At 3’10″, Selene Luna is a small package with a very big presence. A veteran of the stage and screen, Selene cut her teeth performing in clubs and art venues, and quickly became a darling of Hollywood’s underground scene. An original member of the Velvet Hammer Burlesque, Selene tours internationally and performs regularly with burlesque idol Dita Von Teese. Selene is probably best known for her role in Lionsgate’s feature, "My Bloody Valentine 3D," and her role as Margaret Cho‘s assistant in Vh1′s "The Cho Show" – a performance that landed her a nomination for MTV LOGO’s NewNowNext: Brink of Fame: Comic Award. Selene’s stand-up comedy has led her to work alongside comedy legends Roseanne Barr, Robin Williams, and Garret Morris.
Next, Selene can be seen in her new one-woman show "Selene Luna: Special Needs" at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue) on March 31 at 9:30pm which will combine comedy, stories, and a dash of burlesque. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer and comedian? I had a pretty tough childhood and found escapism in classic Hollywood and television reruns. As a kid, I became enchanted by the glamour of old-timey Broadway revues like the Ziegfeld Follies and vaudeville. It made me feel good so I wanted to become a vaudeville performer not realizing that that genre of showbiz had long died out. The burlesque revival and stand-up comedy have given me the opportunity to live out a childhood dream.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Ricky Gervais and Stephan Merchant.
3. How did you come up with the title for your new show "Selene Luna: Special Needs"? What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? Throughout my childhood I was told that I was "special needs," but I never understood what that meant. All I knew was that I was really short and people were touchy about it. As an adult, I came to realize that people’s awkwardness around my stature is in itself their "special need." In my show I hope to convey that at some point or another we all have special needs.
4. What excites you most about performing at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC? I love the authentic New York cabaret vibe at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, not to mention, the fantastic NYC audiences that never fail to bring their priceless energy!
5. What's your favorite part of putting a show together? My favorite part of putting together a show is having absolute creative control.
6. What have you learned about yourself from being a burlesque performer and comedian? I have learned that I have to power to make people stare at me on my own terms.
7. You are an inspiration to people everywhere. How did you find the strength to overcome all the adversity you've encountered? I appreciate that very much. My father never failed to remind me that I am a fighter and survivor so I do not subscribe to victim mentality, as it accomplishes nothing.
8. What was the best part about working with Margaret Cho and being on her show "The Cho Show"? What did you learn from working with Margaret? Margaret and I were working together on her variety burlesque show, "The Sensuous Woman," long before the "The Cho Show," and to this day continue to work together. We are close and have a really good time hanging out and that is simply the best part. The best part about being on the "The Cho Show" was waking up in the morning to go work with friends that cracked me up all day.
9. What have you enjoyed most about working with Dita Von Tesse? I’ve never met anyone more genuinely born to be a burlesque star, than Dita Von Teese. In working with her, I most enjoy the consistent vitality, production quality and charm she brings into all our shows.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Your agent collects 10% because you do 90% of the work."—Chick Vennera, my former acting teacher.
11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? President Bill Clinton.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Favorite way to stay in shape? Lunch with my besties at the Fox Studio Commissary, followed by a day of power thrift shopping.
My favorite way to stay in shape is by eating a very healthy fresh diet. I cook most my meals that usually involve kale and salmon.
13. Favorite skin care product? MAC Prep and Prime Face Protect SPF 50.
14. Favorite website? Ebay.
15. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Levitation, so I can reach stuff.