Local fetish model longs to fly high

When Vanessa was growing up on her grandparents farm in a small town in northeast Oklahoma, she had “big fish in a little pond syndrome.”  “The minute I turned 18, I moved to Tulsa and stayed.”

That’s Vanessa Von Thun—local fetish model turned star of Thrill Kill Kult’s new music video “Jet Set Sex.” 

She laughs at herself in deprecation.  “My life is like a VH1 Video,” she says.  “Small town girl.  Moves to big city.  Becomes model.  Totally cliché.” 

The 22-year old has in four years achieved a certain amount of success in the killer shark-infested modeling industry from her home base in Tulsa.  As a specialized “fetish model,” Vanessa plays up her strong resemblance to Betty Page.  With her black hair, bangs, beautifully chiseled features, and body to die for, Vanessa practically channels the 1950s porn model.  The resemblance is no less strong on film. 


Though soft-spoken and almost painfully shy, once in front of a camera, the sparkling playfulness that was Betty Page’s calling card comes calling again in Vanessa—a bit of a stretch from the small farm town girl raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt.  But she always knew that modeling was what she wanted to do.  Her first break came when she accompanied a photographer friend to a shoot for some stock photos for a New York client.  “I wasn’t supposed to be in the shoot, but once I was there, they told me to get dressed and start shooting.  Just me wearing a lot of vinyl and some great shoes.  I got paid $100 for ten minutes worth of work.”

She then shot for makeup artist Bianca Willard, who quickly found she was going to have trouble making up Vanessa’s luminous pallor.  “Her lightest shade of makeup was too dark for me, so she had to airbrush makeup on me.  It was really weird.  The next day I was q-tipping makeup out of my ears.”

Her next big break came with the Geoffrey Hicks Cubed Project.  “One hundred people posed in a white box he built.  It totally opened my mind to entirely new ways of posing.” 

Vanessa’s big shot finally came when My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult (TKK) completed their new album, Thrill Kill Kult—the Filthiest Show in Town.  Her good friend Mike Castle produces videos, and also works at the Tulsa Eagle, a club on 3rd and Quincy.  The band asked him to produce a video for the album.  His choice was “Jet Set Sex.”  For those who haven’t seen this fun and bizarre video, parents beware.  It is an adult music video with partial nudity, and you must be 18 to view it online. 

“When Mike asked me to do the video, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.”  The video hearkens back to the 1950s, an age of Jet Set traveling, when glamorous pilots and sexy stewardesses were a staple of the new age of traveling through the skies.   But the scenes in the hotel were definitely never part of any 1950s movie I ever saw, and definitely not part of the cultural lexicon of the period.   And here’s a trivia tidbit—that’s Vanessa on the cover of the magazine the bellman is perusing at the end of the video. 

How do her parents feel about her starring in such a risqué video?  “In one of the shots, I say, ‘I’m sorry Mom!’ she laughs.   “They are actually excited about it.  My mom has always kept everything I have ever done.” 

Thrill Kill Kult plays at the Blank Slate December 5, and there are plans for Vanessa to join the band onstage when they play “Jet Set Sex.”  It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind for the girl with big ambitions.  “Just a year ago last February I was in a crowd watching them, and now they want me on stage for their Tulsa show.  Holy Crap!  There was no time between that.  It just jumped!”

So what is the next step on Vanessa’s voyage to fame and fortune? 

“I really want to start acting.  I want to do more mainstream modeling.  It’s been exciting.  I haven’t had a boring life, and I am really grateful for that, because I don’t think I could handle a normal boring life.  I think I would go crazy.” 

In the meantime she is also working on her associate’s degree in art, and most importantly, on her own personal growth.  “My spiritual path is very important to me,” she says in her typically quiet voice.  “I temporarily got off my original path at one point and was floating away from who I am and who I want to be.”

“I know the person I want to be, and am focusing my energy on that.  I want to grow into my own.” 

To see the “Jet Set Sex” video, go to TKK’s website (click here) or call for more information about the December 5th concert – the Blank Slate at 585-6282.