Recently we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with the always lovely Allanah Starr. Although she has retired from the adult industry, she’s been quite busy in the last few years. Need an Allanah refresher first? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered so you can get yourself up to date.
Allanah Starr was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States at the age five along with her family escaping political persecution. Her father had been a political prisoner and a radical anti-communist, so they were granted permission to migrate. At first, her family briefly relocated to New Jersey but permanently settled in Miami where she grew up. Always an advanced and honor student but severely bullied at school, she decided to overcome her shyness and fears at the age of 15 by enrolling in speech and debate and drama courses. They worked, and her desire to perform blossomed so much that her first performance in drag was at the age of 16 in a high school talent competition with the German Club (a production of Julie Brown’s ‘The Homecoming Queen Has Got A Gun’ as the female lead) in which she won.
Having a desire to study acting but being denied so by her parents, Allanah decided to enroll in fashion college. It was during this time that Starr developed a career as a performance artist in Miami Beach during the mid 90′s under the name Damian Dee-Vine. She was a club kid that became well known for her outrageous costumes, make up, and performances in the media and social circuit. She went on to achieve nightclub fame and performed for the likes of Madonna at her 32nd birthday party (which was chronicled years later by her brother in his book Life With My Sister Madonna), Gianni Versace’s parties at his home before his death, and other high profile celebrity and corporate events. She then took a job at the famed restaurant Lucky Chengs where she worked until its’ closure in Miami Beach. It was during that time that Allanah began to physically change to female. Allanah always felt extremely effeminate and she describes her transition as an “evolvement of her femininity” since “I just changed the outside to match what I always felt inside of me. The change was purely cosmetic, I’ve always felt the same internally”. This also commenced her long love affair with cosmetic surgery, thus far having over 60 cosmetic surgeries and thousands of cosmetic procedures.
Feeling a desire to divert paths, in 1999 she moved to New York and surprisingly decided to pursue a career in the adult entertainment industry. She has said of this ‘I had just finished my first long term relationship as a transsexual woman and I was jaded. I was jaded at love and at the fact that most men I met saw me as a sexual exploit. I then carefully decided that no one would ever exploit me, I would exploit myself, I was to be in charge of my sexuality and gender and no one else’”. She began as a web model, opened her own site, and then began acting in films. Allanah became one of the world’s most famous transsexual adult film actresses. She was one of the first transsexuals to hold a contract with a major production studio, made XXX history by filming the first ever male to female sex scene with a female to male transsexual (her good friend Buck Angel), had a line of adult toys molded after her likeness, and in 2008 was awarded the highest honor an adult performer can receive the AVN Transsexual Performer Of The Year Award (consider it a porn Oscar, if you will). During this time she also revived the trans party scene in Manhattan, by establishing monthly themed extravaganzas and weekly events that still run to date.
In 2009 Allanah decided to take a break from the adult world and by chance was asked by artist Marc Quinn to pose along side Buck Angel in London for a series of sculptures. She was immortalized in two life size bronze sculptures (one which depicted the couple as a modern day Adam and Eve and the other in a sexual position) for his sensational show in London that debuted at The White Cube Gallery in 2010 along side sculptures of Michael Jackson and Pamela Anderson. The sculptures have since travelled in different exhibitions worldwide and are part of private collections. Longing to fulfill a life long dream to live in Europe, she decided to leave New York and settled first in London then in Paris in 2010. It was there that she she met Emmauel D’ Orazio and Marc Zafutto and with their encouragement became a showgirl once more. She made her Paris debut at Espace Cardin for a Club Sandwich party riding a mechanical bull. Since, she has gone on to perform at legendary Paris clubs like Maxim’s, Castel, Rasputin and has travelled through France and Europe performing in nightclubs, private events, and charity events like The Life Ball in Vienna. Under the suggestion of Mr. Zafutto, Allanah wrote her first one woman show An Evening With Allanah Starr: The Life Of A Real Woman With A Fake Passport which debuted to much fanfare at Rasputin in December of 2013. The art work for the show was designed by artist and friend Ali Mahdavi. Currently, the show is being prepared for a longer Paris run with tours to start internationally in New York. During this time she also appeared of the cover of Phillip Toledano’s photography book and exhibition ‘A New Kind Of Beauty’, in the artwork and book of Jeremy Kost, and in a pictorial as Dolly Parton shot by Ali Madhavi for Candy Magazine.
