De Alba on Simon Craig 

By Entertainer David de Alba*

 After conducting many interviews for famous celebrities and some of the best female impersonators for the Celebrity Interviews Series of my Web site, I decided to close the project at the end of 2002, and only consider conducting further interviews if an exceptional talent were to come about.   I am pleased to announce that one such talent did come to my attention.   I was very impressed with the warmth in the words he used to express himself in English in the e-mails he sent to me when he visited my Web site.   This quality of his is rare in today's environment of harsh music and violent video games.   I am pleased to add Simon Craig to my short list of online FI friends.   With great enthusiasm I return to Cyberspace to present to you the fantastic and beautiful German artist, Simon Craig!

Simon Craig 
 in his youthDavid:  Simon dear, where were you born and where did you spend your youth?

Simon:  I was born Peter Bergfeld on Dec. 15, 1962.   I spent my youth in an industrial town called Oberhausen-Holten, but I don't want to talk about this time.   It was just one of my first stations [Karmas] in life.   Everybody has to have a first station, and then after a time, for me it was just after 14 years, you will see the other station.

David:  How did you get started in the drag world of entertainment?

Craig RussellSimon:  I was 15 or 16 years old the first time I discovered drag actors.   I was sitting in my father and mother's home, all alone watching German TV.   There was a fantastic show with someone who was doing Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Mae West, and a lot of other Stars that I didn't know at the time.   It was the one and only Craig Russell.  (picture on right)  

After one or two years, it was 1979; I went shopping with some friends because there was a talent night in a gay bar where we live in Düsseldorf, so I bought my first high heels.   There was on this evening 16 new drag talents.   My dress was all red with little hearts on it, and a little feather piece around.   My darling, I felt like a princess.   So I got the first prize with my number of Amanda Lear . . . a big bottle of champagne.

In the next years I drove to every talent search night around my city.   My first costume was handmade, a tiger dress.   I was every time in first or second place.   One evening there was the in the audience, the manager from a big German travestie revue they call "The Hot Boys".   He asked me to go with them on tour the next week. I was so nervous.   I said "Yes, yes, oh my God, yes!"   The group was giving me for the first time new costumes but it was a hard price I had to pay for having these costumes.   They made me feel that I was the youngest.   I was a little timid but I tell you, a strong bird.   I learned a lot how to do make-up, how to walk on these shoes, how to define my own style.   After three or four years I went away from them because this bird likes to fly.

Simon Craig as Liza MinnelliSimon Craig as Liza MinnelliDavid:  When did you begin doing impersonations of female Stars?   Who did you do besides Liza?

Simon:  In 1984 I started to get on my own two feet.   I was doing many shows in some ugly, horrible places, but I was just starting and it was hard.   So, one day I got a phone call from an agency that heard about my Liza show where I perform like her in the concerts.   This agency asked me to do my Liza show for a big hotel opening for the "Madison 1 Hotel Düsseldorf", but it was not only doing my stage show, it was a look-alike event.   I never did a look-alike event so they picked me up at another hotel where I had to be already dressed up like her.   I went downstairs and there was standing a Rolls Royce limousine to bring me to this party.   Darling, I tell you, I was so shocked.   I will never forget that time.   I'm doing acting as this look-alike Liza, and the next special guest was the Queen Elizabeth double, Jannett Charles from London.

In 1989 -1990 I was doing my best stuff, I tell you David.   For a long time I was emcee for a talent night in a first class club in Berlin every Sunday night.   I also had a job with a TV company RTL, Cologne.   I had to dress up like an American film Star.   So what will I do?   Liza?   I did that many times.   I wanted to do something new so I dressed up like Bette Midler.   When I was ready my house bell rings.   I go to my window and in front of my door there was standing a Lincoln Town Car limousine.   David, I was crying and laughing about my situation.   I go in this car to the border to the Brandenburg Gate.   In the past it was closed but now it's open, but not for cars to drive from this point to East Germany.   When we arrived there were many policemen standing there to stop cars from driving through.   As you know, my role was being someone important and maybe they let the limousine go with this Megastar, (the fake Bette), to the East.   They were so shocked about this situation they gave me a police escort.

David:  How did your stage name come about?

