A.K.A. Jacqueline Myrie

Mr. Danya
Joined: February 16th, 2009, 8:51 pm

July 11th, 2014, 8:12 pm #1

First published in Danger Zone Magazine Issue 65, cover date August 2012:
An EXCLUSIVE Interview by Corbin Sorvillo.

In 2008, twenty-nine students from Bayview Secondary School, Minnesota escaped from the fourth televised version of the terrorist bloodsport known worldwide as "Survival of the Fittest." Four years after their daring escape, DMZ's Corbin Sorvillo catches up with notoriously reclusive survivor Jacqueline Myrie to talk social media presence, living as a single mother in New York, and her upcoming Young Adult novel Plastic Vampire Fangs.

Ed: The following interview took place in Myrie's apartment in New York in early June, prior to the re-emergence of Survival of the Fittest. In the wake of this news, Jackie has requested that photographs of her or her family not be used in this interview. Danger Zone Magazine respectfully agrees with her wishes. The accompanying image for this article is a portrait of her by her daughter, Helena, aged 3.

cs You've notoriously refused to give media interviews over the years, yet your active social media presence you keep means that anyone with a computer, tablet, or smartphone can easily up to date with the minutia of your life- for instance, you live-tweeted the birth of your daughter in quite graphic detail.

JM: [Laughs] "It was an avant-garde art project. Or a dare, one of the two."

cs Regardless, With six hundred thousand followers on Twitter and around 19,000 unique hits a day on your blog--

JM: "Peeing in the Boys' Room, yes."

cs --you've certainly embraced the power of social media. What draws you to connect with your followers through those avenues, rather than through, say, print or television?

JM: "The accessibility of it, really. Anyone who wants to talk to me, for better or for worse, can get me at the touch of a button. I think it's spectacular that the barriers have been broken down in that way. You really start to see entertainment figures as people, rather than malevolent corporate entities."

cs So you're a firm believer in the digital future.

JM: "Fuck yeah! I mean, four years ago, I was using a shitty flip phone that could barely get a signal. Four years on, I'm using an iPhone to order pizza while I'm putting Helena to sleep. If you'd have shown 17-year-old Jackie that shit, she would have flipped."

cs What exactly caused you to reject the media opportunities that some of your peers accepted- some would even say relished in?

JM: "Control of my image, mostly. I came off that island a murderer, and I knew it. Even with amnesty from the government, I was afraid for years that anything I said in public would be twisted and used against me, so I kept myself hidden for a few months. Then people started finding my twitter account, and the sympathy and heartfelt messages I received were so overwhelming that I felt "Okay, this is something I have to do. I have to put myself out there and get back in the world." Which is how Peeing in the Boys' Room got started."

cs You don't worry about that with this interview?

JM: [Laughs] "No."

cs You're incredibly candid about your experiences on the island, especially on your blog, and your writing on the subject has been described by one critic as "grim, cynical and nihilistic". What drew you to be so open about your experiences, when so many others would rather forget about them?

JM: "The funny thing was that when I put myself out there again with the blog, more people remembered me as the girl who took a shit in the forest than the girl who killed Lily McLaughlin. So I figured "Fuck it. I'll own it." That's a little facetious, though. I don't want people to forget what they put us through. What's the quote? "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it"? Sort of like that, but with a lot more shit jokes."

cs You've been living in New York for the past four years. Have you ever gone back to Minnesota?

JM: "Not immediately. After we had been rescued, we were taken to a hospital in Canada. One of the guys who rescued us- I can't tell you his name, obviously- helped me get this place. I was eager to leave St. Paul behind."

cs What did your family think?

JM: "They were incredibly supportive through it all. I keep in touch with my parents, and my little sister, through Skype. We actually went to Disneyworld together last year, and I'm taking Helena to see her grandparents this Christmas."

cs You're a twenty-one year old single mother working as--

JM: "A birthday party princess, yes. In addition to my day job as a retail manager."

cs And you have a novel coming out next year.

JM: "Yes, I do! It's called Plastic Vampire Fangs, and it's a Young Adult novel. I'll talk about that more when I have a release date."

cs How do you find the time?

JM: "Scheduling. Plain and simple. It's all in the fucking scheduling."

cs Your daughter, Helena, turned three years old a few weeks ago.

JM: "She means the absolute world to me."

cs You've been strangely quiet as to the identity of her father, considering the detail you go into on all other aspects of your life. What do you have to say to the rumours that--

JM: "I'd rather not discuss that, thanks."

cs Do you think Survival of the Fittest could ever come back?

JM: "I wish I could say "No. It's gone forever," but I doubt it's that simple. The guy who ran it- Mr. Danya- he was a fucking cockroach. A sadistic, fucked up cockroach. I'm sure the rest of them were worse. As long as the people who did this to us are out there and still alive, they're just gonna keep coming back. It's just going to keep happening. They're just gonna keep killing more kids."
Jacqueline Myrie can be found @Jackie4President on twitter, or on her website peeingintheboysroom.com. Her first novel Plastic Vampire Fangs is scheduled to release through Siegel & Shuster Ltd. in Summer 2013.

Corbin Sorvillo, a freelance writer who lives in Long Island, New York, was a senior in Barry Coleson High during the first version of Survival of the Fittest. He has written for numerous publications over the years, including Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Spin.
B035 - [color=EF98AA]Ray Gilbert[/color] - DECEASED - Guy Fawkes Mask - Too Far Gone
G029 - Zoe Leverett - DECEASED - Machete - To Really Be Alone, To Pick At All the Bones
wrote:[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently
wrote:[15:16] <Naft> My college once nearly burned down because someone tried to make a bong out of dollar bills and the fire alarm didn't work