The truth about American Pickers star Danielle’s alter ego

If you’re a fan of the unexpected fun that can be found on American Pickers, you may also have a hunch that everything is not quite as it seems on the long-running History Channel show. While its reality stars track down treasures hidden among trash, we’re digging up the truth about cast member Danielle Colby. She’s the woman who runs the Antique Archaeology office and who coordinates leads that help her cohorts, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, buy up old and interesting items to resell for a pretty profit. Colby lends her funky vibe to a show that might otherwise be as stiff as the taxidermied animals they often encounter on their treasure hunts.

Known for her many tattoos and stylish ways, Colby is a fan-favorite who seems like she could be anyone’s quirky BFF, but the truth is, when this American Pickers star is away from the cameras, she appears to be an entirely different person.

Danielle Colby is a 'burlesque powerhouse'

Introducing… Dannie Diesel! That’s the fittingly fabulous name that the Queen of Rust, aka Danielle Colby, goes by when she takes the stage as a burlesque dancer. Colby began performing when she flung herself into “an impromptu striptease at a drag show” at age 18, according to the Detroit Metro Times. From there, her saucy, flair-loving persona was born.

“I think the costuming is what first struck me,” Colby recalled. “I eventually was like, ‘Oh dammit, I have to figure out how to dance if I wear this stuff.'” She sought out lessons from established performers such as LouLou D’vil and Michelle L’amour. Nowadays, Colby certainly knows what she’s doing and what she’s all about. “There’s nothing coy or frilly about me,” the “burlesque powerhouse” explained. “I’m really fond of strength onstage and I’m not a small person. I’m 5’9″ and 190 lbs. — you can’t really go on stage and be too shy.”

While Colby’s days as Dannie Diesel may seem totally disconnected from what we see of her on American Pickers, the star’s website explains that she “specializ[es] in vintage burlesque and striptease costumes” while “embrac[ing] the history of these pieces and the performers that wore them.” That sounds like the same kind of appreciation for the past that she portrays as a part of the picker team. She just wears a lot less clothing while appreciating burlesque history.

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