Vintage Burlesque Dancer Extraordinaire produces Pin Up Pole Show

Tonya Kay has been called “The Most Dangerous Woman in Hollywood” and is living up to her reputation.  Along with being  trained stunt woman, Tonya is an award-winning actress and retro burlesque dancer, currently producing a show in Los Angeles featuring classic cars, life-size jukeboxes and her signature four girls to one pole.  We sat down with Tonya to find out more about her renegade life.

Full Interview Originally Published at Visionarios Magazine Nov 9, 2015

1. You have a fascinating background.  Can you tell us more about it?
I spent more time on stage than in my own home growing up, I swear.  For me, theatre was family fun – my parents did community theatre and instead of hiring a baby sitter for their 6 year old, they brought me to auditions with them!  We rehearsed together, we performed together and celebrated jobs well done together.  The stage and dance studio was my playground.
2. Tell us what your Pin Up Pole Show is about and why we should see it?
Pinup Pole Show – classic cars, pinup models, retro burlesque and pole champions!  In 1955-1965 vintage styling, Pinup Pole Show behins with a classic car cruise-in and pinup models posing, then guests appreciate a pinup art show, pinup photo shoots, live pinup sketching, nostolgia films and classy dinner and drinks until the main event:  a sassy, sexy, hilarious 75 min show starring retro-burlesque headliners and pole champions!  Our tribute comedy, Best Car and Best Vintage Dress prizes keep celebrities, couples, bachelorettes and birthday boys hooting and hollaring to a rockin throwback soundtrack all night long.  I am the creator, the producer and the featured cheesecake in Pinup Pole Show and I can also say with confidence, we are the highest production-value show in all of independent Los Angeles!  Our 1st anniversary event is Nov 14th and seats are in-demand so make reservations early!  TIX and INFO at
3. If you could work with any celebrity, past or present, who would it be and why?
If I could work with any celebrity it would be Lucille Ball, hands down.  This woman is an unbridled creative force, brining joy to any audience member fortunate enough to watch her AND she is a badass business woman.  My fans frequently humble me by comparing me to Lucy.  In Pinup Pole Show, I’ve recreated two of the most raucous “I Love Lucy” sketch

comedy acts, Vegavitimin and Friendship, in tribute to her Highness.
4. Apart from producing your show and burlesque dancing, what are you really passionate about?
Besides producing, I am passionate about cars!  I’m restoring a bright purple 1965 Buick Riviera hot rod as we speak.  I’ve converted three autos to run on waste vegetable oil alternative fuel.  I’ve worked in auto part manufacturing, done a frame off body/paint restore on a 1974 Ford pickup with my father and produce the Pinup Pole Show classic car cruise-in.  Let’s face it – SoCal is famous for it’s car culture.  Whether you like it or not, your car rules your life in Los Angeles.  Might as well have some fun with it!  Cruise-in, cruises, joy rides, road trips – there’s nothing like the freedom of four wheels and the history of a cared-for classic.
5. You are proudly vegan. How did this come about and what are the benefits?
I’m a long-term vegetarian/vegan/raw fooder and that devotion gives me the chance to live right.  Through high raw vegan living, my fitness and physique are powerful and sexy, my actions support the environment, local community and daily non-violence and most importantly, my spirit is clean and self respect in tact.  When I’m not creating, I volunteer in the field protecting endangered wildlife including sea turtles in Costa Rica (PRETOMA), asian elephants in Thailand (Elephant Nature Park), wild dogs in South Africa (Wildlife ACT), salmon in California (Turtle Island Restoration Project) and wild horses throughout the United States.

6. You clearly have a love of vintage and retro.  How did this come about?
My love for vintage styling is threefold, I’d say.  As a creative, I’ve always enjoyed the adventure of resale shops.  There’s something so creatively freeing in hunting for a one of a kind without remaining reproductions.  I always feel like a mindless sheep when I walk into a store with 15 options hanging on racks, with three sizes and two color options.  That’s not choice – that’s mind control.  Shopping resale where not one single thing on the rack is like another is actual creative consideration.  As an actress, I appreciate vintage because the story and history that goes with a used item or throwback style.  The actress in me loves the rich world of story that accompanies retro items and the character seeds the history plants.  And finally, when I purchased my first classic car, ALL the papers, documentation, records came with it.  I called an OH telephone number I found on a newspaper FOR SALE clipping for the car in 1985 and ended up sharing stories with an older gentleman whom previously owned the car – a complete stranger – for 20 min.  A cared-for classic car’s life is more opulent than any one upgrade a single owner can give it.  Among a youth-exploiting, disposable society, vintage items (and vintage people!) represent the quality and experience of true value.
7. How do you chose to what to wear to events you attend and do you work with a stylist?
As a burlesque headliner, I make or design a LOT of my own wardrobe.  I also work with stylists to take my visions to the next level.  When I attend red carpet events, I’ll usually have something vintage, hand made and eco on my body.  And btw, I’m brining flat shoes/boots back for formal wear!  Painful heels should never prevent a woman from enjoying her evening or cause her to pain after!
8. You are also staring in a few films that are doing very well.  Can you tell us a little more about them?
Yes, several films I am in are really making waves!  I play lead RACHAEL in Bastard, distributed theatrically by After Dark Films and digitally by Fox.  You’ll see me on Lifetime as lead DEB, the other wife in yes:  The Other Wife feature film.  I play lead SHEILA CUMMINGS in A Better Place which won Best Independent Feature at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival 2015.
I play supporting lead TABITHA in Paradise Club starring Elizabeth Rice and Eric Roberts which won Best Feature Film at The Other Venice Film Festival 2015.  I play principal role RADOVA in Nightmare Code which won Best Feature Film at the Phillip K Dick Film Festival 2015.  And look for me as lead NADIA in upcoming film Earthtastrophe (release details coming soon).
9. Where can we learn more about you?
To learn more about me, check out, and come see my live show, Pinup Pole Show
10. Are you a fan of social media?  If so, where can we find you?

10. What’s next for Tonya Kay?
Upcoming, I’ll be devastatingly destructive deadly driftnet fishing in California  with Turtle Island Restoration Network, modifying my 1965 Riviera’s stereo, interior and exhaust, and looking for the right venue for Pinup Pole Show to play 5 nights/week!
Thank you, Tonya, for taking the time to sit with us.  Pin Up Pole Show tickets are available at

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