BWW Interview: At Home With Dawn Derow
Dawn Derow is a very chic chick. When she appears in one of her shows, at a fancy-dress event, or at a friend's act, she is always dressed to impress. Always looking like a glammed-up rock and roller or a guest-star on a 70's television special, she is one of the best-dressed women in cabaret. So when physical distancing started her social media was filled with photos of her playing with her dog in the back yard and doing yoga outside... in a full-length cheetah print dressing gown. Even during isolation, Dawn Derow is one of the hippest, coolest, grooviest gals in the business. Fascinated by the multi-faceted award-winner and entrepreneur, I dropped Dawn a note, asking if she would do a digital chat with me and, happily, the singing health and fitness guru said yes, immediately - now her fans can get a peek behind the glitz and the glamor and see that Dawn Derow is as down to earth as they come.
Name: Dawn Derow
First Cabaret Show (Title, Year, Club):
FIRST EVER!!!! ~ "Shooting My Arrow, 2008-2009 @ The Duplex
First noticed by MAC "Music 4 Two" with Sean Harkness & Directed by Lina Koutrakos, which started at Don't Tell Mama Fall of 2011, Metropolitan room, Cutting Room (Album release 2013) - which you can listen to on Spotify!
Most Recent Cabaret Show:
The House That Built Me 2019 - check it out on youtube you can watch the whole thing- it's on Michael Stever's page / or just search Dawn Derow The House That Built Me!
GYPSY IN SOUL ~ the songs of Eydie Gormé
Which has not opened yet - we really hope to get this up on these feet in June!
Website or Social Media Handles:
I have two Facebook pages (one for general stuff and one for music and singing) /
Instagram - I have my Instagram WHICH I AM ON ALOT!
And my dog's - @maddietheterrier
Twitter - but I don't use twitter much
Dawn, you are one of the most popular artists in the cabaret theaters today and have been for some time. When you started was your aesthetic very different than it is today?
I think it's evolved to a high place but I always had some sense of style.
How did you develop the Dawn Derow style of show?
Gosh, is that a thing? Honestly, it's all part of the journey of life... I listen to my heart and luckily I have a voice to tell the story for that particular time.
You are lucky enough to be based out of the city during the time of social distancing - what is the experience of being under voluntary quarantine in a place where you can go outside?
My wonderful boyfriend John Williams lives up in North Salem, NY on 17 acres in a beautiful home, we've taken refuge here... basically moved in; Me and my rescue terrier! I feel extremely blessed to be able to walk outside and get fresh air! Today we did some weeding and gardening. I'm helping John with his garden, and we built a compost, based on my request. My other love is to cook, (another talent I got from my Italian mother) and I have to say, John's kitchen is perfect for me. My apartment in NYC is small like all of us but the kitchen is awful, the counter space is the size of a cookie sheet! John and his daughter Sam and I are eating very healthy foods!
It breaks my heart to think of my friends and colleagues stuck in a less desirable place.
And the amazing canine you can be seen online playing with in the garden? Who is that?
THAT'S MADDIE!!!! I rescued her over a year and a half ago. Raissa Katona Bennett found her for me- through Shih tszu & fur babies rescue. She's the best. She's a little Princess, might be slightly deaf and blind, she's a 6-year-old terrier mix- and I am crazy in love with that doggie!! Follow her on Instagram- lol!
You have a new show that was, literally, cut off by the quarantine - how did you come to choose Eydie Gorme as the subject of your new act?
It started when I was working with the late great Barry Levitt - back in 2015 he told me to listen to her, then my friend Gabrielle Stravelli was giving me a jazz coaching and she said to listen to her as well. So I did. I fell in love with Eydie's big vocal ability and I felt, and many people would agree with me, that she was undervalued as a chanteuse of her time, yet she's one of the most amazing female vocalists of the last 70 years!
Tell me about your work as a dedicated health and fitness professional.
Like Cabaret - I have been in the fitness industry since 2008... funny how they both began the same year. But when I explain to people (mostly in interviews) about my brand - it's really about "healing," "making others feel good," "and getting them to realize something about themselves." Those statements can apply to both my fitness and health career and singing.
I launched my own boutique business called DIVINE BODY BALANCE in the fall of 2013. I work one on one with clients, whether it be personal training, yoga, mobility, rehab from injury or surgery, and many, many more things. Over the years I've constantly added to my toolbox of tricks. Recently I became cupping certified in addition to the massage and bodywork that I do for clients. There's honestly too much to mention, which is why I have an entire website (aside from my performance website) dedicated to my business. If you go on my Instagram page you will see it's a mixture of all my personalities and talents.
Happy to help!!! Please reach out to me if you are interested in online classes or sessions! Class is coming this week and it will be donation-based.
What is your personal preferred genre of workout?
That's hard to say- but off the cuff, I'll say mobility! Deep long stretching, limbering movements, bodyweight- that sort of thing.
How are you keeping yourself occupied during the social distancing period?
Cooking, cleaning, lists of TO DO stuff that I never have time to do. Building my online business.. baking pies, watching Schitt$ cheek, revamping my dining website (www.dawnderow) - plenty to do!
You have a very individual sense of fashion, how did you nurture your personal style into what it has become?
Well, Rent The Runway has a lot to do with it. 3 years ago I started renting dresses for award season. And then I just continued to rent dresses for different performance dates/gigs etc.... I did meet with a stylist who went through my closet to encourage me to toss items that no longer suited me and to pair things that I might not have potentially put together. It was extremely helpful. One look I really love and I kind of fell into was this whole vintage cool look. It started when I did my show MY SHIP~ SONGS FROM 1941... and I just love that 40's & 50's throwback look mixed with a little 2020 sass!
Quick plug - MY SHIP~ Songs from 1941; Once we finish recording the album will be out in the fall.
As a health and fitness guru, what is your favorite culinary treat that you wouldn't, necessarily, encourage your students to eat?
Well, Stephen, I love to bake pies, it's another one of my talents - I even had a little pie business for a while but I try to make healthy and delicious pies so I guess that would be the one treat I'd suggest, however, I don't add any sugar into my pies, they are sweet enough as it is!
Photo by Stephen Mosher
See Dawn's most recent Living Room Concert on her Facebook Page