Briefly introduce yourself/your company…
Hi, I’m Kyrst Hogan, also known as Burgundy Brixx. I’m an actress, a singer, a dancer and a burlesque artist. In May of 2021, I was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
I moved to Vancouver from New York City in 2007 with my husband, Doug. During my time in NYC, I worked as a singer/dancer for The Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular in numerous cities, a singer for Norwegian Cruise lines and more. Since then, I’ve produced numerous cabaret-variety shows including running a local weekly burlesque show called Kitty Nights for eight years. Now, as Brixxhouse Arts, I perform and produce musical entertainment with my husband as well as theatrical and cabaret shows. This is my most recent project and is constantly evolving as my cancer journey also evolves.
What is it that makes your work/company unique?
I’ve always been interested in outsider arts, since most of the work within my artistic practice is not of the type that’s traditionally funded by grants or government arts programs. I maintain that creative expression through the arts should be available to everyone, not just the artistic elite. Performance is cathartic for me. I call myself an artistic alchemist; always trying to take my personal experiences of adversity and spin them into artistic gold. So when I was diagnosed with cancer, I began blogging about my experiences to keep my friends and family updated, with the intention of creating a stage show from my writings. I applied for the Fringe lottery not knowing how my cancer journey would pan out, but knowing that this creative outlet would be essential to my healing process. When I won a spot, I knew that the universe had spoken.
What kind of experience do you hope audiences will have during your show?
As so many people deal with cancer, either personally or through a loved one, I hope to de-mystify the experience and allow us all to laugh at our imperfect humanity and celebrate our amazing resilience.
Without spoilers, tell us what you think audiences will remember most about your show?
I think most people will leave The C-Word remembering either a very explosive moment of human comedy, or an uplifting feeling of self-acceptance. Or both!
What do you think is the best thing about the Fringe?
I love the access to the arts world which The Fringe provides. The ability to commiserate with fellow artists across the Fringe platform as well as the opportunity of getting new work out there to new audiences whom you may not reach with other methods.
What is the most important thing you hope audiences will take away from your show?
I hope people will go away with a feeling that we all have a shared experience together on this earth with many forks in the road. The sense that humans were never meant to be perfect and that our imperfections should be bathed in light rather than hidden away in darkness.