De Alba on La Freak 

By Entertainer David de Alba*

  I recently met an extraordinary entertainer who visited my Web site.   His real name is Wayne Harrison and goes by the stage name of Wynnie La Freak.   It impressed me that in today's society where compliments are rare, this gentleman e-mailed me, and I quote: "Wow, what a performer.... Hope to meet you someday, Wynnie La Freak."   Well my dear Wynnie, I feel the same about you after going to your Web Site and reading about you and your rather extravagant performances.   Wayne is a unique person and is truly a one-of-a-kind entertainer.   He does not consider himself a female impersonator really, but a wild mixture of gender and orientation.   With some fabulous costumes and wigs and a great talent he combines comedy patter, a unique 'live' singing style and some record pantomime here and there to project his wild on-stage persona, Wynnie La Freak.   Wayne's youth was a bit rough, but thanks to his Guardian Angel, he emerged as a kind and rather colourful human being, and thusly a new stage artist flourished to the delight of those who have witnessed his performances.   So now ladies and gentlemen of Cyberspace please meet and greet the one and only Wynnie La Freak!

 Glam shot David:  Wynnie dear, where were you born and where did you spend your youth?

Wynnie:  I was born in a hole of a town called Rotherham in Yorkshire, (England of course).   It was a horrible place. All they did was shag, fight and eat black pudding, and that's only the women!!   Then I left for the streets of London with only one pound in my pocket and ended up founding a thriving catering company.

David:  Did you have a mentor or a "drag mother" that helped you to get involved in the Showbiz side of drag?

Wynnie:  I wish I had.   I learned the hard way, practice makes perfect and hopefully one day it will.   I regularly take trainee trannies under my wing where they become part of my entourage usually starting as a Lady in waiting; you know, lighting me fags and nicking the champagne.   I suppose they wait for my Matron of Honour to pop her platforms so they can move up a step but my matron, Lila Lipstick won't stay down . . . we keep burying her but she just digs herself back up, so my ladies in waiting will be wailting a long bloody time.

David:  When you were down-and-out as a teen, did anyone help you get on your feet to become the person of worth you are today?

 taking a stand Wynnie:  To be totally honest I've had little help from few people.   The English are renowned for putting the dampers on things.   I've always had to fight and prove people wrong, but it's made me a stronger person.   People say I'm too hard but I like to think that I am soft in there somewhere.   I just try to be fair.

David:  In most of your performances you wear platform shoes, higher even than Carmen Miranda's.   Aren't they very difficult to dance or even walk in?   By the way, how many pairs do you have?

Wynnie:  Yes my platforms are a little like my trademark, though I try not to as much as I used to.  Wynnie La Freak revisits Naomi Campbell's
 tumble from Vivienne Westwood's catwalk
 in this costume You've probably had what I call drag queen's leg...ooohh those calves after six hours on 10".   I've lots of pairs, usually made to measure by a little old Hungarian man in London.   He loves it.   I send him photos of me on stage wearing them, still doesn't give me a discount though . . . tight twat!   In fact a couple of years ago I did an impromptu repeat of the famous Naomi Campbell's catwalk tumble in Vivienne Westwood platforms at the opening of HER new swanky club in London.   I went straight over, watched by around two thousand people, then by millions on TV the next day. . . How embarrassing!   (See pic with huge white hat.   It was that costume).   The press thought it was a publicity stunt but I assure you it was just the result of too much gin before I got on the catwalk.

David:  Do you have a designer who makes your outrageous costumes?

Wynnie:  My frocks (there's a Yorkshire word for ya) are all created by myself, usually thrown together at the last minute.   The only design is usually scribbled on the back of a red letter.   Some are made for me, or by me, or simply off the peg.

David:  Also who does the fancy styling of your wigs?   Are they custom made for you, or you buy them off the rack?   (Being a well-known hair stylist, I am particularly interested in the subject of hair.)

Wynnie:  My hairdos come from various sources.   I have a hairdresser, an ex-drag queen who now has a fantastic shop in Manchester called Anything Theatrical who knows my style, which is usually huge and colourful.   I have recently had my new trademark hair done which I now try to wear at high profile events as it affirms my identity and helps create an image people can quickly recognise, but its source is a secret.   A good performer should never reveal their resources.   I know, I've been copied several times.

