Starr Belew has been piercing for six years professionally. She says, “I never had an apprenticeship; I was self taught, and I take every opportunity I get to watch the way someone else pierces. I feel like even though I’ve pierced tons of, say, navels… everyone’s body is different and reacts to piercing and healing differently and there is always room for improvement and learning. There’s no licensing for piercing in AZ so I was never certified, but I took (and still take) as many seminars and courses as I can; topics from microbiology to oral anatomy to materials to blood borne pathogens. I’ve also been practicing scarification since 2005 and I love to hang from hooks and help other people through flesh suspension experiences.”
Natasha Stagg: What are you up to lately?
Starr Belew: I’m always up to the same old thing. Working and going to shows; I haven’t done much other than that since 2004.
NS: Do you miss Tucson?
SB: Here and there; I mostly miss the people and the sunsets. I’ve never seen such beautiful sunsets anywhere else. The friends I’ve made in Tucson are irreplaceable; Tucsonians are a whole different breed of people. I’ve always had a hard time relating to people and making good connections with friends, in Tucson it seems like most people are almost on the same wave length.
I actually just came home for a visit. It was like I never left, except everyone was happier to see me. It’s like the land that time forgot, everyone is still the same and still doing the same things. I have friends in Tucson that I haven’t talked to in years and we can pick back up like we’ve been friends the whole time. Every where else I’ve lived it seems people change too much to try to be anything more than casual acquaintances.
NS: What are you reading?
SB: The Greek Myths Vol I–It’s at my apartment and I can’t remember the name of the editor off the top of my head. It’s a really interesting read; more of a socio-allegorical take on the mythology than taking the stories for face value.
At work I’m reading Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. It’s intense and definitely holds my attention much more than I thought it would.
NS: Suggest something to do in Tucson.
SB: I really don’t know…the only things I ever did in Tucson were go to work at Inkaholics Anonymous, go to any shows I could, hang out in bars until last call, terrorize 24 hour diners, and then hang out at house parties until I couldn’t stay awake anymore.
I guess I’d suggest checking out Inkaholics Anonymous, The Surly Wench and The Grill, in that order.
NS: Suggest something to read.
SB: My favorite genres are probably distopian and sci-fi, and my favorite books are dictionaries. However, I guess I’d suggest The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. It’s really genre crossing and epic. I dug it a lot.