In her recent memoir Pretty Mess, Erika Jayne was quoted as saying “I can’t explain, but you have those moments-they’re rare-where shit turns-this is a pivot”
If anyone defines a true pivot in their career, it would be Danny Logan. After turning the party for several years all over New York City and Fire Island, the performer formerly known as Dallas DuBois decided to retire Dallas and step away from the spotlight. He found his sweet spot behind the scenes, crafting props and costume making for television, theater and beyond! From The View to Anastasia The Musical, there is a chance that the production you enjoyed was enhanced by the dazzling talents and superior craftsmanship of Danny Logan. Danny took a break from creativity to take a walk down memory lane with me recently, and we left no stone untuned. From his past as Dallas DuBois (yes-we talked about where she is) to the passion he has found in creating dynamic creations to be seen on the stage and screen, to why no matter what, she tries to “walk into the fear”.
Michael Cook: Danny, let’s start at the beginning. How did you dive into the world of New York nightlife?
Danny Logan: Well, I’m a born and raised New Yorker (Well, Long Island- but shhhh I won’t tell if you won’t)! I started off in the nightlife world first as a short lived go-go boy at the The Cock in 2008 and then a cocktail waiter at Posh shortly after. I fell into true New York City nightlife full time as a queen starting in 2009 right while I was working simultaneously at the Ice Palace on Fire Island.
MC: How did your previous alter ego, the notorious Dallas DuBois come to life?
DL: Dallas came to life after a few not so successful alter egos; “Baby Powder” and “Madonna Manson” were the first two personas I ran around the city with, but they just didn’t stick with people, nor did it fit me. I was working full time out in Fire Island, cocktail waiting and bartending during the day and dragging it up at night. I was in everybody’s show that would have me. I think I worked four to five months straight without a day off and doing two or three work shifts and a show at night!
Once those first two drag personas weren’t sticking, I went back to the drawing board. After careful name searching and editing my look and brand I was most keen on embodying, I came up with “Dallas DuBois”. It was a bit vintage sounding, a bit regal like a pageant queen, and with some pizazz. After all, I was starting to be known as the Broadway girl so it seemed to be perfect for me.
MC: Your nightlife turn at Dallas has you headlining your own shows, featured with some of your favorite drag talents, and mired in of course, some drama. What are your favorite memories of that time?
DL: Believe it or not, I do not remember much of those times these days. Chalk it up to a bad memory, tons of booze and a bunch of crazy things that happened since retirement. it’s been hard to remember much of anything. That being said, I have a few moments I’ll never forget. One, I was performing the big stage for Folsom Street Fair East and I was so pumped with adrenaline and booze that I scaled the High Line during my show with random passerby’s staring down at the sea of leather men! I ran up to them, interviewed them and in climbing back down to get back to the stage, I skinned my knee and was bleeding heavily on my leg. I just continued on and did the rest of my show for all the guys who were living for it, bloody knee and all.
I also loved that I would pretty much do any gig someone asked of me for. Money drove me then. Let’s see….I raced a dog through an obstacle course for The American Kennel Club (that was fun) or even better…I invaded a dead man’s wake viewing at a funeral home dressed as him in drag (yes-for real)!
MC: So the ultimate question; what happened to Dallas? Any chance we would ever see her back again?
DL: She died of wig cancer (as Kizha Carr once put it hahaha). She is six feet under now; it was well overdue for Dallas to disappear. Maybe not for anyone else but me-but I was ready. She may make a cameo again in the future. No telling when or where though. Could be next week, could be in ten years.
MC: You have pivoted on to Danny Logan Designs and your creations are absolutely remarkable! Tell me about how that started….
DL: Thank you so much! Well, I started as a scenic designer way before Dallas and then dropped it when the wig and heels came into the picture. I’ve always loved sets and props and have tried to keep that part alive in me. I learned all of my sewing and construction skills by self-teaching, while making costumes for Dallas. The next step after retiring from drag seemed obvious- to go into Prop and Costume making. It’s a slow take off, but I’m so grateful and the most happiest when I’m creating.
MC: Any favorite creations you have created?
DL: Oh yes yes yes! There’s a couple you can’t see because they are scheduled to be seen on RuPauls Drag Race Season 11, but I’ve also been most proud of the oversized shoe prop I made for Lil Mama’s music video “Shoe Game”. So fun, and who doesn’t like an enormous glammed out shoe! I’ve also finished Aging and Distressing the national tour of Anastasia the Musical and that was a beautiful project.
MC: What lesson did you take the most from leaving nightlife to moving onto creating your own vision of where you wanted our life to go on your terms?
DL: I learned the most valuable lesson that I try to carry with me daily. “It starts with me. I have to be happy and love myself before I can start to make anyone else happy or show them love.” I used to think that that only meant romantically, but it applies to every aspect of life.
MC: What inspires you daily?
DL: Change. Fear. I always try to walk into the fear that I feel when I have it. It helps me grow and conquer. It sucks a lot of the time, but afterwards I’m a better person and usually a better artist even.
MC: Anything really amazing coming up that you can talk about?
DL: I’m really getting excited about the possibilities in the nearby future. I just wrapped working on the tv show Gotham so I’m in search of a new show to be a part of. I’m also looking forward to working with queens and other clients to make the impossible possible. There’s no limits to what can be created and I love that about this new life that I lead.