|Stage Name||Veronica Varlow|
|Born||April 29 1979|
|Located||New York City, NY, USA|
|Fields||Burlesque dancer, actress, author, model|
Veronica Varlow (born Tara Lee Heffner, April 29, 1979) is a burlesque dancer, pin-up model, actress, and filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York. She has been touring with EA as "The Naughty Veronica" since 2007.
Veronica is currently in The Bloody Crumpets line up for 2013, and has been since 2007. Her character on stage during Emilie Autumn's tours is that of a nymphomaniac, known for being overtly flirtatious and raunchy to the girls both on and off stage. Her "unique" abilities allow her to play the infamous "Rat Game", wherein a girl who is at least 18 years of age and has "never kissed a girl before" is selected from the audience to come on stage and share a kiss with Veronica.
Veronica also performs her own burlesque dance routine to Emilie Autumn's "Dominant" and "Thank God I'm Pretty" during the tour, using large ostrich-feather fans. Her following is known as "Veronica's Kissing Army," members that actively participate in charity and good-will projects in and outside of the Emilie Autumn fanbase. There are annual VKA meet ups in New York.
Personal Life and CareerEdit
Varlow was otherwise uninvolved in the New York burlesque scene until after an incident in December 2003 when she was mauled by a Rottweiler. The damage was done primarily to Varlow's face, which caused her to go into an extensive eight-hour surgery. It was during the procedure that Varlow realized that she was not following her true dreams out of fear of what others would think of her; following the attack, she vowed to leave her desk job and become a performer.
Since the attack, she had performed in events by designer Marc Jacobs, supermodel Heidi Klum, The Whitney Museum, and for NYT Best-Selling novelist, Melissa de la Cruz. She appeared in one episode of MTV's Emmy-winning series, MADE, in which she helped a student in high school attempt to become homecoming queen. She also appeared in the 2009 film Exposed, the 2010 short documentary Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School by Peter Bolte, and in the short film "The Hidden Sister" by Zina Brown.
Varlow married photographer Burke Heffner on June 24, 2006. The previous year, the couple had filmed a trailer for their movie, Revolver, gaining them a Golden Trailer Award. Revolver became a Kickstarter project in November 2013. Varlow and Heffner set a goal of $99,000, which they exceeded by gaining $105,684 before their deadline of November 15th. According to a video posted by the couple afterwards, the Kickstarter team had told them they had a "less than one percent chance" of successfully reaching their goal.
In November 2016, Varlow posted a Kickstarter update explaining that she and Heffner had separated after 10 years of marriage, leading to serious delays in the production and release of the movie. Both claimed to be maintaining a friendship and promised that they still planned to complete filming in the summer of 2017. No further updates have been given since May 25, 2017, and the final project has yet to be released.
On November 1, 2019, Varlow announced her engagement to David Garfinkel.
In 2014, Varlow revealed on her blog Love Witch that she is bisexual. In the same blog post, she stated that her first live-in relationship was with a woman when she was 19. Varlow's partner was 24 years old at the time.
On April 23, 2011, Veronica's home in Woodstock, NY was engulfed in flames. An electric fire had set the house aflame while Varlow, Heffner, and their dog were staying in their NYC apartment. What was left more little left than ashes and scraps of paper.
After Veronica posted a story about the fire to her online diary, Emilie Autumn fans and the VKA rounded together and began a fundraiser to assist the couple in their time of need. Catherine and Ashley of the VKA organized a chip-in donation account which would be forwarded directly to Veronica's PayPal account, which ultimately raised over $7,000. A scroll with all the names of the people who donated was buried in the foundation of the house.
Over the course of the next two years, the couple decided to rebuild their home in an entirely new style. While living between their NYC apartment and a house that a nearby neighbor allowed them to live in (it was unoccupied at the time), they rebuilt their little cottage into what Veronica has called her "Witch House." Shortly after the two year anniversary of the house fire, the new building was ready to move into -- and, of course, she wrote a diary entry about it.
- Veronica's natural hair color is blonde.
- In 2005, Veronica adopted a chihuahua named Miette, though Veronica and her friends have taken to calling the dog Niney since "no one outside of France can pronounce her name." The nickname "Niney" comes from the fact that she weighed nine pounds at the time of her adoption.
- Though not a professional musician, Veronica can play the guitar and enjoys doing so in her free time.
- Veronica has written an original song on her guitar, titled Take Me With You. The song is about "falling in love with a green haired mermaid and having to decide whether to be apart from her, or be with her forever and drown."
- The "Rat Game" was originally an improvised segment to pass time while technical difficulties prevented the show from persisting. However, fan's responses to the Game were overwhelmingly positive, and many requested that it be kept as a permanent part of Emilie's setlist. The Rat Game has thus been played at every show continuously since 2008, with the exception of the Asylum Experience in 2014.
- Veronica's stage name and hairstyle were inspired by Veronica Lodge from the Archie comics.
- In spite of being confident, Veronica does experience social anxiety sometimes, and walks on her toes or chews the inside of her mouth when she gets nervous.
- The first time Veronica realized she wanted to become a burlesque dancer, she and a friend were attending a burlesque show at the Slipper Room in New York City. She told her friend that she was going to do burlesque someday, and her friend laughed, mistakenly thinking that Veronica was joking.
- Veronica has a younger brother named Brian.
- Veronica has a niece named Maggie, born in 2004.