>By King Ralphy
Tell me about the first night you went out–that doesn’t mean for work or for your own event or for enjoyment, just the first night you ever experienced nightlife and clearly it left an impression. How was it?
Years ago, probably 35 or so, I lived in San Francisco as a neighbor and best friend of Justin Vivian Bond. One night, we didn’t know anybody in SF and went to a cool bar called the White Room with the Blue Glow. And it was exactly that: A cool, white room that had a singular blue light in the place. We were around a lot of cool people, but not meeting anyone, so we decided to just start pretending that we were cracking each other up, laughing hysterically, and within minutes, people wanted to meet US, not the other way around. That taught me something–bring something to the table. Don’t go out expecting to just be entertained. If you do, you suck all the energy out of a room. Show up and give: energy, laughs, applause, whatever it is. If you sit there, arms crossed, expecting to be entertained, you suck.
Did you have a moment where you said to yourself, “I can do this too”? How did Daniel become Daniel?
Years ago, I was working at an events company called Pink Inc,, and through this company, I met a ton of burlesque performers: Dirty Martini, Julie Muz, Tigger, Scotty the Blue Bunny, World Famous Bob–the real OG kids of the neo burlesque movement. They invited me out, and talk about energy! They made me fall in love with the scene and burlesque and producing. So I quit my job, took out a 10K loan and started doing shows. And the rest, as they say, is herstory
If you could tell an 18-year-old Daniel something, what would it be?
Always have your own back. You are the only one who can truly have it. And don’t date musicians. Fuck ‘em, but don’t date ‘em.
Your weirdest celebrity encounter and/or friends and your favorite celebrity encounter and/or friend? Courtney Love came to a show I did with Amanda Lepore once at Highline Ballroom, and Courtney (who is a goddess) gave me full tilt boogie crazy court–crouching over a huge carpetbag purse on the floor, rummaging through it while screaming “I want a cigarette! I just want a fucking cigarette!!” Like an animal. If animals smoked cigarettes.
When you look back at your vast history and different occupations and titles you’ve held, do you believe in people saying that with nightlife, the only thing you can be sure of is that history will repeat itself?
Well, this I know for sure: Nightlife has always been DJs, go-go boys and drag queens. Whenever I get asked about someone (or myself) reinventing nightlife, I always say that no one is reinventing nightlife. It’s all variations on a theme. I may have invented or popularized underwear parties, but it’s basically the same formula over and over.
Can you do the bus thing again, because apparently they got more signatures to cancel the show than watch the new one? Lol. OMG. Have you seen the trailer?
So fun. I don’t miss owning a bus in NYC, but I miss hanging with my friends Sweetie and Robbynne Kaamil, who have died, and Bianca Del Rio, who should be dead. (Just kidding!)
Visit DANIEL at RED EYE NY
Watch for the Grand Opening
355 West 41st Street, New York @ 9th Avenue – outside the back of Port Authority