'Orange is the New Black' star changes out of jumpsuit to DJ at Stratus Lounge

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'Orange is the New Black' star Taryn Manning DJs the Stratus Lounge Sunday.

Taryn Manning is known nowadays as Pennsatucky, the formerly snaggletoothed redneck on Netflix's beloved Orange is the New Black (the fourth season streams June 17).

But since she rose to prominence as an actor, Manning has also been a musician. First, as one half of Boomkat, with her older brother Kellin, and now as a DJ.

On Sunday, Manning will kick off the Sunset Sessions at the Stratus Lounge at the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. Following in her footsteps is former reality star (and former Kardashian stepsibling) Brody Jenner (June 19) and adult film actress Sasha Grey (July 17).

We caught up with Manning while she was in the middle of moving. "I'm selling my home," Manning said. "I'm sore."

Most "Orange is the New Black" fans probably don't know about your musical history.

I've always been a musician. I was born that way. My dad and brother were musicians, and my mother was a dancer. There weren't any actors. My brother had a lot of influence on me as a DJ. He's six years older than me, so it's a big age gap. I was the pesky little sister. He was really into hip-hop. He was a b-boy in Tuscon, Ariz.

My first concert was Prince. I was dressed as Madonna. My mother covered my eyes half the time because it was so sexual.

What's your DJ style like?

I love soulful house music. I tend to lean toward things that are vocal-driven. I ride with the times. There are so many sects of house music.

The whole point is to invite people into your world. So I mash up the '90s with the now. So it's Nirvana mixed with Calvin Harris. If it's a bottle-service DJing, like a club, it's the hits.

What does it feel like for you when you DJ?

It feels like work. I'm so clued into the monitors. I have to be in the moment because things go wrong.

You can't lose yourself in the moment?

Oh, I lose myself once things are smooth-sailing. In the last 15 minutes, I'm like, 'It's over? Damnit!' But when I perform, I want to jump out the window. No one says after performing, 'I think I do great.' We all know our biggest potential. You look at all these people, and they're just staring back at you.

Have you been to Philly before?

I haven't, but my both my parents are from Pennsylvania. My mom is from Altoona, and my dad is from Pittsburgh.

There's so much good music. My dad was signed with Gamble and Huff. He was in one of their first all-white, funky groups. It's interesting to go there and know where my pops had this big deal part of his life.

You look different out of your OITNB costume. What type of fan reaction do you get?

[A fan] went "You just like [Pennsatucky]!" I was like, "Really?" I was so done up at the time. It was cute. I knew what they were saying, but I was thinking, "No, I don't!" I have short blond hair. As soon as I talk, though, they can tell by the tone of my voice.

You have a specific voice.

Oy.

Why oy?

It's one of those things I've had to accept. When I was younger, I had a speech impediment. If you heard the way I spoke since I was 20, it's so different. I'm 80 percent deaf in my right ear. Sometimes, I'm doing interviews, and I'm like, "Ugh stop." It makes you more present because you have to think about every word. Talk slower.

Stratus Sunset Sessions: Taryn Manning
Doors open at 2 p.m., headline set starts at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Stratus Lounge (433 Chestnut St.)
$10, 215-925-2889, stratuslounge.com

meichel@phillynews.com
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