Jen Gapay is the mastermind behind Thirsty Girl Productions, an alias that serves her well as the producer of hundreds of music, burlesque and variety shows. She was voted the #1 Most Influential Non-Performing Woman in Burlesque by 21st Century Burlesque in 2013 & 2014, and was a featured Guest of Honor at BurlyCon in 2014, and voted on to the BurlyCon Board of Directors in 2015. Gapay started The New York Burlesque Festival in 2003 (with Angie Pontani) The Asian Burlesque Festival (with Calamity Chang) in 2012, and The Seattle Boylesque Festival (with Daniel Nardicio) in 2015. All three festivals are multi-day, multi-venue events featuring a cavalcade of international performers showcasing for sold out crowds.
Thirsty Girl Productions debuted in 1997 with Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party, an annual rock-and-roll carnival that continues to this day. After moving to New York, Gapay was Promotions Director at Village Voice, where she created and produced Siren Music Festival at Coney Island, a blockbuster event that drew record crowds in its first two years. She was also the Special Events Director of Astroland Amusement Park from 2003-2008, and currently produces special events for Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and coordinated Coney Island USA’s Mermaid Parade since 2016.
In 2010, Thirsty Girl founded and produced The Coney Island Talent Show, now in its tenth year. She is also the Associate Producer of the PBS-aired documentary Last Summer at Coney Island, and has organized benefits for Coney Island USA, The Coney Island History Project and Save Coney Island.
Gapay was Artistic Director for 2006's The Dresden Dolls, Fuck the Back Row Tour, and talent coordinator for several tours in the USA, Europe and Australia. In the summer of 2008, she teamed up with Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls to co-produce The Establishment: A New World Cabaret Experience at the Rothbury Music Festival in Michigan. That same year Gapay & Sxip Shirey produced Sxip’s Hour of Charm at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater Company.
Thirsty Girl also co-produces annual shows, Menorah Horah & The Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque Valentines Spectacular. She co-produced Kitten N’ Lou are OVEREXPOSED and Holier than Thou, at Joe’s Pub in October 2015 & 2017, The New Year’s Eve Prohibition Masquerade Ball at Drom 2015-2019.