Synchronistically, the day after I finally started this topic, the following arrived via email, regarding Zette/Bernard's performances at Pat Field events at Area. Zette/Bernard emailed it to Scott Ewalt as research for the Pat Field book, but reveals so much about Zette and what was her and his genius, I thought Id share it here..
Not that you asked, but my only Area/Pat Field connections were her two birthday parties. Her
birthday is sometime around Valentine's Day, if not on the day itself. For her party in 1984, I had just begun working at Area, and the theme was Elements. I was portraying "water" as not a mermaid or merman, but a mermaphrodite, stringing pearls for five hours a night. There is a Patrick McMullen photo of me in Details in that get-up.
At her 1985 shindig, there was an elaborate dinner party in the lounge with lots of pseudo
celebrities in attendance. Mainly I remember Jacqueline Bisset and Boris Gudonov, who were an it couple of the moment. The theme for the party was "love" and eveything was all pink and stuff. I had the bright idea of being Jayne Mansfield soaking in a bubblebath in the waterfall that was my usual perch/stage. I was naked save for a white blonde wig, large earrings, and a flesh-colored thong. The waterfall was drained and refilled with hot soapy, bubbly water. The trouble was two fold -- the water got very cold, very fast, and that made the bubbles disappear. There I was, the centerpiece of her dinner party, naked and freezing, teeth chattering, blue lips peeking through my pale pink lipstick, etc. Jennifer Goode rallied some busboys to keep replenishing the fountain with fresh hot water, but it made little difference. Finally, we gave up on trying to keep me warm and just put some balloons in the water to keep my true gender a secret, as if everyone didn't already know.
There is a particularly frightening photo of this debacle in Andy Warhol's America. I look so hagged out and appear to have very pointy rat teeth. It is as Diane Arbus as I wish to get. Andy told me that night that having to watch me freezing in that water made it difficult for him to enjoy his meal. Please apologize to Pat for me for making her guests feel uncomfortable!
Oh, there is one other thing. For the theme "red" I was in a freestanding box and showcased a
different body part each week, culminating with the full person/persona during the final week. The character was a Portuguese pre-op transsexual named Paprika. The first week of the theme, I only showed my legs. I wore fishnet stockings and an incredible pair of red patent "leather" stiletto pumps that had the pointiest toes and very high heels. I purchased them at Patricia Field. They were very affordable. You couldn't see the rest of me, but I was wearing a Walkman and listening to a hard rock radio station and dancing like a stripper for five hours a night. I was exhausted at quitting time, and crippled. Truly. I could barely walk. I took a cab home, showered, and soaked my feet every night. I would just be starting to walk normally when the clock would strike eleven and it would be time to put on the shoes again. I was an old pro by this time in my life, but dancing in five inch heels for five hours without a break was something all my years of drag had not prepared me for.