Catching Up with Candis Cayne

11.8.2009

By Joshua Miller

Was your transition a natural progression for you or did you have to fight yourself?
I don't think, when you're in this position, that you fight yourself as much as you fight your fear of the unknown. Because no matter how many people you see around you doing it, you don't understand it until you actually do it. For me, it was like finding a missing piece of the puzzle. I could breathe for the first time. I always felt more comfortable when I was going out at night then I was during the day. I always knew ever since I was little that I was supposed to be this way, I just didn't know what it was or how to do it.

Was there ever a point in your transition that you thought you might have made a mistake?
A couple of bad relationships [can] discourage you, but for the most part but I never thought that I had made a mistake. A lot of transgender women feel insecure about how they are feeling about themselves, that they put up with a lot of bullshit, but those are things that every girl has to deal with. I remember the night I finally decided to go through my transition. I was alone in my little tiny New York studio apartment. I looked in the mirror and it sounds weird, but I saw this violet aura around me, and it was like a light bulb went off, and that's when I knew I wanted to grow old as a woman, not a man. The next day I called Paris and said, 'Girl, give me a shot!' [Laughs.]

How long ago did you meet your boyfriend, Marco?
I met Marco 10 years ago and we had a connection but he wasn't ready to get in a relationship -- he was still hitting up the Roxy until 7 in the morning and DJing the circuit parties. And I wasn't into that -- I was in bed by 3.

What was his sexual orientation before you met?
Marco is straight but he worked at Splash as a bartender and his close friends were all the Chelsea muscle boys. A couple years later we met back up and still had that connection and realized that we were meant for each other.

Jumping forward, Marco now has a daughter, though she lives with her mother. What is it like being a stepmother?
It's interesting because stepmothers always get the raw end of the deal. They're not as respected as the [birth] parents. But we have a great relationship.

At what point did you realize you were living the trans dream and how lucky you are?
What's funny is that I never really say that and I should. I have always been very driven and wanted to move forward, and [I'm always] moving on to different projects and wondering what the next step of my life is going to be. I am so used to fighting an uphill battle with my life that it's rare that I actually get to sit back, relax, and realize that I really am very lucky.

Chaz Bono recently came out as being transgender and while other transgender actors and actresses were jumping on the press wagon to talk about being transgender in the industry, you didn't. You were even approached by Larry King. What held you back from talking about it?
I did the press wagon the day it broke, and it comes to a point when you're beating a dead horse. I felt like I had already proven myself as a human being and so I didn't want to talk about it. I don't really have a sad story, which is hard for a lot of people to understand. Of course there were a couple of years in high school which were difficult but other then that I had it pretty easy. First and foremost I want to be a successful actress, entertainer, and performer. Just me being on TV shows like Dirty Sexy Money moves the community forward. I don't feel like I have to talk about it.

One of your upcoming projects is the next season of Nip/Tuck. How did that differ from Dirty Sexy Money?
It was weird because for two years I was going to a certain set and working with the same people. It was the first time I went to a new set and it was really a nerve-racking experience. I had to put my nerves aside and realize that I was there for a reason and I just did my work. It was such an amazing experience and everyone was amazing with me.

Do you play a transgender woman on Nip/Tuck?
I do, but there is an interesting twist. But you have to wait until January to see the episode! Marco and I are also filming a pilot called Yes We Can. It's about his life as a DJ in the scene and mine as a performer and actress trying to make it in Hollywood. It's really funny! Marco and I shot the first two days together and within the first 10 minutes he said a line that was really funny to me and I started cracking up. But after that it was just completely natural for us.

What is it like performing at the Abbey?
It is kind of interesting because I have always told Marco that this would be the most amazing place to do a show. One day I was having dinner with [party promoter] Jeffrey Sanker and I was approached to do a show. It's amazing because it is so open and well-known and it is just such a gorgeous spot. In New York it was a lot easier to go out in the street and perform outside, which is one of my favorite things to do in my show. It doesn't stop me from doing that here. But at the Abbey people can't really see it live, they have to watch it on the screen when I perform outside of the building. In New York there was a lot of fun energy in the crowd, here it is a little bit more laid back.

To see Candis Cayne learning the rumba with Dancing With The Stars's Bruno Tonioli, head here.

For more info on Cayne, head to her MySpace page.

For more info on Joshua Miller, head to his website.

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