Soaring High Above the Rest

March 29, 2013

Interview: Josh the Terrible
Photography: Nathan Trowbridge

Soren High

Recently, I had the great pleasure of sitting down and talking with Soren High.  She’s at the top of her game and in high demand. (In fact, she was so busy the week of this interview that we had to schedule it while she was getting tattooed.)  As you read this imagine the *buzz buzz buzz* of a tattoo gun in the background…

THE BURRO: Thanks for talking to us here at Aardvark Tattoo Co. You won Stripper of the Year and Miss Exotic 2013 all within a week.  How’d you do it?

Soren High: How did I do it? I don’t even know. I’m going to say a lot of             … a lot of              helped. It’s the only thing I can really                                . Umm… I worked really, really, really hard the last three-and-a-half years to get to where I am at. And just pretty much because I wanted to be known for what I can do, and when I first started pole dancing it was all I wanted to do. And then [I saw] Cricket and Malice and Rocket—you know all these people—I’m just like, “I want to be that”, and I just forced myself into it. And then next I know everyone’s voting for me, and people are loving me, and they appreciate me and are supporting me. And it was kind of out of nowhere. I competed because I wanted to. I didn’t really compete because I wanted to win. Because you know, you don’t really think that you can win with those things, and there’s always been                          them being           

TBRight, I’ve heard about that…

SH: And when I won, people were like, “                               , because no one knew it was going to be you.” And they said the same thing about                                                                               a lot, and that’s why they believed that it was            to where she was                                                                   so much.                                                                                               at all. He actually told me that he didn’t even think that I was gonna place. So once I did my set and stuff and he realized that it was much better than it was, he was blown away. I was blown away. I was surprised that I could do that                                                                               because I was                                                                                        . When you watch the video, you notice she’s             [referring to herself]. That girl’s             . And then for stripper of the year, the same thing, I didn’t really think it was going to happen. It was a voting process. People voted online. I didn’t really have any say in it. And then the next thing I know, I’m nominated and I have to perform. And that was another night where I got                           and thanked my mom for being Stripper of the Year. I did. I thanked my mom during my speech for like 15 minutes. It feels amazing. Yeah, it does. It feels weird as hell, I’ll tell you that much.

TBRad. How’s it been since then? Has it been very different, or just kind of the next level?

SHA little bit different. People notice me a lot more. They recognize me more at bars and the club and stuff. People come in to see me and they’re all like, “Oh, I’ve seen you in a magazine,” and it’s like, oh, that’s kind of cool. Oh, and I’ve signed autographs!

TBSo tell me about dancing in general. You do pole dancing—you rock it, you kill it! Are there any other forms of dance that you’re into?

SH: I’m a hula-hoop dancer. I am Portland’s first premier nude hula-hoop dancer. I’m the first and only one. There was another one. I don’t know what happened to her. She stopped dancing, and it seems like all the hula-hoop dancers don’t stay around for very long. I’m very much loved, so I stayed around.

Soren HighTBDo you think they stay segregated; like they do the hooping scene but they don’t do the stripping scene?

SHI just think people don’t realize that they could be a stripper. It’s kind of a weird thing and it’s like my own little niche though, so I feel like people don’t want to step on my toes. There was a time where some girl came in and auditioned at                         , and she had a hula hoop with her and the DJ asked, “Are you going to audition with that?” and she said, “Yes,” and he said, “Then you can’t work here.” And she’s like “Really?” and he’s like, “Yeah, we already have a                                      and we don’t need another one.” And I don’t know if she went anywhere else.

TB: Wow. How do you feel about that?

SH: At first I was kind of like, “Huh?” and then I was like, “Aww, poor girl”.  You know, I felt kinda bad, because you shouldn’t be stunted in doing things, and you should be able to do whatever you want, you know. If you want to                          you should be able to, but…don’t                          at my club!

TB: Tell me about the sense of family in the stripping scene, because it’s very obvious to me.

SHYeah, there’s a huge sense of family—massive family—and we’re all connected and we all talk to each other. I don’t think a lot of customers or patrons realize that we talk to each other every day and, you know, we tell each other all these crazy stories. They’re very supportive girls, very loving, and caring girls. You know, you don’t really expect that. You know when you think about strippers you think of girls who do                                                  in the back sometimes. I mean that’s what you see in movies. It’s what you hear on the internet. It’s what you hear from people’s horror stories. Then when you actually go into a strip club you’ve got very loving mothers who don’t even drink, and you’ve got girls who are just trying to make it through school, and girls that friggin’ love to dance and, you know, it’s just everyone who supports each other in everything, and it doesn’t matter what it is. It’s beautiful.

Soren High - Issue #2 Cover PhotoTB: Personally, I agree. I’m very impressed by that.

SH: It’s like, when I’m having a hard time at home or whatever, and most of the time you want to go somewhere safe, and it sounds really stupid but I like to go to my job because those girls will sit there and talk to me and it doesn’t even matter if I’m working. You know, I’ll walk in and be like, “Oh my god you don’t even know what happened,” and then they’ll help me through it and I’ll go home. It’s like a support system. You don’t even need the internet for it, you just go in the club, and they’ll want to talk to you. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.

