Talk about your upbringing and your early childhood interests. If it's not too Freudian, how did those experiences influence you to pursue your career in erotic performance? Did you consider other career paths?
I'm an only child and an army brat, so my family moved around a lot and I never had many close friends at any given time. As a result, I spent a great deal of time alone with my books and my imagination. I don't know how much that influenced my current work, though. I've considered many other career paths, such as paleontologist, social worker, civil rights activist, writer, historian, FBI agent, and coffee shop owner. Maybe one of these days, I'll try to explore those ideas again.
I haven't done as much work as I would like in fantasy or historical modeling. I've loved Victorian and Edwardian clothing for many years and I hope to do more with that and with more steampunk work, as well. There are also many fantasy artists and photographers with whom I would absolutely love to work. One of these days, I'd love to be a Heavy Metal babe.
What appeals to you about fantasy and fairytales? Have you liked them ever since you were little? Why do they continue inspiring you today?
I've loved fairy tales, fantasy, and mythology since I was a child. I grew up on Andrew Lang, Lloyd Alexander, Patricia C Wrede, Tove Jansson, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many others. One of my new favorite authors at the moment is Angela Carter. I think continuing to read fantasy as an adult helps to keep one's sense of adventure and the belief that amazing things can still happen.
Why'd you choose the name Nicotine? What other names were you considering? Do you have alternate stage names?
That's pretty much the only name I use. It all started as a result in a "rock star name generator" meme on the official movie website for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". I've done a little bit of acting under my real name, as well. Maybe I'll come up with a new stage name one of these days.
What are some of your favorite assignments and events to work?
I love shooting glamour with a team of stylists. It makes me feel beautiful and I love the attention. I also like working conventions because it means I get to dress up and mingle with everyone. It's wonderful to meet new people, especially those that admire my work.
What's satisfying about your line of work?
I like knowing that other people enjoy what I do and I like to think that I've inspired a few other women and girls to love their own bodies and not be ashamed of their sexuality.
What advice do you have for other young actresses and models who want to do what you do? What should they avoid?
Do your homework. Decide on a field that works best for you, find out who the best people are in that field, and work with/emulate them. Never let anyone try to make you do anything you don't feel comfortable doing. Check references and network with other models, photographers, and stylists. Don't live your life based solely on what other people think of you but do be aware of your image and your reputation. Being friendly and professional really do count for a lot.