Instinct Magazine’s friend iHeartRadio/HERETV’s Alexander Rodriguez, On the Rocks Radio Show, recently sat down with Eddie Danger. Here’s what transpired.
You’ve seen Eddie Danger on Jonny McGovern’s Hey Queen, you’ve seen him on The Howard Stern Show, you’ve seen him make appearances around the nation at about every club, drooled over his too hot for TV Instagram, and you probably have watched his porn a few (or many) times. But who is the person behind the persona? Might surprise you to learn that this renaissance man has a Masters, is an accomplished poet, published author and a musician. He is an enigma.
Where did you come up with the idea of adding “Danger” to your name?
It is who I am. I used to perform under the name “Christian Lezzil,” but dropped the name when I assumed I was done with the business.
One day, a girl I was seeing was nominated for an AVN award. I accompanied her to the award show. Before entering the accompanying expo, I was asked which name I preferred to go by. I told them that I could just go by my legal name. Administration printed me a name tag that read “Eddie Danger,” and just like that, I was roped back into this mess.
You, pardon the pun, dance between the idea of the masculine, straight boy side and the playful gay side of your personality. From performing in a Metallica cover band and Black Clover, to your persona as a skater, to dancing in gold underwear with drag queens. Is this a conscious choice? Or are you playing with the reflection in the mainstream idea of men becoming more in tune with their feminine side?
Absolutely. I have always been a weird guy, but I am naturally just a low-key guy. I don’t like much attention in my personal life. I try not to be extra as I walk the earth.
On the other hand, I have always had a part of me that appreciated the glitz and glamour of gay nightlife. I have been a part of the community since before I was old enough to enter a bar.
I made a name for myself once I was given the freedom to dress in costumes (not just the regular tiny panties that a lot of the boys wear). I always loved spending time creating looks that were interesting to me and enhanced the experience of a nightclub’s party beyond the sexuality of having sexy furniture (dancers on boxes).
I can be extra when I perform. My employers seem to trust my creativity and expect me to turn looks that are interesting and fitting for my appearance.
Writing has been a big part of your life. Who were some of the early authors/poets who inspired you?
The short answer is: Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.
When I was about 12 years old, I began journaling. I quickly noticed that my adolescent melodramas were sparse and boring to re-read. If my stories were boring to a potential reader, perhaps my life was just boring. This became a bit of a mantra. I have to live an exciting life in order to produce interesting stories. I believe I’ve never faltered in living life to the extreme.
Do you remember the first poem you wrote?
The first poem I ever wrote was in that very diary. It was about all of the excitement that I felt I was missing during the nighttime, when inhibitions are let go, with excitement and danger was around every corner.
Your parents come from a science background, you clearly took a more creative approach to life with music, writing and dancing. How did this affect your growing up?
I still have science in my life. I got a Masters degree. I followed the normative life path. I have always been under the impression that you need a solid financial foundation in order to make decisions that weren’t made out of desperation. I could play in my free-time without worrying about hustling hard and compromising my art/morality.
How did you get into exotic dancing? Do you remember what your first gig was like?
My first gig was just basic tourism. I was sent down to New Orleans by my English Honor Society (Sigma Tau Delta) to present my original work and participate on a panel regarding travel literature. By coincidence, I was set in a room with a closeted gay artist. I knew he was family, and suggested that we go visit the oldest gay bar in New Orleans.
When we arrived, I mingled and carried on, excited by the tourism. He had, at some point, found the love of his life and became enveloped in flirtation and conversation.
I met an older man who seemed to me as a New Orleans tour guide. He suggested that I go visit a place called “The Corner Pocket”. I was fresh off my presentation in a suit and everything. When we entered the place, I noticed that boys my age were making quite a bit of extra spending money. I asked if I could join. I left my suit behind the bar and made an unfathomable amount of money.
When I got home, I began to crave a job that got me in front of people, talking and carrying on. I am an introvert, so it was a bit of practice to come out of my shell. It also saved me from suffering in the clutches of the mediocrity that I forecasted I would never escape.
How do you deal with the objectification from fans over your body and sexuality over your skills as a writer and musician?
When I was younger, it used to weigh on me. I was so entitled to artistic validation that I always wanted to separate myself from the porn I had done or the clubs that employed me. I was an academic and an artist in my own mind.
