Monday, August 31, 2015

tweedle deedle DEE

i still can remember skipp'n school at the tender and supple age of 13 in
the 1980' watch the beyond great impressionist face painter Jimmy James perform as hollyweird screen goddess Marilyn Monroe (and my obsession at the time) on my surrogate uncle...
Phil Donahue's talk show...i was in utter awe over JJ's transformation 
when i had seen the original "HAIRSPRAY" starr'n the late great DIVINE...i knew from that point on...that this world would somehow be incorporated into my future

by the time i had stepped off the bus in the Minne-apple in 1990...
the very 1st person i had ever met...blew my mind...(along with my unmentionable away) when i seen him perform the 1st time on stage at the then Casablanca lounge at the GAY 90's...i knew this was a sign

i swore i was gonna grace the stage before my time was up...
at least in the Minne-Apple...and 5 short years later...thanx to my good friend Lou...i got a chance meet'n with the show director who hired me on the spot and told me to return in a month with 3 looks and 3 numbers

it is with my most notable affection...after a long 20 year absence...
that today i get to chatter with none other than the entertainer who gave me my make-my-wish foundation request come true...the incomparable fascination known as DEE RICHARDS

wow...DEE...i just wanna start out by say'n without you...
i would not be thee unintentionally internationally unknown perform'n illusionist of my own universe that i am thanx a mill kitten...fer those that never got the chance to experience you when you were my show director many moons ago...can ya give my legion of litters scatter across the globe like a lawn sprinkler...a lil back story about how you became known as the infamous DEE RICHARDS...and who were some of yer biggest influences that helped create yer persona on stage?
Back in 1980 when I dressed in drag for the first time, the name I originally chose for my character was Deidre Simmons Richards.

Even back then, I was always trying to help people; a hot meal, money, clothes, a place to stay, etc. My friends gave me the nickname of Mama Dee, after the well known St. Paul philanthropist. Somewhere along the way I shortened my name to Dee Richards.

I absolutely love old movies; the glamour, the drama. To me, that's what performance is all about.  I would say that I originally modeled Dee after icons like Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Betty Grable, Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwick to name a few.  However, I would say that I've morphed through the years, adding in Celine Dion, Shirley Bassey, Eartha Kitt, Linder Eder and so on.

you've always looked flawless but you made an absolute amaze'n transformation visually from when i was work'n under yer direction 20 years ago...can you shed some light on how you shed a portion of yer persona?
My transformation.  In 1998 I "retired" from entertaining.  My weight had ballooned to 420 pounds.  I was fat, unhappy, unhealthy, and, no longer comfortable in my own skin.  In 2013 I underwent bariatric surgery for weight loss and within a year I had lost 210 pounds.  Then, in 2014 I had a tummy tuck which removed an additional 25 pounds of excess skin.  I'm in the gym 2 - 3 nights a week to tone and maintain, and, now, have a new outlook on life. I've been back performing now for almost 2 years and the sky is the limit.  A new look, including hair, make up and wardrobe, along with new numbers...wearing costumes and performing numbers that I had only dreamed of before.

after Caitlyn Jenner won the courage award at the ESPY's a few months ago and made her impassioned speech fer trans rights...there were those (mostly ignorant ring winged bucket of KFC'ers who went to nite school)
that were say'n that the true hero's were war veterans and cancer survivors...but thankfully they were quickly shot down by an american solider himself...then organizers of Glasgow Pride festival in Scotland had decided to ban "drag queens" from the festivities this not to offend anyone from the trans community...

what is yer take on the whole drag queens vs the trans community? and do you think the PC police need a chill pill at some point?
Drag Queens vs. Trans, hmmmmmm, other than some specific views on pageants and competitions, I would say, live and let live.  While I do believe that Queens and Trans are from different, but parallel communities, we share commonalities and that should make us allies and not put us at odds against each other.  So yes, take a handful of "chill pills".

with drag become'n more main stream these days...thanx in part to shows like RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE...which is more about rehashed looks and stale one-liners more than it is actually about the art of drag performance...
compared to when it was considered a "fantastic freak show" back in the day...with international outrageous performers like the late...beyond great...
to name a few of my fav-o-rit things...

do you think that the more visibility of drag these days has helped the LGBT communities acceptance...or do you think it's hurt the fantastic underground illusion that it once was?
I HATE RuPaul's Drag Race!!!  I think it has set the art of Female Impersonation back years.  It imposes unrealistic stereotypes about impersonators.  We're all bitches, spoiled, primadonnas.  The younger queens are using it as a bible and they are getting serious wake-up calls. What's worse, the general public sees this, believes this and expects us all to behave like that.  NOT!!!

now we've come to the part of the interview i like to call...
can we talk about ME fer a change?

basically what i'm look'n fer is you to put on yer best Babs Walters blouse and ask me ANY ? yer die'n to ask me under the rainbow...well except about rainbows cuz that's just fuck'n lazy journalism
Fuck it! Tell me something about yourself that NO ONE knows.
wow...turn'n the tables...still wanna crack the whip huh...OK FINE kitten...what no one  most don't know about me is that i rarely kiss anyone's A double snakes (unless warranted) and my baloney has a first name...and it ain't M-E-Y-E-R (insert yer filthy mind here)

before we go...i just wanted to let those in the Minne-Apple area know that me and you will  actually be perform'n together fer the very 1st time...
but is there any other shows in the near future that you'd like to whore out at this time to my many many stalkers kittens?
You can catch me most Sundays at Matties on Main for Brunch and at the Townhouse for Drag N Dance.

i wanna thank the ever change'n DEE RICHARDS...
fer take'n time outta her busy schedule to chat with me today...and can't wait to be on stage with her once again after all these years...
now get off my dress!


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