WOMEN IN HORROR: A Month-Long Look into the Ladies Crafting the Worlds of Fear! Day 26 – Jessica Mercy!
1. What first drew you into the world of horror?
I always had a fascination with the spookier side of life, starting with literary classics such as Dracula and Frankenstein. This coupled with my passion for Halloween drew me into the realm of horror pretty naturally, I would say. Eventually, I ended up working as a haunt actor for Spooky World, which was a wild time.
2. What film/book/show was the biggest influence on you?
Dracula was a defining force behind my love of all things spooky. As someone who identifies as goth, Dracula is the perfect blend of gothic, old-world elegance with classic horror. Plus, I really loved Bram Stoker’s approach to storytelling in this particular work; narrative based on letters, news articles, diaries, and the like. I also loved Francis Ford Coppola’s approach to this subject matter, further pushing that gothic romantic element. Plus, Eiko Ishioka’s costume designs are to die for.
3. What actor/director/writer do you consider your biggest influence?
It’s tough to say who my biggest influence is as I suspect there is quite the amalgamation of persons I could mention. I’d put Elvira: Mistress of the Dark up there for acting, and Anne Rice for writing. Elvira has essentially established herself as the Queen of Halloween, and her fashion sense is killer. Anne Rice has kind of a bad rep, but I really respect her contributions to the vampire genre. Her writing was really revolutionary for its time.
4. Who would you consider to be your horror twin?
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark! We look alike, but also have a similar approach to the realm of all things dark and spooky. Plus she’s a performer and so am I! She’s way cooler than I’ll ever be, though! She did take a photo of me once and complimented my costume; talk about validation!
5. What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t involved with the horror community?
If I wasn’t involved with the horror community, I honestly can’t imagine what else I’d be doing. Halloween and costuming is a huge part of my life, spanning the entire year and not just October. I imagine I’d devote a little more time to my music projects, though! Maybe I’d take up sword fighting. Who knows?
6. Plug some of your past, present, and upcoming projects.
Anaria is my symphonic rock band; we are releasing a new album in 2020 that I’m very excited for. To the Ancients is my dark Celtic folk project; we released an album this past July. We have spooky ren faire vibes and feature some of my cooler song lyrics! I’m also publishing my first book hopefully next year! It’s a romantic Victorian thriller and has a lot of nods to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
7. Where do you like folks to follow you on social media?
Facebook and Instagram @thejessicamercy are the best places to find me! I also tweet on occasion. Also: @anariaband and @totheancientsofficial – you can also find me working with Good Enough Cosplay, where our running joke is our effortless approach to costuming. Oh, we also post the occasional sexy photo!
8. Where can folks find your work?
iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and basically any other music platform you can think of. Just look up Anaria and To the Ancients and you’ll find us!
9. Which horror icon would you most/least like to go up against?
I’m not very competitive in spirit, but definitely not Tim Curry! Have you seen him as Darkness? Yikes!!
10. Any advice for young ladies aspiring to become involved in the horror community?
What are you waiting for? It’s just a jump to the left… in all seriousness, getting involved in any community you are interested in shouldn’t scare you. At age 16, with no friends in the convention circuit, I started attending in costume by myself. Do you know what happened? I met a lot of cool people, many of whom I am still friends with today! Having a community of like-minded creatives is a priceless experience. So be wild, let your imagination run, and above all? Share! Share your work, your ideas, your enthusiasm. But always remember to be kind and listen to others.
11. Who is on your Horror Mt. Rushmore? This can be actors, writers, directors, characters.
Vincent Price, Elvira, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe…gee can you tell I was a lit major?