By Andrea Domanick
It’s been quite a year and a half for “Absinthe” performer Angel Porrino. Eighteen months ago, you probably knew her as Holly Madison’s best friend andpersonal assistant in “Holly’s World” and stand-in as Bo Peep in “Peepshow.”
But what was a fill-in gig soon led to a guest-starring role while Madison was away on vacation; not long after, Porrino was offered a solo act in “Absinthe,” which she started in April 2011 (the show at Caesars Palace celebrated its 500th show and first anniversary Sunday night). Today, the 22-year-old is making audiences “ooh” and “aah” at the outrageous adult circus with her burlesque, fetish balloon, tap dancing routine.
Porrino, a Las Vegas native, says she never could have anticipated her rapid ascent into the spotlight, but that her experiences in that time “have meant everything.”
“I didn’t expect any of this to happen, but now that it has, I don’t want it stop -- I won’t let it stop,” she says of her success. “The biggest change is that now my ambitions for myself are bigger.”
She explains that in the past, her son (Roman, 2) was the focus of her life; today, while being a mom is still her top priority, she’s also gained newfound confidence in her talent as a performer and is hungry to push herself in her career.
But that doesn’t mean Porrino will be leaving “Absinthe” any time soon. She describes the cast as her best friends, a small, tightly knit group that’s “like a family.” In addition to bringing her back to her roots as a dancer, joining “Absinthe” has been something of a formative experience for Porrino, one that she says has humbled her and keeps her constantly learning.
“We don’t have a big, fancy dressing room, we change in the valet garage. In the girls’ dressing room, we all speak different languages, so we’re always laughing while we figure out new ways to communicate. It’s awesome because we’re all learning each other’s languages,” she says. “The thing about ‘Absinthe’ is that nothing is given to you, which I love.”
As for life as a single mom, Porrino says her success has actually made it easier. Though she’s busy performing two shows a night, six nights a week, she’s free to spend the day with her son, who she leaves with her parents at night.
“I just feel incredibly lucky with what’s happened in the past year,” she says. “I love going to work every day. That’s the bottom line.”