Calpernia Addams is an actress, musician, author and activist. Her activism and participation in the LGBT community began in 1994. She has spoken at Oxford University (for the world’s most prestigious debating society, The Oxford Union), was featured as one of the new faces of Facebook’s national ad campaign for “Facebook Home” (also creating and performing an original musical arrangement for the commerical) and was the face of OCC Makeup’s Moderncraft cosmetics campaign, as seen in Sephora stores nationwide. She is a veteran of the 1st Gulf War, an avid motorcyclist and a student of life.
Calpernia has been changing the LGBT landscape for over 20 years as an out transsexual performer and activist. From a chest full of medals for service as a wartime combat medic to a shelf full of crowns and trophies for her work in the community, she has been recognized at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, the Peabody Awards, Oxford University and the GLAAD Media Awards, to name a few. Her star turn in LOGO’s groundbreaking “Transamerican Love Story” introduced her to a new generation and her signature cabaret and burlesque show “Stunning” plays in Hollywood and tours around the globe.
To read about Calpernia before Hollywood or before transition, see Calpernia Before Hollywood.
Calpernia Addams is an actress, musician, author and activist, also known for her work in and for the transsexual community through Deep Stealth Productions. Deep Stealth produces entertainment and educational material promoting understanding and growth centering on the trans community. Recently she spoke at Oxford University, was thanked by name (“Callie Addams”) in Jared Leto’s Oscars acceptance speech, starred in Facebook’s first national tv commercial, was the national face of OCC Makeup, and co-produced the first all-trans cast of The Vagina Monologues with Andrea James, performed alongside Jane Fonda in the 10th anniversary production of “The Vagina Monologues” at the New Orleans Super Dome to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Calpernia starred in MTV/Logo’s “Transamerican Love Story“, a show examining dating and romance for trans people. Her memoir, Mark 947, details her Southern childhood and service as a field medical combat specialist with the Navy and Marines in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.
Calpernia is a highly sought-after consultant for trans issues in entertainment and news media. Client Jared Leto received an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a trans woman in “Dallas Buyers Club”. Three of her consultations have been with actors who went on to receive Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for their portrayals of trans people, and both Felicity Huffman and Jared went on to win the Golden Globe for their roles. Calpernia has presented on trans issues to the board of GLAAD and educated at Warner Brothers on trans issues for employees.
Calpernia Addams has been entertaining for over 20 years, on stage and screen, for straight and gay audiences in venues such as the New Orleans Superdome, the Hollywood Palladium, the Hollywood Forever Masonic Temple, Bimbo’s 365 classic Jazz venue in San Francisco, Hollywood’s Henry Fonda Theatre, Nashville’s The Parthenon, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and countless others.
Actress and Musician
As an entertainer, her business partner Andrea James and she put on the first all trans-women cast production of Eve Ensler’s international hit play fighting violence against women and girls: The Vagina Monologues. They were mentored by Eve and legendary actress Jane Fonda, with whom Calpernia went on to perform the monologues at the 72,000 seat New Orleans Superdome to raise money for the women and girls affected by Hurricane Katrina.
As a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Calpernia has toured the US and Europe playing original acoustic music opening for out gay indie superstar Patrick Wolf and celebrated New York performer Our Lady J. Her music was featured in Facebook’s first national television commercial, in which she also starred. her IMDB credits reflect a diverse profile in film and television, including starring in the first out transsexual dating series on television, Transamerican Love Story.
Her weekly Pop, Jazz and Standards cabaret show featuring original arrangements of classic Old Hollywood music made famous by Marilyn Monroe, Mae West and others alongside original dance and pop music is now in its fifth year. “Calpernia Presents: Goddess” is consistently sold out and standing room only.
Public Speaking and Awards
Calpernia has spoken across the USA and internationally on many topics at major Universities, schools and organizations, most recently at Oxford University for the Oxford Union. She has been a Grand Marshall of the San Francisco Pride Parade as well as Hollywood, Las Vegas and many others. She’s hosted and presented at events from the GLAAD Media Awards to the annual Lavender Law conference. Calpernia was the national face for PFLAG’s outreach to the transsexual community. She has been presented with a GLAAD Media Award, a Peabody Award, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s Randy Shilts Visibility Award, The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Leadership Award, and is also a decorated military war veteran recognized by the US Congress for assistance in rescuing a downed Chinese airliner in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
Calpernia has spoken extensively on trans representation in Hollywood, and has worked with top celebrities and directors to consult on projects that went on to be nominated for or win Academy Awards (Oscars), Golden Globes, Emmys and even a Peabody Award, among many other awards. She has spoken on LGBT issues concerning the US military as a former combat medic herself, veteran of the 1st Gulf War and partner to murdered Army PFC Barry Winchell. Her relationship with Barry and his subsequent murder by homophobic fellow soldiers was depicted in the film “Soldier’s Girl“, which has gone on to open many hearts and minds to trans and gay stories and reportedly influenced President Bill Clinton to express regret at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Calpernia has also spoken at the Veteran’s Administration on healthcare and elder-care for trans veterans who seek care at the Veteran’s Hospitals. She has delivered seminars on workplace policies concerning trans and lesbian/gay/bisexual employees to major multinational corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Warner Brothers.
Calpernia has experience moving in the highest circles of Hollywood’s business and corporate elite as an upscale hostess and entertainer, from The GLAAD Media Awards to The Lavender Law conference to charity fundraiser shows to cabaret. A confident and hilarious event hostess, she takes effortless command of a room and leaves the audience laughing for standup comedy shows, charity auctions, awards ceremonies, fundraiser bingo, drag, burlesque and live music shows.
In addition to the work listed above, her activism work has included fundraising for all major LGBT causes, with specific focus in the past on work with GLAAD, SLDN, The Task Force (NGLTF) and women’s causes such as VDay and Peace Over Violence (LACAAW).