Central MA Up + Comer Niki Luparelli, Marilyn Monroe to Boozy News
Thursday, November 07, 2013
A Conversation with Niki Luparelli
SW: You are a summa cum laude graduate with a double major in music and communications. You made the comment that it was “as useful as a degree in pinball”. Did you always know that you wanted to perform or were you focused on another career at one time?
NL: I thought I was going to be an opera singer all through my teens and really until halfway through college. My voice isn’t really an ideal match for that field ultimately, and it was at that point I got into stand-up comedy. I thought about going to law school briefly, because I like nice shoes.
SW: Can you talk briefly about your unusual career from glam retro cover bands to delinquent traveling variety shows?
NL: They go together like peanut butter and fluff! I have my fingers in a lot of lipsticks. I love doing all of them. I began doing Jerkus Circus around 2005 which is also known as "Jerk du Soleil" and is, we believe, America's most delinquent traveling circus. It is a campy cabaret that has traveled through Boston, New York, Providence, and Worcester featuring wildly diverse performance artists, uniquely hilarious comedic acts, pasties, drug references, and all your favorite swear words. Which is where I really honed my improvisational and audience management skills. It was a 3-hour show in front of the hippest, drunkest 20 somethings around. Swim or die.
When that show was beginning its hiatus. I hooked up with Dan Burke and starting living the lesson from Dr. Frank N Furter: “Don’t dream it. Be it.” I wanted to be Mae West or Jessica Rabbit or Bette Midler. I wanted to put a tight dress on, sing, and be sassy.
SW: I laughed when I saw the “internationally ignored Niki Luparelli” in your bio. What is it that drives you or anyone to succeed in this field?
NL: That’s actually a nod to Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But, it doesn’t make it any less true. To go back to your question, “Writers Write.” Performers perform. We have to. That’s one of the reasons I hate this American Idol culture we’ve developed. It used to be, if you wanted to be a singer, you had to work your ass off for years. Now, if you’re good looking, or have a sob story, and can carry a tune, you can skip all the working-your-ass off-part, and just go audition and you can get lucky and end up on one of these shows.
SW: Can you expound a bit on your show, “Oh you Pretty Things” a.k.a David Boobie?
NL: The Golddiggers and I perform a loving, electric blue, lavish, total blam blam tribute to The ‘Thin White Duke’. The band covers about 20 Bowie songs and will be joined by burlesque, gogo, and aerial performances from several Boston area dancers. The show is a must for any Bowie or boobie fan!
SW: So how did you end up a “Gansett Girl”?
NL: I submitted my picture into the Narragansett Beer contest last year, and through the miracle of Internet voting, there I was. I was also ‘Gansett Girl” a few times as well around Christmas and Halloween.
SW: Can you describe a day in your life?
NL: My days are all different. It really depends on the show I’m doing. After I get up, I take the dogs outside. I have one permanent dog, Egon, and one foster dog, Tod, at the moment. I am on my fourth foster dog from Last Hope K9 rescue. Last Hope is an incredible organization that saves dogs of all breeds, sometimes literally at the last minute, from kill shelters in the south and brings them up here to get them adopted.
After I feed the dogs, (I make my own dog food), if I have a show, then the rest of the day is usually spent getting ready for the show in some way or another Maybe a workout (I ordered the Brazilian Butt Lift Workout DVD when I was up too late watching TV with a credit card) On days when I’m not hung over * wink * I’ll usually do that. If I am doing something that day that requires me to be in my “Niki costume,” getting ready can take up to three hours. My hair is like dandelion fluff. I definitely don’t wake up looking this way.
SW: What is your dream job?
NL: Producing funny, awesome shows. Right now, I love doing my new web series “Boozy News.” I’d love to be getting paid for that. But other than that, I’m doing exactly what I want.
SW: What is your favorite movie? Why?
NL: “Spinal Tap,” and “The Princess Bride” are my top two. “Spinal Tap” is just a perfect movie to me. It was the first “rockumentary” and also the first “mockumentary.” I can quote the majority of it. It’s kind of a secret language with cool musicians. “The Princess Bride” has everything you could want in a movie. I also could probably recite the entire script, at the very least pantomime it. They were both directed by Rob Reiner (“Meathead” from All in the Family) and starred Christopher Guest. That is my magic combination. My favorite movie that doesn’t have either of those two fellas in it is Ghostbusters. That had the magic combination of ghosts and hilarity. There is no Dana, only Zuul.
SW: What music do you listen to?
NL: All the music I sing is music that I loved at one time or another. It runs from Cline to Bowie.
SW: What is your favorite social networking site? Why?
NL: The Book of Faces. If you’re on Facebook, you never drink alone.
SW: What do you do away from your career?
NL: Brunch. Bleach my hair. Read. Watch Ghost Shows.
SW: Are you involved in the community? If so, how?
NL: Well, not currently, but I’m planning on running for mayor in 2019. Watch out! Worcester, Amsterdam of the ‘20s.
SW: Who or what is the biggest influence in your life?
NL: My grandfather, then David Bowie, and then champagne.
SW: What is a fun fact few people know about you?
NL: I am obsessed with hot sauce. I also used to be Goth like Morticia Addams. I name all my pets after characters in Ghostbusters.
SW: Your favorite quote?
NL: “Have a good time, all the time.” – Viv Savage
SW: What do you think creates success?
SW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
NL: Still telling people I’m in my 27s. I’m hoping this Susan Lucci face-sander I bought off the shopping channel works like she claims.
Susan Wagner is the president of Susan Wagner PR . In this challenging economy, she has begun a new division to offer affordable start-up packages to new and emerging small businesses and non-profit organizations that include professional writing services, websites, collateral, marketing, social media, grassroots outreach and PR campaigns.
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