A list explaining the origins and inspirations for Pia Palladino
1. British mentalist and illusionist, Derren Brown.
Brown is in a different category of magician than David Copperfield, Chris Angel and Penn and Teller. This is how Wikipedia describes him:
Brown does not claim to possess any super-natural powers, indeed his acts are often designed to expose the methods of those who do, such as faith healers and mediums. He makes clear in his performances that all of his apparent abilities, which manifest on stage/screen as feats of memory, intuition, mind-reading and control of other objects/people, are achieved through a variety of psychological means, such as hypnosis, suggestion, cold reading, misdirection, and showmanship, and in many cases he will often give detailed explanations of his specific methods during or after the performance. In some performances he also uses his techniques to explore issues of personality such as fears and motivation.
Brown's psychological focus is infinitely interesting to me. I've watched almost all his shows and what finally struck me was when I finally grasped the concept of vision. We see the world in a specific, narrow way. And it is on the outreaches of this vision is where magicians work. This caused me to question my own vision, and my own desires to want to believe certain things.
2. Harry Houdini.
3. The Circus.
And the carnival. I have a background in theater, with a particular emphasis in theater history. I have discovered that the most prevalent form of theater through thousands of years has been travelling players. Because this kind of theater never made much money, nor performed with scripts and in large buildings such as "respectable" theater, details have been lost. But the form remains, strong and vigorous and full of life. This is where Pia comes from, this background of struggle and spectacle. It is a place where the marginalized, or the freaks, find a home and career. It would be the perfect place for an individual whose sexuality is also on the margins of society could thrive. Above all, this is where a lesbian could exist with a healthy self-image. I want Pia to celebrate her sexuality and open women up to pleasure.
4. Gypsies. This wasn't a necessary detail, and perhaps it is redundant to have Pia be both a fortune teller and a gypsy. This is a personal choice, because, well, gypsies and belly dancers are really sexy to me.
Breasts, bellies, jewels, chains, charms and colorful materials. It is a pyrotechnical costume which reveals intimate areas and yet reveals nothing at all. It is a disarming costume, one Pia uses to gain status in conversations and confrontations. It's the belly that really gets me going.
5. Palm Reading.
I'm Lady Ristretto, writing under a pseudonym. My pseudonym has a pseudonym.