By Vanessa Wolf
Maui-based actress, body painter, Next Level Productions owner, and UltraViolets burlesque troupe creator Rachel DeBoer is nothing if not versatile.
She performs with the UltraViolets as part of tomorrow’s TEDxMaui event, and took a little time to talk with us about who she is, how she got there, and what we might expect at tomorrow from her troupe.
Maui Now: How did you come to live on Maui?
Rachel DeBoer: I came here about 12 years ago with my husband at the time. We were spiritually called to live in Hawaii as LA was not where we wanted to end up, even though I’m a professional actress and was pursuing my acting career there. Hawaii appealed to me because of the entrepreneurial opportunities here. I work very hard, and I wanted to create theatrical shows that maybe had been seen on the mainland but would be unique here on Maui.
MN: Has Maui influenced you as an artist?
RD: Absolutely! The Polynesian tattoo designs have influenced my face and body painting as well as the cultural mythology has completely inspired my Next Level Theater Productions company, which seeks to recreate mythology through black light. Hawaiian culture is filled with the supernatural and magical goings-on that black light theater can capture especially well.
MN: How did you get into face and body painting?
RD: My mother was a makeup artist, and I loved the transformative aspect of makeup. Body painting is the most interactive and performance oriented type of visual art you can do. I love that my art can get up and walk around.
MN: What will your presentation/performance at TEDxMaui be about?
RD: It is the story of Hina the goddess of the moon and how she ascends to a new life. I believe that is what humanity is truly seeking…a betterment of our situation always. I believe that is what the goal of our being here on planet Earth is about, always seeking the next level. That is actually why I named my company Next Level Theater.
MN: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at a performance of the UltraViolets?
RD: Oct. 27th, 2012 – last year – when we performed through a tsunami warning. We had a choice to either stop the show or continue on since we were above sea level line. Our entire home was sea level and after a quick meeting during intermission we decided that the show must go on. If the tsunami was coming we would not have time to save our home but at least we could save our audience’s theater-going experience!
MN: What’s your next big goal artistically?
RD: To tour the US and the world with black light theater.
MN: When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
RD: An actress. I always knew. I’ve been focusing on this my whole life. Some dreams really do come true.
See Ms. DeBoer and her Ultraviolets – as well as dozens of other speakers and performers – live their dream at the aptly named “The Dream is Real” TEDxMaui event tomorrow.
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)