MEET MARY contrary
Producer & Headliner of The Dirty Dolls Revue
Costume Designer | Visual Artist
Raised in Arlington Heights IL, Mary's unique creativity was evident from childhood. Her family's encouragement and support allowed her to become immersed in visual arts, dance, singing, photography and fashion design. Her Mother recalls:
"She was always creative. In elementary school, I'd tell her it's bedtime. She'd say 'I just hate to go to bed, there's so much I need to do' . If I woke up at night, she'd be in her room dancing or drawing. Passionate and determined...even as a kid."
As a child, she also developed her lifelong obsession with Rock music. Bands like Nine Inch Nails, TOOL, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Pantera would eventually become a major influence in her performances. This edgy and uncommon musical selection is part of what makes Mary's performances so unique and sought-after.
"I stole older brother's cassettes and CD's. I was so drawn to the sound even before I understood the meaning. That music is still what speaks to me. So naturally, that's what I use in my performances. The audience can sense when something comes from the heart."
Burlesque is Mary’s most recent performance endeavor but she's no stranger to the stage. For 16 years she studied jazz, ballet, pointe and choreography. In 2003, Mary moved to Savannah GA to earn her BFA in Realist Painting and Art History. Here Mary's passion for performing expanded as she became the Lead GoGo Dancer at in the city's only LGBT Nightclub.
After her 2012 burlesque debut at Kristy Lee's UnLeashed (Pensacola FL), Mary began performing with several notable casts, including Les Vixens Burlesque (Orlando FL), Femme's & Follies (Tampa FL) and Spikey and the Aftermidnights (Florida).
"I will never forget that first performance. 'Reptile' by Nine Inch Nails. I started laying down and that intro hits so hard. I felt those first few notes shake through the stage and up into my back. I was instantly addicted. I knew this is where I belong."
2013 saw Mary producing and headlining, Savannah's first Burlesque Show, The Dirty Dolls Revue. It's success spread rapidly and by 2014, they were performing throughout Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. November of 2015, brought another important milestone when Mary was invited to open for the Suicide Girls' internationally renown Blackheart Burlesque.