Boylesque and Beauties: Stoo Metz

It all starts with a dream, a desire, a deep yearning to success. Or perhaps it starts with a dashing a chapeau. Whatever the case, the Halifax scene is a better place because of one man's desire to wear a hat. Double-threat artist Stoo Metz hits both sides of hot as both a pin-up photographer and boylesque performer.

Sexlife Canada chatted with Stoo about how he captures sexy images and presents one himself.

SLC: How did you get into pin up photography?
SM: I think it started with me just wanting to own a fedora, then when I was in high school, I saw the movie Swing Kids and was hooked on swing dancing. I started a Swing Dancing club and we ended up on the stage of the local Imperial Theatre in 1999. When I moved to Halifax, I got to see a Pink Velvet Burlesque show in 2006, and I was hooked. I slowly became friends with the troupe leader Cadence MacMichael, and I can honestly say she was and has been the biggest influence in my love of Pin-Up era. She eats, sleeps, and breathes it everyday and so when breaking into Pin-Up, she was always available whenever I had a question about poses or makeup or hair. In 2010, I became Manager of Aperture Studios, and immediately I began to follow my dream of becoming a Pin-Up photographer.

SLC: What do you love about 'the tease?'
SM: I love the tease, because the tease always keeps your attention, it doesn't give it all away, its not just ‘bam’ and its over. The tease holds your interest, keeps you in the moment, makes you wonder what more ‘could’ be behind those clothes. Pushing you to think those dirty thoughts without using a dirty photo.

SLC: Would you ever want to shoot more overtly sexual content, ie. porn?
SM: I've never shot porn, its not something I'm afraid of shooting, just never had the opportunity. I enjoy porn, I think it'd be an exciting and fun shoot should it ever come my way.

SLC: Who are your photographic inspirations?
SM: American photographer Robert Alvarado has been the biggest influence for me Pin-Up wise. His style of an all white or one color background combined with a very sexy model led me to create my photos with a neutral background so that all the focus is all on the model, rather then background objects. My editing style is also heavily-influenced by him. I did a photo a few months back that was inspired by one of his, I posted it on my model mayhem and was pleased that the very first comment on it was Robert Alvarado himself saying the photo was "very nice!"
    Locally, I draw inspiration from 2 favorites. The first being Steve Richard. Steve is, in my opinion, the best photographer in Halifax. His style of artistic nude is unmatched. His ability to capture the female form in such an elegant and beautiful way heavily influences the way I photograph my models. "Build the photo on the shoot, rather than in Photoshop" has been the key advice I've received from my talks with Steve. The second being my boss at the Studio, Brian Larter. Brian is incredibly well respected in the Halifax Photography community. I have been a fan of Brian's photography since 2006. Many of my favorite photos were from his Dark Carnivale series. I can honestly say I owe a great deal of my photography knowledge to Brian. He sold me his old Canon 40D and it has been my camera ever since. Watching Brian's technique in the studio, his rapport with his models, and his ability to go from an idea to a final product is inspiring.

SLC: What would be your ideal photoshoot?
SM: You'd think I'd pick someone famous like shooting 2010 Queen of Burlesque Roxi Dlite, which is definately a dream of mine. But to be honest, my ideal shoot is shooting a brand new model, helping mould them and shape them, teaching poses and expressions. There is honestly nothing like being the photographer for a model's first shoot, with all the awkwardness and unsure ability. And then shooting them again a year later and they now know the right poses/expressions to go for. A great example would be my Muse Kyla Nicole. Kyla and I started out in the business together. If you look at my early photo career shots, you will see a lot of her. Kyla started out with a small understanding but still not 100%, now a year later and well you judge for yourselves with this photo.

SLC: How did you get into performing boylesque?
SM: It all started back in 2006 at Pink Velvet Burlesque's Halloween Show, Black Stocking Theater. I was having a horrible night, a gal stood me up to my face and went and sat with some other guy. I was gonna leave, but my friends who were there forced me to come sit with them. The show went on, and I was so blown away. I had so much respect for all the gals, the strength, the power, the confidence. I was talking about that show for weeks. I never missed a show after that, it became something that my friend Janette and I did together for fun. But that night at the show in 2006, I said to myself, someday I'm gonna be friends with these ladies. And someday instead of just being a fan, I'm gonna perform with them.
    A few years later, after becoming acquaintances with troupe leader Cadence MacMichael through Facebook, I began asking if I could volunteer to help the show. I began simply by postering, then working the spotlight, helping assemble the stage and setup chairs. I would do anything just to be a part of the show. Now, in 2011, at their 5th Anniversary Show, I got to guest in an act with one of my favorite burlesque performers, KayLicious! I picked my stage name Buster Price (Buster from watching Buster Keating with my Dad growing up and Price from my love of Vincent Price) and finally busted my burlesque cherry performing an act called "Sheep Dreams." That moment I had in 2006 came full circle that night, as the gals welcomed me into the Pink Velvet Family.
    In May the Rouge Fatale brought back Velvet Rope Boylesque and I joined that troupe as well, we did our first show on May 29th and it was a packed house! I did an act called "Sinful Sunday School" and I needed a gal to be a devil in the act with me, and wouldn't you know it, Cadence MacMichael aka The Divine Miss C, my favorite burlesque performer, took on that role and guested in my act. You can't imagine what it felt like to have someone who you have been a fan of as a performer and had so much respect for as a friend performing with you onstage. It was a real thrill.

SLC: What is your performance style?
SM: Eventually I want Buster Price to be more of a classic Burlesque style with slapstick style comedy. Living up to a more Buster Keating feel. But for now, until I have earned my stage stripes, I'm doing a little of everything. I have some acts that are funny, some that are sexy and some that can be just a straight up strip. I love making people laugh, that part of Buster Price will never change.

SLC: How are you received by audiences, when performing on shows with women burlesque performers?
SM: To be honest, I really don't notice a difference, the crowd still goes completely nuts for me whether I'm be performing with the mostly gal troupe Pink Velvet Burlesque or the mostly boy troupe The Velvet Rope Boylesque. I think it’s more about the audience being entertained than gender they are watching, and I do my best to entertain them.

SLC: What projects to you have on the go and what are you future plans?
SM: Well I just finished The World Naked Bike Ride-Halifax, which was over 125 naked cyclists riding through the city to help bring awareness to bicycle safety on the roads with cars. Last Sunday I competed in the Halifax Strip Search for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to perform at the Toronto Burlesque Festival. The girls of Pink Velvet Burlesque and I are fundraising, doing bake sales, ice cream socials, pancake breakfasts, and burlesque yard sales/workshops for next month to raise money for our trip to the Toronto Burlesque Festival in July. I've been hired as the one of the photographers for the upcoming TDCanadaTrust Halifax Jazz Festival, and I'm slowly compiling a Pin-Up Book tht I hope to release this fall for the Christmas season. I'm working with fellow radio personality Floyd of Live105 to do the announcing for the local Halifax Roller Derby. Rather stay busy than bored, I always say. Cheers and happy fucking!