Award-winning feature entertainer Natasha Nova is known for her elaborate costumes. With Halloween just a few days away, we figured there’d be no better person to talk about everyone’s favorite dress-up holiday. Plus, she did a horror-themed photo shoot—a “Halloween Exclusive”—which we think is freaking awesome!
For a feature who has become synonymous with her costumes—from Snow White to a seductive bellhop to Captain America—it makes sense that her creativity is in the genes.
“When I was a kid we never bought costumes, we always made them,” recalls the ED’s 2018 Entertainer of the Year and multi-EDI-contest winner. “I remember (and even have pictures of) when my mom made me this ridiculous tarantula costume. She put me in a trash bag with the head cut out in arms cut out and stuffed it full of newspaper and tied it off under my butt to make the body and then she stuffed newspaper and black pantyhose and made me six legs and attached them to my arm with fishing wire so they moved as I moved! I definitely got my creativity from my mom.”
We caught up with Natasha between bookings (because she’s ALWAYS between bookings) to find out what her favorite Halloween costume was, what she considers the best feature contest she’s ever seen, and what she’d do if she was asked to “take it off” at a Halloween party!
ED: Where does Halloween fall on your list of favorite holidays?
NOVA: It’s my absolute favorite! I mean obviously I love costumes.
ED: What’s the most excited you’ve been for an “adult” costume?
NOVA: Honestly, as an adult the costume I loved the most was a skin-tight Star Trek uniform. I have this birthmark on the side of my neck and when I was a little girl, I used to think it looked like the markings on “Jadzia Dax,” who is an alien from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” So for Halloween, I used eyeliner and extended the birthmark on my neck to my forehead like in Star Trek. It went over so well.
ED: You heavily invest in the costumes for your routines, so I’m curious how you go about selecting a costume for a show? Do you have a checklist, is it fan feedback?
NOVA: Originally, I was just getting costumes I thought would be cool or pretty kind of willy-nilly. I’d think of a cool idea and order a costume. Then I realized I was putting myself in a predicament! One of my most memorable shows is the bellhop. I sat on that for an entire year before I actually performed it. I thought it was going to be such a cute costume and it was, but then I totally blanked with coming up with any good music to it. Now I try to be inspired by music first and create a costume from that. I definitely also ask my fans, though, when I’m looking for something new.
ED: Can you go to a Halloween party in peace, or will someone ask for an impromptu show?
NOVA: I wish they’d asked me for an impromptu show! I’m always ready to get down.
ED: How does it feel to be one of the entertainers at the top of the profession? What keeps you motivated when you’re bumping and bruising yourself during practice?
NOVA: It’s a really weird place to be. I can look at my schedule and accomplishments and see that I’m doing well, but I still don’t feel and don’t know if I ever will feel like I’m at the ‘top.’ It was very surreal being ED’s 2018 Entertainer of the Year. It’s funny, girls come to me and ask me for help and I love helping them and I realize every once in a while they’re coming to me because they look up to me and it’s such a strange feeling. I’m not sure I’ll ever really be able to see what other people see. But I love what I do. I wake up every day hungry for more. I get rebooked at clubs and I want to be able to bring them something new every time I come. So I’m constantly trying new things and learning new skills. I’m also so inspired by my peers. The other features in this industry are out there killing it, too.
ED: What’s the best costume you’ve seen someone else—entertainer or otherwise—pull off?
NOVA: Best costume ever? Man. My first reaction is Christina Aguchi’s “Iron Man” but have you seen Janine Jericho’s Bumblebee (from the “Transformers” film series)?! I think it’s a tie.
NOVA: I’ll be in Vanity in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 25-26. And for Halloween, I think I might be home this year!