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Noni's Interview

Q. Who are you?

A. I was born Antonette Giammarinaro in Mount Clemens, Michigan. My four-year-old brother could not pronounce Toni, so he called me Noni. From that moment on, it was my nickname. I met Don Cely while working together on a movie, and then married my dear darling husband in 1988 and took his name.

Q. What did you do before you started to make dolls?

A. That is one of those questions that would take too long to answer, if I did it honestly. As a teenager, I modeled --

Q. You were a model?

A. Yes. In fact, my face is on the cover of a paperback romance novel called, Yesterday's Music. I gave my only copy of it to someone who disappeared, so if you have or can find a spare copy of one, please email me! Now, where was I? Oh, yes, when I went to college to major in French, I worked by making costumes for the drama department.

Q. French?

A. Suffice it to say that I was a lot better at making costumes than at conjugating french verbs. After college, I did costumes for Off-off Broadway productions. When that wore thin, I started working for film and television, where my makeup skills were also in demand. That's sort of how I ended up making dolls. It's exactly the same type of work, only you do it on cloth instead of skin.

Q. Is there an advantage to working on dolls instead of people?

A. I'll say! the dolls don't scream when you stick them with a pin!

Q. Why do you let other people know your secrets?

A. I don't plan to take them to my grave. That would be pointless. Besides, I have many other interests, and if I let people make their own versions of my dolls, that frees me up to do other things.

Q. What do you do in your spare time?

A. What spare time? Ha-ha. I'm an avid organic gardener. That's a lot of physical work, but well worth it when you taste the results! I enjoy hiking and camping, and... Oh yes, I volunteer at church, where I sometimes do artsy stuff, and sometimes I read the prayers. I'm starting to write stories, which I hope to publish eventually. And Don and I talk about the possibility of producing one of my screenplays ourselves. Oh, and I still work as a makeup artist. Lately I've been working on a new project, the Jekyll Island Doll Seminar.

Q. Have I seen any movies you worked on?

A. Yes, but chances are, you won't see my name in the credits. Mostly, I work on commercials and industrials. Those are short films that corporations show to their employees, and stuff that is never broadcast to the public. If you saw Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael you have seen me on screen. I was Winona Ryder's stand-in, and I photo doubled for her in the opening bike-riding sequence. Boy, was I saddle sore.

Q. Do you have any pet peeves?

A. Yes! I hate it when you go into a public restroom and some woman has peed all over the seat! If you insist on standing up to pee, then please, do like the men do, and raise the seat!!! Is that so much to ask???

Q. I see... ahem... Is there somewhere I can see your dolls?

A. Not at the moment, except in print, unless you know someone who has bought one. Soon, however, there will be a museum in Los Angeles that will have a few of my dolls. But I can't say any more about it at this time...

Q. Oh, being coy, eh?

A. No, it's just that my phone is ringing. I gotta go...

Q. Hey, wait a minute, don't I get to ask any more questions?... I guess not!

Sure you do! Just send me some e-mail! Your questions will be answered as quickly as possible. And tell me a little about yourself, too!

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Copyright: 1996 Antonette Cely. Revised April 22, 1997