Film Actress 
 Simone SignoretSimon:  My first name Simon;   When I was younger, around 16-18 years, I coloured my hair sometimes blond.   People said I looked like Simone Signoret  (picture on left)   when she started in film.   Craig Russell;   that's where I got my second name, out of respect for the greatest artist that I ever saw, (but only on TV).   I was 16 years old the first time I saw him on TV, and when I started my stage acting I was 17 years old / young, and I was searching for a stage name for myself.   I never was interested in having a totally female name, because I'm just acting a role on stage.Simon Craig

David:  So I take it, Craig Russell was indirectly your mentor, or did anyone else help you get into Showbiz?

Mfa-KeraSimon:  In 1993 I met someone like a mentor for me.   It was ”Mfa-Kera from the Black Heritage” from Madagascar.  (picture on left)   She was giving me my first singing lessons, three times a week for two hours.   We did that for two years.   I miss her very much.

I started my singing career with my own band called "Wesballas Aime".   The music was new in the style of techno music.   I was the lead drag singer.   Also at this time I did some interview jobs for London TV, Blue Spirit.   I had to do interviews with a lot of international artists when they were acting in variety shows or cabarets in Berlin.

David:  In your act, do you sing with your own voice, or do you lip-sync to vocal recordings?

Simon:  Yes, I do perform with my own voice but just when I do songs for the openings of our Duetts Show.   When I do Liza and some dancing shows I do lip-sync (mimic), but anyway, who can sing like Liza?.

Simon CraigDavid:  What type of songs do you like to sing on stage?   Do you sing primarily in English or in other languages too?   And do you work with musicians behind you or with pre-recorded musical tracks?

Simon:  One song I like to do is "Spinning Wheel".   I love the song "Lady Marmalade", and some songs from the "Studio 54 Musical".   I just sing in English but on this Duetts Show we have one comedy song in German.   Yes I started this year with a band called "Public-Peace" to work with them.

David:  I know you perform in your revue in your own solo spot, but do you have a stage FI partner you work with?

Simon Craig & Miss ChantalSimon:  In 1997 I went to Aachen for a new experience.   I started to work for an agency to do the hosting for new artists, and then I found my partner to have his own actor’s agency.   I gave them my name and the artist pool, SIMON CRAIG SHOW was born.   At this time I met my new show partner "Miss Chantal".   We planned this show "Bitter-Sweet", and we are touring in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Netherlands, in theater-stage and variety shows.

David:  Who designs and makes your beautiful stage wardrobe?

Simon:  I do the designs of all my costumes in drawings before they are ready to be made by Regina Schmidt.   I am so glad that I found this wonderful person.   She is just doing that as a favour for me because she is totally busy with her family.   Sometimes we are sitting 'till the deepest hours of the night to work on my costumes.   I miss that so much, but we start in April on a new program.   She is fantastic.

David:  Do you have a wig stylist who does your wigs, or do you style them yourself?   Do you prefer wearing the old-fashioned human hair wigs that the pioneer FIs wore on stage, or do you favour, as do most FIs nowadays, synthetic wigs?

Simon CraigSimon:  I have a close friend in Zürich, Switzerland, Sean.   He is doing my personality wigs when I am there on stage, but normally have had a lady from the theater in Aachen, Pea, she is doing that for me.   I prefer a synthetic wig because I can better work on it.

Simon Craig, male modelDavid:  Is performing your only means of earning a living, or do you have a trade or another profession that you can fall back on in the future?

Simon:  In the past I did modeling in Berlin. I'm now working as a bartender doing wonderful cocktails, and for the future I will work on my second baby, the [theatrical] agency. I would love to continue with this, working together with artists, that's my [artistic] expression.

David:  Other than the 'live' stage, have you performed on TV or appeared in any movies?

Simon:  In 1987 I went to Berlin to find parts for myself performing on TV as a drag actor in different roles.   In 1989 I was invited to do a film having a little role together with Gene Hackman.   They were doing the film in Berlin CCC-Studios, and I had to play a boss from a drag-cabaret.   It was so fantastic to work with these people from the USA.   They loved the way I did my role.   They told me all the time "You are like the drag artists from New York, so professional."   The name of the Movie was "Dinusaurier" but I think that it never came to the cinemas.   I saw that movie once years after on German TV.   Yes, I was on TV doing some talk shows, being a guest speaker for what I'm doing.The Intercontinentals

In this time when I lived in Berlin I had my own drag group called "The Intercontinentals".   In the group was a drag actor from Río de Janeiro, Cayenne Crac-Crac, one of my close friends Deesere de Angelo, "Miss Gay Florida, 1989" and Paul Taylor from Ohio.   He was the best Marilyn Monroe and Madonna imitation that I ever met.   Sadly, he died in 1992 at the young age of 26.   I miss you darling so much.   Peace!

