De Alba on Wayne
By Entertainer David de Alba*
I was very lucky in May of the year 2000 to see Steven Wayne in the La Cage Revue at The Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and was mesmerized by his perfectionism in pantomiming Cher and Celine Dion. I was also impressed with his appearance, from the styling of the wigs he wears to his make-up and of course his costuming as he performed each character on stage. This is why I decided to conduct this interview and let others out there in the Web know more about this young talent known as Steven Wayne.
David: Dear Steven, is La Cage your first big break into the Drag World of Showbiz or have you been around for awhile performing before that gig came about?
Steven: La Cage is by far my biggest break into Showbiz, but I've been around for a while. I have been performing in nightclubs for eleven years on the East Coast.
David: Your Cher and Celine presentations are so real that one believes it is them on stage, and not an impersonator. Do you plan to add other famous ladies to your act or are you content with just those two for now?
Steven: Cher has been my "gimmick" since I started performing, but Celine was added to my act about a year ago. I'm a great copycat, and I love studying characters to learn their mannerisms and moves. Right now, I'm studying Barbra Streisand and Shania Twain.
David: If you could work alone in a concert format, would you, or do you like being in a revue format?
Steven: If the opportunity arose for me to do a solo act, I certainly would consider it, especially if I learn more characters. But for now, I'm quite content where I am and I'm proud to be working with such talented people.
David: Can you explain to the readers out there what made you realize the stage was to be part of your life, and at what age did you start to perform?
Steven: My family often laughs at this story, but when I was a child, I used to put towels and scarves on my head, as though they were wigs. I would dance around mouthing the words to songs, not realizing back then that I was practicing for my future career! I went to my first nightclub when I was 17, and saw my first drag show. I was fascinated - there was actually a place where I could do what my childhood instincts led me to do - and get paid for it! The spotlight was calling my name. I was bitten...
David: Do you find it hard to make such quick transitions when you have to perform as two such different stage personas as Cher and Celine in every show?
Steven: Although each of their stage personas is quite unique, their facial structures are somewhat similar. Celine is my first character in the show, so I emphasize her features with make-up, such as her not-so-small nose. For Cher, I darken my make-up with contour (it's amazing what one can do with contour!) and I focus on her deeply set eyes and her high cheekbones. I'm allowed ample time to make the transformations between characters.
David: Have any famous stars come to see you perform, particularly the two ladies you do so well on stage?
Steven: So far I haven't met anyone I would consider to be a star (other than yourself...) but I'm waiting. I would love an opportunity to perform WITH the Star that I was impersonating!
David: Are you happy with the direction you are going now, or do you have any theatrical dreams for yourself that you wish would come true?
Steven: Looking back, I certainly would not have believed that one day I would be a Las Vegas show "girl"! I am definitely happy with my life, and take things one day at a time. As I reach goals that I have set in the past, I make new ones. I "go with the flow" and pick up cues from God and the Universe on what to do next!
David: What parts of Showbiz do you like and dislike most?
Steven: Before I moved to Vegas, all I knew about Showbiz was what I had seen in the movie "SHOWGIRLS", so I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, I have experienced cut-throat competition in many of the bars I've worked in, so I hoped that I would be prepared. Well, after meeting and working with the cast of La Cage, I quickly learned that this show wasn't about competition. It's an environment where everyone does his best to make the show the best of its kind. We all support each other, give constructive criticism, and work together. That's what I like the most about it. I haven't really found much to dislike...yet.
David: You have a fabulous Web Site. Do you think in the profession you are in it has helped your career in any way?
Steven: It hasn't helped my career, but it has been fun building it. Honestly, it's just a little something to harmlessly show off...
David: Also, because of your Web Site and the use of the Internet in general, have you met any interesting new entertainers that you would not have otherwise?
Steven: Yes, it's incredible. I've met some fabulous entertainers from all over the world online, including yourself!
David: Where were you born, and has Las Vegas been your home now for some time?
Steven: I was born in a small town in West Virginia. I'm a coal miner's son! I lived in WV for 29 years, and then moved to North Carolina for two years. Now here I am calling Las Vegas home for the last year. I may be here awhile!
David: Other than Cher and Celine, do you have any other famous lady singers that you are in awe of?
Steven: I grew up listening to Donna Summer, and have been a huge fan of hers for years, despite her alleged anti-gay incident. If I weren't Caucasian, perhaps I would be a Donna Summer impersonator!
David: Is performing at night your only source of livelihood, or do you also have a day job?
Steven: I feel that I was given two life callings. One is performing, and the other is teaching. I also have a career in education. Both of my careers started at about the same time. I actually put myself through two years of college by performing drag shows at night. Talk about a double life! There was a time in my life when I had to choose between careers, and I took a break from the field of education to travel and perform all over the East Coast. Luckily, Vegas allows me to pursue both careers without having to choose.
David, I'm so flattered to be on your celebrity interview site among such Superstars in the drag world. It's a very unique culture, and your interviews may provide some insight to up and coming entertainers. Bravo!
Visit Steven's Web Site at www.stevenwayne.net
You can contact Steven Wayne at TATTOOEDBUM@AOL.COM