The Horror Honeys: 6/6/6 With Tristan Risk

6/6/6 With Tristan Risk


A Guest Honey 6/6/6 Interview by Tonjia Atomic

The first time I saw Tristan Risk was in her phenomenal performance of Beatrice in American Mary. She completely transformed into the character in a way that was both subtle and elegant. When I met her I discovered to my delight that she is not only a chameleon but, along with her many other manifestations, a mermaid. I just had to know more.


1. Was performance something that always interested you? If not, what was it that first piqued your interest?

I've always loved to entertain people. I'm not sure at what point I
decided to make it my avocation, but I'm pretty sure when I figured out that people were amused/grossed out when I snorted a strand of spaghetti up my nose and pulled it out my mouth. I think that was the moment when I decided I wanted to be a performer that provoked a reaction.

2. You are very busy with a number of movies coming out, writing for various blogs, performing, etc. What do you like to do to relax?

I love going on epic walks around Vancouver or wherever I happen to be. When I used to tour, I'd go jogging in the morning before the rest of the band was up. It was a great place to see what was around and suss out where to forage for food or coffee that morning. It was always fun in Europe since many of the roads are winding and don't lay in structured grid systems. So you had to look around you for landmarks on your way, otherwise you'd wind up rather lost.

In Vancouver, I love walking through the older parts of the city on
the downtown Eastside. Many people will tell you it's the most
dangerous place in the city, which is utter crap. But traveling
through Chinatown and Strathcona has some of the most interesting
businesses, people and scents. I adore walking around the seawall and Stanley Park. Vancouver isn't known for being a cheap place to live, but with so much gorgeous natural beauty and places designed for people to walk/run/bike, I love taking advantage of it. So many cities in the world are built around cars and driving from place to place. I feel like a throwback to older times when the streets of Vancouver were the place to see and be seen, so it's fun to overlay different time period there in my mind as I walk through town.

3. Spicy or non-spicy? How many stars?

Oh yes. Spicy please. I love, love, love spicy foods. The spicier
though? Well, I learned early on the folly that comes with pride
before the fall. My father and I both like to one-up each other and
his capacity for handling heat in food eclipses my own. I do think
that this has somewhat cauterized his taste buds over the years, which is why he can handle the heat coming from the kitchen, so to speak.

My folks always encouraged me to eat a wide variety of food growing up, and when they lived in Thailand, I had the chance to travel and visit them and by which I learned to love Thai food at it's best…street food, haute dining and everything in between. I learned to cook Thai food quite well, watching my mom and her friends. Now when I cook Thai food at home it's like doing a dance where you've memorized all the steps and you can just enjoy the motions.

When I'm not in the kitchen myself, I tend to err on the side of conservatism. With spicy food, at least. Three stars. Maybe three and a half if I'm feeling particularly daring. ;)


4. You are known as being multi-talented with many skills. What is something about you that would come as a surprise to most people?

I've got a laundry list of stupid human tricks I can do. Everything
from blowing smoke rings to bending a nail with my butt. I think the strangest of these is my ability to peel a banana with my feet. Having grown up dancing, I've ridiculous foot flexibility. One day when I was eleven or twelve and in post-sleepover mode on a Saturday morning I grossed out a friend by peeling a banana with my toes and offering it to her. She declined the offer and it's been one of those weird party tricks I've always fallen back on.

Another thing that might surprise people is that I refer to myself as
The Great Berry Hunter when going blackberry picking. It's been a
thing my granddad and I have called each other since I was little.
Which makes sense, since black berries are easy to capture, and don't require a firearm to be discharged.

5. What is your favorite kind of candy?

I love spicy dark chocolate. I adore candied ginger. But my favourite thing is salt black licorice. I didn't even know that this was going to be a thing with me, but I've turned into a major licorice snob. In
fact, if you'd told me years ago that I'd choose black licorice, and salty licorice at that, over chocolate I'd tell you that you needed to get your head looked at. But a wonderful woman indoctrinated me into
the world of black licorice, starting with sweet German and Finnish varieties and later eased me into single-salts. Now I'm something of a licorice aficionado, and I can pair it with most other foods,
particularly matching red wines to licorices. When I call in to most people's houses now, I bring a bag of assorted sweet varieties, and a few salts for the brave….


6. You are a real life mermaid. Tell us a little about that.

I grew up on a boat. From utero to the age of seventeen I spent a large portion of my time on my grandfather's boat. While most families go away camping/RVing or what-have-you, I was learning how to tie lines and trim the sail while most kids my age were riding bikes. I always thought of myself as a mermaid, just one who lived on land, like someone who'd been born in a foreign country and emigrated when they were still a child. I could swim before I could walk. It never really occurred to me, knowing the west coast of BC the way I did that I was anything else.

I began swimming with a tail three years ago. It led to meeting other mermaids and opportunities to swim/perform as one, which I loved. The ability to totally enchant little people and make adults stop and remember that time when they were kids and dreamed about mermaids is so rewarding. I'm a big fan of creating random acts of sass, so spending an afternoon on the beach in full mermaid regalia and seeing how excited people get is a mood elevator for me.

Name 6 of your comfort movies.

1. Labyrinth
2. Cat People
3. Little Shop Of Horrors
4. Flashdance
5. Confessions Of A Psycho Cat
6. Splash

Name 6 things about your upcoming project, Fembot.

1. It's bucket list thing
2. It's a sub genre of horror and one of my favourites
3. I've been practicing moves for this at home in front of the mirror
4. I'll be sharing the screen again with Jennifer Blanc-Biehn
5. I've got a burlesque act in the works to reflect it
6. It's not strictly a horror film...

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All photo credits are Shimona Henry

Check out Tristan in Andy Winter's 'Uncountably Infinite'


TRISTAN RISK
LITTLE MISS RISK
Sweet Soul Burlesque