Since then, I have loosened up. There is no reason why all of these can’t coincide. I do what I do because I enjoy it. This includes the folks who “objectify” me. I’m fine being an object these days.
A following who appreciates any part of my body may also appreciate what this body can do in other avenues. You never know. I am just grateful for all that I have been able to accomplish with the help of those who were brought in by more superficial means.
You have appeared on the Howard Stern show. How did that come about? What is that experience like?
It was a dream come true. I have been a fan for years. When I say “fan”, it isn’t in the typical regard. Living my life relatively alone for most of the week, I began to feel claustrophobic. I had nobody to talk to and nobody to talk to me. This was a self-imposed isolation. I get very nervous having a ton of folks around me. I have friends. I am passionate about them. I don’t really have room for folks who aren’t center stage of my thoughts.
Regardless, the Howard Stern Show provided a simulation of companionship during the quiet moments of my life, especially when I was rehabilitation from ACL reconstruction.
My appearance in the studio began with a sincere interest in meeting and hanging out with Chris Wilding, a writer and personality for the show. Somehow, members of the staff caught wind of our meeting, and it was brought up on the air. Hearing my name on the show was a dream come true. I had no idea that it would parlay into an actual appearance.
The actions leading up to being asked to appear would have to be cleared with some folks, but it was all just a genuine interest in the show and my ability to help people produce a comedic moment for the show.
Some things fell through, some things were reorganized, and surreal morning, I got a call from one of the show’s staff members.
The appearance was nude. It was bizarre and unforgettable, just the way I like to live. I felt like I was around family. Which, at least on my sunny island solitude, was absolutely correct.
You have performed in both straight and gay porn. Is there pushback from the gay or straight world for performing in both?
For those who are small-minded, sure there is a pushback for being a cross-over performer. But, then again, ask the same folks if HIV+ undetectable folks should be permitted to perform alongside HIV- performers in the porn industry and you’ll hear the same impassioned keyboard fury.
I just do me. I have fun doing straight porn. I have fun doing gay porn. My understanding is that – if I enjoy what I am doing, why should I take anyone else’s opinion into account. This isn’t my full-time job. I’m just here to have fun and spread love. I just have a lot of love to give.
How do you approach a day of shooting porn?
I try to make sure the chemistry of my body is correct. I take Viagra for all of my scenes these days because there is a lot of nonsense and waiting around that could potentially go down on a porn set. I try to make it easy for my erection to stay reliable no matter the circumstance, and there are several uncomfortable circumstances that often arise on set.
With such a major role in nightlife and Hey Queen, have you become desensitized to sex and party life?
Absolutely not. I still hook up. I get tested all the time. I love to drink with friends and have fun. Every time I am in a new city, I go out and meet the folks that I am connected with online. The LGBTQ community is very tight. I am honored to know people all across the country. I love seeing them out.
If there has been any change in my personality, it is on how I treat people. I am not seeking validation. I have accomplished most things that I have ever wanted to do (my bucket list is taken care of). I am just more relaxed because the race is over. I’m just here to jog from now on.
Is it hard to date Eddie Danger?
It is absolutely hard to date me. I discovered recently that commitment is a two-way street. I want to give one person all of my attention. These days, I have found that to be somewhat difficult. I just can’t lead people on.
As I have been one of the show folk for a decade now, I find that simple aspects of sexuality and life experience no longer excite me. I can quickly identify if someone is gunning for material benefits or popularity. Bottle service is fun, but it isn’t that big of a deal. I’m a trash bag tossed into a cavern adorned with rhinestones. I’m comfortable. Some people are not.
Is it hard to establish good friendships/maintain family relationships while working in this industry?
I have always found that my best friends are maintained at a distance. I don’t get too involved in anyone’s lives. I respect people’s personal boundaries. I like to listen to my friends talk about their lives. I enjoy discussing my own. I talk a lot on the phone to people who mean a lot to me.
When it comes to family, I don’t really regard family as definitive as most people do. We have all created a separate family outside of our blood relatives. My family isn’t blood bound, but that’s just me.
I have spent all of my adult life in the nightlife. I didn’t drink until about five years in. I watched my loved ones get caught up in hard drug use. Some aren’t with us anymore.
I just love the nightlife. It is where I belong. Why would I need to carry that into the daylight? I call a car when I am unfit to drive. I don’t succumb to peer pressure in terms of drug use. I know how I am when I drink tequila.
