recognizable by her lithe figure, emerald locks and haunting
eyes, fetish model and goth beauty Aprella defies categorization.
Thriving on individuality and brimming with creativity, she
also possesses a healthy dose of self-awareness and consciousness
that allows her to explore all facets of what she wants in life.
We spoke with her about how a shy, nomadic loner can achieve
fetish superstar status.
Sez G: You perform at a ton of events, especially in NYC. Is that where you're based? Where are you from originally?
Aprella: It's true, I love venting on stage and having an audience to view it. I have enjoyed calling NYC home a couple of times over the past few years. Truth be told, though, I am known for being a little nomad. I'd be one of the happiest girls in the world to be on tour constantly.
Originally, I grew up in the small town of Albertville in Alabama. I didn't take a southern accent or a single shared interest with anyone in my hometown. Truly, if there is a hell, I think I just spent the first 18 years of my life living in it. I was constantly getting picked on, and it was obvious to all that I was not interested in the common way of life there. So, I did my research, saved my money and took a tour of the world to see what I had been missing out on.
Sez G: Alabama isn't really known for their fetish scene! So how'd you end up in New York?
Aprella: Well, how much time do you have? Hahaha! It is such a long story. I'll give you the rundown of it. First, I was living in Anchorage, Alaska going to college for Homicide Investigation Photography and taking modeling jobs on the side. Then I moved to NYC to do a tour with a band that needed my new-found talents as a stage electrician. When that tour ended I got the short end of the stick and ended up having to choose between living in my car or moving back to Alabama. I chose the car.
I only had to live in my car for a few weeks then I got picked up to go on tour with a friend who had me be his assistant. After that ended, I moved to Boston and took a job at a theatre, and eventually started working for a club called ManRay. The owner and I became great friends and when he opened up ManRay South in Ft. Lauderdale, he asked me to move down to Miami. I hated being back in the South so much that after 6 months of it I got in my car and moved back to Boston.
About a year went by and then I felt NYC calling me again. Anyone who as lived here and moved away can tell you that there is nothing comparable to living in the city that never sleeps. And that is the short version of the story. I left out so much. One thing is for sure, I am a complicated, easy-going girl, with too many interests for one lifetime.
Sez G: You've been modeling since you were 12 or so. How did you get your start?
Aprella: My friend asked me to come along with her to a photo shoot she had booked. Since I wanted to learn more about photography, I happily agreed to go with her. The photographer, probably wanting to get me away from snooping around his camera equipment, asked me to do a test shoot on the spot with him. I was put in the make-up chair and did a short test shoot after my friend finished her shoot.
The photographer turned the images of me in to an agency, and, as luck would have it, my look at that time was what they needed. They called me up and invited me to Atlanta to compete against hundreds of others for a modeling contract. I went hoping that this would be my ticket out of my hometown. I was shocked and amazed to be one of the final 10, and I signed on the dotted line.
Sez G: Goodbye Alabama! You're known for your vibrant signature green (and occasionally blue) hair. When and why did you go green?
Aprella: It's a funny story. It happened quite by accident. I was living with someone that had green hair at the time. Late one night, I thought I was dying my hair blue, and when I washed the dye out it became obvious that I had grabbed the wrong bottle from under the sink. That was about 3 years ago.
I'm not sure why I've stayed green for so long. Maybe it's because I've already tried every color a head of hair can have. Also, I like the fact that there are not many people with my color, so when I go to the store to buy dye the one I want is always in stock.
Sez G: Ah, it's clearly a decision based on practicality! You've worked with a lot of the top fetish photographers. What's an ideal shoot like for you?
Aprella: For me to do a photo shoot there has to be good talent and even better personalities on board. No amount of money can change my mind about that. Truly, I'm only interested in creating images and art with talented people that I have a good time being around. I'm very happy to have worked with a lot of the top fetish photographers in the business, but I'm even more happy to be able to call them talented friends.
Sez G: How much creative collaboration should there be and how much direction do you like to be given?
Aprella: Having creative collaboration is an important element when attempting to create good work, but it cannot be forced. There is a time to collaborate and a time to assist the ideas that have already been formed on either the model or the photographer's side. Part of being a good model or photographer is knowing the difference between the two.
In general, I'm not a big fan of being directed how to pose; I work best when I'm free to pull my own emotions out as I want. If I am given exact direction, it tends to make me think too much about the pose, and some of the magic I get from being able to vent out the looks gets lost. However, if I'm doing a very complicated pose shoot, it is always best to have someone on board who can assist with the pretzel body twists.
Sez G: I'm sure there's no lack of volunteers for that job! You've said you're shy until you lace up your corset or slink into your latex. Tell me about this transformation.
Aprella: Ahh, I see someone has done their research! Indeed, I am a shy girl at times. I was mostly a loaner growing up, so maybe that has something to do with it. I'm not very good with the common man's chit-chat.
Perhaps I'd be better described as the "anti-show-off adrenaline junkie." Yeah, that makes sense, right? There is nothing in the world that turns me off more than arrogant people. Yet there is nothing that turns me on more than an adrenaline rush from doing something extreme in front of an audience.
I have always found various forms of energy in fashion. So when I am in my latex or a tightly laced corset, I feel all the power of every emotion inside me multiplied. Then I let them go and vent toward the audience or camera. It is a unbelievable feeling of release, and believe me, it is the only time you'll catch me being a diva. Well, unless you piss me off -- then my Scorpio side will unlock and sting you to death.
Sez G: Ha! Okay, I'll consider myself warned and tread lightly. Speaking of your darker side, you were Gothic Beauty Magazine's Model of the Year in 2004. What's your relationship like with the Goth community?
Aprella: Hm, community? What's this "community" you speak of? Are they dangerous? [grin]
OK, seriously, being the winner of their Model of the Year contest is such an honor. The award is a reader's choice, so it feels insanely good to know that all these readers of Gothic Beauty Magazine took time from their day to mark a card and mail it. I am, simply put, beyond flattered by the compliment.
As for my relationship… I have no idea what my relationship is like with the goth community, or any community for that matter. I do what I do for art and to fulfill my own need to let go and have fun. I hate the idea of not being an individual; the thought of being grouped in with a class of people just seems horrible to me. I also hate thinking of others that way too, so I try to see each and every person as an individual as much as possible.
Sez G: You've done work with Amnesty International. How did you get involved with them?
Aprella: I became a member of Amnesty International in 1995 by filling out a registration card and giving a donation. I don't march around with a giant human rights banner in the air, but I do try to do my fair share of volunteer work and spread the word when I can.
When I got a phone call to take part in a commercial for Amnesty International, I happily agreed to do it. I was cast as myself, and I was to deliver lines while modeling for the brilliant painter David Stoupakis. The commercial features several actors, and I was really excited to be the closing actress. It is a powerful commercial, and I am very proud to be in it. [Click here to view the commercial as a .mov file.]
Sez G: What's coming up for you in the future?
Aprella: I am in the beginning stages of doing my homework to build a touring sexy freak show. I am also working on a few new performances. This year I'll be learning some side show circus stunts, and recently I've picked up my guitar again. Who knows what exactly will come next! I have always been a girl with a mixed bag of interests. I want to do everything and I want to go everywhere.
You're well on your way of accomplishing just that, Aprella! To learn more about this green-haired beauty, visit www.aprella.com.