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Gaga’s performance art pal
The legend of Lady Gaga’s origins is the story of a classically-trained musician breaking the mould by performing in clubs and creating for herself a fame like no other and a place in pop history.
But she wasn’t alone. Through every dive bar performance Gaga danced alongside another Lady, her mentor and best friend Lady Starlight.
Now Lady Starlight is out of the bars and opening for Lady Gaga on the Born This Way Ball with a performance which aims to turn heads and leave the less imaginative dumbfounded.
“It’s very avant-garde, it’s a little bit confusing, you might not like it,” Starlight said.
“It’s kinda not very entertaining. Am I selling it?
“It really is just a window in my head. There’s a video, there’s audio, there’s sound and three costume changes which is completely inappropriate for a 30-minute set, but you know how we do!”
The show consists of three dance routines with Starlight as a mask-wearing dancer, a goddess and a mummy, all set to the eerie music of one of Starlight’s favourite bands, Van der Graaf Generator.
“They’re called progressive rock but they’re really not,” Starlight said.
“They’re just rock, very jazz-inspired song construction, and their music inspires me and it makes me so happy.
“It’s all about fashion and music that’s in my head and creating this vision.”
The Born This Way Ball, Starlight said, is a vision come to life — a vision she once thought was unobtainable.
“I would like to just go up there and do what I see in my head to my favourite songs and I always told myself, ‘Well, that doesn’t make any sense. You can’t do that, what is that career path?’.
“But you know, it just occurred to me that it doesn’t matter, I’m going to do it anyway and then having my best friend be the biggest star in the world and loving it and totally getting it, she’s like, ‘Let’s do it, here’s an arena, here’s a stadium, let’s do it!’”
Starlight’s love of music began at a young age, listening to her father’s record collection and performing with her brother.
“I grew up loving music, loving rock and roll, so it’s always been my inspiration,” Starlight said. “My brother and I had a conceptual art band when I was four. I’ve never done anything better, unfortunately.”
While her love of music was acquired over time, Starlight believes she was born to perform.
“It’s not even something I’ve chosen to do, it sort of chose me. In some regards I don’t want to be a performer, I just kinda have to,” she said.
“I don’t really like that much attention and it’s kind of difficult and many of the elements of what it means and what is around the performance are really unpleasant for me.
“But I absolutely feel I have to do it, I was born to do it.”
Lady Gaga once said that Starlight inspired her and made her believe that what she was doing wasn’t just performing, but performance art. Starlight said Lady Gaga inspires her, especially with the album Born This Way.
“I feel such a part of that record because we were on tour together,” Starlight said.
“Watching her creative process is so awesome because, in the same way that I am, she can’t stop herself — like her music just comes out of her and she can’t stop it.
“It’s sort of this channelling of this ‘The Song’, so to see her feel free to say, ‘You know what, I’ve done that record and I’m going to do what’s right for me and what’s right in my soul’ is so inspiring to me.
“I think it shows her incredible talent which has won over a new audience. I’m just so happy.”
Starlight hopes she will inspire others to do as Gaga and she have done.
“My entire life goal is to encourage people, whatever it costs me, and it might cost me my entire career, to be who I wish I had,” Starlight said.
“My brother was very inspiring to me and said, ‘Just do it, whatever you have just do it’.
“I just hope I could help someone to just say, ‘Fuck it, that doesn’t make any sense but I’m gonna do it and I’m gonna do it right now with what I have at my disposal’.
“Think it. Do it.”