It sucks hanging out with Selene Luna–mostly on account of nobody looks at you when she’s in the room; you stand next to her and then you watch yourself fade into the wallpaper and then feel yourself vanish into thin air. At least that was my experienced when I met the burlesque darling a good four years ago through two good friends of mine. We went to have some Pho in Korea town (we call Pho chinless soup on account of it has so much sodium and it makes your neck so bloated that you lose your chin and walk around looking like a thumbprint). The restaurant was full of people. All eyes were instantly on her, which was kind of trippy, because most Asian cultures tend to be reserved with eyes looking forward at all times. It’s not polite to stare, but those prying eyes didn’t faze her one bit.
I jumped on the opportunity to interview Selene (we’re on a first name basis) for the most current issue of THE FIGHT magazine where she talks about reuniting with Margaret Cho for their new web series In Transition. Read the interview below, or you can pick up a copy of The Fight, which is on the street now.
I call it a Mediterranean burrito. You get all the ingredients you would put in a pita and you put it in a tortilla. I eat them a lot. It’s how I roll.
I’m trying to balance my life between standup comedy and stripping. The Strip Strip Hooray Summer Tour with Dita Von Teese kicked off in Los Angeles in June. We have more dates coming in the fall. It’s a lot of fun.
Oh, it’s awesome. It’s a Broadway quality show. I’m doing my rock-n-roll motorcycle number that was inspired by my late friend Tura Satana [of the movie “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”]. I have a miniature chopper that was designed for me by Michael Schmidt—you might be familiar with him, he designs for Madonna’s tours, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Dita and then me. My motorcycle number has become my signature number. Everyone seems to love it.
It’s a dark comedy about three women who are recently released from prison and they’re having a very difficult time transitioning to civilian life. They’re these scrappy hustlers. We have Tawny Kim being played by Margaret Cho; she’s a real sketchy Korean gang banger. I would call her the Mo of the Three Stooges. I play Concha; she’s the Mexican character that got in trouble with the Mexican Cartel. Then there’s Farhonda played by Yvette Saunders; she’s Tawny’s little sidekick.
Concha has basically scammed people with her quote-on-quote, psychic powers. There’s a fine line between what’s real and not real with her. She starts to believe her own bull. She scammed the Cartel and got caught, so she’s always looking over her shoulder, because you don’t mess with the Mexican Cartel. The women in my life like my aunts and cousins are part of this character.
I could barely recognize her. Tawny is a perfect opportunity to see Margaret’s acting range. She’s an incredible actress. Unfortunately, in Hollywood, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to show all our talents. A lot of times we do whatever job is given to us. Margaret took this role and ran with it.
It was totally intentional that all the starring roles were women of color, including our co-star Luenell; she plays Marla, an executive head of a company and she’s a black woman. We rarely get this type of opportunity, so we just decided to create this for ourselves.
Oh, I definitely think so—this will especially appeal to the gays. It’s been my experience that you can push the envelope a little further with the gays. I think the gay community has a special sense of humor. I think the challenges they face gives them permission to laugh a little darker. That’s the humor that appeals to me.
The gay community has been so incredible to me. I feel so lucky that I have been embraced by my gays and I think they know that I empathize on some level. I’m not gay, but there’s no question that I know what it’s like to be different. Being a little person, I have my share of discrimination over something I have no control over. It’s the way I was born. I think I have an unspoken understanding with the gay community.
Oh my God, the closest people in my life are gay, unless I’m sleeping with them [laughs]. My good friend Jackie Beat is in our web series. She’s a world famous drag queen and she’s a major scene stealer.
I hope this shows the audiences and TV executives that women of color are funny and we can carry a well written show.