Back in February we told you about how far Bushwick-based boylesque performer Stephen Plante (Vic Sin) was willing to go to fund his trip to the Vienna Boylesque Festival, pledging his body for “one night only” in return for a $3,000 donation. He told us it was “a joke, but at the same time, is it possible? Yeah.” Well, he reached his goal (without having to go full-on Pretty Woman), performed in Vienna, England and France, and now he’s back, with footage of his festival performance and a mission: to make the New York City arts scene more family-friendly. He’ll still be stripping, but he wants to do it with more support from other artists, both on and off of the stage.
“Everywhere I went I had this group of individuals who kind of took me under their wings, and it took me forever in New York to find that kind of feeling…and it happened as soon as I put my foot on the ground in Europe,” Plante told us. “Everyone was reaching out to me to go further, to be bigger, and to be stronger. I really honestly felt that I was the most supported in my career as a burlesque performer when I was in Europe.”
Plante wants to bring that “vibe of family” back to New York, in the interest of a kinder, gentler scene. “In nightlife there are a few people where I get the impression that maybe parts of their life they didn’t have the acceptance and the fame that they have now, and so they take it out on other people, through their position of power,” he said. “I don’t ever want to be that way. I want to be using art to create family and to create a world where we can spread love and inspiration to each other.”
Since his return, Plante has put out an open call to artists to collaborate, and he and his co-performers Madame Vivien V and Hannah Weber will be altering the format of their Hell Phone-based burlesque show, Lip Service, to include live music and new nightlife talent, and ultimately “add new members to the family.”
Check out our multimedia timeline below for a look at Plante’s journey from GoFundMe to Europe to artistic envoy.
The next Lip Service event will take place at Hell Phone, 247 Varet St., on July 6th at 9 p.m. Admission is by donation.