Messapotamia Lefae, better known as “Messy,” is a post-gender surrealist, sartorialist, and dance artist based in Philadelphia, PA.

Born in Rhode Island, she received dance training at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY), The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (Toronto, ON), Wissahickon Dance Academy (Philadelphia, PA) with Nancy Malmed, and at the Performance Garage (Philadelphia, PA) with Alexei Borovik.

Since moving to Philadelphia in 2010, Messy has performed at the AIDS Fund’s GayBINGO as a Bingo Verifying Diva, and has volunteered at special events for nonprofits like the William Way Community Center, Action Wellness, Philadelphia’s Gay Men’s Chorus, InLiquid, Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, and Philly AIDS Thrift. She has served as Secretary on the Board of Directors of PhillyCAM (Philadelphia Community Access Media) and DP Arts Consortium. She was one of the core organizers of Philadelphia’s Phreak N’ Queer Art & Musical Festival and has hosted and produced a number of variety shows throughout the city. In 2011, she was named the “Best Performance Artist You Might Think is Hammered” in Philadelphia Weekly’s Best of the Best.

On Valentine’s Day 2019, she performed in Glitter and Garbage: Love is Easy, a cabaret produced by Shannon Turner and Lilli St. Queer, and totally crushed it.

In 2018, she performed in the Bearded Ladies Cabaret’s Bastille Day reenactment at Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, PA). She made her (live) singing debut in the immersive cabaret experience Do You Want a Cookie? for the Fringe Festival. She also appeared alongside Martha Graham Cracker and Stephanie Blythe in Blythely After Hours and Dito & Aeneas for Opera Philadelphia’s O18 Festival. She was featured in Tom Wilson Weinberg’s CABARET VÉRITÉ VIII: TRUTH BE TOLD, a benefit for the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Messy has been exploring love, sadness, horror and the occult through her work as an independent choreographer and performance artist.

Messy challenges others to experience self-expression in the absence of gender norms and to embody abstract ideas as a daily practice.


Messy has performed with The Bearded Ladies Cabaret in Bastille DayDo You Want a Cookie?, and in Color Me Bearded.

She has collaborated with songwriter Tom Wilson Weinberg in intimate cabarets featuring local musical talent, as well as in Queer Fiddler.

In 2016, she played Eve in an original play called Paradise Lost in Space directed by Multiform and Omri at Radical Faerie Camp Destiny (Chester, VT).

She has performed in local ballet company Pages to Pirouettes.

In 2014, she was featured in the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus’s (PGMC) Proud Mary’s at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre (Philadelphia, PA).

Messy and DJ Ricky Paul hosted the live broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Swedish and Danish embassies in Washington, D.C. She has performed in Ricky Paul’s irreverent theatre troupe, the Dumpsta Players.

In 2012, she performed in BRAT Production’s The Diary of Lisa Q directed by Madi Distefano at Plays and Players Theater (Philadelphia, PA).

Messy and Lance Pawling (a.k.a. Tasker Morris) created an immersive performance art installation The Bereaved at NAPOLEON Gallery (Philadelphia, PA) in 2012.

Contact Information

email: messapotamia@gmail.com
facebook: Messapotamia Lefae

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