Amy Buchanan: 100 Creatives
Photo by V. Paul Virtucio
Number 63: Amy Buchanan
Years spent living in MN: My entire life
In 2003 Le Cirque Rouge reawakened burlesque tradition in the Twin Cities after an unnecessarily long slumber. We have troupe founder Amy Buchanan to thank for that. Over the years she has cultivated, curated, and nurtured the scene. Whether it's a special sold-put benefit show or a regular gig at the 331 Club, each performance by the group is loaded with a healthy dose of dance, comedy, acrobatics, and big personalities. This revival is truly appreciated, as it serves as an important reminder that entertainment is not just about scandalous nudity, but also about the joy and laughter that comes with getting undressed.
Name three things that are inspiring your work right now:
1. My fantastically talented cast in Le Cirque Rouge!!!
2. Absurd British sketch comedy on YouTube
Photo by Matt Black
Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:
1. My Mom, Dad, and Grandma.
2. Watching silly things like Woody Allen, The Pink Panther movies, The Little Rascals, or The Carol Burnett Show.
3. Seeing Paul McCartney and Wings in 1976 at the St. Paul Civic Center. I was very young and it blew my little brain. It gave me a life-long love and appreciation for Linda McCartney.
What was your last big project?
Our two-day Valentine's Day Benefit at the Loring Theater for Reclaim, a group that provides mental health support for LGBT youth. With the help of my castmate Queenie Von Curves, we raised a bunch of money for them, and had a great time performing!
What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?
I've been working on a new music project with my songwriter friend Guy Low at Silver Ant Recording Studio. I feel like it's the best thing, musically, I've ever done.
Also, Le Cirque Rouge and Ballet of the Dolls are collaborating on a holiday show that will run the entire month of December at the Ritz Theater. Ahhhh, 16 shows!!
Creative/career high point (so far)?
Besides the two things I mentioned above, which are huge for me:
1. Winning a huge bag of VHS porn in a Pat Benatar "Heartbreaker" singing challenge against local band Eta Carinae at the Turf Club.
2. This summer I'll be performing for the first time ever in my hometown of Duluth at Teatro Zuccone Theater. My Grandma Helen Buchanan, who has never seen me perform, will be there.
3. Performing nearly 500 shows with LCR over the last 8 years.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist?
MONEY! The biggest challenge for me has been trying to make a living doing what I love. I am not a cubicle person and feel a kinship with Lloyd Dobler when he said, "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that".
So, if this music/cabaret thing doesn't work out soon, I'll be actively seeking to marry for money to support my creative habits. Anyone?
Creative notes: The set list from LCR's sold out Christmas shows at the 501 Club
How has the local scene changed since you began your career?
I mourn the loss of all the cool warehouse spaces that fueled the underground/after-hours music and art scene in the late '80s and early '90s. And I will never get over wanting to go to the Uptown Bar at least once a week.
Name another local creative type that you're currently excited about:
There isn't one person in particular, but I am continually excited about the cultural scene here in Minneapolis. It has turned me on for over 20 years, and I am constantly thankful I live here and that I get to experience and be a part of such a vital scene.
What's one fashion trend you absolutely love?
I love all of the '40s-style floral print dresses out for this spring and summer.
How about hate?
Hate is a strong word, but I'm really not into midriff-baring shirts on dudes.
If you were forced to live in the world of a novel, which one would you choose? Why?
I would beg for the short story "Houseboat" from Under a Glass Bell and Other Stories by Anais Nin. I love it because she lives such a beautiful, productive, simple life on a houseboat docked in Paris on the Seine. She writes about going shopping each day for more candles, pencils, paper, flowers, and wine, and then going back and writing for hours. (Sigh.)
If they insisted on an actual "novel," I would easily choose Seduction of the Minotaur, also by Anais Nin.
Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.
Past creatives, so far:
81. Joseph Scrimshaw
80. Adam Turman
79. Raul Osorio
78. Kristin Berwald
77. Rudy Fig
76. Laura Fulk
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