I recently returned from a weekend in Vegas and even though I was there working, I still found time to go and visit my old stomping ground "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood. I thought the show looked amazing (I've seen it 10 times since I left) and it was the very best performance I've seen Holly Madison perform.
(Here's Holly with the orginal cast of Peep! I am second to right!)
On the surface it is very easy to judge Holly out of jealousy. She is gorgeous, cannot walk into a room without all eyes on her, seamlessly entertains millions on her hit E! show "Holly's World", designed a clothing line, authored a book " The Showgirl Next Door" and manages to make every jaw in the theatre drop when she appears onstage 6 nights a week at "Peepshow." Really, is there anything that Holly cannot do?
What I learned about Holly during my time at "Peepshow" was that all of her success comes with HOURS of hard work. She is never satisfied with sitting still, and is always working on new projects (she even sings a new solo in Peep!). Holly is also a really giving person. Usually when you work with a celebrity they barely even talk to you and stay far away from any of the "little people" but Holly remembered all the castmates birthdays, had an open door backstage. She was always kind and gracious with the dancers and crew.
So, a few months ago when I saw pictures of her and All Time Low's Jack Barakat, I was stunned. First of all, how on earth did Holly have time to simultaniously take over the world and date? Second of all, maybe we were even more alike than I thought... did Holly Madison have an affinity for rocker boys in skinny jeans just like me?
I wanted to get to the bottom of the magical creature that is Holly Madison so I asked her for an interview! Enjoy!
KC: Holly, Thanks so much for the interview. I know you have so much going on right now, can you tell us what a typical day looks like for REAL in Holly's world!?
HM: I have to wake up kind of early to tape segments for the TV show Extra, to get the segments in in time for the East coast feed. We almost always shoot these in the casino at Planet Hollywood. After that, it's usually some kind of press, charity event, meetings or other things related to different projects I'm doing. Some days of the week I have pilates or singing classes. Then in the evening, it's performing in "Peepshow" 6 nights a week.
KC: You are stunning and I know everyone wants to know what some of your make-up and skin care secrets are. What are some of your favorite products? Do you have any tips from your years on TV and in photo shoots that you can pass along that us girls could use everyday?
HM: Thank you! Skin care is really important. I am careful to wash off my makeup every night, and I alternate between an acne treatment and Eclos moisturizing treatment at night. Also, I think it's super-important to take care of your teeth and master an easy-to-do bun, chignon or updo that you can literally do with your eyes closed for your hair, because you are not always going to have time to style it before you leave the house.
KC: Earlier in the year there was some press floating around that you were asked to lose weight for "Peepshow." I know that most people would give their firstborn child to look like you, but I also know that most girls deal with not being happy with their bodies at some point. I saw the show this past weekend, and you looked better than ever. What did it feel like when producers approached you about your weight? What is the advice you would give anyone who has been picked on or feels like they struggle with their own body image?
HM: At first i was in denial. I had been doing Peepshow for so long, I felt super-comfortable running around on stage in the skimpy costumes . . I guess I need to surround myself with more people who are willing to tell me when I look bad! Just kidding. But really, anyone who is facing an issue with their body image needs to focus on health first and foremost and really take the time to evaluate how THEY feel about their bodies and take the pressures and criticisms they are facing with a grain of salt, because they are not always coming from the right places.
KC: I know that there is much more to you below the surface than people normally see. What is one thing that you would love people to know about you that you don't think they do?
HM: I wish people knew how hard I work. I'm a total workaholic. For most reality-show girls, working hard means getting your makeup done, hopping on a plane and making an appearance, taking a meeting or doing a photo shoot. I'm not putting people who do that down, but when I left Girls Next Door and was planning my own series, I wanted it to be based on me doing something specific that was different from what everyone else was trying to do. That's where being a showgirl in Las Vegas came in. I love the city and I'd wanted to be in a burlesque show for a long time. But I didn't grow up dancing or singing. I had to learn that all from scratch. I wrote my own book, I didn't use a ghostwriter like most other reality stars do. I want to do things in my own way.
KC: I love that you didn't use a ghostwriter Holly! I get so mad when I see "celebrity" book being bestsellers when they didn't even write them! So what about clothes? Where is your favorite place to shop?
HM: My favorite place to shop is Neiman Marcus at the fashion show mall, because they carry great evening wear, shoes and cosmetics. I like to shop at much less expensive places, too, but if I'm in a hurry and need something last-minute, i hit up Neiman Marcus.
