From her humble beginnings as a bikini dancer in Los Angeles to working with Lady Gaga as well as producing and performing in her own Las Vegas burlesque shows, Chelsea La Vone is redefining burlesque performance with her own unique artistic style and sexual energy.
C.J. Asher – Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Chelsea. Tell me a little about yourself and your background.
Chelsea La Vone – I was born and raised in Las Vegas, so naturally I was bred to be a showgirl. My father was a native undercover narcotics officer, and my great-grandmother was the first female Senator in the US. I grew up in Catholic school, so I have always felt a conflict with the sexual being I am versus the conservative political nature of my family.
C.J. Asher – How did you first decide to enter into adult entertainment and how did you start becoming an exotic dancer?
Chelsea La Vone – I started dancing after I got fired from a bullshit job when I was twenty-two. Oddly enough, my first stripping gig was at the world famous Jumbo’s Clown Room in East Hollywood. It was bikini only, and I’ll always remember how “stupid” I thought I looked since I had no experience on stage. Later in life, I decided to give it a try in Las Vegas. I am the most awkward person in the world… so I made most of my money off stage, and could rarely “hustle” let alone get any customers into the private rooms, so I gave up pretty soon after.
C.J. Asher – How did you choose your stage name?
Chelsea La Vone – Chelsea La Vone is my real legal name. Another reason I believe I was created to be a showgirl.
C.J. Asher – What television shows are you into right now?
Chelsea La Vone – I am SUPER into the new X-Files. I also just started the new series, “American Crime Story – The People vs. O.J. Simpson” and so far it’s pretty mind blowing. Any murder/mystery or paranormal series really does it for me.
C.J. Asher – What do you like to do for fun to relax and unwind when you’re not performing shows or producing them?
Chelsea La Vone – I feel like I work three whole work weeks every time I travel for a show, so most of my time at home is spent like a sloth. Because of the nature of my show, and the extreme stunts I pull off, I need a week of recovery every time I come home. While I am on the road, I never cash in my $1’s at clubs as there is something therapeutic and unwinding about unfolding and counting money in my hotel. It has always been my “thing” to help me relax after my shows.
C.J. Asher – Who are your icons within the worlds of exotic dance and burlesque?
Chelsea La Vone – I have always been obsessed with one of the queens of burlesque, Tali De’Mar. She has later since become my mentor and has really refined my dance style with teaching me grace. I also have always looked up to Angela Sommers as a performer. She’s not only DROP dead gorgeous, but also brings such a feminine energy to the stage I have always been envious of.
C.J. Asher – Does your family and friends know about your career and, if so, what do they think?
Chelsea La Vone – My mom is the biggest freak in the world, so she gets it. She has even joined me on some bookings. The rest of my family is dead, so my personal “Peanut Gallery” is quite quiet.
C.J. Asher – What are your favorite industry-related events, such as the Adult Entertainment Expo, Gentlemen’s Club Expo and feature entertainer appearances?
Chelsea La Vone – I really enjoy when features I am friends with perform near me, which is very rare, as I live on the West Coast. I love the inspiration seeing another person’s show gives me. Obviously I LOVE expo, as year after year it’s a growing friend reunion for me.
C.J. Asher – What was it like working with Lady Gaga? Tell me about your experiences and what performances you had together.
Chelsea La Vone – She was amazing. I did the “Poker Face” video with her, and landed the lead feature role. We got our make-up done together, she even did some of mine and discussed the feel she wanted for the music video. She was super professional, kind and very artistic even at the beginning of her career.
C.J. Asher – What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an exotic dancer or burlesque dancer?
Chelsea La Vone – Get a real job.
(Kidding, not kidding.) It’s feast or famine in this line of work. It’s a lot of highs and lows. Most people are not cut out for it and come unraveled.
C.J. Asher – What Las Vegas shows do you produce?
Chelsea La Vone – I produce “Burlesque at the Bowl” and “VarieTease”… I have been blessed to experience the high end side of production and have brought that into my feature shows. Lighting, music and flow is very important in the theater, and just because I find myself in smoky gentlemen’s clubs doesn’t mean I can’t bring the same theatrical theory to the small stage.
C.J. Asher – How did you come up with the concept of Suicide Sirens?
Chelsea La Vone – A bunch of us girls got together, most of them are features themselves now. We developed a showcase for a well-known, PG porn site. They saw our show, was not really interested and decided to pass on a tour. We worked SO hard on this show, and then a lightbulb clicked. “FEATURE ENTERTAINING!” I reached out to a few agencies and we had a ton of bookings in just a few days. My background is in business/marketing so I saw a demand and was a beast at branding which led to adult and mainstream industry success.
C.J. Asher – How is Suicide Sirens, a “hardcore” burlesque show, different than most traditional burlesque shows?
Chelsea La Vone – We wanted to “Pump up the Volume” of classic burlesque. We incorporate sideshow stunts, which aim to shock. One minute we’re slowly pulling off our meticulously rhinestoned arm length gloves, the next we’re spraying sparks in our faces with power tools in tow.
C.J. Asher – What’s the most rewarding aspect of your career?
Chelsea La Vone – I really thrive in traveling and meeting new people. Everyone is so anxious to get out of the country, and I am happy seeing ALL of our country. There are so many little pockets of tradition and history in the US, it’s like a bunch of different little countries in one.
C.J. Asher – What awards have you won and which one are you the proudest of?
Chelsea La Vone – I haven’t really won any awards. Been nominated 2x for the Ed Awards, that was honor enough. I did win “Most Extreme Show” at the 2015 EDI’s, but I owe that award to my teeth shattering incident. HA! Wasn’t an award winning show, but I appreciated the “cookie”… I guess I am guilty of coming down hard on myself when I DON’T win an award, but that’s me just looking for external approval. Maybe this year!
C.J. Asher – What’s the nicest compliment or rudest comment you’ve ever received from a fan?
Chelsea La Vone – “What you’re doing is seriously ART”… I LOVE when people “get” what I am doing. My style isn’t for everyone, but the few that really celebrate it is what keeps me going.
C.J. Asher – Do you feel that working as an exotic dancer is empowering to or exploiting of women?
Chelsea La Vone – HAHAHA! EMPOWERING. I like to make fun of men in my shows. I steal their drinks, rope them like cattle and call out demands when I bring them on stage with my big ass bullwhip. I do feel that I give a little bit more energy to the crowd on strip club stages, as there is sexuality to it. Sexual energy is very powerful. If any customer gets a little out of line, I give them a nice little slap… and they LOVE it.
C.J. Asher – Your website has a “Hire Me” link and is titled “Make Me Yours For The Night.” What types of private show and entertainment services do you provide and how much do they typically cost?
Chelsea La Vone – That was a default template and I thought it sounded provocative, so I left it. HAHAHA! I will sometimes do a bachelor party here and there, but they always sound like a convenient way to get murdered. I usually stick to corporate or feature bookings.
C.J. Asher – What social media sites can your fans visit you at?
C.J. Asher is a sex and adult entertainment blogger who has interviewed celebrities such as Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, BurningAngel.com owner, director, writer and actress Joanna Angel as well as a sugar baby advisor, burlesque dancer, feminist and many others. His blog, CJAsher.com, also review gentlemen’s clubs nationwide and posts a weekly adult entertainment calendar highlighting adult film star appearances. Follow C.J. on Twitter @CJASHEROFFICIAL