Drama whips through The Gatsby Salon on Jerseylicious much like a major storm, but the cast's personal issues pale in comparison to the horrific affects Hurricane Sandy had on their beloved home state last November. To help those in need, Gayle Giacomo and her co-star Anthony Lombardi banded their respective salon staffs together to host a fundraiser, which will be featured on this Sunday's (April 14) episode of the show. I chatted with Gayle about the do-gooder event and, of course, her infamous employees.
OK!: What made you decide to put together this fundraiser for Hurricane Sandy victims?
Gayle Giacomo: Anthony and I did it together and then we got in contact with this foundation from down the shore, they were recovery for all of the people who were in need for every day, so it wasn’t like going through the Red Cross. These people dealt with families and I really wanted to help out the families that were affected by it personally.
OK!: How did the storm affect you?
GG: Personally we were affected where my salon was closed for two weeks because we had no electric or heat or anything, but the second week we just opened up and brought heaters in and we were shampooing people’s heads if they wanted to be shampooed because a lot of people didn’t have water or blow dryers. We were doing it all free of charge and blow drying just so they would have clean hair. We brought in some generators we had and heaters and we worked however we could.
OK!: Were you surprised at how people rallied together after the storm to help each other out?
GG: No, I think New Jersey and New York people are the type of people who are willing to help each other and I think with something so tragic, any human being wants to help another person get through this in any way they can. You know the affect it had on you and then when you see these other people who were just devastated by it, you want to reach out.
OK!: Have you seen things picking up and getting back to normal?
GG: In our immediate area everything’s back to normal but if I go down toLong Branch, Sea Bright and all of that, that was really affected. A lot of my friends who own businesses were very affected, other business owners even with hair salons. They had to pick up and move somewhere else and unfortunately for them to go back to the same area it’s just not going to work. So I mean I do see that they are moving along but they’re really affected badly. Their homes and their businesses. For one family that’s a lot to overcome. We raised $7,000 towards helping these people.
OK!: Jerseylicious is known for its drama, how happy were you that your staff could put aside their differences to work on this fundraiser?
GG: I was really thrilled and I was hoping they could. I feel that in the years we’ve been together they have been maturing and I think at this time they realized it’s not just about them. We had to pull together and do something for our area to help. They did a great job.
OK!: Who do you feel has evolved the most over the years?
GG: I would say Olivia. I think Olivia always tried to keep peace and they (Olivia and Tracy) are both strong people but I think Tracy’s a little stronger and she doesn’t hold back, if you know what I mean.
OK!: When I interviewed Olivia about The Glamour State book launch party she seemed really thrilled that she stayed out of the drama that night.
GG: Yeah, she’s doing really good. I think she’s grown a lot. I really do. I’m very proud of her.
OK!: How do you manage to run a successful salon despite all of the drama?
GG: I’ve been in business 34 years now I think it is, and especially being in New Jersey (people) express themselves verbally. Through all of the years I’ve been in my salon I just have a really good handle on it and…I guess I’m more like their mother. I think that’s why at the end of the night when I go home to my own son I’m like, “I don’t want to hear it!” I’m dealing with it all day long. But it is, you’re like a mother, Hairdressers are artistic. You have all different breeds. You just learn to be like their mother, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, sometimes I say, you know what, I think we should hand out some kind of Xanax or something and put it in their coffee. I think to work at The Gatsby you need to take meds.
Who is your favorite Jerseylicious castmember? Let me know in the comments below or tweet @OKMagazine.