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Just Add Glitter with Tootsie Spangles

Tootsie Spangles

Stories come in all forms, sizes, and formats.

In our newest exhibition A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes, we’re exploring the stories we tell through fashion.

We’re delighted to welcome six talented performers to the exhibition opening event to share their stories on this topic with She is FIERCE, a semi-annual storytelling event featuring female-identified and genderqueer collaborators.

One of those performers is Tootsie Spangles.

Actor, burlesque performer, and director, Tootsie is a Gregory Award Nominated Playwright as well as an emcee at the historic Pink Door Cabaret. She is also serves as the Artistic Director for The Libertinis, an interdisciplinary performance ensemble who deliver a low blow to high art and have been affectionately dubbed "bright shiny theatre weirdos" by CityArts Magazine.

See Tootsie live at our opening party for A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes May 10.

Interview with Tootsie Spangles

What attracts you to storytelling as a medium?  

I love that it's personal and immediate. It can happen anywhere! On a stage, around a kitchen table, and in the dark. It easily can be small and intimate or wildly theatrical. I perform a lot as a solo artist (I emcee shows and events and perform burlesque and clown) and trained in theater, so storytelling felt natural. I also come from a very chatty family and we all like to talk with strangers. 

Mother Earth Gallery A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes at MoPOP

What artists are inspiring your work currently? 

Lizzo immediately comes to mind. She's extremely multi-talented and vulnerable with an unapologetic attitude.  

A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes is themed around six archetypes: Thespian, Mother Earth, Explorer, Enchantress, Sage, and Heroine. Which archetype do you most identify with and why? 

The Thespian and Explorer. Ever since I was little I loved dressing up and making my own costumes. For a very brief time I tried to dress like everyone else and was incredibly unhappy and uncomfortable. I thrived on finding creative ways to "technically not break" the rules of a very strict Catholic school dress code. I was often told my body was wrong or vulgar, and instead of covering up I added glitter.

Vivienne Westwood design in A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes at MoPOP

The exhibition tells the story of these archetypes through fashion. What’s one thing you feel fashion does well? How would you like to see fashion evolve in the future?

It's really good a recycling trends and repackaging your childhood nostalgia. I would have never gotten rid of my fanny packs if I knew those were coming back. It needs to be inclusive to all bodies. I see brands slooooowly getting it. But this is usually after a backlash.  Also....where are my freaking pockets? Make it standard. Give everyone pockets! REAL POCKETS! 

Seattle Entertainer Tootsie Spangles

See Tootsie live at the opening party for A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes May 10.


About the author

Adrienne is a writer and editor from Seattle and is MoPOP's Content Wizard (patent pending).