Bif Naked is a celebrated and notorious performer in music, TV, film, and dance, and a tireless advocate and Humanitarian. Orphaned in India, emancipated by punk rock, and empowered by surviving breast cancer, kidney failure, heart surgery, divorce, and surviving as a Woman in The Entertainment Industry for twenty-five years, Bif has transcended any and all obstacles placed in her path to becoming one of the world’s most unique, recognizable and beloved icons.
It is because Bif is such a tremendous performer and musician, that she is able to seamlessly and successfully explore and record other mediums, like writing, painting, choreography, and of course- other genres of music. Transcending her bumpy adolescence Bif has been an original “Straight-Edge” since her twenties, and Vegan, not utilizing alcohol, meat, dairy, poultry, or sea life. “I just want to live by example,” Bif states, “and encourage everyone to live compassionately and more fully, in happiness.” When asked about what her favourite pastimes are, she has only one answer: “Living Loudly.”
When not on rock tours around the World, Canada’s Queen of Punk splits her time between Paris, France, and Toronto, Canada. Her memoirs, titled, “I, Bificus” were published by Harper Collins, has a book of poetry and cartoons called, “Razorblade Chewing Gum” and Bif is now writing a book about caregiving and cancer, due sometime this year. Her 11th studio album, “CHAMPION”, is coming out in the fall of 2020.
- What passion project are you working on these days?
The passion project I am working on right now, besides music and my new record, is a movement/podcast platform called the New Riot Girls (which is a nod to my desire to showcase my various interests and see all people and topics through my High-Femme-Feminist Lens of Disruption.) I may be accidentally writing a play, also.
- What first inspired you to become a performer? What was your training?
What first inspired me to be in the performing arts was poetry and arts festivals from childhood. I studied ballet from the age of four and studied piano until I was old enough to start smoking cigarettes and skip classes. I was entered in every fine arts festival my mother could find and competed in Spoken Poetry, French Spoken Poetry, Readers’ Theatre, piano, and Dance.
I wanted to be a prima ballerina until I was cast as Goldie in The Three Bears in elementary school, and that was when acting became my dream. It was all I studied for, immersing myself in drama classes throughout the rest of my scholastic years, and propelled me into my university majors of Theatre and Musical Theatre. Except I accidentally joined a punk band in my first year at the U of Winnipeg and we had our first, national tour before my second semester started. I never returned to my studies and have basically been on tour ever since.
- What are some challenges that you have faced while building a career in the arts and how did you overcome them?
The challenges I have faced are likely the same challenges everyone faces in the performing arts: steady work. Being a performing artist my entire adult life, I know nothing else. Artists have always lived hand-to-mouth and I am very accustomed to this fly by the seat of my pants” living. There is a great resiliency that comes with being a successful artist, and often, success is not measured in wealth monetarily. I have been extremely fortunate to have been an optimist and be emotionally flexible no matter the setbacks and I believe this is a great skillset.
As a woman in the world, I experience huge stigma and challenges in the music industry as well as the world of acting. Because my successes came more consistently in the music industry, this is the facet of the performing arts I leaned toward, and it has been simply fantastic as an outlet for stage performing as well as a vehicle for my poetry in the form of lyric writing. I could not have chosen a more satisfying path and I love my work so much. I find that as I get older in the entertainment business (and as the model of business changes- through internet streaming and now, with the uncertainty due to the global pandemic of COVID-19) things will become more difficult to navigate and we artists will be forced to get very creative and very crafty.
- What lessons have you learned that has proven the most valuable?
The most valuable lessons I KEEP learning are to let everything flow, be flexible and easy going (as far as scheduling goes, and as far as economics go) and to really just enjoy the journey. The more we can stay positive and optimistic, the better time we will have. It’s that simple. This goes for doing auditions, doing interviews, grueling travel schedules, lack of sleep, and anything that may be an obstacle or challenge. Just enjoying absolutely every aspect of the work is the key to really enjoying each gig, each job, and every day. It’s not always easy, but it just takes practice like yoga or meditation.
- What is your WHY? (why do you do what you do?)
My “WHY” is so easy! BECAUSE I LOVE MY WORK! My job in performing is the greatest job in the world and I get to meet and work with really wonderful people all the time. I LOVE people and I love working with them collaboratively on shows, or on events or even writing. I feel very lucky to have been performing professionally for thirty years, all over the world.