Features 02 Miss Richfield
Advertisement

Features 02 Miss Richfield

 

Miss Richfield 1981 Comes to Fort Lauderdale

 

Dedicating her life to the friendly citizens and responsible merchants of her hometown, Miss Richfield is fast becoming one of America’s national treasures. This Midwestern maven is winning over theater and cabaret audiences around the country with an interactive format that combines homespun warmth and edgy improv, leaving audiences in hysterics with a truly original performance. It was fun and my pleasure to sit down with Russ King for an exclusive interview.

richfield1

richfield2

 

 

 

Dedicating her life to the friendly citizens and responsible merchants of her hometown, Miss Richfield is fast becoming one of America’s national treasures. This Midwestern maven is winning over theater and cabaret audiences around the country with an interactive format that combines homespun warmth and edgy improv, leaving audiences in hysterics with a truly original performance. It was fun and my pleasure to sit down with Russ King for an exclusive interview.

 

When did you realize you wanted to be an entertainer?

My first recollections were singing in church as a child. Then like a real homo-in-training, I was thick into drama and choirs in the Richfield Public Schools until college, when I worked behind the scenes doing lights and sound boards. That was tough! I’ve always loved to be on stage.

 

Where and when was the first time you dressed up?

My mother’s closet with her navy, open-toed pumps – really. Then generally towels and bathrobes filled in as outfits. But the shoes were always an integral part, as they are today.

 

How did you pick your name?

I was invited to a Miss America party in September, 1995. My roommate and I were invited to this swanky shindig where friends had just moved into a lovely, large home in a glamorous part of town, so we surprised them by attending in drag as two beauty contestants. It was our way of peeing on the neighborhood and marking out spot on their behalf. I have no idea who won the national title that year, but I can guarantee you my life was the never the same – thank God!

 

What and where was the first time you were on stage?

My first solo was at 5 when I sang a verse of “Have You Any Room For Jesus” in our children’s Christmas program. As an adult, I was 34 years old when I first took the stage at the Gay 90’s in Minneapolis in a one-piece bathing suit and cap, lipsyncing to Gene Krupa and his orchestra’s hip rendition of “No Strings On Me.”

 

How does your family react to you performing as a female impersonator?

Just this holiday season, the remaining (third) brother and his family came to the show. Even as conservative, religious people, they love it and are very supportive. My late father was never a big fan, but bless his heart, he supported me with rides to the airport in the ungodly hours of the morning when I was just starting to gig throughout the country and didn’t have two nickels to rub together.

 

You have toured the country. What’s your favorite city and why?

Gosh! I tend to be happy wherever I am. I’m blessed that way. So I adore big cities like Chicago, Seattle and, of course NYC, and San Fran! But my favs are Provincetown, MA and Rehoboth Beach, DE. Call me a small town girl, but my summers there are magical. I just love the natural beauty – all God’s creatures, including whales and men!

 

You have had a long standing relationship with Atlantis Cruises. Malcolm Neitzey (Cruise Director for Atlantis) writes our travel articles. How fun is it to work with him and to be on the cruises?

He is always after me! I have to keep reminding him that our relationship is strictly professional…LOL! He is a blast and has become a dear friend as well as a trusted colleague. At 47 I’ve come to realize that very seldom does one have the opportunity to work with such a talented and kind soul as ole Mal.

 

How exciting was it for you to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno?

What an honor! It was taped at a TV trade show in Vegas, so I did not actually meet the man himself! That was disappointing because we both share a special connection – big hair!

 

Tell me more about Russ King beyond Miss Richfield?

SGWM – shocking, I know! I have a journalism degree and worked as a writer and photographer for small market newspapers, including the International Falls Daily in the icebox of the nation on the Canadian border. Then I worked for 5 years as the communications director for the Minnesota AIDS Project, which is where I launched Miss R. I have two cats, Willy and Rose, who are both extremely talented and bright, as far as cats go. I don’t cook, clean or decorate, so I make up for those missing gay genes by working in a dress.

 

Describe Miss Richfield in 5 words?

She’s a bingo-calling, bouffanted, bustless, befuddled, bedazzled beauty! Is that more than five?

 

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I graduated from a Bible school in 1984.

 

What does the future hold for Miss Richfield?

The boob tube! I think the world would be a better place if Miss R was on TV.  I did a travel segment with Samantha Brown and a recent appearance on “Cake Boss” on TLC with Buddy and his bakery hunks! Miss R will more than fill the small screen. My television career is off and running!

 

Catch Miss Richfield and all her antics on Saturday, January 16th at 8 pm at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE 6th St) in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at FLIFF.com or by calling 954-525-3456.

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here