Tonya Kay

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Tonya Kay
Born (1981-10-08) October 8, 1981 (age 33)
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Occupation actress; dancer; model;
freelance writer; nutritionist; performance artist
Years active 1982–present
Agent Clear Talent Group;
CTG – Adult Theatrical
Commercial Talent Agency
Kazarian Spencer Ruskin Equity
Shirley Hamilton Agency
Talent Ink. LA-NY
Home town Michigan
Movement raw foods vegan; environmentally green
Religion Pagan; Chaote

Tonya Kay is an American actress, television personality, and performance artist appearing in independent films and episodic television. Her background includes performing stunts and what she refers to as "danger arts", which consist of knife throwing and whip cracking. She also has a background in modeling, dance choreography, stage performance, and freelance writing.[1]

Kay may be best known for playing the lead comedic role, I Rock, in Bold Native,[2] the first fictional film about the Animal Liberation Front; and starring as the royal nasty, Princess Peach in Comedy Central's "Video Game Reunion".

She is additionally known for participating as a contestant on NBC's America's Got Talent show, having reached the semi-finals featuring her fire poi solo with Trey Knight's Stilt World dance company.[3] She also appeared as a contestant on five episodes of Sci-Fi's Who Wants to Be a Superhero?.[4]

Her guest appearances on American network television programs include Numb3rs, Criminal Minds, House M.D., and Glee. Kay stars as herself, a pagan superhero, in Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose comic book series developed by Jim Balent, who describes Kay as "probably the most dangerous actress in Hollywood today".[5][6]

Personal background[edit]

Tonya Kay was born in southern Michigan. While graduating valedictorian of her high school class, she chose not to continue with traditional education.[7] Kay is a practicing raw vegan, pagan and Chaote, and shares her interests on health, nutrition, and spiritual pursuits on her websites through a variety of interviews and published works.[7]

Professional background[edit]

Early career[edit]

At age four, Kay was enrolled by her mother in tap dance classes. By age six, she was performing in a local community theatre production of the musical Oliver!.[7] At 15, she was cast in her first professional production, The Music Man at Detroit, Michigan's Fisher Theatre.[7]


Kay is a television character actress, dancer, model, and vocalist. Kay performs her own stunts, which include whip cracking, knife throwing, stilt dancing, flag and fire dance. Her stunt performances have been used in film productions, as well as in live freak show, burlesque, Vaudeville, and cabaret performances. She served as an aerial stunt trainee in Las Vegas' De La Guarda.[citation needed]

She spent four years performing in Chicago theatres, including the Drury Lane Theatre, Peninsula Players, Theatre at the Centre, Theatre Building Chicago and Apollo Theater Chicago.[citation needed] In New York City, she performed in concert dance companies and experimental theatre, booking the aerial show, De La Guarda, and eventually toured with the dance troupe, Stomp.[citation needed]

Choreography and dance[edit]

Kay's choreography and stunt consultant credits include appearing on FOX Television's series Bones; tap choreography for the film Pais De Trois; burlesque choreography on Comedy Central's Secret Girlfriend, secondary choreography on Showtime's Live Nude Comedy, and rhythm choreography in Perkin's "Seafood STOMP" commercial and choreography for 3OH!3 Double Vision music video.[citation needed]

While Kay has performed her stilt dancing during the Krassimir Avramov Opera Concert at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.[citation needed] She also combines her danger arts and specialties with burlesque solos, performing live with the following companies.

  • Peggy Spina Tap Company (NYC)
  • Mark Goodman's Tap Company (Los Angeles)
  • Deca Dance Hip-Hop Theatre (NYC)
  • Axis Danz flagging/modern dance (NYC)
  • Life Force Ensemble modern dance (Chicago)
  • Stilt World dance (Los Angeles)
  • Dollface Dames Burlesque (Los Angeles)
  • The Lalas Burlesque (Los Angeles)

Instructional videos[edit]

Kay's instructional hosting credits include over 200 episodic videos available through the website. She may be best known for participating in the 48 Pros Tell You Everything They Know About the Job Game video series.[8]

I personally became addicted to poi as a dance form at a pagan festival in Indiana, 2002. A group of grungy young witches pulled me into their private circle and left my jaw agape as I beheld the dangerous and sensual circles of fire they spun in intricate patterns around their muscular bodies. Immediately I began practicing the technique of spinning poi and as a professional dancer, noticed right away a new power in my body's core and a noteworthy definition of my deltoids and upper back. To my delight, the act of spinning weighted circles around oneself not only creates a space in which, while the body is fully engaged, the mind is lulled into meditative trance, but also is just so much genuine fun, I don't even realize I've "worked out".[9]

—Tonya Kay

Music video appearances[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Trace Adkins'
"I Got My Game On"
romantic lead Director Michael Salomon;
Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards[citation needed]
Death Angel "Dethroned" snake lady Director Robert Sexton[citation needed]
Namie Amuro "New Look" featured dancer Choreographer Yasko Ishikawa[citation needed]
Rob Zombie "Foxy, Foxy" featured actress Director Rob Zombie[citation needed]
A Guy Named Brad "Pressure" lead dancer/choreographer Director Kekoa Bayang[citation needed]
Geoff Tyson "True Believer" featured actress Director Geoff Tyson[citation needed]
3OH!3 "Double Vision" [citation needed]
DJ Swamp "Club Thrashin'" [citation needed]



