You may know her as Portland’s famous stripper, that MySpace celebrity, the anonymous Wikipedia alternative model, or the Wendy O-looking lady who’s always walking her miniature pinschers. I can’t tell you how many times people have insisted on telling me their oh-my-god-I-met-Malice-one-time-and-she’s-like-sooo-nice stories. It’s true; she is the sweetest, most approachable badass you could hope to meet.
Something that you may not know about Malice is that she’s really funny. (Her deadpan is the greatest.) I was able to catch up with her on a recent trip to Portland, where she made a week-long cameo at Sassy’s (strip club) and picked up her red ’66 El Camino. I got her hyped on Chai and sweets (as she has 10 years sober) and asked questions.
For some reason, the voice recorder ate the part of the interview where she lets us know that she moved from Portland to LA in August 2010 in hopes of possibly working at the legendary Jumbo’s Clown Room. Jumbo’s wasn’t all that receptive so she ended up at Crazy Girls, where she is currently the emcee of the increasingly popular live band nights.
How long have you been stripping?
I think approximately, I don’t know, ten or more years. I did a few years in Texas and then I took a couple year break and then I did six years here, seven years here maybe, I don’t know. I’m dating myself!
Don’t look at this mess I’m making over here. [My roasted Portabello sandwich completely exploded all over my plate and she had already said that she hates mushrooms.]
Oh yeah. Yeah. It’s okay. I like to be horrified by what people are eating. It’s great.
No, I really like it. I like when people eat really gross stuff in front of me. It’s like a free episode of Fear Factor.
Do you have future career plans? Are you tired of people asking you about what you want to do?
No, I know that people want to know. Everybody shoots the shit, I ask my friends. I don’t know if they’re sick of me asking what they’re up to, how they’ve been. I know people are curious about stuff like that. I want to own my own club. That’s so far in the future and I don’t know how I’m ever gonna achieve it. I’m a felon with no credit and it’s gonna be a while before I get those things out of the way. But um, there’s talk in LA with a few different people for different reality TV shows with me. Basically, it’s all talk. It’s LA, you know. When the day comes that I actually film a pilot for one of these then I’ll put it out there and be like, “This is what I might be doing.” But right now, talk is cheap. I get a lot of talk down there. A lot of people want to put me in a lot of things.
How do you feel about dancing at 36?
I feel so lucky, so lucky to be able to do it. Like physically, to be fit enough to do it. And also, structure-wise not in too much pain. Not disabled in some way, you know?
Do you feel like you make more money than when you were younger?
Is that the recession?
No, the thing is, when I was younger, I played up on my young look. When I was twenty, I looked seventeen and I played it up even harder. I wore like, cheap glitter eye shadow. I just made myself look cheaper and younger. I let my roots grow out, so I wasn’t really maintaining an adult hairstyle. Basically, I made a lot of money based on the fact that I looked accessible and young and uneducated and probably like I might go home with some people. I don’t really work that here. I didn’t start dancing here in Portland until I was 28, so that’s pretty close to my age now. When I was younger, dancing in Texas, that’s when I was on drugs and stuff so I looked pretty bad anyway.
You’re pretty covered at tattoos at this point… Was that a deliberate goal?
No, honestly… well I guess in a way it was. When I was strung out, I really wanted to have tattoos. I always loved artwork like that but I could never afford to get it done ‘cause I spent all my money on drugs. So, two things happened when I first gone clean. One is, I had money that I could spend on things that I wanted. The other is, I had all these scars on my body from all the drug use that I did and I felt so insecure about it and wanted to cover it up. I used to shoot up in my legs, all that stuff… [I’ve since] covered them up with tattoos but then they all pretty much healed up anyway.
Yeah, but then you went above and beyond. I mean, you have fighting roosters on your butt.
Well yeah, because then I got into the artwork and my sister started tattooing, and I made lots of friends with tattoo artists. I would reward myself for staying clean. Every time I got another year clean then I would get another tattoo, and then also, just ‘cause I started liking them so much and liking the way they looked on my body… It’s one of those things, like, people are, “Oh, are you addicted to tattoos?” No, I don’t call it addicted ‘cause it’s not like I really need a tattoo, or [I’m] fiending or thinking about it all the time. It’s more like, you know, it kinda just falls into place. I feel like some of them look natural with what’s already going on. This needs to be here to make this look right.
