there's rarely a predictable moment around our miss april, lesa ann pedriana
It's a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles, and Lesa Ann Pedriana is restless. This is not a day to be inside. While strolling through Ocean Park, she comes upon an exercise area with rings suspended from a swing frame; Lesa Ann suddenly grabs the rings, kips up and does a neat back flip. Then, without a word about it, she continues the conversation. It occurs to you that the last girl you were with never did that. After a while, though, you learn to accept such outrageous behavior from Lesa Ann. She's so positive and cheerful about things that you'd gladly follow her over a cliff, declaring that it's a perfect day for a free fall. The girl is impulsive. She thrives on variety. The clothes she wears, and those she designs, are as unrestrained and as creative as she is. And her idea of a good time is your idea of a good time.
It was during The Great 30th Anniversary Playmate Search that Lesa Ann materialized. Our search had taken us to Hawaii, a well-known hormonal proving ground and libidinal laboratory. Ironically, the girl who caught our lens turned out to be a mainland expatriate (since repatriated) who was born in Milwaukee and raised under the palms of Anaheim, California. She had a diploma from a beauty school in her pocket, a make-up artist's portfolio under her arm and a weekend gig as a rock jock at a local radio station in case the first two didn't work out. We took some perfunctory Polaroids, but it was clear right away that Lesa Ann was a Playmate.
That was not exactly what she had in mind. "My intention was to do make-up for Playboy. When I was in high school, I thought being a Playmate was far too . . . I mean, I couldn't even see that. But I could see doing make-up. You open the book and you see women from Hawaii, women from Switzerland, and I thought, Great! They'll send me to Hawaii and Switzerland and I'll get to do make-up on beautiful women. Especially when I read about Cathy St. George (Playboy make-up artist and Miss August 1982), I thought, "That's what I want to do. So that was my original intention."
We don't argue with fate. Shortly after her Playmate test, Lesa Ann began working as a make-up artist for Playboy in L.A.
"I called my girlfriend the first day on the job and said, 'Karen, I'm doing make-up for Playboy!' and she said, 'Yeah, I know, you're shooting for Playmate,' and I said, 'No, I'm doing make-up for Playmates, too!' I was much more excited about doing make-up for the company than about appearing on the centerfold! One of the advantages I have in doing a model's make-up is that I've been in her place. I know what it's like to be sitting in the chair. I can make the girl feel more comfortable about it."
Lesa Ann does have a comforting effect, and not just on women. Men like having her around, and she returns the interest. "I just like men. I like knowing about them and learning from them. I like dating men who are quite different from me just to learn about them. I don't want to go out with someone just because I have a pretty face."
Concentrating on her looks alone would be a mistake; Lesa Ann has plenty of interests. She's been a gymnast, a cheerleader and played flag football. She'll talk about falconry, the ferret she plans to buy or the 50 pedigreed dwarf rabbits she bred in a backyard hutch. Any man would do well to just match her enthusiasm. An experience with Lesa Ann is a fine way to appreciate the unpredictable.
Photography by Stephen Wayda