Rubyyy Jones interview

10 Nov

We’ve got a treat for you guys: the first Yellow Bunting podcast! And what a podcast it is as a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to interview the very talented and very wonderful Rubyyy Jones in her shop in Camden Market. The result? A hilarious, insightful and opinionated interview full of feminism, inspiration, dirty talk and sex! So, read on for extracts from the interview, or hit play and listen to the whole thing.

YB: So Rubyyy Jones, tell us a little bit about yourself!

RJ: Oh hello, I’m Rubyyy with 3 y’s Jones and I’m a performer, writer, muse from Canada, I’ve been living in London for 5½ years. I’ve got a shop in Camden market, we’re in Camden market today and performance-wise, I do theatre, voiceover, burlesque and cabaret and writing-wise I have a blog and I write for different websites around the world about sex, burlesque and feminism and I’m a muse as well, I work with different artists internationally in oil, charcoal and photography.

YB: Can you talk us through why you have three y’s at the end of your name?

RJ: OK, I’ve got three y’s at the end of my name for a few different reasons, I first started writing under a blog called ‘Almost Annonymous’ which was me developing Rubyyy without her having a name or necessarily having a real identity and so as I was writing I just had this cycle of three’s just kept coming up in my style whether that was in phrasing or in lettering or whatever it just kept coming up. Rubyyy I really did discover a while I was maybe 13, I just kind of identified that I had these three different sides of my personality and that all of them had names that started with ‘R’, so there’s that three there. There’s three in my writing, I have a lot of questions, so it’s ‘why, why why?’ and I do feel like I have this kind of hyper masculine thing, it’s funny cause I think a lot of people think of me as being quite feminine but I think that’s actually my masculinity coming through, so that’s like kind of extra y chromosome in there as well.

YB: So you said you write about feminism, is there anything else your write about?

RJ: I write about sex, I would I’m a sex and spirit educator. I’m not an expert but I’m someone who likes to try things, likes to learn about things and I like to share my experiences and sometimes that me just saying ‘I don’t know what I’m doing with this’ or just being honest about not knowing things. I did a residency at Wotever Sex which was part of the Hot August Fringe and the series was called ‘Rubyyy Jones Learns’ because I was just saying every week, right away ‘I’m not an expert at anything, I don’t ever wanna be, but I’m someone who’s learning and we can all learn from each other so this is what I’m learning, this is what I know’.

YB: Who would you say inspires you?

RJ: My mom is a massive, massive inspiration for me; Dirty Martini is my major burlesque inspiration; Julia Atlas Muz is a big burlesque inspiration for me; Marina Abramović who is a performance artist. I really love older women and looking at older women and seeing where they’re at so like Anjelica Huston or Glenn Close or even Meryl. I love Meryl but she’s got enough people fawning over her so! But I really like to look at these women who’ve gone through the feminist movement and come out the other side; what are they doing now? How are they working as artists? There’s a Mexican performance artist whose name I am totally forgetting right now, I’ve only seen her videos online, I’ve never seen her perform live cause she’s mostly in South America. She is a singer, but she’s so burlesque it’s insane and her costumes are just these massive statements; she uses a lot of Catholic, religious icons and she’s got one that’s red velvet dress that’s covered in sacred hearts, massive ones, probably the size of her head, but four or five dozen all over this dress and it’s just so amazing. She was doing Gaga before Gaga was even born. I’m constantly inspired by women. I’m inspired by men too, less so at the moment, I’d like to meet some more inspiring men.

where else can you get a blinged up ukulele?!

YB: Do you have a philosophy in life?

RJ: Save Rubyyy Jones. That’s my philosophy, that’s my manifesto. Kind of like my name I think it’s something I’m still understanding a little bit. But what I’ve come to understand is that Rubyyy Jones is my say, inner-child, my creative expression and everybody has that and one thing I realised was I was so unhappy in myself when I didn’t have Rubyyy Jones, when she wasn’t happy, when she wasn’t doing what she wanted to do and what she loves to do, so Save Rubyyy Jones comes from that; about cultivating your emotional and artistic sides, your inner-child and I would really like to help other people Save their Rubyyy Jones.

YB: We could try and create a national campaign!

RJ: I do tagging, on the Tube and on the streets and wherever. I love graffiti and I love street art, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Jean-Michel is actually someone I’m super inspired by, there’s a man! I just loved how he had this whole campaign SAMO before he became Jean-Michel this amazing fine artist he was down in Brooklyn just tagging shit and I love that. Gilbert and George! Also a major inspiration, there we go; they’re all coming in now. Love them and they live for street art, because that’s where it’s at, I love things that are bubbling up, I like how much it is so obviously the collective consciousness of everybody just happening. All those things are rolled into one.

