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- Nashville TN
- United States
- Actress Musician Author
- Used to be a dude
Calpernia began entertaining as a child, playing Bluegrass gospel fiddle in church and performing in school plays. She worked in community theater while in the Navy, both as an actor and a director. Upon returning to Nashville after her service in the military, Calpernia played fiddle in a working college Celtic band. In 1993, she began working at the 40,000 sq. ft. Connections theater and nightclub, where she eventually joined the cast as a headliner and performed full time, doing up to 10 shows a week for up to 2,000 people on weekend nights.
It was in her sixth year as a full time cast member that she won the title of Tennessee Entertainer of the Year 1999. Previously, Calpernia had won the titles of Miss Heartbreaker, Miss Dreamgirl and Miss Nashville Entertainer of the Year. Following Barry Winchell's death, Addams suspended her performing career, leaving her job at The Connection to move first to Chicago and then to Los Angeles. In Hollywood, she formed Deep Stealth Productions with friend Andrea James in 2002. Deep Stealth creates educational and entertainment material about transgender people and issues. Addams and James also coached Felicity Huffman for her Academy Award-nominated performance as a transgender woman in the film Transamerica.
Following the debut of Soldier's Girl, Addams met Jane Fonda (whose son Troy Garity played Winchell in the film) at the Sundance Film Festival. Fonda suggested that Addams mount the first all-transgender production of The Vagina Monologues. The production raised money to combat violence against women and was the subject of the 2006 documentary film Beautiful Daughters.
Transamerican Love Story, a reality dating television series featuring Addams choosing from among eight suitors, debuted on Logo on 11 February 2008.
Addams read for the tenth anniversary production of The Vagina Monologues, held in April 2008 at the Louisiana Superdome. She performed alongside Fonda, Glenn Close, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, and others.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) selected Addams as the spokesperson for its new national campaign This Is Our Love Story. The campaign started during June 2008 and the group plans to launch a website later in 2008. Speaking of her involvement with the campaign, Addams said, "I hope This Is Our Love Story will help young transgender people as they come out. By seeing the happy, confident woman I've become, I hope I can act as a role model for these young people at a critical moment in their development." Addams writes a blog on gender issues for Psychology Today.
Addams also has a musical career, having released her single "Stunning" on iTunes and several videos on YouTube.