Insomniac's Entertainment Director On Creating Wonderland
It's all about how to reach success in unconventional ways. You don't need to go along with the crowd when it comes to your career path. You can invent your own.
That great piece of life advice comes courtesy of Insomniac Events Entertainment Director MsEasy. Talking with MsEasy is a lot like speaking to that wise aunt you always admired when you were younger. You know, the one who came to family parties rocking eclectic outfits and wild accessories while the rest of your relatives wore sweaters and jeans.
To the other adults, she was the black sheep of the family. But to you, she was the adventurous one, the relative with an exciting life that didn't exclusively revolve around PTA meetings and soccer practice. She was the person who first made you believe you could be anything — because anything was exactly what she was.
Originally from St. Louis, MsEasy began working for Insomniac Events in 2007. It's because of people like her that the production company, which produces some of the most immersive music festivals and events in the world, has become a household name to electronic music fans across the globe.
Beyond just the music, these events feature interactive performance artists adorned in outfits so captivating they'll make you feel like you've fallen down the rabbit hole. It's MsEasy who's responsible for these jaw-dropping creations.
Last Month, Elite Daily got the chance to sit down with MsEasy to find out how the highly-sought-after costume designer and performer is able to bring Wonderland to life time and time again.
When and where was your first Electric Daisy Carnival? What Prompted you to attend?
My first show was Electric Daisy Carnival 2008 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where I worked as a performer. I was just a Southern gal performing at smaller shows until Pasquale Rotella [Insomniac's founder], discovered me and and brought me out West. I grew up dancing and quickly got into the rave scene. The club kid movement provided me with a unique platform and a creative space that I felt natural in.
How did you get into fashion and costume design? Did you always know you wanted to go this route in you career?
I've always been a creative person. My mother was a seamstress, so I was very into fashion and costume design from a young age. By the time I was a teenager, I had become very heavily involved in the rave circuit. I quickly realized the outfits I wanted to wear to these events didn't exist, so I had to create my own. I didn't foresee myself only being a designer. Dance and costuming go hand-in-hand. With the club kids it was all about performance, and the costume was as much a part of your performance as the actual dance elements were.
Your career and performance company, Team EZ Entertainment, are mainly centered around Electronic Dance Music. Was this always your preferred music genre? What other genres influenced your performance and design style?
I've loved music since I was very young. While I was always highly involved in the rave scene, I'm influenced all the way back to the goth rock, punk and industrial eras. The things people were doing back then really stuck with me. That's why I think my designs and performance styles are different. They encompass various genres of music (besides just electronic), which gives them a unique spin. The rock scene, primarily the band Siouxsie and the Banshees, had a big impact on me — especially their look.
You were previously a street dancer and worked to put yourself through dance classes. How has this education helped with your current role at Insomniac?
Learning the basic structure of dance is something that is necessary for all dancers to do. Now that I'm a dance teacher, I don't really think you can lead and teach people without them knowing the form and structure first. By learning these basics along the way, I became a better dancer in the technical aspect. I was able to apply these techniques to street-style dancing and really get everything a lot tighter. Teaching technique is unique and fun.
How do you feel the costumes you create affect the concert-goer's experience at these events?
I think all the customers are influenced in different ways. For some, the costumes and performers help to encourage their own personal style. They're inspired by the performers to create their own costumes. The colors and vibrance of the costumes combined with the performers' energy automatically put people in a good mood. People lose their inhibitions and go back to their childhood innocence. In our adult lives people have a hard time letting go. That's why they come here: to let go.
Can you tell us about the process you go through while creating a new costume design or character for an event? How far in advance do you start production?
Sometimes things are created based solely on my creative vision, while others are based off of specific themes or even special requests from Pasquale. I like to collaborate with other designers and pick their brains. I try to take all the elements around me into consideration when creating something new. The time of year, the event demographic and the location of the event all play key roles in my creative process. I always aspire to create a design I've never really seen before. It could take months to produce a set of costumes, and this doesn't even include the creative design! Everything is a character that's not just aesthetically designed — it's a character that actually lives in these worlds. Our performers actually have to read the back stories on their characters so that they become them. They're essentially actors and performers at the same time. It's very hard to be an Insomniac performer because of this.
What's your favorite costume that you've created?
The birth and creation of the EDC Clowns. My clown, Peezy, is an extension of me.
What are the greatest challenges you've faced as a costume designer and performer?
Creating costumes that breathe and move. It's really such a skill. Many designs are aesthetically pleasing but not durable to perform in for eight or 10 hours like Insomniac dancers do. By being a performer, you really understand what it is you need to design.
Do you design your clothes for everyday life or just for festivals and events?
I sometimes design my own clothing. My biggest complaint is I've been so busy designing costumes for festivals that I haven't had time to really design my own.
Is there a specific event you look forward to going to each year?
EDC Orlando. Orlando has such great energy. I've spent a lot of time in Florida as a performer so I feel at home there. The vibe at the festival really captures the old school energy of how dance music festivals used to be. It's a look at where we've come from and where we are now. I really look forward to going back there each year.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The way it affects our customers. Making memories for people means a lot to me. That's why I do what I do and so do most performers. You can really see the difference you're making in someone's experience, and they take that feeling with them to their everyday lives. It's also amazing having such an influence on the performer community. I have the ability to encourage people to be better performers and watching them grow and improve is so rewarding to me.
What advice do you have for people trying to get into this unique section of the fashion and performance industry?
Be persistent and don't give up. It's easy to get discouraged. The only ones who succeed are those who keep showing up. You also can't just talk a big game, you need to be able to back it up with talent. Get yourself into classes and get the proper training and experience. You can't compete if you don't even get on their level. Never give up.
What's next for you? Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
I like to live in the now. I can't say what the future holds. As opportunity presents itself you either take it or you don't. I don't know where I'll be in five to 10 years, but I hope it involves Insomniac.
Catch MsEasy and the rest of her performers at Electric Daisy Carnival in New York from May 14 to May 15.