At Home With: Gia Fagnelli | Pittsburgh City Paper

At Home With: Gia Fagnelli

click to enlarge At Home With: Gia Fagnelli
Photo: Gia Fagnelli
Everybody is dealing with the COVID-19 quarantines and restrictions in different ways. While there's no single right way to cope — social distancing and staying TF home aside — connecting with friends, family, and neighbors is a good place to start. You can contact your loved ones on your own, but you might also be curious how your favorite strangers in Pittsburgh are coping, so Pittsburgh City Paper is reaching out once a day to artists, activists, workers, and makers to see how they're doing.

Today, it's drag, pole, prose, sound, and video artist Gia Fagnelli.

What is your day-to-day routine like now?
I'm trying to use my phone alarms to keep to an idea of a schedule. I use calming sounds on my phone for alarms, binaural beats, and Gregorian chants and shit to give me a sense of time.

I'm waking up between 8 [a.m.] and 9 [a.m.] most days. I write down my dreams, drink water, and stretch. Then I look at Twitter for a minute or give before I throw my phone down in despair. I tote my laptop down to my kitchen table and set up my workflow, make coffee and breakfast, check the socials and emails, and usually check in with one of my quarantine buddies (people I have hermit alliances with). I set intentions for the day, and pick out my background movie or album. Then I usually pack a pipe and take a half-hour vacation.

From there, it's either art time, housework, digital meetings, physical therapy/pole training, and space for personal projects like meditations, books I've been putting off, and the occasional meltdown. Evenings are for internet shows and hermit raves in the top floor of my little treehouse.

I saw a video you posted on Facebook called Earth Gias are Easy #cineFagnelli. Tell me about that. Will there be more? What’s next?
Thanks for checking it out! I'm starting a series called #cineFagnelli: looks and video art and/or drag numbers inspired by films I'm hooked on. I started with Earth Girls Are Easy because it is the best vacation I could ask for right now. Extraterrestrials spending summertime in the Valley in the early '90s? Absolutely. If Earth's summer 2020 is canceled, I'll stage my own summer fantasy from my apartment.

I have a list of films to do drag projects on, including a revival of my Midsommar piece. I'll post a poll on my socials soon to choose which one's next!

What is your favorite food to eat at the moment?
I make a rly mean soup. It freezes well, feeds me for days, and I can make it from whatever is donated to me to ensure it doesn't go to waste. But my favorite? Oat milk cocoa and peanut butter toast w/ honey on top and fruit on the side (when I can get my hands on fresh fruit, I haven't been the store in three weeks).

What piece of art/film/comic/book/TV/music is bringing you comfort/inspiration at this time?
I watch a lottt of movies. Foxfire is a classic for when I feel nostalgic and lonely for groups. I love Bollywood films when I want a three-hour experience with brilliant cinematography, huge dance scenes, and a world where everyone cries with any big emotion.

What’s an object in your house that has particular significance to you these days?
Boy, am I glad to have my pole studio and all my drag, my projector, my art supplies.

You’re performing at Princess Jafar’s upcoming online show. What do you have planned? [Question sent before the April 12 show]
Clearly I was lagging on my response time, but what is time? I showed some never before seen video art, a fun little think-piece on cults from a former Catholic school kid. Happy Easter!

As a video artist, do you think you’re well prepared for creating and connecting over the internet?
Creating, yes! Connecting? Working on it. I'm a genuine hermit so consistency in posting and interacting online is my challenge. That's why I've established Tuesdays as my evenings to go on IG live. I'm calling it PRL: Pole Request Live, anyone can send a song request via Venmo or Cashapp tips.

What’s an organization you’d recommend giving to or supporting at this time?
Mutual aid funds for QTPOCSW. Lysistrata. SisTersPGH.

Follow more of Gia Fagnelli's work here or here.