YB: Would you say you’ve made any mistakes?

RJ: Oh yeah, I’m sure I have I think making mistakes and ‘failing’ is really important, especially as performers. I’ve learned the most when I’ve ‘failed’ and I think there’s a real freedom in being willing to fail, especially live in front of an audience! Otherwise I think there’s been some changes in my blog over the years like learning, originally as I said I was anonymous there was no any of me attached to it and I really only shared it with a few people I knew personally and I didn’t know even when I expanded it into Rubyyy Jones world that I even had followers, I didn’t allow comments, I didn’t check stats I didn’t do anything like that. I didn’t know anyone was reading it, but when it transferred into Rubyyy and there was me attached to it, people I was in relationships with at the time, I wouldn’t say was a mistake but I would definitely say I learned how much I wanted to be sharing about my own life but more about my life with other people, because I think I have in the past hurt some people’s feelings, I know I’ve hurt people’s feelings in the past and I always apologise and that’s never something I would do maliciously but I guess that’s a mistake I have made. Other than that I think I’m doing pretty damn good.

YB: Well they always say you learn from your mistakes, I do.

RJ: You do, you really do. And I honestly believe as a performer it is essential to fail regularly. I do this act called ‘I Wanna Be’ and it’s a singing strip, I sing ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ but I never say ‘loved’ so it’s really raunchy and I put different orgasms and fisting and crazy things in there, it’s kind of escalated and it’s gone on! I can do a corporate version as well but they’re boring and I don’t want to. The second time I did the performance my dress broke onstage, but really, really broke! This dress has broken twice now onstage but this was the second time I performed it and it forced me to really focus on the acting side of it, focus less on the strip side of it, less on the singy side of it, less on being just generally likeable, I had to win these people over because I just had to, I also had to try and make it work, luckily I had a microphone in front of me and that really helps when fuck ups happen. I learned so much from that and actually that act I think the third time I was at the Erotic Awards which is this super sexy, kinky event and I wasn’t super sexy and kinky really at the time. I just kind of walked in and saw all this stuff and just was like ‘oh my god, I can’t bring my little cute song in here!’ so I was like ‘I’m gonna do it like this!’ and I did it like a super raunchy version, I realised from those two performances the importance of really changing the specific in my expressions but also how important the juxtaposition of the cute ‘I wanna be!’ into the really raunchy works because when you’re raunchy the whole time, it’s like ‘whoa that’s just raunchy’ and it’s a bit in your face, but it’s more in your face when it’s all cute, cute, cute, cute punch in the face!

YB: What would you say your favourite thing about performing is?

RJ: Oooooh my favourite thing about performing. I don’t know, it’s hard to say but I just really like to play and I really just like to have fun. I’m really craving characters at the minutes, its been a long time since I did a theatre piece and as much as Rubyyy Jones is a character I’m really excited to do Rubyyy Jones playing characters, if that makes sense. I don’t know, it’s just who I am. They used to say to you in theatre school, ‘if you don’t need to be a performer just get out’ and I was like ‘wank, wank, who needs to be a performer?’ And a few years on, I do, I’d rather live on the street and perform in a park then get a job in a bank.

YB: Do you think it’s important for people to be in touch with their sexuality?

RJ: I think it is intrinsic, I think it is so, so important because everyone has a sexuality and even if that is a sexuality, everyone has a sexual identity, a sexuality, a sexual personality and there’s certain things in this life as far as being human beings that we’ll all do and going into our sexuality is one of those few things. There’s so many things going on in the world like rape camps and people getting their clits cut out and just crazy shit but when I meet women who are first world women, western women and they don’t know how to have an orgasm, I kinda feel like it’s just the same amount of tragedy. Obviously it’s not, but if we had a western world were women were all empowered sexually and men were all empowered sexually, those things would not be happening. Those things are happening because we don’t value our sexuality, we don’t see the power in our sexuality and we don’t see the importance of our sexuality and therefore we’re not seeing the absolute, heart wrenching, soul destroying atrocities, we’re not getting them, we’re not understanding it on the levels we need to get it. I think it’s incredibly important and I don’t think you are who you are until your work within your own sexuality and I think it has to be with yourself first. So yeah, really important.

YB: So you are a feminist, why are you a feminist?

