(Photo by Julian Vankim)
''You can always join the circus.''
Christian Lezzil is in many respects your typical 23-year-old, still plotting exactly what he wants to do with his life. But when people joke he could always fall back on Ringling Bros., Lezzil ripostes, ''I've done that already. I was a balloon artist [in high school] and I worked in the great circus of a strip club.''
Chances are, you remember if you ever caught Lezzil at Secrets, where he performed over the past year. ''When I started stripping,'' he says, ''I thought, well, I'm not really happy standing here just accepting money. It's an opportunity for me to enact all of these bizarre [performance] fantasies I've ever had.'' His chief inspiration was hair-metal bands, such as Kiss, ''the ones who make a spectacle of themselves.'' Lezzil's performances weren't ''sexual, short of me being naked.'' And they sometimes ended in the splits a la David Lee Roth from Van Halen's ''Jump'' video. In fact, the multi-tattooed Lezzil's first piece of body ink, seared on his ankle at age 17, is that exact image. ''I always identified with David Lee Roth,'' Lezzil says. ''He's been kind of my guardian angel for a while.''