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 Gigi La Femme, whose Revealed shakes things up at Under St. Marks in New York next Wednesday.
What is your hometown?
New York, baby! Astoria, Queens is where I grew up and I currently reside in Brooklyn.
How long have you been interested in burlesque/performing?
My interest in the performing and visual arts started at a really young age-probably around three or four when I first started taking dance classes (ballet, jazz, tap) like most little girls do. I also took avid interest in singing, dabbling with different instruments (guitar and piano) and the visual arts (specifically photography) from elementary school throughout college.
It was in 2004 that I learned I could combine all of the elements through burlesque and better yet, you weren’t required to be classically trained in any way. All you needed to start was an overactive imagination.
How many pairs of pasties do you own?
I would say about 25, including a big, giant one from winning Best Booty Shaker 2008 at the New York Burlesque Festival.
What are your three favorite songs to perform to?
Every Planet We Reach Is Dead by the Gorillaz, I’m Ready by Aerosmith and my new favorite I Am A Very Stylish Girl mixed by Dimitri from Paris.
What three items could you not live without as a performer?
#1: Sally Hansen Airbursh Legs
#2: Pollys! (The best shoes EVER)
#3: Lots of glitter
Who had the biggest influence on your career?
That would have to be Scarlet Sinclair. She introduced me to the art form over five years ago and enabled me to find my own voice in the burlesque community. She guided me in many areas. Whether it was how to make pasties, borrowing books and videos for researching, working out acts or writing that first email asking to be booked--Scarlet was there to mentor me and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience.
Also, working with Doc Wasabassco of Wasabassco Burlesque has definitely helped shape my on-and-off stage character. From producing to performing, his advice and support has pushed me to think outside of the box. He constantly inspires me and I love him for it.
Who is your favorite burly queen?
Oh, I have so many! Though, the woman I saw for the first time who really knocked my socks off and made me say, “Yes…I want to do THAT!” was Julie Atlas Muz. Talk about pushing boundaries and thinking outside of the box! That woman is a worldwide treasure.
What is your favorite item of clothing?
Okay, my dresses are going to start getting jealous, but it would have to be this black, hip-hugging, wiggle dress I have by Stop Staring. It’s stretchy so you can still eat a hamburger, be comfortable AND look fabulous.
What’s the last movie you saw?
I watched Avenue Montaigne a few nights ago. It’s a French film by Danièle Thompson.
What’s on your must-see-TV list?
I’m a glutton for Gossip Girl, Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (the British version), America’s Next Top Model and the original Iron Chef.
What book is on your nightstand?
Nothing at the moment, but I’d really like to find a juicy biography on Stevie Nicks.
If you could go anywhere for vacation, where would you go?
It would have to be someplace warm and tropical. Fiji sounds pretty good to me!
If you could have any superpower, which one would you want? Why?
I wish I could teleport myself around the world. Not only would I be able to blink my way to that Fijian vacation, but it would make those late night train rides (when I come home from gigs) SO much easier. Who knows, maybe my iPhone will have a new teleporting app in a few years.
Satisfy your appetite for more Candy Grams: Kitten on the Keys, Virginia D'Vine, Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Champagne Sparkles, Selia Carmichael, Pyra Sutra, Roxi Dlite, Scarlet O'Gasm, Bombshell Betty, Foxy Moxy, Bambi Galore, Mis Rosie Bitts, Sahara Dunes, Mimi Rockafellar, 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.