Casie Baun: Pint-Sized Poison -
Interview by Jones Grey.
The most dangerous things in life usually come in rather unsuspicious packages. When I attended the HorrorHound Weekend Convention in 2012, I was looking forward to meeting blogger/model/all-around horror fan and actress Casie Baun, also known as Pretty Poison. After catching sight of her modeling work through some mutual friends, I was expecting to be dwarfed by a statuesque, tall, muscular woman who could throw me over her shoulder. When the pint-sized Poison walked into my convention hotel room, I couldn’t believe it was the same person! My own 5’3 stature usually places me near the end of the metaphorical tango line, but I felt like a giant standing next to this little lady. Casie’s petite head carries a personality that can rival any Freddy Krueger one-liner, and a brain that can out-do Jason Voorhees’s sneakiest attacks. Born in Ohio, Casie has traveled the country from East to West working as a bartender, social personality, and promo and photo model. After a stint in Los Angeles and Arizona, the 30-something moved back to her home state to be closer to her family, and she hasn’t wasted a single second of her time since doing so. She keeps busier than a wholesome, Ohio soccer mom as a columnist for TheStndrd, horror actress and convention promo model, and doughnut slinger at a local bakery. Baun isn’t your typical alt model. She mixes geekery, humor, and a down-to-earth attitude to create a unique, role model-esque persona, something that becomes more and more rare as alternative modeling reaches mainstream popularity. I absolutely had to interview the bubbly Pretty Poison to find out what keeps her on her toes!
Jones Grey: I don't think I've ever seen a Midwestern model stay so busy! How do you keep the gigs rolling in?
Pretty Poison: I'm not really sure! I used to reach out to companies that I bought from and offered up to model if I got some clothes for free. Some really key companies took me up on that and saw that I offered a lot more than the average model. People now see my port and often get good references on me and now lots contact me for paid work! I guess all that TFP really paid off!
Jones Grey: You're most well-known for your work in the horror culture niche. Tell us a little bit about your history as a horror fan and how you became interested in the genre.
Pretty Poison: I grew up watching horror with my mom and dad and even at a pretty early age (10-11ish) my friends and I would always rent scary movies for sleepovers. I think I was just desensitized early on! Jaws is the very first "scary" movie I ever saw and I was maybe 4 watching it with my dad. I can remember watching all of the Child's Play, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies in Junior High. My very first date was watching Army of Darkness with a boy! I started looking for more obscure and independent titles and began attending Cinema Wasteland convention in Cleveland to find such gems. After working for Horrormerch I started to travel more and now I get to attend horror conventions all over the country!
Jones Grey: As a prominent writer/blogger and a promotional, event, and creative photography model (among your other super heroine talents as a local doughnut baker and dog mom, of course), which gig do you look the most forward to working when you're called to do a project?
Pretty Poison: I think modeling is really my favorite. I'm known to have creative ADD. I feel like music and being in the studio can be really draining for me emotionally, and movies are usually a big commitment appearance-wise (no changing hair or getting tattoos until it's all done filming) but with modeling I get to transform for just a few hours and then it's over, but the photos last forever. I have recently really been getting into more writing. I love doing my blog when I have time but I recently started contributing to more magazines. I like being on the other side of things and not always in the spotlight. I actually just wrote my first screenplay and it got the "green light" to be made into a short film by Mostly Harmless pictures and we will start filming for it this spring. I have also started styling and directing at shoots. I know the pretty facade won't last forever, so I make sure I've been sharpening all my skills to extend my tile in the industry.
Jones Grey: I love your interpretation of horror icon Jason Voorhees in your photo shoot with Lost or Forgotten Photography! Which creepy character would you most love to cosplay in the future?
Pretty Poison: Thank you! That was from a previous shoot with John Pinkerton, we have discussed doing another shoot soon based on an 80's horror comedy. I also recently did a shoot as a female Freddy for Horrorhound. I tend to do more comic book inspired stuff for my cosplay shoots, but some horror inspiration always spills out. I actually REALLY wanted to do a Frankenhooker before my purple hair is gone, but its time is up so I don't think it's going to happen now....
Jones Grey: The blending of horror and nerd cultures comes naturally to you. How do you intertwine the two genres and fan bases so seamlessly?
Pretty Poison: I think it's just because I'm genuinely interested in both!
Jones Grey: Tell one of your craziest horror/nerd convention stories!
Pretty Poison: Oh there are so many! I recently had Patrica Quinn insult me. We were wearing the exact same shoes and my drunk ass pointed it out. She said, "Yes, but I look more fabulous!" and I didn't deny that! I have seen Michael Rooker hula hoop and drank beers in a water park with Brian O'Halloran. Some people see me at so many shows they now know me by name. It's definitely weird and fun! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @HelloMsPoison for all of my up to date projects!
Jones Grey: I'm a huge fan of your brains-and-beauty approach to your career. How do you manage to stay one step ahead of the inevitable creepy fans that come with a modeling career?
Pretty Poison: I'm pretty honest and open with my fans. The "Pretty Poison" persona was actually something that came about 11 years ago to protect my privacy. I've always treated it like a "Pee Wee" or an "Elvira" type personality. It's def become who I am and how I am known, but it still gives my personal life a bit of mystery. I have been on a few reality shows that had to credit me under my real name but Pretty Poison has always been the dominant one. I also think that being a writer (I went to Kent State University for Journalism) has allowed me to write in such a way that demands a bit more respect. I don't type like an idiot so my fans tend not to treat me like one. Don't get me wrong, I've had my share of creeps, I just know how to handle them.
Jones Grey: What projects do you have in the works that you're dying to spill?
Pretty Poison: Well I already mentioned my screenplay, I also did a small (but very crucial) part for Time to Kill which will be out in the spring. I'm going to be headed into the studio soon to record a bit more. My current music is here: www.reverbnation.com/timebombheart. Definitely more shoots and I know I will be attending lots of horror conventions with Horrormerch and possibly some trade shows with JakPrints in 2014.
Pretty Poison links:
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