The world's "psychics to the stars" will take to the New York stage just in time for the summer solstice.
Real-life married couple Stella Starsky and Quinn Cox, known internationally as Starsky + Cox, put a comic (and musical) twist on the age-old art of astrology in "Starring: A Midsummer's Evening of Entertaining Enlightenment," which hits Joe's Pub at New York's Public Theater on June 21. The pair, who you may recognize from their appearances on “Chelsea Lately,” VH1 and MTV, promise the new show will "seamlessly marry the high and low, the esoteric and the pop, the sexy and sublime, the cosmic and the comic."
The Huffington Post spoke with Starsky + Cox, who are the authors of the beloved best-seller, Sextrology, via email about the new show, how gender and sexuality play into astrology and whether or not star signs can really impact romantic compatibility.
What surprises can we expect from your show, "Starring"?
Well we suppose it's a surprise in itself that you can catch a couple of cosmic comics with a metaphysical music act performing live at Joe's Pub, although we have done so for over five years. But people are probably most amazed by the audience interaction. Total strangers will have sent us their birth stats and we read their astrological charts live on the spot. They might expect us to poke fun, improvising with them, but what is most stupifying is how freakily accurate we can be. It's not a Starsky + Cox show unless we see some shock beneath the laughter. And of course our sketches and patter strike chords of truthiness even if they seem to come from outer space. People find it surprising that they can belly laugh at jokes about high-minded subjects like mythology or the multiverse.
How do gender and sexuality play into astrology? How would, for example, a gay man's astrological chart differ from that of a straight person who is born on the same day?
It's all about archetype. The whole premise of our book Sextrology which is subtitled The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes is foremost about gender and sexuality. A person born on the same day in the same place at the same exact time will have the same chart as you do. And they will inherit the same archetypal ingredients. However, there is a spectrum, a paradoxical nature, to every placement of a planet in a sign in an astrological house in a person's chart. (Think of twins. They can have an almost exact birth chart, but they tend to gravitate to different polarities within their astrological make-up, to express their individuality, in relief. Still, there are so many examples of twins who were separated at birth leading lives, down to the most minute detail, that are similar.)
In general terms of sun-sign astrology there are a number of archetypes assigned to each of the signs In our book Sextrology separate male signs from female signs into 24 instead of the traditional 12. But within, say, the male sign of Sagittarius, there are a number of archetypes on which that individual might draw, in sweeping terms. And we start with the classic archetypes, those of the gods and demigods, who are really just personifications of energy, characters that echo through fairytales and literature, film and drama, television and comic books, and whose energy we, as living-breathing people also take on. Of course, sitting with a client and looking at their individual chart we can go infinitely deeper in the exploration of their individual selves.
I hear so much talk of not signing contracts, etc. during mercury retrograde, for example. How much would you say that a person should (or shouldn't) rely on astrology when making major life decisions?
In our private consultancy, we never tell a client they should or should not do a particular thing. We explore the landscape of potentiality available to them at any given time, to help them make informed decisions with eyes wide open.
That said, this last Mercury retrograde that ended last week was a total ass kicker and we were pretty verbal about letting things wait that could wait. Not because the outcome would be unfavorable—Mercury doesn't have much control over that—but, named for the trickster god, that planet can mess with our heads in the process, throwing monkey wrenches in our path. But even so: the effects of Mercury are designed to keep our minds sharp, while making us more flexible and versatile in our approach to circumstance. Tough love from a tiny planet.
Astrological compatibility between partners -- important, or no? Is this any more or less significant in same-sex relationships? Can a couple who are astrologically opposed somehow make it work?
Without zeroing in on the specific charts of two actual individuals who are in an intimate relationship, and just speaking, as we do in our books, in general terms of sun-sign astrology, there are still some pretty specific peaks and valleys endemic to a certain relationship between sex signs. This was the premise of our second book, Cosmic Coupling, to which, much to our chagrin, our publisher would only dedicate a single page to same sex relationships, whilst straight relationships were given full spreads. No pun intended. (The limiting and omitting of gay content in our books has seen us pull it from markets like Russia and has informed our choices, moving forward, in the traditional publishing world.)
But to answer your question: Every relationship can work. Different signs tend to access or spotlight different parts of our own personalities, in broad terms, and the emphasis of the relationship will vary, depending on the sign combination. We tend to play different roles in relationship with different signs. And just as we might find ourselves being attracted to a person of a particular sign, time and again, or they to us, we are often quite aware which relationships are sustainable or combustible as the case may be.
How would an astrological chart differ for a transgender person as opposed to gay or straight?
Again the chart doesn't change and we think the question you're asking is: can it be that a straight person and a gay person and a transgender person all born in exactly the same place at the exact instant have the same chart -- which they do -- and the answer would be yes. The zodiac is a pretty amazing, age-old, timeless mandala for existence. And it has always seemed to know things that we modern folk only then "discover" via math or the sciences, in time.
The astrological system sees sexuality and gender as being far more fluid than our overly categorial minds will often allow. What qualities of self that the straight, gay or transgender individual born at precisely the same time in the same place actually do share will be far more astounding than how they identify in regard to gender or sexuality. They can have all the same cosmic ingredients but embody a different recipe.
Also, in regard to transgender individuals: We find it more apt to discuss them in terms of gender, not in terms of sexuality. Just as we maintain that men and women (who identify as such) are different archetypes, one from another, so too are transgender people of a particular sign; but we've yet been able to express that in book form. [Put a pin] in that because doing so is part of our plan.
Musically, what can we expect from the new show?
Music has always been the icing for us. That said, we have gone further with it. Matt Ray has been our musical director now for the last five years an he's the best in the business. We choose songs that tell a story and fit the theme of the show without hitting people over the head with them. We have individually found our own voices and have performed, more, separately in recent years—Stella Starsky's solo show "Birth of the American Baroness" will be at Joe's Pub on July 23 — and choosing songs to do together is always easy and fun. You might hear anything from X (the band) to Blossom Dearie in this show. And Patrick Johnson will be joining us along with special guest Phoebe Legere.
"Starring: A Midsummer's Evening of Entertaining Enlightenment" hits Joe's Pub at New York's Public Theater on June 21. Head here for more details.