When I first met Ms. Gemini Rose, I was backstage at Tabu getting ready for a performance of some kind, and up walks the pageant queen looking women. I caught a glimpse of her reflection in the mirror and thought, “is this a super model I’ve never heard of before?” Her skin: Flawless, Her body: FLAWLESS. She had to be one of the prettiest women I had ever seen in person. Instead of yelling, “what the hell are you doing here, you should be in L.A.” I softly and shyly said, “hello.” And we’ve been friends ever since! We’ve performed together with The Cabaret Administration and I’ve watched her become one of the most ambitious young people I know. Mama has her eye on the prize. Get with it or get off the train! It’s a lot of hard work tracking down this one, unless you want to talk business. so I headed to the one place I knew she’d be… The Green Room.
Ms Gemini Rose, that is a lovely name. May I ask how it came to be yours?
I chose my name based off of the Gemini Rose flower. This hybrid rose is more unique than any other rose in its color (varying shades of coral and white), it’s mild scent is reminiscent of papaya, and it’s blooms emerge in double form. I also considered the fact that I am very much into astrology and believe my sun sign perfectly describes me. My favorite flower also, is the rose. So, the name just stuck.
You’ve been modeling for a few years now, how did you get your start?
I started modeling in local fashion shows while I was still in middle school. I’ve always had the passion to be a model and brand ambassador for well known brands. Once I got into high school I started looking more into pinup modeling because it had always been a dream of mine to display that on screen perfection of old Hollywood stars. After leaving high school I utilized the Internet and started networking with local photographers.
Is there a famous model that served as your inspiration?
Majority of the models I looked up to didn’t start as models. I loved women like Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Dorothy Dandridge, Marilyn Monroe, Josephine Baker. Many of these women became models because of their other talents.
Buy the new album Bastian, by Sebastian
Tell us the story of how you lost your burlesque virginity…
I got my first burlesque gig from networking around the city. I performed at John and Petes in New Hope, PA. With The Unholy Sideshow a sideshow troupe. I made my own costume and took my mom, aunt, and best friend with me. I was the only new performer and super nervous about how my mom would feel about my jingle bell pasties. Once I stretched and prayed, I was fine. The first performance was to Marilyn Manson “Personal Jesus” with a nun outfit. The second number was to Jive-o “Riding High”. Because it was a Christmas number and the song had bells in the background I made jingle bell pasties and well, you know the rest…lol
Oh yeah we know!… There are about a million and one performers in Philly, but you stand out to me. Yes, because you are beautiful, because you are possibly the sweetest person I’ve ever met, but also because you seem to be a very driven young lady, very much about her business, and unwilling to let anything get in her way. Tell us, where does your drive and discipline come from and ultimately, what do you want for your career?
My drive and passion comes from seeing my dream and vision clearly since the age of 5 years old. God constantly leads me back to the stage no matter what so I finally gave into my purpose and turned it into my business, my brand. I want for my career to really make a strong platform for black women in cabaret/burlesque entertainment. I know there are a lot of women who felt like I once did, they love the art but can not relate because most of what is promoted does not look like them. I want to travel the world and touch different audiences bringing back to true, raw art form of burlesque which is very funny and very sexy. The humor has been lost and the sexiness of it tends to over shadow the comedy. It’s all about balance. My legacy will be classy and timeless.
Timeless… I like that. You know what else is timeless? Struggle. What do you feel is the greatest struggle in your life that you’ve overcome?
The greatest struggle in life that I have overcome was trying to conform to what others wanted to be. There is only one me and God took his time when he constructed my mind, body, and soul. If I try to be someone other than who He wants me to be, then I would be telling him that he made a mistake. I stand out, I do my own thing, and I try to be the best at being me. It took me some time to come into my skin especially with the lack of melanin in my market, however, I remained resilient. You can not put me in a box or a category.
What is love?
God is love. Transferring all of that energy you gain from a higher power and putting it into everything you touch, that’s love. Remaining humble no mater the tribulations and trails that you have been faced with and coming out pure, non judgmental, and ready to do it all again, that’s love. Working on yourself everyday to model yourself after a spirit that is perfect and all forgiving, and spreading that to everyone you meet, that’s love.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years I see myself in Paris, France. My goal is to be stationed there 6 months a year and perform for an ever growing audience. By this time I would have been to almost every continent to perform. My Gemini Red Roses Foundation in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS would be international, my InspireTwoEmpower Foundation would help aspiring young artists and entrepreneurs gain inspiration and funding to start their brands. I would have one cabaret/burlesque club here in philly and opening up another on the west coast. Gemini Rose productions will be a solid full running production company, I will have a traveling revue, written many books by this time, and helped many young girls love themselves the way they are. And God willing, I’d be a good Christian woman who remained humble through it all.
What do you most enjoy about this thing we call life?
The thing I enjoy most about life is knowing there is something even greater that awaits us. That’s what I’m working toward. My tombstone will be my plaque and a reminder that I was working this hard to prepare myself for what comes next. I love entertaining and the gifts that I was blessed with, but it is temporary. The only thing I can take with me is my character. And the good thing about life is when you wake up you get another chance to work on being a better you so that you can cross over pure, filled with love.