favorite character to method act as. The wicked cheshire cat I played for the Escape from Wonderland short film is stunning and visually intense. My post human cyber cave girl creation for Party Monster was a bizarre mashup and in my top favorites of all time. Of course we cannot forget the recognizable “PeEZy” clown who has traveled and performed all over the world with me. I spend more time as this character than any I’ve ever made.
OTB: What advice would you give to women trying to break into the GoGo business? What stands out most to you during auditions? Does the GoGo Life channel still reflect your expectations/requirements or have things changed over time?
MsEasy: The GoGo life series depicted the industry standard I carry fairly accurately. I would say that my expectations don’t change much over time because they have always been high and continue to be. I would tell anyone interested in the industry to take a serious approach to the job and understand that it takes a lot of discipline and hard work to go far with it. People striving to perform should study as many types of dance as possible and have a dance background. If you want to become a professional dancer practice regularly and attend as many auditions as possible. Performers with confidence, style, and technique stand out the most to me when I’m judging.
OTB: You strike me as a great example of a successful woman in the EDM industry. How did you get started in this business and what have you learned along the way while launching your business? Did you have a mentor along the way?
MsEasy: I have spent over a decade working towards where my company is now without faltering. I think the amount of hard work and professionalism I have always invested in each event has helped me find and keep my place in the entertainment world. I originally started out by contributing to events as a creative director designing the look and concept of shows and ultimately working with performers like club kids and drag queens. It was a matter of time before I was pulled onto stage by them and realized that we had a strong aesthetic element to add to events and nightclubs. I became a solo performer for years before starting my company Team Ez Entertainment out of the sheer need for entertainment organization that was lacking greatly. I feel that we are stronger in numbers and I wanted to build a super team of entertainers when nothing like it had been done to date. Ive had to learn a lot the hard way over these years due to the fact that I was blazing a trail all on my own that had no manual to follow. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that perseverance is the key to any success.
OTB: Your relationship with Charly from Dirtyphonics is so incredibly cute. How do you two make it work with tour schedules and generally busy lives?
MsEasy: What works most for us is that we are equally busy. I think it really lends to the understanding we share of the industry and being such driven people in general. We both set out chasing our dreams and because of that dedication our paths crossed. Neither of us are piggybacking off of the others success and I feel it really leaves us on an equal playing field to just love one another. We do both have to make a conscious effort to dedicate time to the relationship and each other which is healthy for me because I needed a reason to slow down and smell the roses. They say “you should never get so busy making a living that you forget to live a life.” Lets just say we both love the challenge.
OTB: So I know that you’re tea obsessed- what are some of your top tea spots in the U.S.? How about abroad?
MsEasy: It is no secret that I am a tea admirer. I like to spend my free time searching out tea houses and traveling to experience them. Here in the states I have been a regular at the Dushanbe tea house in Boulder, The Roebling tea room in Brooklyn, and the Chado tea room in Los Angeles. Overseas, The Park Hyatt in Shinjuku blew my mind with its tea room donning real trees and grass that have been transported 52 stories up. The high tea, served by what look like Japanese airline stewardesses, was impeccable and the 360 views of Tokyo cant be beat. However my utmost favorite tea rooms are in France. Ladurée, the oldest tea house in Paris, has ridiculous desserts but the Mariage Frères will always take the cake in my book. The 130 year old company has the most impressive selection of tea I have seen to date and the most classic afternoon tea I’ve ever had.
OTB: What is your favorite venue or festival to perform at? Any places you’d love to dance in the future?
MsEasy: My favorite venues by way of natural beauty are definitely Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado and the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington state. One of my favorite events to perform at recently was the Lowlands Festival in Holland and I really enjoyed the Free Wheels rally in France when my fire team opened for Motorhead. All of the Electric Daisy Carnivals are a true experience but the Puerto Rico division is definitely my favorite. Im looking forward to EDC Mexico City this year as it will be my first time performing in Mexico. I was offered the opportunity to perform at Sturgis this past year but was unable to make it and hope that I will make my appearance there in 2014. I fell in love with Germany recently and I would love to get in to the circuit there in the future.
OTB: If you could choose one makeup and one costuming tip of the trade to share with our readers, what would they be?
MsEasy: For makeup: Don’t be afraid of your drag face. As far as costuming: Don’t make the amateur move of losing a wig during a performance.
OTB: What is your spirit animal?
MsEasy: The bat has always spoken to me on a deep level so a few years back I had them tattooed on my arm. The bat is symbolic of intuition, rebirth, and progress. I feel that I am in a constant state of change and growth, an ever evolving process of rebirth and creation. In the cycle of energy we must experience death (loss) to clear a space for conception (creation). The bat repeatedly emerges from the darkness like the phoenix rises from the ashes and so shall I.
OTB: If you could dance with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose?
MsEasy: I’d be an MC Hammer backup dancer. His dancers embodied an organic street style I could relate to when I was younger flexing unconventional and insanely talented moves that inspired me. His musical performances were focused so heavily on dance itself which I find is lacking severely with todays artists. Plus I could wear some parachute pants…please Hammer dont hurt ’em.
OTB: What was your dream job when you were younger? Do you have any jobs today you’ve given thought to trying out someday?
MsEasy: When I was a teenager I was an avid illustrator and writer. I saw myself going in those directions but later pursued the path of design and performance. I have definitely felt a pull to practice law but I see myself as a small business owner and entrepreneur of some kind for the rest of my life.
OTB: Do you have any personal pre-show rituals? Any rituals you encourage others to try out before stepping out onstage?
MsEasy: Personally I am often caught up in hustle and bustle of wearing to many hats and do not take the opportunity to do anything ritualistic for myself. However, I often encourage the performers to listen to the energy of the crowd right before entering the stage and hear the buzz of thousands of people awaiting their appearance. It can be exhilarating.
OTB: Where do you see yourself in five years- what goals would you like to accomplish?
MsEasy: As a person who believes that all things are in a constant state of change and cannot be predicted it is hard for me to project where I will be in five years. I am a person of possibilities and I do not like to become fixated on a planned route in life. I always say don’t make plans, make options. I do have a current goal of launching my fashion line on a much larger scale in the next couple of years. We are currently working diligently on laying out the foundation for that company. I am also pursuing more in the realm of fitness and dance as I grown more and more into my teaching shoes. I see fitness, design, and love in my future.
OTB: Anything else you want to share with our readers?
MsEasy: Keep a look out for the relaunch of our website for calendar updates and blog excerpts including tips and tricks of the trade in the entertainment industry. If you are interested in event information and audition opportunities you can subscribe to our newsletter here.
Be sure to look out for MsEasy and Team Ez this season performing at large scale music festivals across the country and on tour with major artists. You can see the team at weekly residencies including Beta Nightclub and attend fitness and dance classes at Tease Studio in Denver weekly. Tune in to www.MseasyDoesIt.com soon to see progress on MsEasy’s fashion line as well!
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