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Dark's Shadows

DJ Dana Dark shepherds Houston's goths to blacker pastures

Events like the beauty pageant typically draw around 400 people to The Underworld. While big, the events are not as ghoulish as outsiders might imagine. "It's not so much gloom and doom," insists Augustine. "These are people interacting, dancing, simply having fun."

Nevertheless, its graveyard imagery and melancholy-on-a-sleeve are easy to lampoon, and thus many latter-day goths run a gauntlet of derision. They always have. Early goth prototypes were gently mocked in both War and Peaceand Huckleberry Finn. Even today, spiritually close cousins view goth as cheesy or the asinine practice of vampire wanna-bes. Although they might listen to gothic music, they don't want to be associated with it. Goths are "sad clowns" or, in kinder words, "self-conscious souls who are Very Sensitive and Poetic and Feel Things Deeply." Many inclined toward the lifestyle thus keep it to themselves.

Dark urges closet goths to reconsider: "If you like something, go for it, even if you have a profession. Maybe you can't dress like it, but you can still go home and listen to the music and you can still go support the scene."

Dark agrees that the grave's a fine and private place.
Deron Neblett
Dark agrees that the grave's a fine and private place.

Although Dark (who refused to allow her birth name to be used in this article) now works at a professional job, she hasn't given up on the dark style. She will be performing at Damina 2001 on Thursday, June 14, with Psychonaut 75, her dark goth band, and she models both nude and clothed on www.blueblood.net as well as on other erotic Web sites. She admits she has evolved into different goth looks, and may not look as drastic as she once did. But she still maintains the same philosophy.

"Here in Texas," says Dark, "I think we are pressured. Once you get to this certain age, you have to stop listening to [goth] because it's juvenile. You have to stop dressing that way because that's juvenile. You have to settle down with your life, and you can't get anywhere ahead in life if you look like that. That's wrong, because I did. I look like this, and I keep getting more ahead."

Dark's perseverance and gumption have rightfully made her a celebrity on the scene. In hindsight, Dark's glad she put in all the effort. Without her boundless dedication, the Houston goth scene couldn't have walked away from its mid-'90s near-death experience.

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