Season 5

#126. Activating GoGo Gadget

1 hour, 53 minutes

Released: May 3, 2021
Recorded: March 13, 2021

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GoGo Gadget is a triple threat entertainer based out of NYC known for his thrilling striptease, spinning floor fillers, and featured performances in immersive theatre w/ Third Rail Projects (“Then She Fell,” “The Grand Paradise”).  He has been seen in Vienna, Paris, London–and Bushwick, and is produces Freaky Follies w/ Jack Barrow at The Liberty NYC.

On this episode of WEBurlesque the Podcast, Viktor chats with burlesque performer, dancer, and producer GoGo Gadget.

While dance is a truly integral part of his life now, Gadget didn’t actually start dancing seriously until his freshman year of college:

GG (10:45): “In college, dance was the beginning of ‘Who are you?’ ‘Who are you really?’ and someone actually giving two shits to ask me or want me to express it.To bring it out of me or to provide an environment for me to explore that for myself since I didn’t know who I was…that was the best and most glorious gift college gave me.”

It was because of this gift of self understanding that Gadget was able to come out and recognize his queerness. Something that was very hard to do in the 90’s when positive gay representation was in short supply:

GG (17:48): “I graduated highschool in 1992 and I just didn’t have a concept really of gay homosexual other than an intense fear of other, AIDS, (and) basically what society had shoved into our faces.”

Though finding a job in the arts after college proved to be a struggle, Gadget eventually found his calling in New York where he still lives to this day:

GG (48:45): “ I literally thought I was just gonna scope out New York for like a week….I told my mom and dad ‘Listen, I’m gonna drive down to see Tia (my aunt) and just hang out for a couple of days and check out New York…(they) were convinced I’d be back in a few days and I just never came home.”

Surprisingly, while Gadget has been a professional dancer ever since his move to NYC, it wasn’t his dance connections that introduced him to burlesque, but a coworker at his part time gig at the Apple store:

GG (64:50-67:51): “I got a phone call from a colleague, one of the lesbians at Apple, she said ‘Hey what are you doing tonight?…you need to meet up with the girls, they are going to this show called Meaner Harder Leather, it’s over at this place called Big 27 and you should check it out, I think you’ll love it…. Little did I know my whole world was going to be transformed that night…they were a hot mess, but the coolest, most spectacular fucking fantastic hot mess ever…that was the first second that I thought this burlesque thing, I should look into burlesque some more.”

As a dancer actively working on a variety of projects and jobs at any given time, Gadget doesn’t have the luxury of performing burlesque as much as he’d like, but he is still thankful to name the NYC burlesque scene as a community he is a part of:

GG (79:07) “I’m so grateful…that I am in fact a part of this community and yet I recognize that because of the way that my life is organized, I haven’t dedicated my entire life to a career in burlesque. However, I hold it in such high esteem…I have to make sure I belong here.”

Like many others during the pandemic, Gadget has turned to the online platforms to create both dance and burlesque. Despite live and digital performance being very different mediums, he believes that both have their merits and deserve to be recognized for what they bring to the artform:

GG (100:20-104:00) “(Digital burlesque) has its own value. I think it’s shortsighted to only compare it to what we had and will have again. That’s not very fair…There are so many audiences yet to be uncovered or discovered for all of us.”

No matter the circumstances, Gadget continues to live his life as he most enjoys it: busy at all times. While others saw the past year to slow down and take a break from the arts, he shows no sign of stopping:

GG (111:30) “I’m honestly sort of observing myself and going how the hell (am i doing this)? So apparently we could stick me on the international space station and I’d find a way to still get hustle…There is a part of me that is envious of some colleagues who are like ‘I do nothing. This is my time to rest’…I don’t know that lesson. I might need to learn that someday.”

– twitter @Gadgetgogoboy

– instagram @gogo_gadget_burlesque

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