Raven Hinojosa trapeze artist ~ Interview by Vittorio Carli

trapeze artist

Raven Hinojosa is a trapeze artist extraordinaire who sometimes uses spoken word as part of her act. She is the umpteenth artist that I met through the soon to be disbanded, Ever So Secret Order of the Lamprey, an underground art group that meets every month in Pilsen, Chicago.

She used to live in New Orleans but now she hangs her hat in the windy city. Raven has performed at the several Chicago venues including the WIDC theatre, the late, lamented Pilsen Cafe, and at the club called Texas on Archer Avenue.

Raven sometimes performs in the Tingle-Tangle Menagerie, which includes the creative puppeteer, Drew Ziegler; the fabulous fashion designer, Mary Margaret; the dryly-witty master of ceremonies Jayme, and the most recent recruit the multi-talented, Elena.

Her next performance as part of the cabaret was set up by Mary Margaret. It will take place on Saturday, November 29 and
Saturday, December 6 at the Texas Ballroom - 3012 S Archer (near Ashland and the Orange line) at 10pm (not Nov 15 and 22 as she originally announced.) Raven was kind enough to do an on-line interview with me to help promote the show. Note: According to my Internet source, the word "Kiegel" that Raven uses means "female orgasm." Look for some possible interviews with other Tingle-Tangle performers in the future.

Trapeze Artist Interview Questions and Answers

OK! This may turn out rather silly (but all true) and possibly shortish but here goes.

1.) Can you tell me about your background?
Well, I am the illegitimate great granddaughter of a Catalonian Archduke cum South American gambler and a French princess on one side, and the catastrophic product of deep southern society gentility meets eccentric crawdaders on the other.

2.)How did you first get interested in performing on a trapeze?
I saw a circus show when I was very little. The aerialist was curled up in a cutout of the crescent moon at one point, and I was enthralled.

3.)What was circus life like?
I have never been in a circus. The only one I ever tried to join was a questionable one in Ecuador where the moon-boot using trapeze artist molested me in the night. So I left in the morning. You could say I ran away FROM the circus.

4.)Can you tell me about your educational background?
Catholic and public till high school, a few months and then one year in a haunted hippyish boarding school in Colorado. Then I dropped out. Now after a few scattered community college classes I go full-time to DePaul where I am majoring in Religion and Anthropology. I am stressed.

5.)Did you have any mentors or influences that inspired your poetry or trapeze work?
I write poetry? I suppose you could call it that. My Aunt Francie has a style that sneaks into my own on a very regular basis. I imagine the valentines my Mother wrote to me were also influential. For Trapeze - no.

6.)How did the Tingle-Tangle Menagerie show come about?
My last show and my love life were failures. I wanted to give myself a goal for Trapeze, I had a supportive group to work with, and I had all the contacts from working on shows in Chicago up until then. Whatchyagonnado?

7.)How did you meet Mary Margaret and the other Tingle Tangle Menagerie performers?

Um? Mary, I can't bloody remember right now. Not long before the first show though. Jayme struggled through several lifetimes and across immeasurable cosmic space to be my neighbor and Guardian Angel in New Orleans. Elena was also a more recent gift from the Gods.

8.) Do you have any favorite collaborators and why do you like to work with them?

Drew Ziegler because his work is solid brilliant. Everyone. (Almost). I really am blessed that anyone puts up with me.

9-10.) Can you tell me about the cowgirl trio song you did at lamprey? Why did you, Mary Margaret and Ellen blacken your teeth in it?

The song - well, for you incredibly in the dark old men who actually don't know what a Kiegel is? I'm afraid there is no help for you.
Some of us blackened our teeth simply to reinforce classicist regionalist elitist stereotypes about hill-country hicks. Why else?

11.)What can we expect to see at the new show at Texas?

This show is not my baby, BUT they tell me you shall see giant roaming puppets, old favorite Scary Toesie Shows, carnival booths, butoh, peepshows, Can Ky Ree (or however you spell that band) and many other favorite bands of mine, and of coarse, Me, in a wind-up-doll trapeze act.

12.)What upcoming projects do you have lined up after the show?

Aerial work with a jazz musician, maybe another Aerialist, and a trip to SF for some intensive training.
That and I'm sewing my wedding dress.

Miz R

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Photography by Vittorio Carli