Hi guys and gals, Roxy Rivers here! I was rather honoured when the lovely Ady asked me to write something for the readers of Gaylife.
Well where do I start… I have been in the drag business 14 years come the 6th August 2015. When I started out all those years ago I had to fib and say I was 18 so that I was legal to be in the bars let alone work in them, which is why to this day some people are convinced I am around 32 instead of my actual age of 30! I was originally meant to be a male backing dancer, hot-pants and feathers etc, I was a skinny-minnie back then, not curvy like I am today. Anyways that idea was dropped when they came up with the idea of me performing in drag, which believe it or not my initial reaction was “You aint getting me in a dress!” But I was talked around to the idea by being told don’t think of them as dresses, they are just costumes to entertain people in, and after that, my mind settled with it.
Just 3 weeks after I started I was thrown in at the deep end and taken to perform as part of a charity gig at the then named Bar B in Blackpool. Before we did that gig I had nerves and since that gig I have never had stage nerves ever again no matter who I’ve performed to, or the audience size. In the last 14 years I have worked all over the UK and Europe, hotels, bars, nightclubs, even a British army base in Germany. I have worked with a wide array of different acts including David Dale, Ceri Dupree, Kelly Wilde and many more. Probably my favourite of all was at The Lowry Theatre where one of my agents acquired me a gig to perform an after-show party for the cast of The Vaudevillian’s and selected audience members! We had so much fun that night, bringing to the stage my Diamond Diva’s Show including… Paloma Faith, Dame Shirley Bassey, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Danny La Rue and Tina Turner to name but a few.
So onto my work within Manchester’s fabulous Gay Village now and back in 2007/08 I did a bar stint at Churchills. During my time there I spotted my current partner, a then regular customer of the venue. We really fancied eachother like crazy but never said anything to one another as I never thought he would like me and he never thought I would like him. He, a professional singer used to sing on the Karaoke and each time he did it was a major case of swooning! After a brief stint away I moved back to Manchester with family in tow in 2009, whilst carrying on my work abroad and around the UK, frequenting the Gay Village only for my social life, the majority of the time with my best friend Scott, usually on Tuesday night for Poptastic and some Wednesday’s at Via to go and see the ever glamorous and funny Lee Starr.
Jumping forward to early 2014, I decided I wanted some residency work a little closer to home, so I approached Bar Pop who just by chance had residency post that had become available. Over the last year I have worked countless nights and events there, made some lovely friends and for the most part had a ball. Remember I mentioned a guy earlier, the regular customer at Churchills who I fancied, well in early 2014 I spotted him on Facebook, threw caution to the wind and added him as a friend. We messaged, discovered our mutual like for each other, dated and the rest is now history!
Earlier this year I came to the conclusion that I needed some new work pastures and as luck would have it another village venue was in need of a new face and I was ready to take on a new challenge. So, you can now find me on Friday’s and Saturday’s in my new home, THE SHOWBAR (above The Rem on Sackville Street) from 9pm until late, with Karaoke for part of the night, impromptu spots of cabaret as well as playing all the best in Retro’N’Charty Party. Sometimes there will be a guest host on for one of the nights ensuring we give you fabulous variety and leave you thoroughly entertained.
There are fabulous drinks offers, sexy bar boys to keep you moist all night long and of course as always a fabulous warm welcome from Dame Chardonnay, our glamorous door hostess See ya soon!
Love & Diamonds, R.R