While still living in DC in the early 90s, Split: Portrait of a Drag Queen played at the American Film Institute at the Kennedy Center, and I went to see the film, but not knowing much about it other than it was about a drag queen, I dragged my friends to come with me.
Well, we all loved the movie, and I was fascinated with her oh-so-glamorous life (or so it appeared on celluloid), yet throughout the story the theme was her rising up and above any perceived pain or misery. Being a showgirl, cabaret and nightlife legend, and Dali's muse was certainly very very glamorous and what she wanted to do (or so it seemed in the film)! The things she did to get there (floorwax injections into her breast made the nurse in me cringe) in her moving in the rags-to-stardom story were also testament to a very determined woman, renowned downtown and internationally.
Then I moved to New York, and I met all these people that I had seen interviewed in the movie (though Chrysis was gone by this point), and it felt liking meeting a royal family, and it was the demimonde of NYC. I will admit that back then in my oh-so-JC way, I was in such awe.
One thing that has spooked me a bit was when Candis wore Chrysis' dress at the DCI show at Mother back in Fall '99 and served such Chrysis realness, and I know Bobby did her hair that night too (and when she is in fullon showgirl effect there is a still a strong likeness one cannot deny). And I didn't even know her, so that is what seems strange to me; it's always a visceral response, which I got again recently when Candis performed at the Slide. Call me kookoo crazy, but they both had that Matthew Kasten influence, and there are some similarities to the two of them, if you think about it. Totally off point here, I am sure Matthew is still in LA and does anybody hear from him? I wonder if he realizes how much he influenced drag herstory in New York. Eve and I have been having discussions about the parallels & rivalries between Black Lips and Boy Bar back in the 90s...now there is a topic.
Chrysis really was a foremother for so many of us, proverbially paving the way. Sweetie is the expert on the movie The Queen where Chrysis makes her debut as the ingenue, but I will defer to her to comment on that. I should really watch that film again...
[This message was edited by randella on 09-01-03 at 12:01 PM.]