Kay's modeling work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Spin Magazine, TV Guide, and National Geographic. Kay also models with fellow vegetarian, Russell Brand on the cover of the soundtrack developed for the fictional character Aldous Snow (lead singer of the fictional band Infant Sorrow), from the movie Get Him to the Greek. Her modeling work is featured on the cover of Lou Barlow's True Nature Feels Like Centuries album.[10][11]

Kay appears in Nike's "Colors" national ad campaign and in Equinox Gym's national billboard campaign launched in January 2010. She has also worked with photographers Glen Wexler, Peter Randolph and Jasper Johal, who is a prominent professional photographer known for his black and white nudes of yogis and dancers.[citation needed]

Television roles and appearances[edit]

Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Numb3rs Nitrogurl CBS/director Fred Keller
2009 Secret Girlfriend Cassidy (recurring) Comedy Central/director Ross Novie
2009 Criminal Minds Tara Farris ABC/director John Badham; 11 November 2009
2009 Pas de trois Juliette director Christophe Nassif
2010 Uncle Nigel Hot Biker Chick TBS/director Randall Zisk
2010 House M.D. Chloe FOX/director Sanford Bookstaver
2010 Glee Cheerleader #3 FOX television
2011 "Video Game Reunion" Princess Peach Comedy Central/director Matthew Lewis
Television stunt performance and appearances

Kay's stunt performances have been featured side by side with Ellen DeGeneres,[citation needed] William Shatner,[citation needed] Margaret Cho,[citation needed] and Harry Anderson.[citation needed] In July 2001, Kay wrote and directed Xtreme Rhythm Theatre, an all-rhythm production based on her experiences as a young woman living in New York City.[citation needed]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 Who Wants to Be a Superhero? contestant/Creature SciFi/Stan Lee
2006 America's Got Talent contestant/fire spinner/Stilt World NBC
2009 Glee stilt dancing FOX
2009 Live Nude Comedy solo burlesque dancer Showtime/choreographer Frankie Ann
2009 The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien knife throwing duet with Jack Dagger NBC
2009 More Extreme Marksman performance art History Channel/director W. Scott Goldie
2009 Bones stunt consultant FOX/director Dwight H. Little
2009 Pas de trois tap choreography director Christophe Nassif
2009 Secret Girlfriend choreographer Comedy Central/director Ross Novie
2010 American Idol Rihanna dancer FOX/top nine results
2011 Friends with Benefits snake burlesque dancer NBC/director Jay Chandrasekhar
2011 Glee Fire Whip Bikini Cheerios Dancer FOX television (uncredited)

Film roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Wish List Catherine distributed by Hallmark Channel
2010 OffWorld Flower director Emmett Callinan
2010 Bold Native I Rock director Denis Hennelly
2010 Rawman and Green-Girl Meet Frankenfood (short) Green Girl (voice) raw vegan animated film series

Companies owned[edit]

Tonya Kay is a committed environmentalist and is CEO of two environmentally green companies that supply food for movie sets: Happy Mandible and Solid Hollywood LLC.[12][13][14] Her car, a 1965 Riviera called the "Grape Space Coaster," has a long and meticulously detailed history.[15] Many of Tonya's vehicles run on used vegetable oil, and she tinkers with her cars herself.[16]

Published works[edit]

  • Kay, Tonya. "Serious About Play: Athletic Training Tips", Organic Athlete (2004)
  • Kay, Tonya. "Eden's Apple", Funky Raw Living, Salt Lake City, Issue 5, 2006.
  • Kay, Tonya. "Living Cuisine Cafe", Funky Raw Living, Salt Lake City, Issue 9, 2007.
  • Kay, Tonya and Joanna Steven. Raw Nutritional Analysis: A Month on Tonya Kay's Autumn Diet (2008)
  • Kay, Tonya and Joanna Steven. Raw Nutritional Analysis ll: Spring Athlete's Diet (2009)


  1. ^ Kay, Tonya. "About Tonya Kay". Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Bold Native – A film about animal liberation". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  3. ^ "America's Got Talent Semifinals Part 3 (2006)". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  4. ^ "Who Wants to Be a Superhero? The Rise and Fall of the Superhero Empire (2006)". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  5. ^ "'Tarot' Comics". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  6. ^ December 27, 2009 (2009-12-27). "Tonya Kay: Immortalized in Comics". Rending the Veil. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  7. ^ a b c d "20 Questions with Tonya Kay". 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Neu Futur Magazine (2009-01-14). "True Nature: Feels Like Centuries". CD Baby. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  11. ^ "True Nature Photo Gallery". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  12. ^ Kay, Tonya. "About Tonya Kay". Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Mandible, Happy. "Happy Mandible". Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Hollywood LLC, Solid. "Solid Hollywood LLC". 
  15. ^ "Grape Space Coaster: Herstory". 
  16. ^ "Grape Space Coaster: Herstory". 

External links[edit]