Photos & Intro by Landon Speers
Interview & Edits by PSQ

5 min read

These images are from an ongoing series titled Frolic that explores people & performers with characters & personas of their own conjuring. It’s been an exploration on movement & posture inherent in specific individuals; their comforts & natural states of stasis. Rather than simply seeking out models to pose myself, I’ve sought out individuals who seem to have a way of expression unique to their persons & form.

My goal aesthetically has been to make bodies of work over a period of time that draw upon the same palettes in terms of colour & tones. A marriage of stillness & movement it’s been an outlet for play & whimsy. Elisa has been one of the formative characters in this revolving cast that encompasses what it is to Frolic.

To see more of Landon’s work, click here
To follow Landon click here

Do YOU want to contribute or pose for the NOW series? Head HERE

We asked this week’s NOW model, Elisa a few hard-hitting questions and she answered them as beautifully as she looks on camera.

What’s your name?
My name is Elisa.

Instagram / website?
https://www.instagram.com/elisa_etc/

Where do you live?
I live in Ridgewood, Queens, between a laundromat and a Romanian Social club.

Where did you grow up and what did you want to be?
I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island in a neighborhood called Elmhurst. I wanted to be a fashion designer. And a Pop star. And a Spy.

Tell us more about you.
I’ve managed to narrow down my childhood ambitions and am now exclusively pursuing the life of a Pop star. I write, produce and perform music under my name – Elisa. It’s Pop music in the sense that the melodies are catchy and the grooves are upbeat but the arrangements and lyrics are a bit more whimsical than what you might hear on your local radio station.

What drew you to your line of work, and what excites you about it now?
I grew up in a very performative family and while no one around me had any formal training, music was a big part of our life. My mom had wanted to be a performer and I think she saw that spirit in me at an early age so was very encouraging. Around the age of 11 I started singing in local talent shows. Most of the time I was too terrified to look out at the audience but for some reason I kept doing it. It was around that time that I started to write my own songs. I didn’t have the patience then to learn how to play an instrument so I’d just put melodies to my poetry and try to memorize them. Eventually I taught myself to play some chords on a keyboard – mostly by imitating Fiona Apple.

What excites me most about making music now is having the freedom to take pieces of everything I love and create my own unique world out of them – whether in a song, or a music video, or a live performance. It’s very stimulating.

What do you do for fun?
I love going to the movies. There is something so nice about being in that big dark room and forgetting about real life for an hour or two. I should find the time to do it more often. I also love to eat a good meal – just don’t ask me to cook it.

What are you passionate about and why?
Lots of things – witnessing and creating beautiful things; connecting with people through art; friendship and the freedom that comes with trust; achieving transcendence through performance; poetry; coffee; truth; fighting the patriarchy.

Where is your favourite place to be? Why?
My favorite place in the world is my dad’s backyard – a big patch of green grass behind a peach stucco house on a dead end street. It’s very pretty, and very peaceful. I visit every August for a few days and sit in the sun while he tends to his vegetable garden. It’s his pride and joy since retiring. He’s been a bit distressed about the moles though – they sneak in and eat his kale. I like to imagine that when he passes away he’ll be reincarnated as one of those moles, like in Big Fish, and live in that garden forever.

What is the greatest obstacle that you face in your line of work? How do you overcome it?
The greatest obstacle I face is maintaining confidence in my vision. The songs I write appeal to a pop sensibility but I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re easily definable. As an independent artist who relies so much on the blog world for exposure I’ve found this to be a bit of a disadvantage: if people can’t compare you to what’s already established and familiar, they’re less likely to advocate for it. It’s frustrating and there are definitely times when I think that maybe I should be making music that is more palatable. But then I remind myself that while that might be easier it wound’t be as fulfilling.

What issues do you care about / fight for?
I care about dismantling the patriarchy and all that falls under its vile umbrella, be it sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, toxic masculinity, rape culture and so on. I care about sisterhood, about protecting and empowering women and girls and about making sure the feminism I practice is intersectional. I think the best way to do this as an artist is by supporting the art of women of color, queer and trans women and gnc people; by making sure my shows are safe spaces; by holding abusers in my community accountable and by passing the mic when someone else needs to be heard. As a white, middle-class, cisgender American woman it’s important for me to check myself and make sure that my privilege is not contributing to someone else’s oppression.

Do you have a daily routine? If so, what is it?
The closest thing I have to any sort of routine is making my bed every morning after I wake up and then hastily making a cup of coffee to drink while I watch the news. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person that maintains a strict regimen but sadly I am not.

What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to the new Perfume Genius album. It’s really lovely. I’m a big fan.

Any hot tips for podcasts or books?
I just started listening to Crimetown, a podcast about the Rhode Island Mafia. It’s been a kind of surreal experience since I’m from there and grew up hearing a lot of the names that are mentioned. It feels a bit like my childhood urban legends are coming to life. Nonetheless it’s pretty entertaining and I recommend it to any fellow sadistic minds who might enjoy a good true crime story before bed. Re: books, I just finished Melissa Broder’s So Sad Today. It is very very funny and may be insightful to anyone who deals with anxiety and/or depression.

See more of Landon’s work on his website HERE or his Instagram account HERE

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