Friday, March 31, 2017

The Lady Needs No Introduction

Written by  Christy Girlington
Lady Marisa Lady Marisa

If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of meeting The Lady Marisa, please allow me to introduce you to this legendary drag icon. Lady Marisa has been gracing stages throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania for over 20 years!

Lady Marisa has competed in several local and national pageants throughout the years and has captured over 15 titles, including Miss Liberty Continental, Miss Paradise 2000 (she was the first-ever Miss Paradise), and Miss Gay Asbury Park, to name a few. She’s created memorable characters on stage and is best known for her impersonations of Celine Dion, Cher, Kathy Griffin – and my favorite: Joan Rivers.

Aside from her ample career on stage, Lady Marisa is also known for her philanthropic efforts supporting and hosting several benefits for HIV/AIDS and her community anytime she is needed. For the past 16 years she has been working tirelessly with the U.S Marine Corps to raise money and collect toys for Toys for Tots, making every year’s event bigger and better than the last. She hosts a weekly show at Georgies Bar called “Lady Marisa’s Glitter and Glam Show.”

To those of us who know and love her she’s known as the Fairy Godmother of Drag. Her amazing talents are not just limited to the stage alone.

Lady Marisa is an amazingly talented costume designer, and I for one, know that I’d be completely naked without her. She’s been designing and constructing my gowns for over ten years now. She’s choreographed, designed, and created memorable pageant packages for highly respected queens such as Jolina Jasmine, Victoria Famouz and the current reigning Miss Paradise, Victoria Courtez.

I recently asked a few influential people in Asbury Park what they thought of Lady Marisa and aside from the “She’s fat” and “She’s so old” jokes here’s what they had to say about my friend Lady Marisa.

Joe Cole, the general manager of Georgies Bar, said, “It is an honor to work with such a humble and caring person. She is always the first to offer her time and volunteer for a fundraiser. She’s great to work with very professional and fun, I’m grateful to call her a friend and a colleague!”

“Lady Marisa, is in my opinion the full package when it comes to being a drag queen. She’s an amazing seamstress, phenomenal performer, and wise beyond her years. I’ve always considered her a fairy drag mother in a way, and I feel it’s safe to say that many of the queens in New Jersey feel the same. She was the first ever Miss Paradise and me being a former Miss Paradise, I am beyond proud to have shared the same title as her,” said Jolina Jasmine, Miss Paradise 2016.

When I talk of reputable performers, Cee Mour Cox is another entertainer that is top of that list. When I asked her about her “drag mother” Lady Marisa, she said “Lady Marisa is a very talented individual. Just when you think you might have seen it all, bam! She surprises you all over again!”

There are few drag performers in this community, or any that I’ve known, that are as selfless and willing to donate their time for a great cause and their community as is Lady Marisa.

She is an icon, she is legendary, and yes, she may even be old but we love her geriatric tuck anyways.

I invite you to come to Asbury Park, have a drink at Georgies and meet the octogenarian I’m talking about.

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