Vanessa de Largie

by Arthur Graham on November 30, 2017

Vanessa de Largie is an Australian artist who divides her time between London and Melbourne. She’s an award-winning actress and author. She’s also a prolific sex-columnist, journalist and blogger. Vanessa’s work primarily focuses on fierce female sexuality and issues that affect women.

Since February 2017, Vanessa has been the monthly sex-columnist for Maxim Magazine’s print issue. 

She recently returned to Melbourne after training at The London Actors  Centre  for 6 months.  

Full bio, articles, gallery and more at www.vanessadelargie.net

Photo credit: Nicola Cocco

 

HST: Vanessa de Largie — poet, model, journalist, actress… You’ve worn (and continue to wear) many hats over the course of your career, but if you could identify one unifying theme in your broad body of work, what would you say it’s been tying things all together?

VdL: The one unifying theme? To be free… One feels enslaved in this ‘politically correct’ world. In my work, I attempt to free myself from societal repression and oppression. I’m trying to loosen the chains. For me, creativity is a way of coping. It’s a rebellion against the system.

HST: For all the good intentions of PC culture and the problems it seeks to address, the pendulum really does seem to have swung, infringing on freedom of speech and expression to an often absurd degree. Can you give us an example of how this has personally affected you?

VdL: As a journalist particularly, unless you stick to the ‘PC narrative’ that the media pushes — you’ll be silenced.  And I know this because I’ve experienced it firsthand.  Many of the columns I write each week, don’t see the light of day — because I can’t sell them anywhere.  

It’s scary to contemplate how much power a small handful of newspaper editors have.  And they don’t suffer, they’re on a salary.  It’s the freelance journo who suffers because it affects their livelihood.  I wrote a controversial column last year which I speak about below.   It resulted in three editors from three major media publications to stop publishing my work.  

I make $300 a column.  So let’s say on average, I sold ONE column to each of those THREE editors a month.  Hypothetically they’ve reduced my monthly earning capacity as a journalist by $900.  That’s a lot of money for an artist!

But what would be worse?  Toning down my voice or twisting my beliefs in order to sell columns.  I’m an authentic person.  I may be poor (haha).  But I write my truth.

HST: Working as a woman and a sex-positive feminist in the public eye, what have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to face?

VdL: Ironically, it’s my own gender that cause me the most grief. My brand of ‘fierce’ female sexuality doesn’t sit well with many women — it makes them feel uncomfortable. But causing discomfort is positive. It suggests that you are stirring something within them and challenging their beliefs.

The biggest challenges I’ve faced in the public eye? In October 2016, I wrote a controversial column about Kim Kardashian which landed me in hot soup. I found myself splashed across the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine and The Guardian. For three months I was trolled and cyber-bullied by packs of women who identified as feminists. The hypocrisy!

To say that experience was ‘full on’ would be the understatement of the century. That bumpy journey coupled with the excessive man-hating that exists in society has forced me to detach from the ‘feminist’ movement. I feel at peace with my decision.

HST: If one of the underlying tenets of feminism is allowing women their agency, then yes, it does seem rather odd, “feminists” telling other women what they can (and cannot) do. Isn’t this what happens with most social movements, though? Undermined by the fervor of their more extreme elements?

VdL:  Exactly! Because any movement or group that begins to wield immeasurable power (like radical feminism) is a dangerous fucking entity!

HST: Earlier this year, Facebook deleted your fan page following an onslaught of what was vaguely referred to as “negative feedback.” What happened there, and what was the resolution?

VdL: It took me years to build that Facebook fan page. I was devastated when it was taken from me. All my hard work, gone in a flash! I lost ten kilos due to the stress. It’s been five months now. I’ve moved on.

HST: Putting its questionable use of personal data and arbitrary rule enforcement aside, there is no shortage of good arguments for jettisoning Facebook from one’s life. As an artist, what are some of the alternative avenues you’ve found towards self promotion?

VdL:  Do you know what? If I was just an actress and that was my sole profession, I wouldn’t bother with social media at all. The worst part about journalism is that it requires you to be part of the conversation.  And unfortunately, a lot of the conversation happens on social media. I hate scrolling and swiping. I deactivate my social media channels often because they’re not good for my mental health. And it does affect your productivity as an artist.

I think in 2018, I will attempt to use different tools for promotion. Perhaps an email newsletter, Goodreads and online advertising.  Surely there’s got to be a better way than Facebook and Twitter?  Those sites do my head in!

HST: Your one-woman show, ‘Every Orgasm I Have Is A Show Of Defiance To My Rapist’, premiered on London’s West End this past April. Please tell us about the experience, and how it was received.

VdL: If a psychic had told me before I left for the UK that only a month later I would be performing a one-woman show on the West End of London, I would have considered them a dud. But fact is stranger than fiction.

Performing such a deeply personal show in such a venue was indescribable. I mean, it’s every actor’s dream to perform on the West End. And finally at 40, I’ve done it!

HST: That’s not the only accomplishment you’ve finally achieved! Is it true you’ve made the cover of HST Quarterly?

VdL:  YES!!! The winter 2018 issue. I’m so stoked. I’m a huge fan of HST and the platform it’s given to artists. I consider it a privilege to be on the cover of HST Quarterly.

HST: What’s next for Vanessa de Largie?

VdL:  World domination?  Nup.  

Well I didn’t really want to leave London and return to Australia. But I ran out of money and you can’t survive in the world’s most expensive city without cabbage! So, I’m home in Melbourne now and planning to return to London in March 2018.

HST: Thank you for your time, Vanessa. We’ll let you have the last word.

VdL:  Last word?  Hmm.  Let me think. What should a ferocious cocksucker’s last word be?  Oh I’ve got it…

FELLATIO.

HST: We’ll take it.

www.vanessadelargie.net

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