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Digital Subscriptions > DIVA Magazine > August 15 > 60 SECONDS WITH... DIANE TORR


DIVA: Can you tell us a bit about yourself

Diane Torr: I am an artist working in disciplines of performance, installation, photography and video.

You’ve made a name for yourself as a male impersonator. What is about drag that attracts you?“

I enjoy the chance to perform various characters that enable me to investigate new behaviours. Here are a couple of examples. One character, “Mister EE” wears a black eye mask, white tuxedo jacket, blue velvet tie, a twinkling pinkie ring, dress shirt, dress socks, dress shoes and no trousers. When he sits down, his Y-pants are visible and so is the bump of his penis. “Mister EE” is a club act and he seduces and challenges the audience with his sly gaze. When he begins to lewdly dance to the loud intense techno music that is playing, he focuses on specific audience members to whom he directs his attract/repulse gesticulations. “Mister EE” is a man of a certain social standing and he is an enigma. Where/why/how/what are questions about him that are left to the audience’s imagination. Performing as “Mister EE” allows me to discover and navigate the raunchy layers within. Performing in drag allows excess. It’s a challenge and a chance to test my control as a performer. Another character, “Danny King” represents a stereotype of male privilege. I wanted to know how to authentically perform acts of privilege and entitlement. This took many hours of study. Eventually, I could assimilate these behaviours so well that I was convincing in this particular drag persona, “Danny King”. I could see in the audience’s response that Danny King made them immediately sit up straight. But it’s me, Diane, doing this. I wanted to call the bluff on male privilege – to never be intimidated by men in power because you know, as I do, that it’s all a performance.

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About DIVA Magazine

Singer-songwriter and Same Love vocalist Mary Lambert talks self-love, body positivity and mental health with DIVA this month. We also snagged an exclusive photo-shoot with her and you lucky digital readers can watch the behind the scenes film we made of it. Elsewhere in the issue is ANOTHER behind the scenes video of a very different photo-shoot. This one was a first for DIVA: dogs in designer-wear. It's our favourite fashion shoot to date and the photos and video must be seen to be believed! Also inside: Bisexuals on TV Changing attitudes to body hair Photo coverage of Pride in London and Black Pride DIVA editor Jane Czyzelska asks: What's really going on when the mainstream media deride minorities? O'Hooley & Tidow Trans 101 Hollywood stuntwoman Tiger Rudge Eco Ibiza What is Raw Fest? Charlotte Cooper South african photographer Zanele Muholi The brains behind Lily's Kitchen Lisa Gornick What happens to a lesbian friendship, when one transitions to live as a man? The Raising The Skirt art project Ladies of Llangollen Avignon Jay Bernard And the best in books, film, music, wellbeing, travel and TV