AJ Menendez Mister Boiling Point 2011 Mister St. Augustine Pride 2012 Mister Ultimate Illusionist 2010 1st Alt. Mister RCN Magazine 2012 1st Alt. Hello everyone…Allow me to introduce myself. My name is AJ Menendez. I live in North Florida and have been doing male illusion for the past 6 years. I am the co-owner of TNT Entertainment which is the largest Drag Troupe in Jacksonville which consists of Kings, Queens, Kittens, and other entertainers…Drag has been a passion of mine and I have an unbelievable respect for the craft as a whole. They say Evolution is a progressive thing and I guess I agree but it’s a slow process, so I’ve written this article in the hopes to speed it up some…LOL I guess patience just isn’t in my DNA…LOL A prime example of what I am talking about is Drag performers…The art of Drag has been around for decades and has definitely evolved over the years. However comma…. with all the evolution that’s occurred , even in this day and age when most people think about “Drag Performances” they instantly think about Drag Queens. Now I take absolutely NOTHING away from the Ladies…in fact I’ve seen more than my share of Queens who have made me do more than a double take and walk away “wishing” LOL. Unfortunately, what people don’t automatically think of when the word Drag Performance are Drag Kings…I prefer to refer to us as Male Illusionists because in my opinion, there’s a huge difference but we’ll get into that later…LMAO If you’re reading this and asking yourself “What the hell is a Male Illusionist?” Allow me to explain. I feel it‘s important to clear up any and all misconceptions that ya‘ll may have on the subject….A Male Illusionist is a biologically born female who transforms herself physically and mentally in to the form of a male with out surgically having anything added or taken off. The art of Illusion my look easy when we are on the stage, but it definitely not one easily mastered. It takes practice, dedication and a willingness to learn. The biggest misconception being we’re just girls in boy’s clothing. Lord if only it were that easy! With the help of , binders, make up, crape hair spirit gum and lets not forget the beloved duct tape ( Duct tape is a universal tool in the wonderful world of drag and for the purpose of illusion, it’s very necessary…Uncomfortable, but necessary) With practice, if done successfully, we can transform not only our outer appearance, but our demeanors as well.
Male Illusion has definitely evolved over the years… The truth is we are all over the place both in and out of the united states. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there are even Male Illusionists over seas. Yet we are still not where we’d like to be. People are still confused by it, don’t understand it or just never heard of it. We aren’t just “Bar Performers” either…We have been given the opportunities to compete on both State and National levels and we just ran with it. For me personally, some of my biggest inspirations with regard to Male Illusion are Gage Gatlyn, Wolfie, & Remmington Steel just to name a few. They are the ones who paved the road for me, taught me what the craft was all about and contributed not only my passion for the craft but inspired countless others as well. We completely transform. Some of us have mastered the ability to baritone their voices as well…I for one have not, I look real convincing on the outside but the minute I open up my mouth it’s over…LOL Our walks change, the way we think even changes. We are completely consumed by our personas. Then when the duct tape and everything comes off, it’s back to our every day normal selves. I feel it’s very important for all illusionists both male and female to never take the spot light home with them. What do I mean by that? Never get so caught up in their stage personas that they forget who they are or where they came from….Again that’s another story. Our costumes are very different than the drag queens. The ladies are all about the bling bling and over the top costuming, some of which has truly amazed me beyond belief. We do stone, we do paint, we do glue and some of us do sew, but our costumes are more “guy” like and simple…Not quite as Flashy but still stage appropriate and just as impressive. For me personally, some of my biggest inspirations with regard to Male Illusion are Gage Gatlyn, Wolfie, & Remmington Steel just to name a few. They are the ones who paved the road for me, taught me what the craft was all about and contributed not only my passion for the craft but inspired countless others as well.
Gage Gatlyn: Mister Gay United States MI 2012
Gunner Gatlyn; Mister Master Male Illusionist 2011
“Wolfie” Mister Gay Mid Central Emeritus
Devin Dame Owner of Master Male Illusionist LLC.
The second biggest misconception about Male Illusion is that we pretend to be boys because we WANT to be boys…That couldn’t be further from the truth. Although there are some who choose not do embrace the girly foo foo side of themselves, don’t wear dresses or make up and prefer boxer shorts to thongs in their daily life, here are very many of who do embrace their Feminine side when we are not in drag. I’ve done it myself, in fact for my wedding I wore the dress… LOL For us it’s all about the Illusion…being able to completely transform with out having anything surgically removed or added and being able to do it so convincingly that our own Mother’s wouldn’t recognize us if they passed us on the street. The first time my mother saw me in drag, I’d sent her a picture of me in crown and sash, she called me and said, “I got your letter today, very nice but ummmm….Why are you sending me pictures of strange men?“ That in itself told me I was doing a good job! It’s about self expression, the passion for the craft and the stage…it’s an art form and one we take very seriously. I hope I have successfully managed to be informative with regard to Male Illusion . We love what we do and without you, we couldn’t do it !
Published on May 16, 2012
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