Lefty Lucy didn’t set out to become a burlesque performer, let alone Miss Coney Island 2012, when she left California for NYC about a decade ago. Although she came from a theater background and started college as a theater major, she eventually switched to English and went into publishing. It wasn’t until she was laid off from a job in educational publishing that she decided to explore other options. “I was a totally normal person for a decade, and then I found burlesque.”
In 2008 she signed up for the New York School of Burlesque, and before long she had her debut at the Slipper Room. Her father, also a performer, had passed away the year before, and the showcase was the closest she had felt to him since then. Her debut also enabled her to tap into something greater. “The more I’ve pursued burlesque, the more myself I’ve felt I’ve become,” she said.
See Also: Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2013
From that point her burlesque success continued, helping found Storybook Burlesque and joining Epic Win Burlesque, which she describes as burlesque with a nerdy flair. She also became involved with the Mermaid Parade and the Miss Coney Island Burlesque Beauty Pageant. Bambi the Mermaid, who resurrected the pageant in 2002, invited her to compete in 2010. Although Lefty felt it was too soon, “You don’t say no to Bambi the Mermaid.”
She went on to grab the Miss Coney Island 2011 title, and after her reign ended Bambi offered her a role as Vice President of Miss Coney Island. Lefty’s commitment to Coney Island and the Mermaid Parade was further strengthened by the fact that she moved to Coney Island a week after Superstorm Sandy hit and experienced firsthand the destruction and rebuilding effort. “There were definitely major concerns the Mermaid Parade wasn’t going to happen,” she says, but those concerns were overcome mere weeks before the parade thanks to a successful fundraising campaign. A positive spirit from the local community also helped.
“Not reopening wasn’t in the spectrum of reality,” she says. “Of course we’re going to reopen, we’re Coney Island. That’s what we do. That’s a really incredible spirit that I’m drawn to.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 11, 2013