100 Creatives 2013: Kiki Maroon, The Sexy Sordid Clown

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Who She Is: Perhaps you've heard about Kiki's Sordid Sideshow, and perhaps not. Possibly you did and you heard that clowns were involved and you quite reasonably went scurrying in the other direction. That is a perfectly understandable response.

The truth is that Kiki Maroon is the mastermind and driving force behind the show's circus-themed burlesque spectacle. She herself performs in the shows as a peeler in clown make-up, but she also directs, produces, and hosts every single performance. This involves coordinating traveling acts from all over the country, and making sure that all the activities go off without a hitch. She keeps the belly-dancing unicorns, the zombie comedians, the pole-dancing monkeys, and lion tamer dominatrices all in line offering an unforgettable night out.

Maroon grew up adoring the circus, and likes to take the whole thing to a more adult and Day Glo level. She set out to create an adult playground that offers the same wonder and shine as a big top. It's been a long road to the massive, audience participation institution it's become. Maroon sweet-talked the owner of Boheme into letting her build a stage and run her first night of circus burlesque nothing but a few sheets of plywood, cinder blocks, and a flashlight as a spotlight. Now, it's a massive naughty juggernaut.

Why She Likes It: "Being the 'stripping clown' is amazing. It gives me free rein to do anything on stage. Every act I've done has started off as 'Oh my God, it'd be so ridiculous if I ....' And then I do it. A lot of burlesque performers start off with a song they like, but I tend to start with a concept and just let my train of thought derail into crazy town. My very favorite act started off as 'Oh my God! I want to be a stripping cow so I can have udder pasties! But why would a cow be stripping?... Oh! I stepped in poop and found some 'shrooms! And I can have lasers. And fog. And strobe lights. And dance to "Are You Experienced." And when I'm done, someone can pass out moon pies with stickers on them that say "KiKi's Home Made Cow Patty!"' People will like that, right?

And the best part is, it's my show, so no one can veto my ideas!"

What Inspires Her: Maroon finds much of her inspiration from the friends she's made In the course of building the show and the people she works with. Her partner, Troy Stanley, is a sculpture and mixed media artist, wood worker, maker, and being around him as he creates serves as a muse for Maroon. Her personal idol is Julie Taymor. Maroon studied costume design, and is enamored with Taymor's work on everything from The Lion King on Broadway to Across the Universe. The mixed media method of special effects, fabric, and puppetry that Taymor specializes in is a big inspiration to Maroon.

If Not Here, Then Where: "Northern California, specifically the Redwoods. It's my favorite place in the world. Once I'm done making shows and over the city life, I want to move up there and be camp host. Camp host is the second best job in the world (after 'stripping clown show producer'). You get to live in the most beautiful places, learn the trails and secret hikes, and greet new people to the park everyday. I don't think I'll be allowed to wear glitter though, so I may have to find something else to cover my body with. Moss, maybe?"

If Not This, Then What: Maroon says that once her body is "non longer burlesque-able" she'll return to costume design as a primary outlet. She's worked in that capacity with both the Alley and Cirque du Soleil. She keeps in practice sewing her own costumes.

What's Next: "My next big show is 'KiKi Maroon's BurlyQ Lounge' on Friday, September 27th at McGonigels Mucky Duck. We have a 7pm and 9:30 show. The last 3 have sold out, so I HIGHLY suggest you buy your tickets soon. It's going to be so much fun!"

More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Gin Martini, fashion designer Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer

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