David:  For those of us that have yet to see your show, can you tell us a little about a typical performance?   Do you work solo or do you ever perform in a revue format?   Do you maintain your "Wynnie La Freak" persona throughout your act or do you impersonate other celebrities?

Wynnie:  I always only allow an audience to see Wynnie.   "Wayne" is my private life.   People want to see her, not boring old me.   You're honoured that I'm opening up to you.   No, I always enter and leave by the back door (ehem).  Wynnie La FreakHis idol
 Divine I think it takes away that illusion and magic that makes a character.   As they say, always leave 'em wanting more.   I sing 'live' almost always, though I might add not brilliantly, but I think the rugged, smokey voice goes with what I stand for and I simply cover classics in my own unmistakable way.   I do however work often hosting Dance Clubs and would love to make a record.   Divine is an idol of mine.

David:  Are all of your performances in Great Britain or have you gone on tour to other countries?

Wynnie:  I have worked in Europe and recently in the Sachelles for a certain Saudi Prince.   The fee and my treatment was unbelievable but I only had to perform for one hour during the week, as at the end of the show I did a little Dirty Dancing with his Highness, which he loved but his advisors could envisage an international news piece brewing.   I don't think his country would have taken to a seven foot trannie seemingly trying to get off with their leader.   I must say I have never been to America, let alone work there, though it is a priority for the new year.

David:  I noticed that as well as your female impersonation career you also managed a highly acclaimed catering business, serving celebrities, lords, ladies and Royalty.   Do you still do it once in a while as a second trade to fall back on?

At Mardi Gras '97 Wynnie:  Firstly I dont see myself as a female impersonator though I don't object to that lable, it's just that Wynnie ain't no Lady..... Anyway, catering is a mugs game.   I used to own a deli and had to work from 5 am 'till 7 pm, six days a week, where as now I earn that amount in one night.   What would you do.   However I am currently looking for a TV company to help me produce a series of cookery programmes.   Have you heard of the late great Fanny Craddock over there?   She was firey, blunt tempered yet always with a dirty great false smile.   Well, Wynnie wishes to carry on where she left off.   We have several pieces in the can but they await editing.   I know . . . I need managing . . . or something.

David:  I take for granted that you are a good cook.   Do you cook at home or do you prefer to eat out?

Wynnie:  I hate cooking, I'm just good at it.   I eat out at restaurants or out of a box . . . saves washing the dishes.

David:  Do you have any interests or hobbies that occupy your time when you are not performing?   Do you have any pets at home?

Wynnie:  Yes, watching daytime TV and recovering from the abuse to my body from the night before.   By abuse I mean smoking and drinking, not tit torture or getting tied to a rack and being stretched (though the first could probably pass a rainy evening).   The nearest thing I get to receiving a little TLC is playing with me pussy . . . Zsa Zsa I'm talking of.

David:  Would you like to write a book about your life someday?   I am sure people could learn a lot from your life story and benefit from your experiences.

Wynnie:  All my life from being a child I've had a saying when something strange or wonderful has happened, which is "That'll be in the autobiography".   You would not believe half the situations I've been in, everything from pushing a broken down camper van down a street in a beehive wig and tutu, to almost taking my life, again dressed but this time a sorry state with make-up running down my face, wig in the bin and valium at the ready....oooops getting a bit too deep here!!

Wayne Harrison 
 as himself

David:  If your Guardian Angel were to grant you one wish for the year 2001, what would that be?

Wynnie:  I only ever wish for one thing in life and that is to be made HAPPY.   Unfortunately for me that means financial security, which is hopefully on its way.   A long life (I've always had a feeling that I will die young) . . . F**k me, the font just changed on its own when I said that.   I'm quite superstitious and believe in omens . . . shit I'm sweating!   To finish off, all I want is a man, a hunky fella that loves me for what I am and who I am.

Thanks for this opportunity, and to be with such talented artists!   Please keep your ear to the ground for any work opportunities over on that side of the Pond.

Love as always,    Wyn
Who needs a shrink when you got David de Alba!

You can e-mail Wynnie at or visit his Web Site at

* Cuban/American entertainer David de Alba (also known as "Heri, Hairstylist of the Stars") is known for his live singing impressions as a concert artist since 1965.   He has worked at the world famous Finocchio Club of San Francisco (USA) for many years.   Visit the award winning Web Site "David de Alba’s Theatrical Arts & Tributes" at and you can e-mail him c/o