Have they been an obstacle getting hired in different places? How has that affected your experience in LA? [In] Portland it doesn’t really matter…
Oh totally, totally. Portland it’s like, sought after. They love the tattooed girls, yay. There’s specialized clubs that cater in the look, people really like it. But down there, it’s really conservative. A lot of clubs won’t hire me. I got hired, actually, at Spearmint Rhino down there. I even wore a wig ‘cause I knew that I was going to be too over the top—just hair and tattoo situation. And like, my wig flew off.
It’s cool, it was during a Motley Crüe song so it kinda worked. He (the manager) was like, “Look, I love the hair, I love the tattoos. I think you’re hot regardless. We have a lot of conservative businessmen, foreign country people. They might not get it, they might be a little scared, and if you don’t know how to work with them you might not make money here. I’ll hire you, but it’s up to you if you want to try and make money or not.” A lot of clubs, I felt like walking in the door, it just seemed like don’t even try.
Has that been weird coming from Portland where you’re a big fish?
I knew it was gonna be like that. I worked in Vegas before and it was the same way and I had less tattoos then. They were not having it there and I kinda figured that it was gonna be like that everywhere outside of Portland. I know that they like it weird here. When I lived in Texas, I didn’t have any tattoos, but I saw girls that did and they couldn’t get jobs. I know it’s like that in most places… I don’t really get to put on a show down there like I do here. I can artistically express myself in Portland, and down there—
You mean you don’t get to fuck blow-up dolls and smash television sets?
Yeah. I did a toned down version of the blow-up doll one once and they were really offended by it.
What was the toned down version?
Toned down was where I didn’t even use the strap-on and I didn’t like, um, fuck her in the ass or do anything like that. I just basically gave her a little handjob and made out with her.
Was this at Crazy Girls?
Yeah. There was a different manager at the time. The manager that is there now would probably be a little more open to it, but the other thing is the customers… I think it’s just too much for LA. They’re not really ready for that down there.
[At this point, I was just laughing.]
Then I did a toned down version of the gas mask/nun thing where I didn’t use the AK-47, I didn’t shoot people, I didn’t masturbate with the gun, and I just did the gas mask with the nun costume. And I didn’t use a rosary as anal beads. But, you know, I didn’t think they would be able to handle that and they could barely handle just the nun costume, the gas mask, and Slayer.
So you host a weekly band night or what’s the deal? You’re hosting bands at Crazy Girls?
Crazy Girls has bands Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I get up there, I tell little jokes… it’s kinda cool ‘cause I get to harp on people for not tipping. I fuck with people for that. I’m always saying stuff like, “So, you vote with your dollars here. If you wanna see us dance with the bands, you put dollars on the rack. If you don’t, then we’ll assume that you want to see the band get naked and I’ll help facilitate that.” And I start messing with the band and trying to get them to take their clothes off, and…
Has it worked yet?
No. The bands are really not about getting naked on stage.
Since you said that you want to own a strip club, what would your dream club be like? Is that confidential?
It’s somewhat confidential. I’ll just give this one hint. It’s a little bit better and cooler and more amazing than this, but: the base of the idea that I have comes from my love of the TV show Solid Gold from the seventies. My club would be based on that show pretty much, but a little different.
Highlights of living in LA so far? I saw you in the Ke$ha video…
So did the police officers in my neighborhood.
What, like they said something?
I was walking to my van and these cops, they see me in the neighborhood a lot. I always flirt with the cops ‘cause it’s on my list of things to do, to hook up with one one day. Just out of curiosity, you know. I have a pin on my jacket that says, “Fuck cops” and those officers always mess with me about it. They’re like, “What’s up with that?” I’m like, “Oh dude, the ‘I’ always rubs off.” They’re always like, “What cops have you fucked?” I’m like, “I haven’t fucked any cops. I’m looking for the right one.” They’re not bitin’ on it. I’m sure they think I’m kidding. I’m totally serious.
But anyway, they were like, “Hey, hey, where have you been, where have you been? We saw you the other day. We think it was you. You were in the Ke$ha video, right?” That’s kinda weird. ‘Cause these guys are the total, like, really buff worked out cops. They’re kinda younger, tough guys… They don’t seem like they would ever look at YouTube…
They probably saw it on MTV or something.
I don’t know where they saw it, but I thought it was cute. I still see them all the time. They’re trying to hook me up with some friend of theirs. But he’s not a cop. He’s a barber.