In the Spring of 2014 Allanah made history by being the first ever transsexual to perform on the stage of the world famous Crazy Horse cabaret in Paris at a private party for the fashion house of Balmain under the direction of Olivier Rousteing . Those in the audience included Rhianna and Jessica Alba. Allanah performed a solo of ‘Champagne Tastes’ by Eartha Kitt, then appeared in the finale with the Crazy Horse girls. She has described this as one of the highlights of her performance career.
Currently, Allanah lives with her pet taxidermy baby lion Gloria in between Paris and New York and continues to perform, model and is developing an auto biographical multi media art show. She spends her free time reading, watching classic films, shopping, and occasionally sacrificing virgins.
[GROOBY] You left New York for Europe, what made you choose to move?
[ALLANAH] It was purely accidental. I had reached a point where I felt very stale in NYC and wanted to a change in my life. I had always dreamed to try living in London and Paris but I had so many commitments in the US, that it was just a dream. I wanted to travel a lot so I started out with Northern Europe and I ended up in London, a city which I love and had visited many times. Afterwards, I went to Paris, initially for a month then all of a sudden things started happening for me, I made a new family here and got back into performing.
[GROOBY] What kind of performing are you doing?
[ALLANAH] I do all kinds of things, mostly a combination of burlesque, comedy, and performance art. Mostly at different parties and private events throughout Europe. I developed a one woman show, which chronicles the story of my life through monologues and 8 musical numbers which was received very well ad will hopefully have another run soon. Mostly recently I developed a show as painted from head to toe as the Andy Warhol Marylin.
[GROOBY] It seems like you changed course completely from being an adult entertainer to an entertainer?
[ALLANAH] Well, before I went into the XXX world I performed for several years in nightclubs, pageants, and parties across the US. That was actually my career for a long time until I decided to move in XXX. I just had retired from it because I had not been inspired to do it again. In Paris that all changed.
[GROOBY] You have had a lot of opportunities to work with different artists and perform at some legendary institutions in Paris. Can you tell us what is the most memorable?
[ALLANAH] I would say for sure the Marc Quinn statues with Buck Angel would be a major highlight. I am very proud to have been part of that. Performance wise would be when I got to perform at the Crazy Horse earlier this year for the fashion house of Balmain. It was incredible to be on that stage, absolutely terrifying but incredible, And to be in the finale with those amazing girls on stage, well it was beyond my wildest dreams. Then Rhianna told me after the show that I was wonderful, and that made it even more surreal.
[GROOBY] In terms of XXX, have you retired?
[ALLANAH] I get asked this question a lot. After I won the AVN award, I needed break and that break sort of became an extended one. There was really no reason why, and there still is not. I just wanted to concentrate on my events and other ventures at the time. I do feel like I had done all I wanted to do within that realm and did not know what else I wanted to communicate. I have not officially retired, because you know, one should never say, ‘never’.
[GROOBY] Tell us about your parties in NYC, they continue without you?
[ALLANAH] Yes, they do, every SATURDAY night! I am very much involved in them still and when I am in New York I attend. I have been doing events now for about 10 years in the city non stop.. People are often confused because I am not physically there, they think I am not involved but I am. I just happen to be very lucky to have a great team that I work with that has kept this going. I started at a time when there were hardly any parties around and we were able to do these major events, along with Grooby who have always been major sponsors and supporters. The scene has changed very much, and so have the parties but we are still here.
[GROOBY] You have had a long relationship with Grooby?
[ALLANAH] Oh yes. It was Tony V discovered me and did my first ever nude pictorial. From then on we went on to do a lot together. So much of my career is owed to Grooby. They have been great partners and great friends and great supporters.
[GROOBY] Tell us about the Bikini party this Saturday August 16 and what someone can expect who attends?
[ALLANAH] Everyone can expect to have a great time! As I said, this has been 10 years running so I would like to think my parties have a good reputation and are well known with the community. We sometimes do theme events, and this Saturday is one of them. There of course will be beautiful girls and lots of surprises all night long. And as I said, we are there every Saturday. Same trans time, same tras channel!
[GROOBY] What are you working on for the future?
[ALLANAH] At the moment I am working on my one woman show and just signed on to be the lead showgirl at a new party in Paris starting in October. There is also a new disco party one a month I will be entertaining at and I am also working on expanding the Warhol Marylin performance piece and will be curating an art show that will incorporate different mediums surrounding this concept. Soon, I will also launch a new site non XXX site that will be part informative, part fan club, and part interactive but very personal. So a lot going on!
[GROOBY] Last words for this interview?
[ALLANAH] In the words of Josephine Baker , ‘J’ai deux amours, mon pays et Paris’. Which means: I have two loves, my country and Paris. And that is very true for me. And I love you Grooby and all of you reading this. Thank you for your support, it means the world to me.