World-class violinist. Singer. Composer. Author. Actress. Artist. Fashion icon. Successfully bipolar. The list goes on, but one thing is certain: We're talking about Emilie Autumn.
The Los Angeles-born artist's academic career ended abruptly at the age of ten when, as a child-prodigy violinist, she was removed from school to enable her the time to perfect her craft. Yet, despite her near-complete absence of formal education, her debut self-published novel (The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls) is cited in text-books used as part of the psychology curriculum at Oxford University in London, amongst other publications. Her literary skill, historical knowledge, and ability as a uniquely dramatic singer with a virtually operatic range were self-taught, but remain the three hallmarks of her notoriety. Emilie's poetry, written in her teens, has been used as the basis for original works created and publicly performed by New York's Rochester Ballet Company, using her spoken-word and classical violin work as the score.
Emilie originally intended to begin and end her career as a classical violin soloist and composer, but gradually became aware that, in order to express herself completely, she must use her voice as well as her fingers. Naturally, once she opened her mouth, she never shut up. Now armed with an electric violin, a uniquely powerful singing voice, and self-taught skills as a digital programmer able to record and produce her own genre-bending albums (she has been made an official representative for Steinberg's Cubase, the industry leading digital recording and programming software), Emilie Autumn was ready to get (very) loud.
Upon the release of her 2007 Shakespearean-themed concept album, Opheliac, Emilie found herself an overnight star in Germany's industrial rock scene, and began touring extensively. With her flaming red hair, fetish for tightly-laced corsets, and signature heart painted on her cheek (a unifying symbol devotedly replicated by her global followers known as "Plague Rats"), Emilie fast became a sensation throughout Europe and the United Kingdom not only for her music, but also for her eccentric fashions and highly theatrical stage show, for which she designs and sews all of the costumes by hand. Soon, Emilie was welcomed to South America, where, to her sincere surprise, a large following was already waiting, and, finally, back to her home country of the United States, where she is still often thought to be, oddly enough, a European import. A prolific writer and never one for sitting still, while touring for Opheliac Emilie released several singles, EPs, a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and a double-disc album of instrumental work, the violin extravaganza, Laced/Unlaced—one disc featuring her classical work, the other her industrial/metal electric violin pyrotechnics.
Then came the literary creation that would alter the course of Emilie's career and change the perception of who she was in the minds of both fans and friends—an illustrated autobiographical/historical fantasy novel weighing in at nearly five pounds, entitled, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. Culled directly from Emilie's real-life diary entries, the story begins with Emilie's suicide attempt and prompt imprisonment inside a psychiatric hospital. The tale takes an unexpected turn when, whilst still in the psych ward, Emilie discovers evidence of a parallel dimension—a world that soon becomes indiscernible from her own. As the days drift on, the seemingly disparate worlds of the story's two lead characters (Emilie and Emily, her Victorian counterpart) begin to merge. The Asylum... is a profoundly moving saga of suffering, sisterhood, and revenge that has empowered thousands of young readers to victoriously end their battle with self-harm, and to create communities wherein the "unique" can support one another and cultivate pride in what makes them different. Emilie has held hundreds of book readings and performed scenes from the book around the world, often asking her listeners to join in and act out the scenes themselves.
With the release of her latest album, Fight Like A Girl, Emilie Autumn pulls her listeners ever deeper into the realm of the Asylum, the fantastical alternate reality described in her magnum opus. The title track launches the onslaught with an anthem for the underdog, calling upon females of all ages to realize they are in fact 51% of the Earth's human population, and to take back their power at all costs, using whatever means necessary. From there, the struggle of both modern day and Victorian insane asylum inmates is enacted with Emilie taking on the voices of varying characters from her novel, ending in the ultimate fight to the death, "Time For Tea," and the universally encouraging message of what it takes to transform from victim to victorious in "One Foot In Front Of The Other." Part musical theatre, part industrial rock, part historical horror story, on Fight Like A Girl, Emilie makes her Broadway intentions unabashedly clear. Emilie has toured the world in support of FLAG, the highlight being her first appearance in Russia.
Since it's release, The Asylum... novel continues to increase in popularity as Plague Rats around the globe cover themselves in tattoos from its elaborate art, cosplay as its eccentric characters (both human and animal), write their own fan-fiction, put on their own stage plays taking place in the Asylum world, arrange group meet-ups and tea parties, and incorporate Emilie's story into their own lives in virtually every imaginable way. Aiding the phenomenon, the famed Vans Warped Tour has featured "Emilie Autumn's Asylum Experience," wherein festival-goers enjoyed an interactive, day-long immersive theatre installation in Emilie's signature environment.
Emilie is currently at work composing the Broadway musical and film versions of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.