TB: So we’re focusing on censorship for our next issue, can you think of a time when you’ve had to censor yourself in your profession?

SHI              myself every day!

TBMaybe like a club promoter or an owner saying, “Please don’t do this on stage.”

SH Yeah, maybe not so much on stage, because I’m very censored as it is. I’m not a                                                 , it’s more about the beauty and how the body looks for me, so I don’t really get censored. But I get told to watch my mouth a lot because I will just say whatever I feel. But as for me, not so much, I don’t get censored very often in my job, I get censored very often in my personal life because I’m trying to promote my job. But for me that’s it, [laughs]. I’ve been blocked from Instagram for life. I’m not allowed to get on Instagram.

TB: I’ve never heard of anyone being blocked for life on Instagram.

SH: For life, yeah. Apparently it’s a three strikes you’re out kind of deal, so they blocked my account once, told me not to do it again, locked it again, told me not to do it again, locked it three times, then after that I can’t use another email address, I can’t use a different phone number, I am flat out blocked. If I went on her phone and tried to get on Instagram, I couldn’t get on it. I couldn’t even look at it.

TB: And what was it that you did? What was so offensive that they had to block you for life?

SH: Side-boob. I’m not even joking. I’m not joking guys! I mean, I’ve been blocked for…                                                             . I’ve been blocked for                         , I’ve been blocked for barely showing a             . I have had to make a whole new Facebook account for showing half of a nipple, because they blocked my account and told me I’m not allowed to use it.                                     , that’s it.

TB: That’s crazy to me, because you could show all kinds of blood and gore and violence and you know, they wouldn’t give a shit, but you show a little                         

SH: I mean I understand that someone could have a family and they’re looking at it and they see that, but most of the time it’s an artistic portrait. It’s not like a cell-phone camera, and I’m not like, “Here, look at my                         .” You know, it’s not like that. It’s a professional photo taken by a professional photographer that’s meant to be for an artistic purpose. And yet I’m still getting blocked, I’m still getting reported, and I’m still getting told that I’m being inappropriate? I’m not being inappropriate, I’m being artistic. It’s different. It’s my own body. I’m not doing anything like…I’m not shoving things inside of myself. I’m not being that kind of inappropriate.

TB: Do you think it’s important, then, to make that distinction between the art and whatever-else-it-may-be?

SH: I think it’s very important.

Soren High - Issue #2 Centerfold

TB: Do you think all nude art should be allowed free expression in this country?

SH: I do.  I definitely do, because at that point it’s beautiful. You know, it’s the human body, everyone has one. You shouldn’t keep it secret. It’s not secret, everyone has a body, we were born naked, so it just doesn’t make sense that everyone has to say, “Hide it, hide it, keep it safe.”

TB: Who do you think should get to make those rules then, like, “This is art, this is not art?” Who gets to make that call?

SH: You get to make your own call. I don’t understand why people like the FCC and whatever, they say what’s right and what’s art and what isn’t. They shouldn’t have a say in it. It’s the people that should. Heh, now I’m rambling.

TB: Okay, here’s a question, have you danced in other states, or just in Oregon?

SH: Yes, I danced in Sacramento.

TB: How was that compared to here?

SH: Horrible. Yeah, people don’t like me in Sacramento. I’m five feet tall, and apparently I look                         . I got called a                         .

TB: That’s ridiculous.

SH: No, I’m not joking. They asked me if I was a                          a lot because I’m very flat chested, and I’m covered in tattoos, and at the time I had short hair, so people were kind of confused. They were like, “ Shouldn’t you have a penis?” No, I’m not             , I promise, I’m actually a             !  So, Sacramento was hard.  Being covered in tattoos was really hard also. It was hard to find a club that would even accept me, because you could see me on the street and say, “ I’ve seen her in a club before,” and it’s unsafe. It’s a safety thing. Same thing with Vegas. I couldn’t dance in Vegas because I’m heavily tattooed, because people can recognize me.

TB: That’s so strange to me. I’m so used to it in this city. People just get to do whatever they want.

SH: Yeah, I know… That’s what I thought. I danced two nights and I was just like, “Not worth it. Not worth it at all.” They had all these weird, crazy rules, which, rules are fine, but there was like, all these weird doors to get into the lap dance room, they had to slide keys and it was just like, “Nuh uh.” Yeah, it was weird because of how the club was. It was really strange, and if you wanted to get a lap dance you go into this room and you slide a card key, and then you put in twenty dollars and then you slide another card key to get inside another room, then you put in the last ten dollars—because it’s a thirty dollar dance—and then you press a button and the light turns on and the music plays. And there’s a camera watching you, and there’s a bouncer sitting outside watching you at the same time, so it’s just fine, you’re being watched, no big deal, but there’s a six foot rule.* You can’t even touch the guy, like, at all.

TB: Wait, you have to be six feet away?

*In California, a dancer must be at least six feet away from a patron if she is nude, even for a private lap dance.  If she has a bikini on, this rule is not in effect.

SH: I can’t touch you.