It’s about self-awareness, who you want to wake up as, and who you want to wake up with.
How is Eddie the person most different from Eddie Danger?
We are the same person. I just don’t post anything mundane. I also don’t use my social media outlets to blast folks from my personal life. I used to pen all sorts of soliloquies online about my personal life. Facebook reminds me of those and they’re cringy.
I’ve since stopped all that nonsense.
How did your relationship with Hey Qween come about?
One of their producers got in touch with me. They took a chance on me. I performed well at the time. Since being picked up by more mainstream outlets, I adjusted my performance on their show to rely more on shtick specifically designed for each guest.
It was really cool stepping through my TV. Jonny and Lady Red are as good as my mom and dad. I’ve found a family with them.
You travel all around the nation, being highlighted at events and clubs everywhere. Where do you consider home? What is your favorite part about traveling all over? What are your least favorite?
I am flattered whenever I am asked to travel to another state. I love this LGBTQ family. I live in Washington DC, so the east coast is just a hop into another city. I am pretty focused on getting to the center of the country these days to see folks I’ve never met, and see places I’ve never seen.
The best part has got to be meeting the folks in different cities. I am a huge fan of drag and “local” entertainers. I follow the careers of these people before each gig and subsequently follow each new entertainer I discover.
Since we all live on social media, seeing these people all across the country share their art is the most fascinating part of my days when I’m bored in the office.
The worst part about traveling is timing. I am usually flown in and out real fast. It costs a ton of money to get an entertainer into your city and put them up. It means a booking fee, a flight, a hotel room, whatever else they usually provide so that the guest feels welcomed.
I just beef with not having enough time to see and do everything that I want to per city. So, I spend a lot of time on foot whenever I travel. I try to get a good feel of the city and spend time with as many of my internet friends that I can.
Your first poetry collection was written during your time in Mexico. In fact, you became quite enamored with the Spanish culture. What draws you into this culture? Any fun stories from your studies in Mexico?
Oh, it’s the passion. It is a really passionate culture. I started writing that book when I was on tour with a salsa dancing troupe. There were so many weird and wacky moments with them. I also hitchhiked across the country trying to see every Olmec head that was scatted across their beautiful land.
I was so young and introverted at the time, so a lot of it was wide-eyed amazement. I was honestly just grateful that I wasn’t back home in Virginia going to shitty parties and listening to people trash one-another when they were hungover and recalling their mediocre frat parties.
What is your creative process when songwriting?
I am not very good at song-writing myself. I have always flourished with parody music. I typically find a topic and begin to hammer away a joke until it is such a refined joke that it presents as a realized parody. If anybody knows Black Clover’s music, they know it is really stupid in terms of lyrics, but there is a ton of thought that goes into it.
These are my three best friends and I just goofing off, but spending a ton of time ironing out jokes and details so the comedy comes through.
Everyone in the band is also a world-class musician, so if the joke doesn’t land, at least the music does.
How does that process differ from your poetry writing?
I haven’t written poetry in some time. I have been working on a book since I started dancing in night clubs. My personal work is much different from my band’s music because it comes straight from my life. My band’s music is autobiographical, but not with the vulnerability that my writing is. We make jokes in our music. I make comedy out of my writing, but it is by no means as light-hearted.
When I get pregnant with an idea, it is usually something that has weighed on me for a while that needs to be relieved.
What are biggest misconceptions about Eddie Danger?
A lot of people seem to think that I am a lot more intense than I actually am. I am very low-key guy. I don’t work out all of the time (obviously), and I don’t really put much stock on people’s appearances. I love people for the way they are. Similarly, I don’t put much weight on gender identity and sexuality. I accept and love people for who they are.
When anyone tells me that I am a lot less of a douche than they thought I would be, I take a moment to re-evaluate how I present online. It’s a learning process.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Celebrity Crush: Kylie Love
Band from the past you wish you could have played for: Journey
What job will you have when you are 56? Hopefully, I will be closing in on retirement. I am already exhausted.
Biggest Pet Peeve: Narcissism
Last show you binge watched: Dawson’s Creek
Images supplied by Alexander Rodriguez and Eddie Danger
Author: Alexander J Rodriguez
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Entertainment Editor, Bear World Magazine
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