Hey, even before we leave for FetishCon soon, we've already made a worthy friend with this model living nearby... ah, the joys of on line networking!
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background, upbringing, etc.?
Well originally I'm from the Midwest and grew up in what I would consider just your typical blue collar household. I was pretty much the weird kid in class with very few friends growing up and though I didnít appreciate being different as a kid I sure as hell do now. It helped me to develop and hone a strong sense of creativity, self and humor.
2) What got you interested in alternative photography and when did you actually started modeling?
I started doing this about a year back but in all honestly I donít count the first half because I didnít really do a lot except a few TF and some events. It wasnít until the advent of this new year that I took it more seriously and Hannya took the gloves off in her approach. It became apparent to myself that this was something I deep down genuinely love to do and by god if I was gonna do it I was gonna have fun and do it with my own special spice of craziness! Alternative style just really to me allows for the sky to be the limit when it comes to creativity so that is what makes it appealing to me.
3) Since you donít mind some nudity and edgier themes, is there a point when youíll draw the line concerning photo work?
Yes I do have lines I will draw in regards to photos, Iím not into crude hardcore jazz does that turn others off to me? Possibly but ya know as the saying goes can't make everyone happy. But best believe I will fire dance edges and do things someone might not expect out of a Plus Size model. But I also maintain a level of self respect and respect in regards to my man. I will sit back and be like ok is this something that would piss him off if I did it or is this something I want to be represented by. Because he is the one person I do care what he thinks and I am the one I have to face in the mirror each morning. I like to do things with artistic flair regardless of theme or genre so with that being said I donít like to do anything that is nasty trashy or degrading it defeats what I am after.
4) How do you handle your ďsecret identityĒ regarding your work? Is this all kept hidden from your relatives & friends?
I draw a very distinct line between the world of Hannya and my world that encompasses my family & friends. A very select number of them know, beyond that I donít talk about it. I figure itís my biz and if I wanted them to know I would. I like to being able to have my privacy and talk with them about my everyday life instead of being bombarded with questions about this, which they would. Eventually I may have to address it with the rest but even then I take my same approach so what? If they like it fabulous baby! If they donít I donít care, I love what I do, who I am and make apologies to no one for it not even them.
5) From where did your modeling name come from?
Hannya Strange existed before modeling actually, what happened was a few years back I needed a cathartic creative outlet. So I was tinkering with some music but wanted a name to represent my creative side which I might as well call my alter ego. She was born out of a volatile period in my life, a lot of emotional upheaval and over taken with a rollercoaster of emotions. At the time I wanted something that encapsulated all the emotions I was encountering but Hannya was pulled for a double source to be honest.
First being that Hannya is a Japanese noh mask in which she is a dangerous and demonic female character, Hannya encompasses a lot of darker and volatile emotions, the biggest trademark of the mask is anger in different degrees which I was experiencing at that time.
The other meaning for Hannya is wisdom in Buddhism (which helped me through the time period), which later I came to appreciate because I felt a lot wiser after the dust had settled. As for Strange well ya know I was always a weird, strange and eccentric which I embrace and love about myself. When I got into modeling it was a unique name so I ran with it.
6) So whatís that thing with you and fishnets? Do we suspect some sort of trademark there? ;)
I adore fishnets, to me they are the one material especially in a body suit form that make me look and feel fierce and sexy at the same time like a Goddess baby. All I have to do is put them on run my hands over the material and just instantly feel amazing! So yeah keep an eye out those lovelies just may very well become my trademark ;)
7) You love to play different characters in your photo work, donít you? Do you actually a background in drama?
Absolutely I love playing different characters in each photo! The most I've tangoed into drama was a semester of acting in college and participating in a friends Student film back home. The later really opened my mind and everything up to acting and drama because I never had so much fun, even though my role was a minor role it still was fun and liberating to play someone else instead of myself. I didn't do much before that because when I growing up I lacked the confidence to dare try out for plays, but one thing I had unwavering confidence in was my creative side so it would be nothing for me to go home hole up in my room to draw, write, sing and yes play with my hair and makeup to form these personas in front of the mirror lol.
8) What influences you more in popular culture these days?
I tend to get my influences from oddball places everything from a Salvador Dali to colorful yet confident, beautiful, fierce Drag Queens. Music that moves me and helps to nurture my imagination and good stories which are not your typical tales regardless of the medium they are delivered in like Geek Love for example. The story itself was twisted and beautiful at the same time and just an inspiring and unforgettable tale. But I have to give props where they are due what really inspired me to get out there and give this a shot was seeing footage of Velvet D'Amour on a runway. I saw her and was like now that is what Iím talking about: a plus size gal with confidence and no fear about showing that beautiful comes in all shapes and sizes. So needless to say she inspires me to no end, I am a huge fan of hers and anyone for that fact that does their own thing and donít give a damn what anyone thinks!
9) How would you describe best your ďtwisted dark sense of humorĒ?
LOL Ha! All I have to say is when you are around me it is wise to check any sticks up the butt at the door before dealing with me! Stuff that makes others uncomfortable in their seats or would annoy others just amuses me to no end LOL
10) Being a Plus Size model working in the fetish world, have you come across (un)expected challenges or are you more often delighted with wonderful opportunities?
I am so delighted any and all opportunities that fall my way as a Plus Size model, I try to be gracious and grateful for any. I want to show that a bigger chick can do and portray hotness just as well as my smaller counter parts. As for challenges the biggest thing has been the learning curve. Since I am new to this I have alot to learn, especially from the business end of it all. The fun and creative aspect I have down but when it comes to the business side of things Iím still learning a lot. But am working on changing that so I can start attracting more paid jobs in the future and really add some Plus Size fire to this thang baby! LOL :P
11) Is there a thin line between your personality as a model and real life? Do you ďplayĒ a lot in your private time?
As a model I let my energy and craziness fly, now in real life Iím just as crazy but I keep it toned down a lil bit. But still have a lot of fun being crazy and laid back with my man and friends I just keep my real life ultra private. As for ďplayĒ yes I play in my real life with one person and one person only, my husband, we have a unique relationship that I wouldnít trade for anything in the world.
12) We understand that FetishCon (which will benefit from your presence) is held almost in your background (lol)Öso would you be eventually willing to travel for work and events in the future (howzabout Montreal?)
I dunno about those crazy Montreal folks... heard about some of their shenanigans! Seriously though my god of course I would, I do what I can locally because it is within my means to. But trust me I do have goals and ambitions to make something more of this. Even if in the end I don't best believe your rear I'm gonna certainly try like hell to realize my dreams and have fun in the process. So yes I would certainly be prone to jump at opportunities to work beyond my neck of the woods!
Before we end this interview I do want to send one message out to everyone who reads this. The only approval that should be desired or required is that of your own so love yourselves darlings and embrace who you are unconditionally!
Pics by Montalvo Photography, Phillostar, Alan Pedroso,
Dezi Lu/Makeup by Z, Rich Bruton, Ed Stevenson.