Luscious-lipped Amanda Lepore returns to Chicago for a club appearance, and the night promises to be plastic fantastic. A notable figure in the transgender world Lepore has appeared in numerous advertising campaigns, among them M.A.C. Cosmetics and Swatch. She is regularly featured in the photography of David LaChapelle and Terry Richardson.
With the help of gay rapper Cazwell, she released her first album in 2011 and now drops a new double disc of remixes called I... Amanda Lepore: Make Over Sessions.
Windy City rang her before her upcoming Chicago appearance.
Windy City Times: Hi, Amanda. Where are you calling from?
Amanda Lepore: I'm back in New York.
B>WCT: How does it feel to finally release a double CD?
AL: It feels good. I am going to get more music out soon. I wanted to get in the studio but ran out of time so we picked the best remixes of what we had so we could give something to the fans.
WCT: Are you working with Cazwell on the new music?
AL: Yes; he's a doll.
WCT: I heard singer Mya is on one song.
AL: Yes, "Convertible." It is on the album.
WCT: There is a Marilyn Monroe track that you like to perform live on the record Make Over Sessions. What fascinates you about Marilyn?
AL: I love the femininity and the self-creation part. I kind of relate to that. She was really good with makeup and hair. She experimented with plastic surgery when it experimental in the '40s, with her nose and chin. I like women like that there are good with makeup and hair that can transform themselves. I find that fascinating.
I also like Dita Von Teese. She is that sort of woman as well. I love all of that glamour.
WCT: One time I was in New York at a gay club and you were there. It felt like I was truly in New York City when you see Amanda Lepore at the club.
AL: Aw, thank you.
WCT: How was your Life Ball AIDS fundraiser appearance in Vienna?
AL: It was really great. I got to model for John Paul Gaultier and it was really exciting.
WCT: Do you ever leave the house and not get noticed?
AL: I do dress down. Sometimes I will not wear any makeup or be more casual in flats. I do get noticed, though. I am very body-conscious all the time. People probably see it's me because of my lips and body shape. I am always recognized.
WCT: Describe the real you.
AL: I am really funny and down-to-earth. I have the same needs as everyone else.
WCT: They are making a new Zoolander movie. Are you going to be in it?
AL: I was in the first first one, but know nothing about a part two.
WCT: Talk about your new memoir.
AL: I am very excited about it. I work with a ghostwriter and he is writing an autobiography about my life and how it is now, and how my life has influenced transgender people. It will have beautiful color pictures. It will be a hardcover book.
WCT: You must have some great stories to tell people.
AL: I do. I have scandals and all kinds of good stuff.
WCT: You could do a book tour after the release.
AL: It would be fun to do a book tour, then perform at a club in the same city.
WCT: I read you can officiate weddings now.
AL: Yes, it seemed like something fun to do and another excuse to get dressed up and spread love! I did my first wedding last Tuesday. It was a gay wedding full of fashion people, really gorgeous and fun.
WCT: You are heading to Montreal this week?
AL: Yes, I am doing a show with Cazwell, and Candis Cayne will be there as well. Candis and I have worked together for a long time and have known each other for years.
WCT: Transgender rights are all over the media right now. What is your take on it?
AL: I feel it is really important. I just do my thing and go with the flow. I obviously have no problem with being visible. I think it is really important for kids. The more parents know it is okay to be transgender or gay or different in any way it is more likely now that they will understand them.
A lot of the time people are afraid of what they don't understand. If they have role models then they know what it is and they calm down.
WCT: Berlin Nightclub continues to be a place where different people can be themselves so an excellent place for you to perform.
AL: I have met someone that hosted there and they said people dress up so I am excited about going. Sounds like my kind of people!
Look for Lepore at Berlin Nightclub, 954 W. Belmont Ave., on Thursday, Aug. 20, for the Plastic Factory event with more info at berlinchicago.com .
Ride a roller-coaster with Lepore at Out in the Park at Six Flags Great America on Saturday, Sept. 12, with tickets at gaysixflagschicago.com .