Babe Talk: Actually Huizenga (NSFW)

A paradigm of West Coast sexuality, born to a playmate and a Harvard-educated physician, Ashley Huizenga makes stripping conceptual and turns pop music into performance art. Working under the name Actually Huizenga, Ashley has utilized her skills as a trained musician and schooled visual artist to cultivate a unique path to stardom.

Combining her intellectualized attitude towards her own sexuality and a very broad range of cultural influences, she has a long to-do list. Huizenga’s summer has been busy as she’s wrapping up a european tour, preparing debut an album, and continuing her “residency” at Cheetahs. In a culture with such a short attention span, it is rare to find an artist who can continue to intrigue the more they reveal themselves. Ashley Huizenga is that rare breed of woman. We were thrilled to get her answers to some burning questions.

Q&A 

LF: You are a trained musician, performance artist, feminist, pop star, and sex bomb, how do you reconcile those personas? How do you draw lines between different areas of your work, or do you?

AH: Thank you for calling me all of those things!  Unfortunately having so many different aspects/facets sometimes gives people more time to waste in making comparisons. Reconciling lends itself to comparison, and comparisons really start to annoy me because I just want my viewers and myself to enjoy what I have created. I want to be a sexual, entertaining intellectual.

I don’t have time to struggle any more than I already do with myself. I only have one persona and that is Actually. I’m very much against the class-differences between males and females, but I’m not a feminist according to the definition.  Even though I’m mostly around gays, I love dangerous, sexual, pompous hetero-men. Women just need to be allowed to be as sexual and disgusting as men (hetero and homo). Perhaps if women allow themselves to get “nasty” then the majority of women in the world could finally experience an orgasm. So much suppression of everything; times are and always have been very sad for women- women as martyrs, women as objects. I am a self-aware objectified martyr to myself. Being sad is so boring. Being angry is more exciting but also boring in the end. Being happy about who you are and where you are is much more fun, gratifying and better for your skin.

 I am never doing anything that I don’t want to do. I am a sadist in many ways but always dominant and aware of the situation. I figure that if I must be a woman, I should play with my presentation physically and emotionally. I enjoy playing and I was born with certain fetishes that I no longer feel like suppressing. For me, my Art is pure no matter how disgusting and deviant people think it is. My Art is what I wake up for; is the medium I need to communicate through. I may not know who or what I am reaching, but I will do what excites me, confuses me, consumes me. I want very much to please other people but my greatest aim is to please myself (which is actually very difficult and uncomfortable).

As for lines… I think that’s what botox is for. I am really interested in the presentation and preservation of beauty. I hope that women still have botox parties in their suburban cookie-mansion living rooms. I would like to perform naked and blindfolded at their grand piano as they pass the needle around. Humans are so disgusting they just need to be made more aware of it. I need to get famous so I can obtain the money necessary to explore all of these possibilities presented to the human species.

LF: Your look is very unique, coquettish and still so self aware. What are some of your “fashion preferences?” 

AH: At the moment I’m really into fantasy bridal and cheap “expensive” lingerie (like the honeymoon pieces you get for 10 dollars more than the basic on skid row.) Also, I have some amazing friends that make clothes for me. Like Jessica Harris and Simon Preen.

LF: You clearly like to push boundaries of sexuality. Do you have a line that you will never cross? Where is the line between art and porn?

AH: Lines again! I’m really just exploring my very own sexual preferences. I feel like I need to push more for myself to understand why I have had these certain fetishes since preschool. Fetishes that all small children have and forget. Art and porn depends on the viewer obviously – one can look at youporn, take a screen snap and put it in a gallery. It’s all about context. Both frames are fine by me, but a gallery pays more. 

LF: Who are some of your favorite performers, painters, film-makers – your greatest influence?

AH: I have thousands so I will just pull out a few random straws for you: First influence for me to tap into at a young age to discover everything else (including masturbation): David Bowie. That’s the true and obvious one. After that – David Lynch, Dario Argento, Hieronymus Bosch, Werner Herzog, Jeff Koons, Ilona Staller, Marina Abramovic, Oscar Wilde, Boris Vallejo, Olivia de Berardinis, Duran Duran, Lars Von Trier, Fad Gadget, Christian Death, Billy Wilder, Warhol, Jarvis Cocker,Tangerine Dream, Helmut Newton, those Planet Earth people, Anthony Bourdain, TCM,  Pre-Code Hollywood in general… Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, Mae West…

LF: What moments of challenge have you encountered making your videos/films, pursuing your work? What is your process?

AH: There is always the problem that many people are and always will be afraid of ‘sex,’ but that’s to be expected.The main challenge in making my videos/films is finding time. My other challenge is sleeping, especially in the editing process: once I find the time, I sometimes stay awake for 3 days in a row. All I can do is work and create something that I myself would like to watch as a spectator. The process is always draining while at the same time rejuvenating and self-affirming. It’s like a drug addiction trapped in a 5 star spa.

 LF: The videos are so beautiful, and really scary. Like in “Hush” for example… what is that world you are conveying?

AH: For me personally, I am making something to escape into, but it can never be as simple as that sounds. There is pain and torture bound tightly with the release and pleasure. Shooting has always meant an intense hangover and strange bruises the next day. And, as I said before, editing is an all-consuming monster. When you say “Hush” is “scary,” I am intrigued and glad. I suppose beauty and fear are always a part of fantasy.

 LF: Tell us about your new album and your tour.

AH: I actually booked and got financed for my June Euro tour through Facebook! It was awesome: Oslo, Berlin, Rome and Budapest. 5 shows, 2.75 photo shoots and too much drinking every night! I’m self releasing the album (ACTUALLY “Wet Look”) online July 21st. I’m thinking Amazon and iTunes. My next Cheetahs Strip Club show is on July 7th and celebrates the Uploading of my newest video “Tropical Winter” onto Youtube. “Late Night Guys” I also just put up but it had to go on Vimeo because there is slight bondage and a nipple slip. I’m trying really hard to keep myself on Youtube and Facebook because those are my main platforms at the moment. I’ve had three strikes on youtube and have been temporarily blocked from Facebook for 4 days because of nipples and ass cracks.

LF: What is your ultimate goal in your career? in life?

AH: I know I’d be a good famous person. Easier than winning the lotto and you have more control. More people commit suicide after winning the lotto than they do after becoming famous.

LF: Had any good dreams recently?

AH: When I really deserve it I dream back to back and right up to opening my eyes in the morning. The best and most recent one I had was in Norway 5 days ago. I dreamt of myself and my boyfriend looking down into a blue fjord, hundreds of feet high, and suddenly I spotted giant molting reindeer horns coming up out of the water. Hundreds of reindeer paddling and squealing. As soon as I show him we hear the clobbering of hooves behind us on the rocks. They are stampeding over us suddenly and we have no choice but to jump. I just grab his hand and we jump off the cliff into the ice water full of hairy horns, long pink tongues and wild bulging eyes. It was very colorful like Jurassic Park. I woke up right when we hit the water.

LF: If you had to wear one outfit everyday, like a uniform, what would it be?

AH: Andy Warhol used to wear a uniform… maybe something like his. Dressing like an old person so people think you look really young for  your age when you are actually not that old. A giant T-shirt that I can randomly cut up? This is a difficult question for me.

LF: Describe yourself in 5 words.

AH: Got out to get in.

Photos courtesy of Glaza Kinski for Jessica Harris‘ lookbook.


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