Wresch: Grace, why do you enjoy performing for gay audiences?
Grace: It has to do with style and fashion. In show business, gay people basically have more taste. There is no question about it: gays are more sensitive, more aware of form, more artistic, and much more open to accept something new and fresh.
Wresch: You have just returned from Europe. What did you do there?
Grace: I was touring and doing television, mainly in Italy and France.
Wresch: Do European audiences respond to you differently then American audiences?
Grace: American audiences are more involved simply because they understand the language. Europeans actually like the fact that you are a foreigner they dont understand.
Wresch: Will you be doing anything special for the Washington concert?
Grace: The whole show is quite special. The whole concept requires audience participation, but not your typical audience participation where everybody claps their hands on cue. I do a more theatrical show; its grown more theatrical since Ive started and the statement is much stronger.
Wresch: Have you been influenced by any particular singer?
Grace: No, not really. There were many singers I liked, but no one in particular.
Wresch: Has your relatively recent success changed you?
Grace: Its made ma a lot more aware of my growth. Ive grown a lot. I travel a lot more than I used to. I meet more people than I used to. My lifestyle from when I was a kid determined my direction and goals so that I get as much out of it as possible. When I was an athlete in school it took a certain amount of discipline. Competition in New York and America is very very strong. A lot of discipline that I learned from growing up and going to school and being an athlete gives me a certain drive.
Wresch: Why do you present yourself in such an unusual way? The shaven head, for instance.
Grace: I prefer it that way. I tried many different looks, modeling and all that. Modeling gave me the opportunity to wear many different styles, and I chose one I found more suited to my personality. It turns out that usually it is different from the ordinary.
Wresch: Do you design your own clothes?
Grace: I used to design a long time ago, but now I dont. The combination of clothes I wear, however, is my choice.
Wresch: Your father was a clergyman. How do you think that has affected your life?
Grace: My father asked me not to mention him any more in articles. I do believe in God. Im very religious. I believe in religion as magic. Religion or praying makes the will stronger. I believe the more people who pray the better. It makes more energy going in that direction. In a way, my family thinks Ive rebelled because Im doing the kind of work Im doing. When you are brought up in church and taught as a woman, just to have a family and stay at home until the man comes and takes you away I rebelled against that! But my family realizes that there is another life there, although they do worry about me being vulnerable.
Wresch: Do you think youll settle down someday and raise a family?
Grace: Of course, the older you get the more you think about it. I used to run around quite a bit. With the career as large as it is now, I think there is a need to have a side that is more settled.
Wresch: Is there someone special in your life? How about marriage?
Grace: Yes, but I dont want to say who. In the past, Ive had many lovers, bit I never wanted to settle down. You can still love somebody and not want to marry them. The right person can come along, and he is Mr. Right. Its like finding everything you liked locked up in one person. I think I have found that person.
Wresch: Is it true that you travel with an entourage of men?
Grace: I always travel with a group of men. Never any women in my group. I imagine that outsiders may think it strange to see me surrounded by eight men, but Im comfortable with it. I never think of it as being strange.
Wresch: What direction do you want your career to take now?
Grace: I am definitely interesting in acting in films. Now, as far as Im concerned, my show is like Broadway, like doing the type of theatre I would have like to have done. Modeling gave me the film experience with the movie camera. The fact is, I never did look like an everyday girl. I looked different, and film is about personality.
Wresch: How do you see your up-front association with gays affecting the cause of gay rights?
Grace: The fact that I get in there and perform during this political time, and have a great time doing it helps. Gays are my best audience.
Wresch: What are you doing after your D.C. show?
Grace: Im going to New York to do a Halloween show at Roseland where I share the stage with a big lion.