female impersonation

Yesterday I was watching a video on YouTube highlighting the life of Danny LaRue. The British female impersonator got his start in Soho and during the war was assigned to the group responsible for entertaining the troops. I found his life quite interesting and his homosexuality was of course hidden from his fans at that time since it was not something to be admitted to during his era. His life partner was his stage manager in fact. There were some tragic turning points in his life and I found his buoyant spirit inspiring. I encourage you to see it if you get a chance.

I remember as a young child being fascinated watching Jim Bailey on the carol Burnett show doing his imitation of Peggy lee and other women. I was transfixed but tried not to show it and recall even needing to leave the room for fear my own secret desire would be discovered. I was all of 8 at the time.

Of course these drag queens had no emotional investment in the dressing and no matter how real or feminine they looked, it was all business for them.

The other startling find was seeing a very young Christopher Morley on the show switch with Eddie Albert and Robert Wagner. The episode was called "ship of fools" and Chris's impersonation of a woman was so perfect that I was shocked to find out she was a he.

So yes female impersonation for me is high art and I consider the ultimate practitioners to be true artists!

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