KC: I know you have a gazillion dogs + are a big animal lover and joined the battle against animal cruelty with PETA. Why are animal rights so important to you?
HM: I've always loved animals since i was a child, and my love for animals grew when I lived at the playboy Mansion. They have a zoo there. Before Girls Next Door started, I would give tours of the Mansion during the daytime. So many people would ask me questions about the animals in the zoo, their habitats and how they were treated, so I really wanted to educate myself. I studied the different species of monkeys and birds as well as spent time with the zoo staff asking them a million and a half questions about the animals and working with them whenever I had a chance. Now, one of my favorite charities is The Animal Foundation, the Leid animal shelter here in Las Vegas. It is the largest animal shelter in the country.
KC: Name 5 songs that you cannot stop listening to right now.
HM: Anything by Weezer, Operation Ivy, Rancid, Deadmau5 or Lady Gaga. I know, I'm all over the place! I love so many different types of music.
KC: Many of Buzznet's readers probably wished they could be you when you were dating All Time Low's Jack Barakat. Are you guys still friends? What was your favorite song by All Time Low? Do you have any other rocker boy crushes we should know about?
HM: I like almost all of All Time Low's songs, but "Lost In Stereo" is my favorite. I don't have any rocker boy crushes right now, but anything could change. I find my crushes usually happen when I meet someone or see them in person.
(Holly + Jack- does anyone else love that she is wearing a gold sparkly dress and a rad hoodie at the same time!? I do!)
KC: Name three things you admire in others.
HM: It's funny that you mentioned Jack in the question before, because the first thing that popped into my head when you said what do I admire about other people, is Jack's ability to balance work and fun in his life. He's a really hard worker, but still has time for the people in his life and to have a good time. Sometimes I think all I do is work and I need a little more balance in my life! Balance is key.
I admire my co-star Josh Strickland's talent. He is blessed with such an amazing voice!
Since I first saw her in a random Playboy special edition 10 years ago, I have admired Dita Von Teese's ability to brand herself in a way you can tell she loves. I was flipping through a Playboy full of look-alike tan, bland, blonde girls and I saw this white-skinned, black-haired, part goth, part classic hollywood vixen wearing gorgeous lingerie. Nothing was written about her, but her name "Dita Von Teese" was at the bottom of the page, and you can just tell that that name is too good to be true and goes to well with her look to be real. That was the clue, though, that this woman was entirely in charge of her look and her image, and I loved that! I'm fascinated with re-invention and the American dream of becoming who you feel you truly are deep inside and who you want to be.
KC: What was the best advice ever given to you?
HM: It was never given to me as advice, but I always noticed how Hef never seemed to keep any secrets. People will always write things about him that aren't true of course, but he never hid anything from the public, which is a great way to live if you are in the public eye. You never have to worry about being blackmailed or threatened in anyway.
KC: This past year, your ex got engaged to someone else and you handled what must have been pretty heartbreaking announcement with a ton of grace and class. I could have taken some lessons from you! I think that no matter how much time passes, it is always hard to see someone you loved, love someone else. What is some advice you can give to us about heartbreak, moving on and love?
HM: I think focusing on your own goals and things you had to give up to make time for a relationship puts a massively positive spin on being single. In the case of the engagement, I worry about people I care about making the right choices, but I want everyone to be happy. The hardest part for me personally, was that everyone expected me to be devastated, because Girls Next Door was such a beloved show that is still re-running like crazy all over the world. People forget that I left that relationship almost 3 years ago and have been through rough relationships and breakups since then. Would I like to be married someday? Perhaps, though I'm more concerned about having children in the future than getting married. Marriage is not the best thing that can happen to you, as a woman. If I woke up one morning and discovered I was getting married (be it to anyone) and that everything I'd accomplished for myself in the last few years was all a dream, I'd be devastated!
KC: I love that! Kudos to the strong, independant ladies out there! After everything you have already accomplished, What is next for you Holly?
HM: Omg there are so many things I want to do! I have several diverse business projects coming up in the next year that I am really excited about. In the super-near future it's all about shooting Season 3 of Holly's World and developing another show, but as one of the producers, not as the star.
KC: Good luck! And break a leg in tonights show!
If you want to stalk Holly you can find her on twitter @hollymadison or on her website (she has cute clothes too!) www.hollymadison.com
+ as always you can stalk me @keltiecolleen :)