TB: But you can here in Portland, right?

SH: Yeah, I can touch you all I want. I mean, not inappropriately, but I could touch you if I wanted to, though  [patrons] can’t touch us. But there [in Sacramento] I couldn’t even brush the hair out of your face if I wanted to.

Soren High as Piggly WigglySoren High as Piggly WigglySoren High as Piggly Wiggly

TB: So tell me about Piggly Wiggly. The first time I saw you, you were coming out in the pig mask and everything, and I was like, “Who the hell, what is this, what’s going on?” And it was an awesome performance!

SH: Thank you! I adore Piggly Wiggly and I talk about her as if she’s a person because she is a person. She’s my alter ego. It sounds kind of weird and creepy, but she is.  She has a whole different personality and she’s this strange little girl. From the dream came the concept, and then became her, she became real life….I don’t really understand what’s happening, and then her face starts to fall off and she pulls her face off and underneath is me. And she’s covered in blood.  She’s throwing up blood, and she falls to the ground and then I wake up….I don’t really ever have strange dreams like that, so I was kind of freaked out at first and then I felt like I needed to do something with it, so I was totally weird and went to the costume store and got all the stuff for it, and called Marcus, who’s a photographer friend of mine, and told him I wanted to do the shoot, and we did the shoot and it came to life. Suddenly, out of nowhere she had a set and she was asked to do the Philly Tattoo Convention, which is happening right now but I couldn’t go because I couldn’t afford it. But she was supposed to perform at the Philly Tattoo Convention in front of like two thousand people. The whole set is pretty much the same thing where she rips her face off and pukes blood everywhere, and it’s creepy and people get really freaked out by it!

TB: It’s super creepy! I love it!

SH: I dance with it at Union Jack’s all the time, like once a week, or two times a month.

TB:Do you want to develop that character further? What’s next for Piggly Wiggly?

SH: I’m not totally sure yet, because what I do have in my head is just flat-out fucked up! But that’s in my head, and coming up with props and coming up with other things that go with it. I just need money and resources and shows in order to work on it. It’s been a little bit since I booked a show.


Soren High Piggly Wiggly

TB:So tell me about your clothing line.

SHHidden Hand Clothing. We are a clothing line based off of exposing the Illuminati, the occult system, well, not so much the occult system but occult magic, Egyptian hermeticism, conspiracies, the JFK assassination, 9-11, all those typical things.

TB:Are those things important to you? How’d you get involved with that?

SHYes, it’s very important to me. That’s what this whole back piece is about—it’s a Masonic mermaid that found the all-seeing eye in Atlantis. It’s a very large obsession of mine. He [Chris Tews] got me really, really, really obsessed with it, and then eventually we came up with concepts and started T-shirts, and now he does most of that and I kind of promote it, do design work and photography and things along those lines.

TB:And when did that start? How long have you been doing this?

SHSeven months. This is our eighth month, actually. So, it started seven months ago, and we’ve developed a following already. We’ve got people asking us questions. We’ve gotten in trouble already with the government. We’ve had the weirdest things happen while we were doing research at Chris’ house because his family has already been targeted by the FBI. So we were doing research one day and the weirdest thing happened, it’s like everything stopped and froze, and then suddenly his computer screen, all the screens, went down, and they were going through his computer. All of our information was gone—all of it—within like a minute and a half. All the research we had done in a week was gone.

TB:That doesn’t even seem possible to me.

SH: So we all knew this was going to happen, and we all want the people to know about it, which is why we started Hidden Hand. It’s like, you guys need to know what’s happening around the world….It’s important. It’s really important for people to know what’s happening in our government, and most of us don’t know what’s happening.

TB: I love stripper stories, I seem to have heard a lot lately… Is there anything that was like, “Whoah dude, that was really out there…”

SH There was a girl who used to squirt. She was pregnant, then she had her baby and came back five weeks after she had her baby, and she would cater to guys that had pregnancy fetishes, and she would sell her milk to guys in little shot glasses or little vials and sell them for like $65 a vial. So you could sell your freakin’ milk if you wanted to. I’m trying to sell my underwear!

TB: Tell me about that real quick.

SHThat one’s real weird, I’m putting my underwear in a chicken coop, in one of those little chicken vending machines with a picture on it. They’re at Tonic Lounge, at Matador—they’re all over Portland—but Tonic Lounge and Matador are the ones I know of. There’s going to be fifteen pairs, and you can go and try and win one of my eggs with my underwear in it.

TB: There you go, you heard it here first in Playaboy Lifestyle Magazine. Go buy Soren’s underwear!

SHYou can also buy them from me on my Facebook. I’m not joking you. I’ve got enough underwear to—I could wear two pairs of underwear every day for a year and still have at least ten left over. I buy underwear like every two days just because it’s part of my job, so I have dressers full of underwear that I need to get rid of, and Goodwill is kind of a weird place to get rid of your underwear, so I might as well sell them to perverts.

TB: Fantastic!

A big thank you to Risa Stevens and Aardvark Tattoo Company for letting us interview Soren while she was getting her new mermaid tattoo on her back.
Soren High

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