Debbie Gibson, Tiffany love performing for their LGBT fans, and they love the many directions their careers have taken
It’s been 29 years since Debbie Gibson released her first album, Out of the Blue, and 29 years since Tiffany hit the big time with her cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now” and her “The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour ’87.”
Since then, Debbie has morphed from pop to the stage and the silver screen. Tiffany, too, has broadened her scope, appearing in a number of reality TV shows and launching her own film career.
Both women, though, have kept their musical careers in gear, and both say their LGBT fans hold a special place in their hearts. Tonight they bring their music directly to their gay fans, headlining the entertainment at MetroBall 11: An ’80s Dance Party, the annual fundraising party presented by the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.
As they packed their bags for Dallas, Debbie and Tiffany took a few moments to sit down, separately, and answer a few questions for Dallas Voice.
Dallas Voice: You perform regularly at LGBT-related events, like MetroBall. How do your gay audiences compare to the audiences at more mainstream events?
Debbie Gibson: I always say this audience is the most joyful, but at the same time, with the most discriminating tastes. So I can really let my hair down, but I also have to be on my game. I love that I can intertwine pop and Broadway. Anything goes!
Tiffany: Every time I perform at an LGBT event, I just feel the energy is higher and more positive.
DV: Debbie, do you consider yourself an advocate for or an ally of the LGBT community? Why is the LGBT community important to you?
Debbie: My records started in the clubs. A typical performance night for me would consist of playing a teen club, a straight club and a gay club. The LGBT community is my most loyal following, and I just feel like, how could you not support the idea of people being themselves and the idea of acceptance as a whole?
DV: Tiffany, you are known as a gay rights supporter. Why is the LGBT community important to you?
Tiffany: My LGBT fans have been with me since the beginning. Something about the music spoke to them. I think we’ve just always related to each other.
DV: Tiffany, you are also known for your charity work. What are some of the charities or causes that are closest to your heart?
Tiffany: My favorite charity is the Caring House in Las Vegas.
DV: Debbie, what are some of the charities or causes that are closest to your heart? Do you think entertainers have a responsibility to give back to the community in some way?
Debbie: That’s so funny, because I had a performing arts charity organization several years ago and I dismantled it. I now just give one-on-one in the form of mentoring to kids when I have the chance. I feel like charity has lost its true meaning. So the message here is events like [MetroBall] are amazing for awareness and celebration of life and giving, but when the party is over, let the giving quietly continue.
DV: Debbie, you have a wide variety of credits on your resume, including 17 Broadway musicals. But how did SyFy Channel movies end up on the list? (I’m a big fan of those movies, by the way, so I have to ask.) And which SyFy creature feature is your favorite?
Debbie Gibson: I love the 17 musicals in 17 years fact, but not all were on Broadway. (She laughs.) I loved doing the movie with Tiff (Mega Python vs. Gatoroid). She’s a great gal and it was such a kitschy, unexpected way to collaborate.
DV: Tiffany, you became famous as a singer and then added actor to your resume, too. How did the SyFy movies end up on your list, and which is your favorite?
Tiffany: Sci-fi has always been my favorite genre. My son and I watched sci-fi together on Saturdays. It was our thing. I think my favorite was Mega Python vs. Gatoroid [too].
DV: I read that the two of you did Mega Python vs. Gatoroid in part to play off your supposed “pop princess” feud. How much say did the two of you have in the plot and/or dialog of the movie? Did you offer some ideas to play off the “feud” even more?
Tiffany: The script was already written, but the director, Mary Lambert, really encouraged us to be creative and develop our characters our own way.
Debbie: That [the “feud”] was built in. But I would say we really went for it in the food fight scene. Our ode to Dynasty!
DV: Do the two of you perform together at events often? How does that change the dynamics of a performance for you?
Debbie: We did some tour dates together and are on the same bill more and more. I think it’s so cool that here we are, all these years later, two very strong, dynamic women who musically couldn’t be more different. Makes for a unique evening of entertainment.
Tiffany: I think the audience just loves the full ’80s experience when we do shows together.
DV: What’s next on your agenda? What do you want your fans to know about and be on the lookout for?
Tiffany: “Million Miles” is the first album I actually co-produced, which makes it very much a “Tiffany all grown up” project. I wrote all but one of the songs and oversaw all of the instrumentation and mixing. The tour with this album is focusing on my singer-songwriter side with more intimate venues, like The Cutting room and The Mint in LA, so that I can get a deeper connection with my audience and music. (Note: “Million Miles” is now available for order on TiffanyTunes.com and should be available on iTunes shortly.)
Debbie: I’m shooting a movie this summer and working on new music. Fans should look out for a very exciting new chapter that I’m just at the beginning of.
Singer/songwriter Chris Chism, contemporary music director at Dallas’ Cathedral of Hope, joins pop icons Debbie Gibson and Tiffany on the entertainment line-up for MetroBall 11: ’80s Dance Party, taking place tonight (Friday, June 3) at Station 4.
Chism has performed for audiences around the country, included an appearance with Yolanda Adams at the National Global Peace Festival in Washington, D.C. Over the last few years, he has used his gospel upbringing and his own life experiences to compose and perform uplifting and inspirational music.
Chism has released his music video for “Don’t Stay There” and has a new single set for release this summer.
Doors open at 7 p.m. tonight (Friday, June 3) at Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road, for MetroBall 11: ’80s Dance Party, the annual dance party benefitting the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.
This year’s event is headlined by pop icons Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, with local singer/songwriter Chris Chism opening the show.
Doors open and bidding in the silent auction begins at 7 p.m., as does the VIP reception upstairs in The Granite Room. Chism takes the stage at 8:15 p.m., followed by Tiffany at 8:45 p.m. and Debbie Gibson at 9:30 p.m.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 3, 2016.
Tickets are available at the door for $35. For more information visit GDMAF.org.