Other Mother's Day
BY Brandon Voss
June 08 2009 11:00 PM ET
You've explored subtle elements of drag before in Some Men and in your own plays, such as She Stoops to Comedy and Dead Mother. How do you pull off drag without it feeling gimmicky or campy?I worked as a waiter for a number of years, and the waiters would always joke, "It's time to get into drag," which basically meant it was time to get into your waiter costume. To me, any kind of costume is a kind of drag because it's a disguise. When you're wearing the costume of the opposite gender, of course there's another element to it, but it's still a costume.
She has the eerie black-button eyes described in the book, but did you have a say in creating Other Mother's look in terms of hair and costume?In the book she's described as a "gruesome entity," so I wanted to find some kind of artificial and artistic way of suggesting a female entity without full drag. I didn't want makeup, and I didn't want to modify my body in any way, but it was really the job of our costume designer, Anita Yavich, and Leigh to realize that. I'm not really wearing anything that's strictly female except for the wig, and even men wear their hair long. It's always one of my major concerns that the disguise of a character is something made primarily with the voice and body.
Did any actresses or fictional female characters inspire your performance?There are bits and pieces of English accents that I either recalled or got tapes of to remind myself, but I tried to integrate them so that it's my own. I was actually thinking of Billie Burke in The Wizard of Oz and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins, because I wanted a sweet voice.
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