David:  Another famous American female impersonator that I interviewed for this series is Ricky Renée.   He has been living and working in Germany for years.   Have you seen him or have you ever worked with him?

Ricky Renée 
 early 1980'sSimon:  Yes, I know him from the film Cabaret, because I saw every movie with Liza Minnelli.    The first time I saw Ricky was in the early 1980's.  (picture on left)     He was in a gay club in Düsseledorf.   I was like a little boy getting a big present, watching him with my big open face.   Oh my God, I was 23 years old when I worked with him one evening in a hotel where we were guests in a show called "The Crazy Boys", a drag group.   I love the American way of acting, and it was amazing for me to see him and listen to the broken German.   He/She was/is fantastic in live acting, singing and emceeing in the American style.

David:  Do you have any favourite foods you enjoy, and are you a good cook?   Do you have any hobbies that pass your time when you're not entertaining?

Simon:  I love the Italy food and some China food.   Yes, I have to be a good cook because my lovely husband-man doesn't do that that well, (but PSSSSSSST, I never say that).   Oh, my hobby: I love to do sports, swimming and fitness, meditation, traveling, and drawing my ideas for new costumes.

David:  Do you have any pets?

 & CrisisSimon:  I love animals.   I have four of them at my home.   It's like a little family for my man and me. I got my dog in 1987.   She is now an old lady, 16 years old.   I gave her the name Crisis, because in this time there was in Berlin a drag group called "The Hot Peaches" and one of them was a close to my heart sister called "International Crisis".   The group comes from New York.   So I got my little baby, a Rodesian Ridgeback, when she was 10 weeks old.   At this time my sister friend "International Crisis" died of hepatitis, so in this case I will never forget her.   We have three cats.   One of them is the mother of the other two babies that are six months old.   Every time when I am on the computer, one of the darlings is sitting on my table to help me in writing.   (Ha Ha).

Rainer & SimonDavid:  Is there something very private about you that most people that are close to you don't know about and that perhaps you would like to share with us?

Simon:  You know the point is when I went so early away from my family, I didn't have that warm relationship with them, and in all these years I had to grow up by myself and get on my own two feet, I was searching about to find this warm stuff in the people that I met.   Most of them didn't trust the feeling that I had for them, because of my glamorous acting and also the [Showbiz] jobs that I do.   You know my situation wasn't that easy to handle for a young boy around 16 years old, missing those warm feelings.   But you know, pain makes you strong and also my life and these experiences make me strong, without forgetting what I'm searching for.   A big part of my wishes I find in my world now, and I just want to say thanks for the wonderful people I meet in my life, and who spend a little time together with me.   It gives me some wonderful input that helps me grow up.Guardian Angel

David:  If you were to ask your Guardian Angel to grant you three wishes, what would they be?

Simon:  My Guardian Angel, hmmmmmmmmmmm:

1 wish: Please no fight about human rights, including no 4th war
2 wish: Let me be together with my lovely man 'till -----------------------
3 wish: That my ideas never go away from me "being creative"

David, I think it was two or three years ago that I was visiting a friend of mine, Ulrich Cazal on his homepage.   We are not that close but everytime when we are on the phone he is sweet and nice to me.   He gave me last year a present for Easter.   He created a banner for my page.   It was so lovely (thank you my dear).CD Cover   I love creative people.   How did I come to your page David?   It was on his links gallery.   Darling David, what can I say . . . I was four hours on your site.

I never found anyone in this drag scene that is so respectful in way of writing these interviews as you are David.   All those wonderful stories about drag Stars from past times.   I never had an idea that our experience started so early.   Thank you David for this wonderful time I spent on your site.   Take care and I'm always close to you.   Simon.

Check out Simon's Theatrical Web site at   and ask about his new CD for 2005.   e-mail him at:  (CD cover on right)

* 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