Kate Nyx

the artist formerly known as hayley jane

Kate Nyx, "The Stripologist",  is a showgirl, songwriter, and seamstress from Philadelphia, PA. 

Kate Nyx is a Philadelphia-based seamstress, songwriter, and showgirl. Raised in dressing rooms and sewing studios, Kate’s life long relationship with the stage in evident in her fierce and fiery performances. Since her debut in 2008, she’s performed her bombastic brand of bump and grind all over the continental US, and is happy to share her knowledge of burlesque with anyone willing to learn. 

Though she's been performing her original music for over a decade, Kate didn't find her feisty feminist folk style until 2011. Splicing storytelling and comedy in between her soulful and sometimes sorrowful songs, her naughtily nihilistic performances have enchanted audiences around the country.

When she's not doing either of those things, she's making content for her Patreon with her luchador husband, Ophidian the Cobra, or running her costuming company, Closet Champion.

 
 

From the Desk of Kate Nyx

What care I for human hearts, soft and spiritless as porridge. A faerie’s heart beats fierce and free!
— Oona, LEGEND [1985]

I can tell you without a single shred of irony that I owe my entire performance career to the 2001 comic-book-to-movie adaptation of "Josie and the Pussycats" starring Rachael Leigh Cook. I'd gone to acting camp and commercial acting classes and been in school plays, but it wasn't until I saw that movie that I actively considered pursuing a career in performance. My sixth grade school picture features me in cat ears I made myself from leopard print corduroy and a white t-shirt with a purple glitter guitar and the word "ROCK!" printed on it. It was the beginning of the end. Dujour meant finally letting my dad teach me how to play guitar.

My dad and I had been writing songs together since my parents divorce a few years earlier. He'd bought me a little Yamaha keyboard with programmable chords and we wrote songs about my friends. I have particularly fond memories of "Geigi Dance Tonight at 12", a song I wrote about my friend's little sister Becky, who we called Geigi for some reason, and "Cockatoos at Daylighted Nighttime", another weird song that was kind of a love song but not because I was an awkward elementary schooler whose only concept of romantic love was Backstreet Boys and Garth Brooks lyrics, so it was mainly about birds.

By 14, I was a full-time weirdo art nerd, complete with a job at the Renaissance faire and about 9 original songs which my mom bought me recording time to preserve; perhaps one of the best Christmas presents ever given. I burned a couple copies, convinced my boyfriend at the time to sneak one of them on the announcements, and wore a shirt that said "BUY MY CD"; "To My Sisters..." sold for $2 a disc and featured my signature scrawled in sharpie across it in whatever color matched the slim jewel case.

From sophomore to senior year of high school, I left public school for an online charter academy that featured a performance and fine art program, wherein it was decided that I would at some point go to college for acting and end up on Broadway or in film. I kept writing music, mainly about my online boyfriend who I'd met through a Harry Potter chatroom. During our tumultuous and melodramatic relationship, he purchased me Dita Von Teese’s book “Burlesque and the Art of the Teese”, which started my path towards becoming a stripteuse. Burlesque was everything I loved. It had glamorous costumes, theatrics, comedy, and it was all wrapped up in something I very much wanted and had no idea how to cultivate; sexuality. I spent ages 16-18 scoring the internet for whatever information I could to develop my burlesque persona. Burlesque styled costumes began to creep their way into my stage wardrobe for my music. Around this time, I released my first record, “soliloquy”, in a genre I had named “steampunk burlesque.” [It had nothing to do with either steampunk or burlesque.]

After high school, instead of taking my acting scholarships and pursuing a brilliant career in theatre, I moved to Detroit.

In my 4 years in Detroit, a lot happened; I made my burlesque debut two months after my 18th birthday, I costumed, starred in, and helped write and direct a successful vaudeville reimagining of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, I lived on the grounds of Theatre Bizarre, a party venue that consisted of about 10 lots of Detroit ghetto converted into an undead circus fairgrounds from the 1930s, I went on my first national tour performing burlesque and music with the Squidling Brothers Circus Sideshow, and I was in an extremely volatile relationship that fueled my second record, "idiot child," released in November 2011.

Soon after the release of “idiot child”, I packed my life into my Dodge Caravan and went on the road. For the next 5 months, I stayed in friends' houses, performed when I could, and lived the kind of bohemian life that I'd hoped would make a good memoir, but mainly made me very cold because it was winter in the midwest. In March 2012, I settled on my friend's farm on the outskirts of Philly, got a job at a local strip club, and began infiltrating the Philly performance scene. I performed burlesque mainly, and my friend Liberty Rose and I started a company together: Broad St. Burlesque, producing a slew of dynamic weirdo events in the city of Brotherly Love, including but not limited to Super Sentai Striptease Show, You Can't Do That in Burlesque, and The Founding Follies.

Basically, dear reader, I do, have done, and am a lot of different things. Mostly, I am glad you are here.

-Kate