RJ: I am a feminist because I believe I am an individual who deserves equal rights and freedom whatever my gender may be, I think I’m also a feminist because I’m not intimidated or afraid of feminine power and I don’t think that’s gender specific at all, I think feminist, feminism, feminine side, all of that is gender inclusive. I would say I’ve come to my feminism a little bit later as well, why am I a feminist, why is being a feminist important to me? It’s like why do I do feminism? I think everyone needs to ask themselves those questions, I think I need to think about it a little bit more myself but I’m a feminist because it’s important to be. And when I meet young men and women who are like ‘oh, I’m not a feminist because of this’ I’m like, well as Caitlin Moran said ‘if you aren’t a feminist, give the older relation or your husband or whoever your money and everything and forget about voting, forget about having a choice and forget about all these things,’ like fuck that you’re a feminist. If you want your own money, you want to be able to vote, you want control over your body, if you want a choice about how you live your life, you’re a feminist, that’s it.

YB: End of.

RJ: End of!

YB: I loved her book.

RJ: Oh my god I loved her book! I cried, laughed, I think I read it 3 times.

YB: It was wonderful!So you mentioned earlier about shaving and not shaving, what made you decide to stop shaving?

RJ: The same guy who came up with the naked wrestling, he has a love of hairy women and he was telling me about this website called hippygoddes.com or something and he was showing it to me and I was like ‘oh my god!’ people with bushes up to their belly button, I cannot even make that bush happen! It was his birthday coming up and I thought, I’ll let it go a little bit, see how it goes. But then as it was going on I was like, ‘I don’t actually know how I like my body hair’. I have just been shaving and doing this stuff all along because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do, not because I wanted to but because it’s what everybody does, or what I thought I should do. And I hate the word ‘should’. Hate it! Especially in my own life. So I had this little experimental time where I thought ‘maybe I’ll shave this and see how I feel’ and I was in a costume fitting and trying on the amazing ball gown I had designed and I was standing there and I just put my arm above my head and at that time I did have fuller armpit hair and the juxtaposition of the body hair and the ball gown and the make up and the glamour, I just loved it!

Burlique family portrait! [l-r: Rubyyy Jones, Mr Mistress, Miss Cairo Mascara

YB: And now, for the lightning round!

RJ: Dun dun dun!

YB: Beatles or Stones?

RJ: Beatles!

YB: Vodka or gin?

RJ: Gin.

YB: Slushies or milkshakes?

RJ: Slushies.

YB: Gin slushies or normal slushies?

RJ: Gin slushies!

YB: Cats or dogs?

RJ:  Ohhh, cats right now. I love both, I love both! I actually love both, that’s a really hard one.

YB: City or countryside?

RJ: City.

YB: What would you rather be hit in the face with: a loaf of bread or some candyfloss?

RJ: Candyfloss!

YB: Do you believe that the truth is out there?

RJ: I sure do.

YB: Song of the moment?

RJ: I don’t know why but Believe by Cher just came into my head, I haven’t listened to that in ages!

YB: What was the last film you saw?

RJ: The last film I saw…Oh, I watched the Witches of Eastwick at the weekend, it’s one of my favourite films, I watch it once a month!

YB: You’re throwing a party, who’s invited?

RJ: Obviously my drag queens will be there, Aurora Galore, she’s my duo partner in burlesque, I absolutely love her and honestly, anyone who wants to come. You can come if you bring a snack and something for everyone to drink, it’s a sharing party!

YB: You’re on Come Dine With Me, what do you serve?

RJ: I would make a lovely salad to start; something with goats’ cheese and walnuts, I love a good salad. For my main course I think I’d do a seared tuna steak, with some sort of salad on the side. Dessert, I don’t know, I love dessert but not in a meal, if that makes sense. We weren’t a dessert family, but crème brûlée’s a big fav for me, really well roasted on the top. Or a chocolate salted something, I love the combination of chocolate and salt. The best actually is chocolate, caramel and salt, so delicious!

YB: Well, that concludes our interview, thank you Rubyyy Jones for being of the first ever, Yellow Bunting podcast!

RJ: Such a pleasure, thank you for having me!

You can find the delightful Rubyyy Jones on her website, twitter, tumblr and in real life at her shop, Burlique, situated in the Stables Market, Camden opposite Proud Camden.
We’re also very happy to announce that she’s Yellow Bunting’s brand new writer/Agony Aunt!

About the writer: Daisy is an irregular photographer, wannabe writer and full time female. In between tea and toast breaks she spends far too much time on the internet blogging, tumbling and tweeting. She is unapologetic in her love of the Spice Girls.

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