David de Alba with Cher Impersonator Steven Wayne

| Dec 21, 2015
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Steven an David

Steven & David

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.

As Celine Dion

As Celine Dion

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…

stevew2David: 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?

As Cher

As Cher

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?

wayne_cherSteven: 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 website. 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… [Ed. Note: Mr. Wayne no longer has a website. He maintains a Facebook page.]

David: Also, because of your website 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!

SW-CHER1David: 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 there 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!

Steven as Steven

Steven as Steven

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.

Steven Wayne is on Facebook.


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Category: Impersonation, Transgender History

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About the Author ()

David de Alba is one of the last survivors of the golden era of female impersonation. Unlike most female impersonators, Mr. de Alba uses his own femme voice on stage. He is known for his outstanding live impersonations of Judy Garland at the world famous Finocchio Club and on countless TV appearances. He is also a celebrity Interviewer and recording artist.

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