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TRANSVOCALIZERS — Roxy Wood

| Mar 29, 2010
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Transvocalizers by Pamela DeGroff

roxySMLTGForum would like to take this opportunity to introduce our readers to Roxy Wood, who hails from Long Beach, California. Calling her a “drag queen” would really be inappropriate. Roxy is multitalented, and is known more as a “character illusionist”, combing her vocal ability to impersonations of such diva luminaries as Diana Ross, Tina Tuner, Lil’ Kim and even jazz legends like Billie Holiday.

As an actress and television personality, she has appeared on The Tyra Banks Show and Gene Simmons Family Jewels. She also has extensive theatrical credits, as well as film credits. She is also part of the trio known as The Fairy Tails, along with Sissy DeBut and Maximilliana.

Roxy was able to make time for this interview with Transvocalizers and offers insights into her professional career, and her plans for a very busy future.

TGForum: Your web site says that you’ve only been performing professionally for seven years. Is that correct? What type of musical background do you have?

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Roxy Wood: That is correct. In high school and college I was in choir and took vocal training courses. Growing up there was always music in the house. I’d hear a variety of jazz and artists like Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, The Fifth Dimension, Hall and Oats … I remember the first tape I got as a kid, Mariah Carey’s first album. I also was very big into all the songs from Disney films.

TGF: On your MySpace page, you describe yourself as “…the live singing Female/Character illusionist…” that’s a very interesting combination of disciplines. What lead you into doing drag as a profession in the first place?

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Roxy as Storm

RW: My first introduction into drag was seeing RuPaul’s Supermodel video. I thought she was so amazing and I couldn’t believe she wasn’t a woman. I always knew I wanted to entertain, but it wasn’t until seeing her that I felt, “…that’s what I want to do/be.”

TGF: Your stage experience includes productions of Hedwig and The Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Show. What years were those, and do you plan more theatrical work?

RW: I’d love to do more theatrical work. I just need to find a show I’m right for. I started performing in Rocky Horror… towards the end of my senior year in high school, 2001. I was a part of the cast of Midnight Insanity. We performed every Friday night at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas, CA. Hedwig… (The Crypto Homo Rockers) performed a preshow and I got to meet them. I don’t remember how long it was after that, that I started working with them, but I did and had a great time doing it. they were based in Long Beach at the Art Theatre. Between the two, I enjoyed doing Hedwig... more because I got to play Hedwig.

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Call Roxy Miss Ross

TGF: Same sort of question in regard to your TV appearances.

RW: I would absolutely love to do more TV appearances. Both Gene Simmons and Tyra Banks shows came from me researching online. I get a lot of people telling me that I look like Tyra. First show I did for her, (when I was wearing the green wig…), several staff members mistook me for her in drag.

TGF: You’ve also appeared in a film, Heels. Hadn’t heard of it before now. Is pursuing serious acting roles something you want to do in the future?

RW: More acting is definitely what I’d like to do. I love staying busy. Heels is the second film I’ve done. It’s about a guy who loses his job and is forced by his girlfriend to find another one or she’ll kick him out. He and a couple of friends end up at a cabaret/drag bar where he hears about a talent contest and cash prize. He convinces one of the performers to teach him how to perform in drag so he’ll have a chance to win the prize and not get kicked out.

TGF: I’m really interested in your list of influences. It’s almost a cliche’ for a drag entertainer to do Diana
Ross, Tina, or Beyoncé. But you include Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday, and Erykah Badu. In itself, that’s impressive. You seem to have a real grasp and understanding of different styles and older5 entertainers in general. Thoughts on this.

RW: Thanks so much. I just love divas! Glamorous, strong, beautiful, confident, talented and powerful women that are in control. They excite and inspire me. They’re what I’ve tried to model myself off of.

TGF: What do you feel if the current state of drag entertainment? Is it thriving? Are their new entertainers coming up we should pay attention to?

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Roxy as a boy.

RW: To be honest, I think it’s really lacking. There should be much more going on at this point. Here in Southern California, of all places, there’s no full time venue for it that I know of.

TGF: Since you sing live, do you use live musicians or backing tracks? Also, I’m always interested in how entertainers handle hecklers…

RW: I’ve done several shows with live musicians and really enjoyed them. The problem, though, is getting everyone together to rehearse and perform, so I usually just use backing tracks. As for hecklers, my microphone is a weapon…for anyone who tries to heckle me. If you notice from my videos, I’ll respond and make them part of the act.

TGF: In closing, any advice you’d like to share, or something you’d really like to say?

RW: Don’t get caught up in any of the drama. Surround yourself with positive people and have fun!

Roxy Wood can be contacted by email. Also, there is more information about her as well as performance videos on her MySpace page, and on YouTube.

ALSO THIS MONTH

isbell_smlBeth Isbell, featured here in October and November, ’09, has recently moved to Dallas, Texas. She has a new video on YouTube called The Toxic Pilgrim Music Show. More updates on Ms. Isbell can be found on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and ReverbNation. For further information, contact Beth via email.

There are a couple of new (…well, new to me, that is..) sites for drag and trans music contacts: www.GigSalad.com, and www.queermusicheritage.com

Calpernia Addams has several new YouTube videos. Along with a short music video for Unreal, there is a rather long thing called Conversation With Calperia-Interview by Andrea James, and a rather off-the-wall offering called Why I Haven’t Accepted Your Facebook Friend Request.

New York based The Shondes (featured in our companion Perpetual Change column, May 2007) will begin a national tour, April 10th, in support of their new project, My Dear One.

Plus, I’ve also been receiving several more dance CDs all sorts of artists. Here are just a few brief reviews. More will be posted in Perpetual Change, and as space allows in each column from time to time.

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Ke$ha, who is becoming a serious contender for the title of Woman You Couldn’t Take Home To Meet Ma, has recently released Animal, an album of almost all dance material. Tik Tok and Blah, Blah, Blah are all over the place. The reason I say the album is “almost” all dance material is because of the track, Stephen, which quite frankly sounds like something one of Disney’s pre-teen acts should have recorded. Otherwise, the album is all solid material.

Got a promo copy of Shontelle’s Licky (Under The Covers) single. Good club material, but the single also contains six different club/dance remixes, which seem kind of unnecessary and distracting from the original tune.

Selena Gomez and The Scene’s Kiss And Tell CD was something of a surprise. Okay, so we all know she’s on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, and we all know she can sing. but like I said, this album contained some music I didn’t expect to hear. Stand out racks are Kiss And Tell and the dance track Naturally. It does contain a lot of what you’d expect from a teen artist, but I was surprised even with the title track, which is techno-punk. The tunes I Promise and The Way I Loved You are the projects quieter moments. Very mature music for a young performer like Ms. Gomez. The rest of the project gravitates between punk flavored rock and dance.

I was also sent a copy of Gomez’s Naturally remixes CD. There are ten different remixes on this disc, and unless you’re really in the mood to hear the same lyrics, over the same beat, with only slight musical variation…well, let’s just say if you’re a Gomez fan, get the aforementioned Kiss And Tell CD.

Well, that’s if for this month. Thanks for your indulgence.


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Category: Music

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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