A Fabulous Chat With Superstar Performer Amanda Lepore
Amanda Lepore images by Marco Ovando
Amanda Lepore is beyond words. You can call her a model, a performance artist, a style paradigm, a transgender icon…and none of it would really suffice. Perhaps one only need to know that her obsessive admirers include the likes of David LaChapelle and Terry Richardson.
One other such Amanda obsessive is high-profile LA nightlife impresario Jeremy Fall, who has based much of his aesthetic ideology on the New York scene that made her possible. “My biggest inspiration was the club kids in NYC circa The Limelight,” he says, “along with Area and Studio 54. I wanted to recreate the lawless emotion found in that era of nightlife. My favorites were Michael Alig, James St. James and Amanda Lepore.”
It was perhaps inevitable, then, that Lepore would be taking to the stage this Saturday night at Golden Box, Fall’s exceedingly buzzed about new Hollywood hotspot. The club manages to tap into the sort of anything-is-possible energy and philosophy of pre-regulation NYC nightlife, while at the same time drawing a cool, young crowd who just want to dance and feel fabulous for night. “LA nightlife currently consists of promoters and mixology bars,” Fall observes. “But dance clubs should be places where you can dance, get drunk and have fun, and not have to balance a glass full of egg whites and vermouth while listening to top 40.”
We caught up for a chat with the busy Lepore just before her highly anticipated Golden Box debut, about which Fall enthuses, “All I want is for people to either absolutely hate it or completely fall in love with it. I don’t actually care which one it is, I just want them to leave actually feeling something.”
What do you find has changed most about New York nightlife?
Amanda Lepore: I think people don’t go out as much anymore just to meet someone. Now they come out more for specific entertainment, for a special performance, rather than just going out. I also think nightlife is more segregated, things are more specific.
In a good way or a bad way?
Good and bad. It’s good to be able to go someplace where you know exactly what it’s going to be. But it’s also fun to be spontaneous, and be somewhere with all different kinds of people mixed together—and I miss that, club kids mixing with people in suits. You just don’t find that as much.
Do you find that you’re more accepted as a transgender performer now?
Um…I do think it’s more open now. In some ways it was an advantage that people didn’t know—because that meant they just got to know me for me, not for my transexualism. It used to be something you didn’t talk about. I was a lap dancer and a dominatrix—and I had to keep my identity hidden. Hopefully it will get to the point where it’s just not even an issue anymore.
Do you feel that LA now cultivates individuality, whereas New York encourages conformity?
Every time I come to LA, it seems like it’s more and more exciting. I really look forward to it. New York has gotten a lot more conservative, but there does seem to be an excitement in LA.
How do you feel about the future of NYC nightlife?
I do think I see the younger kids getting more crazy again lately. There’s been a lot more dressing up in the last few years.
What are your current projects that we should know about?
I’m coming out with a book in the spring, all about my life. Also I’m working on new music; there will be a new EP in the spring, followed by a full album. I took singing lessons, so it will be much more about singing than rapping.