Kat Mon Dieu
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|Kat Mon Dieu|
January 3, 1963
Rochester, New York
|Education||Long Island University, New York School of Burlesque|
|Known for||Burlesque, acting, modeling, writing, RN|
|Notable work||Dark Carnival Burlesque (producer), Registered Nurse, for Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School|
|Awards||Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges 2000|
Kat Mon Dieu (born January 3, 1963) is a Marilyn Monroe tribute artist, neo-classical burlesque dancer, pin-up model, art school model, actress, producer and performance artist based in New York City. She is the co-producer of Dark Carnival Burlesque with her partner Gothic Hangman: a monthly show featuring an offbeat combination of burlesque and variety acts. Kat also is the freelance blogger for Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School 
Kat Mon Dieu was born Julie Snyder in Rochester, New York to William A. Snyder (a Kodak executive) and Starr Hough (a housewife). Her family moved to a rural area of New York state when she was 5 and maintained a modest self-sufficient farm for many years. With two younger brothers, Kat enjoyed a simple life on the farm; exploring nature, swimming, fishing and catching snakes and frogs. Her parents divorced in 1971, and her mother shortly after remarried to a British man who was hitchhiking after his Volkswagen Type 2 van broke down. In 1973, she was taken out of 4th grade to go traveling with her mother and stepfather to Mexico, where she was home-schooled for a year. Her sister Katheryn was born the following year in Mexico City with Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency syndrome which prompted the family to relocate to England to obtain medical treatment for Katheryn.
Kat passed through New York City for the first time in 1974 at age 11, on her way to JFK airport and decided to return one day and make the city her home. The next five years were spent in England on another farm, similar to the one in upstate New York, except the house was over 500 years old. Kat's fourth and youngest sibling was born in England, a little brother.
1976 Kat spent the Bicentennial summer in NYC where her father resided while testifying for a court case between Kodak and Polaroid. She was 13 when she first set foot in NYC's playground, Coney Island. She would in later years be an avid participant in the Mermaid Parade as well as perform at the Coney Island Gala and on the Sideshow stage at Coney Island USA. In 2011 she was picked by Bambi the Mermaid, to compete with 11 others for the title of "Miss Coney Island". She is notorious for diving into the seal pool at the New York Aquarium during a performance, while dressed as Marilyn Monroe.
In 1978 Kat's mother bought a summer home from her uncle in the Adirondacks to be near her grandfather as his health failed. The family moved back to New York and lived year around in a rustic, uninsulated frame home, without electricity. They cooked on a wood burning cast iron range and washed in rainwater collected in a cistern. Kat did her homework by candle light or hurricane lamp and graduated from Ausable Valley Central School at age 16. That summer her grandfather died and she left her mother to move in with her father and step-mother in Rochester, New York.
While going to Monroe Community College as one of their youngest students, Kat was introduced by classmates to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She subsequently began to perform twice a week as the character Magenta in the shadow cast, for the next two years.
Kat's mother and siblings returned to England and Kat joined them briefly when she turned 18. She bar-tended at The Old England Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere and modeled for a clothing designer Lois Franklin during her time there. She was their featured model at Harrogate Fashion Fair and on television promotions and the runway.
Returning to the states in 1981, Kat briefly resumed her stint as Magenta, but soon found other outlets for her creative performance interests. She began paying tribute to Marilyn Monroe in various venues and became a popular model in the area, doing commercials, print ads, art modeling, runway, acting in small productions, as well as performed as a dancer with other performers, notably she was a back up dancer for Maya Douglas in Chicago at Miss Continental 1985, where Ms Douglas was crowned the winner.
In April of the following year, Kat received a phone call from a hairdresser friend in NYC asking if she would like to come do a photo-shoot in Manhattan. The job lasted two weeks, at the end of which Kat had decided to stay.
Kat has lived in NYC for nearly 30 years. During which time she managed and performed with a contemporary Afro-Peruvian musical group, art-modeled at the Art Student's League of New York, put herself through University for a degree in Nursing. Kat was married and divorced twice. She has three children who were born at home with a midwife in 1992, 1998 and 2000. The youngest two children were waterbirth deliveries.
Kat resumed her performing arts endeavors when her children were of school age. It was at this time she assumed the stage name Kat Mon Dieu in honor of her sister Katheryn who died in 1987 after receiving two unsuccessful liver transplants at age 11 and at age 13.
Kat modeled for various photographers artistic projects (e.g.: Adrian Buckmaster and Don Spiro among others), most specifically in the pin up genre. Her foray into the world of Burlesque began in 2008 with a Christmas show where she portrayed a Lumberjack wearing nothing but tinsel underneath "his" long johns.
Kat Mon Dieu has been dubbed the Cindy Sherman of burlesque for her portrayal of a multitude of characters; old, young, male, female, real, fictional and even animals. Her tagline is "The Gal with Nine Lives and a Thousand Disguises".
Stage appearances and productions
Kat Mon Dieu co-produces a monthly Burlesque and Variety show Dark Carnival Burlesque with her partner Gothic Hangman.