Exclusive Interview W/ Wednesday Mourning (Oddities – San Francisco)
-MAD: Ms. Wednesday, it’s a pleasure to speak with you today! I’m a big fan of ODDITIES, and ODDITIES: San Francisco, of which you are a cast member. Haven’t missed an episode yet! For those who aren’t yet familiar with the show, can you please give a brief run-down of what people can expect, air time and station?
–WM: “Oddities San Francisco” follows the staff and transactions of Loved to Death, a oddity store located in the unusual Height-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. Our second season finale will air October 29th at 10 pm on the Science channel.
-MAD: You have worked at several occult/esoteric bookstores throughout your adult life. How did you become involved with the gang at LOVED TO DEATH?
–WM: I discovered the store when I first moved to San Francisco but I first met Audra when I was hired to model for her jewelry line in 2010. I live close to the store so I would stop by for visits, it just so happened that while loitering one day they needed help and viola… I was hired!
-MAD: Has there ever been anything come through the doors that was too weird or gross to take in, even for you guys?
–WM: We have a semi vagrant customer that brings in things he finds on the street, sometimes things of interest and other times not so much. One day he brought in doll to sell us and we declined stating that it was not that spooky. (It looked like your standard doll, eyes and limbs intact.) He then asked “But what if it had maggots?” he then lifts up the skirt to reveal a pile of writhing live maggots in the bloomers. Apparently he pulled this one from the trash. We declined of course and asked him to leave… with his doll. The “maggot doll” would probably be the worst thing I’ve seen.
-MAD: Back on the subject of occult/esoteric books, you recently started your own online bookstore, ORPHIC VELLUM, which specializes in this subject matter. What might people find if visiting your site, and what are your future plans for ORPHIC VELLUM?
–WM: As well as occult/esoteric books you will also find weird fiction, history, science, antiquarian horror and medical books. Pretty much everything that interests me. The subject matter will seem a little random and perhaps a bit schizo but it’s an accurate view into my brain. Regarding future plans, I’m hoping to acquire texts from 1799 and before, I have a some from the 1800’s but it would be nice to extend farther into history.
-MAD: How would you classify, if you so choose, your own spiritual belief system?
–WM: I identify as a secular humanist. To quote Wikipedia: “Secular humanism embraces human reason, ethics, social justice and philosophical naturalism, while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience or superstition as the basis of morality and decision making”. That being said I love to study religions, mythologies and various belief systems across the world. They are fascinating and the creativity of humanity knows no bounds.
-MAD: I have always been fascinated with early cultures, particularly Mesopotamian and Egyptian, pre-pyramid age. You seem to be very knowledgeable on a wide range of world mythologies and folklore, but is there any ancient culture that interests you above all others?
–WM: My interest is widespread I’d have to say that the ancient Egyptian culture is the most fascinating to me. Mostly known for their death rituals their life rituals were equally as intriguing!
-MAD: With Halloween coming up, it’s hard to imagine you doing or being anything more spooky than what you already are. Since it’s pretty much Halloween for you 365 days a year (which I applaud), is there anything special you do for the holiday or is it pretty much business as usual?
–WM: For Halloween I love to dress up totally opposite of my normal look. For example one year I told my friends that I would dress is the scariest costume I could find. I showed up dressed as Pamela Anderson complete with a pastel pink satin gown, blond wig, white fur hat, tan makeup and plastic cleavage. It was pretty scary!
-MAD: As a fashion and runway model, you have appeared in a variety of magazines including ELLE, GOTHIC BEAUTY, RUE MORGUE and several others. How did you get in to modeling and what advice might you give to young women/men out there who have a desire to model and represent more “alternative” types of lifestyles?
–WM: I was helping promote our local Goth club in San Antonio, TX in 1996 when they asked me to model for a flyer for the club night. Although apprehensive I agreed, soon local Gothic clothing designers and alt stores contacted me for work. This was before the days of the internet (as we know it now) there were very few “alt models” but the demand for them was high. I’d say this was an accidental hobby. In regards to advice for others I could write a book on that subject! Thankfully a fellow model named Lady Amaranth has already covered all the important bits in her blog located here:
-MAD: On the show, and your modeling work, you always appear in dark/gothic attire. What is “casual dress” for you? Does Wednesday Mourning ever just throw on a pair of blue jeans and a tank top to pick up something at the local Walmart?
–WM: I have not owned a pair of jeans for several decades! I do own some black cargo pants for the ultra casual and I have some girl’s tees from Nightmare T-Shirts that I wear when lazy, I model for the company so I have oodles of their stuff. So ya, black slim cargo pants and a Baphomet T-shirt might constitute my “Walmart wear”. I think there might be some Instagram photos with fans that might be evidence of this, one cannot hide anything from the internet!
-MAD: What was your favorite cartoon as a child? What is your current favorite TV show?
–WM: Hmm Thundercats perhaps? I don’t generally watch much TV but I have liked most of HBO’s series these past few years.
-MAD: Are there any charities that you endorse and would like to raise some awareness about?
–WM: When I can I donate to the various bat conversation organizations out there. I’d also like to raise awareness that more black cats (and dogs) are euthanized each year than their fairer counterparts. Perhaps due to superstition – no one is quite sure why. So I would suggest that when adopting don’t forget those black beauties that others ignore.
-MAD: Wednesday, thank you so much for your time, was definitely cool speaking with you today and I appreciate your candor! There are a dozen more questions I would have liked to have asked, but perhaps there will be another time. I wish you continued success in your career and the show. In closing, any final words you’d like to leave your readers/fans with today?
–WM: Thank you for the interview! I’d like to thank everyone for watching the show and for the support and love! Best wishes to you and yours!