In our ongoing Q&A series --"The Candy Gram"-- we ask the same quirky questions of burlesque's various performers. If you want to be added to the mix, drop us a line at kellydinardo AT gmail DOT com. Today, say hello to Rani Rhinestone.
What is your hometown?
Toronto, ON, but originally from Victoria, BC
How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
I've been interested in performing for as long as I can remember. When I was six years old I used to put on tapes (eek, the eighties) of popular musicals like Cats or Cabaret. My sister and I would make programs and "sell tickets" to our family, then we'd make them sit and watch us lip-synch and dance to the whole thing.
How many pairs of pasties do you own?
I keep making more, so my burlesque toolbox is always full. Right now I have about 15, but only because I recently gave a bunch away.
What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
I like to take classic burlesque numbers and set them to modern music. Right now, my three favorite songs to perform to are:
The Ocean by The Bravery
Still Raining by Johnny Lang
A View to a Kill by Duran Duran
What three items could you not live without as a performer?
My white ostrich feather fans for an updated fan dance
Double-sided tape for attaching pasties quickly during costume changes
A good pair of heels that are easy to dance in, and show off my 'great gams'
Who had the biggest influence on your career?
Tim Curry in all of his movies, but especially in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Muppets Treasure Island. I always looked up to Monty Python, Margaret Cho, and Eddie Izzard.
Who is your favorite burly queen?
I love Michelle L'Amour's fan dance, and I love the way Dirty Martini can be political and sexy at the same time. I wouldn't be where I am today without my burlesque mentor, Bettina May from Victoria BC, and I adore the ladies I perform with in the Cinnamon Hearts: Ginger Marquee, Lady Cupcake, Betty La Bomba, Cherry Temple, and our little helper Jennie Boheim.
What is your favorite item of clothing?
My red rhinestone-studded pasties and g-string that I use in my fan dance.
What's the last movie you saw?
Wall-E, who doesn't love Pixar movies?
What's on your must-see-TV list?
I don't have a TV, but if I did I'd watch So You Think You Can Dance.
What book is on your nightstand?
Pretty Things by Liz Goldwyn.
If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
London. I love the way the old world combines the old and new in unique and exciting ways
If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
Teleportation. That way I could get myself and all my costumes to gigs so much more easily.
Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Baby Le Strange, Rose Darling, Satan's Angel, Ophelia Flame, Panache La Plume, Ginger Valentine, Madame Rosebud, Little Brooklyn, Victoria Veneance, Sauci Calla Horra, Penny Starr Jr., Gemma Parker, Darla DeVine, Sparkly Devil, Vivienne VaVoom, Lux LaCroix, Charlotte La Belle Araignee, Bunny Love, Amber Topaz, Amelie Soleil, Red Hot Annie, HoneyLu, Kimberlee Rose, Vicky Butterfly, Dominique Immora, Yasmine Vine, Cherry Bomb, Millie Dollar, Joanie Gyoza, Bonbon Vivant, Lola Martinet, Frankie Boudoir, Vixen Violette, Ravenna Black, Veronica Lashe, Amber Ray, Beatrix von Bourbon, Angie Pontani, Tanya Cheex, Bloody Belle, Clams Casino, Trixie Little, Michelle L'Amour, Margaret Cho, Miss Dirty Martini, Princess Farhana, Miss Delirium Tremens, Paris Green, Jo Boobs, Jack Midnight, Heidi Von Haught, Diamond Minx, The Titillation Twins, Scratch, Creamy Stevens and Gina Louise.