Performer Selene Luna is one of my very best friends. We have shared hotel rooms, motel rooms, dressing rooms, hallways and/or broom closets serving as dressing rooms and, thanks to our tiny stomachs (hers from birth, mine from surgery), a whole lot of brunches, lunches and dinners. Of course, we have also shared the stage (in countless shows, including my play Whatever Happened To Busty Jane?), computer screen (in wildly popular YouTube videos such as our “High Fructose Corn Syrup Parody”) and even the silver screen (in the campy schlock-fest Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver)! And now I am co-producing (along with my other BFF, Mario Diaz) her new bimonthly variety show at Akbar, The Dog & Pony Show. We sat down recently over nachos, where she spoke about this exciting new project while I pretended to know nothing about it.
Why a variety show? And why now?
In this age of reality TV stunt weddings and drunk, orange Jersey trash, Selene Luna’s Dog & Pony Show is my love letter to American vaudeville, from back in the day when raw talent and perseverance were the only ways to earn the spotlight. It’s time to get back to live shows, one of the most primitive forms of entertainment. I do love me some reality TV, but unlike those shows, live theater is always unpredictable!
I’m intrigued. Keep talking!
It’s a fearless, anything-goes, vaudeville-inspired comedy show that will feature larger-than-life L.A. personalities such as Alec Mapa, Calpernia Addams, Nadya Ginsburg, Jimmy James, Kitten deVille, fabulous up-and-comers, surprise celebrity drop-ins and even you, Jackie! I’m extremely lucky to have the opportunity to book the most-talented entertainers in Tinseltown!
It all sounds very “Neo-Depression!” Do you consider yourself the “new Shirley Temple?”
I consider myself the “OLD Shirley Temple—BLACK!” But seriously folks, I suffer from a rare disease called Schtick-el Cell Anemia, which makes it impossible for me to stop putting on shows. It’s not easy living with gag-zooks outbursts, but putting on dog-and-pony shows helps me manage my condition.
I understand the opening night is going to be “off da hook,” as the cool kids would say! Tell my readers who your special guests are.
OMG! I can’t believe the stellar lineup I’ve got booked for opening night! I’m a huge fan of each guest! Prince Poppycock from America’s Got Talent; Drew Droege, aka YouTube’s Chloe sensation; the world’s first F2M transgender comic, Ian Harvie; Sam Pancake from Pretty: The Series and $#*! My Dad Says; and everyone’s favorite Tranimal, Squeaky Blonde!
Wow! What a lineup! But let’s be honest, show business is hell. Tell us your most horrifying entertainment-related story.
I got hired to do some green screen work for what was essentially the Dutch version of Good Morning America. The entire crew was Dutch, and the director had a very thick accent. He instructed me and the two other day players to jump up and down while yelling “BNN,” the network’s call letters. I thought he said, “Jump up and down and be an ant.” I got on all fours and pretended to be an ant, antennas and all! Meanwhile, the two other actors were not behaving like ants. The director starts yelling at me, “BNN! BNN!” but all I hear is, “Be an ant, be an ant!” So now I’m feverishly acting like a crazed ant on the floor! This went on for a good five takes or so. Finally, they stop everything and a PA comes over to me and asked if I understood what “BNN” meant. I was mortified!
OK, let’s play a little word association. I say a word, name or phrase and you say the very first thing that pops into that pretty little head of yours. It’s something many psychiatrists do to quickly learn more about a patient. And girl, don’t even pretend you ain’t never been to no head-shrinker. We all know you is crazy! Are you ready?
Yes, let’s do this!
The real deal!
Me, Jackie Beat.
Yes! And this Golden Girl loves it! OK, so here’s your opportunity to make one last plea to all my readers out there. That’s right, little lady, all 12 of ‘em! Tell them why they should come to your new show—and make it good, because times are tough!
People need a break from reality more than ever, and financial hardships shouldn’t deprive anyone from the stimulation your physical senses get from live performance. To honor the hardworking 99 percent, all Dog & Pony Shows are only $5! There is nowhere else in town where you can experience this caliber of entertainment at such bargain-basement, rock-bottom prices!
Selene Luna’s Dog & Pony Show debuts on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. at Akbar, 4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. For more information, visit SeleneLuna.com.