Russella

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Russella
Occupation(s) dancer, actor, singer
Years active 2009–present
Website fabulousrussella.wix.com/fabulousrussella

Russella (also known as The Fabulous Russella[1]) is a British actor, dancer, model, choreographer, singer and comedian often performing in character drag.

Career[edit]

Russella is considered one of 200 cultural icons by i-D magazine[2] and was considered one of the UK's top 30 talents by The London Paper[3]

Russella studied dance at Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds where he met singer and actress Paloma Faith[4] . Russella later moved to London to live with Faith.[5] The two are still good friends and Russella appeared in the music video for Faith's debut single Stone Cold Sober.[6] Faith cites Russella as one of the inspirations for her style ,[7] a style which is thought of as Dynasty Glam [1] and Alexis Carrington 1980's [8]

After moving to London, Russella worked in fashion PR for vintage clothes retailer Beyond Retro[9] before meeting performance artist Jonny Woo whom he performed with regularly after winning a competition hosted by Woo[8][10]

After a chance meeting at London nightclub Madame Jojo's, a then unknown French singer Héloïse Letissier befriended Russella and two lesser known drag queens who encouraged her to sing. After a period of suffering from depression, Letissier was inspired by the drag queens - to the extent that she named her pop persona Christine and the Queens in appreciation [11] In an interview with the New Statesman, Lettissier explains that whist Russella taught her 'how to be a woman', the two have not remained in contact[12] Lettessier claims that Russella is one of the drag queens who 'saved [her] life'[13]

Modelling career[edit]

Even though Russella claims not to care about beauty "everyone is so obsessed with beauty and glamour right now; everyone wants to be perfect. I know I am perfect – I'm fabulous – but I don't particularly care. I just want to be looked at"[14] – he has modelled for award winning photographers including Nick Knight,[2] Alice Hawkins[15] Jodi Bieber[16] and Gregoire A Meyer[17] as well as modelling for brands including Joseph Corré's A Child of the Jago,[18] and milliner Piers Atkinson.[19][20] Russella has also appeared in photo shoots for magazines including i-D magazine[2]Attitude Magazine,[21] The Independent Magazine,[15]The British Journal of Photography,[22] and Time Out Magazine[23]

Acting career[edit]

Russella appeared as 'Terry Crystal' in Trevor Miller's film Riot on Redchurch Street which was released in 2012[24] He also featured on MTV's My Super Sweet 16 in January 2012 as guest choreographer.

Comedy[edit]

In 2008 Russella launched 'London's Next Top Tranny' a successful competition to discover up and coming talent in East London [25]

Russella was a finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year awards, 2012[26] hosted by Jo Brand

In 2015 Russella entered Britains Got Talent performing 'The Pancake Show', and expressed his desire to 'do' a cookery book, much to the dismay of Simon Cowell but with the full support of David Walliams who exclaimed 'I would buy it!' [27]

Writing[edit]

Russella has contributed to online magazines including Societe Perrier[28] and the Sabotage Times[29]

Singing[edit]

Russella released his first comedic single on to iTunes in 2009 – titled – 'Too Fabulous'[30] with an accompanying video on YouTube which featured Sue Tilley Benefits Supervisor Sleeping. Too Fabulous was performed at Lovebox Festival in 2011 [31]

Russella also appeared on episode 6 of Britain's Got Talent 2012 singing Wild Horses

Filmography[edit]

Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
2012 Riot on Redchurch Street Terry Crystal Movie acting debut
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Weakest Link Russella
2010 The Jonathan Ross Show Peter Kay
2010 The One Show Marilyn Monroe
2010 Britain's Ugliest Models himself
2012 My Super Sweet 16 choreographer
2012 Britain's Got Talent The Fabulous Russella
2014 Toronto Song Project Singer
2015 Britains Got Talent The Fabulous Russella
2016 Le France a un incroyable talent The Fabulous Russella

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b James, Sherwood (9 Mar 2008). "My Style". The Independent. 
  2. ^ a b c "i-D The 30th Birthday Issue". i-D Magazine. Levelprint Ltd. 1 September 2010. 
  3. ^ Holland, Jessica (4 January 2008). "30 under 30". The London Paper. NI free newspapers ltd. p. 10. 
  4. ^ Brumfitt, Stuart. "You Gotta Have Faith". Boyz Magazine. Windmill Europe Limited. 
  5. ^ The Gentle Author (19 November 2010). "Russella: London's Top Tranny". Spitalfields City Life. 
  6. ^ "How Gay are you? Paloma Faith". Attitude Magazine. 20 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Long, Carola (29 May 2010). "Faith: A Cuban Twist on the Retro Look". The Independent. 
  8. ^ a b Maggie, Davis (October 2006). "Drag Queen Shopping Spree". Time Out Magazine. 
  9. ^ Miles, Matt (May 2006). "Anatomy of a bedroom". AXM. millivres prowler. 
  10. ^ "(Drag) Queen of our hearts". The Gay Times. Millivres Prowler. October 2007. p. 21. 
  11. ^ Medioni, Par Gilles (13 Feb 2015). "VIDEOS. La voix royale de Christine and the Queens". L'Express. 
  12. ^ Kate, Mossman (8 Jul 2016). "my love life would've been way better". New Statesman. 
  13. ^ Van Renterghem, Marion (23 Nov 2016). "Les confessions de Christine and the Queens". Vanity Fair. 
  14. ^ Lock, Isaac (2009). "She's so unusual". Tank Magazine. Tank Publications Ltd. I just want to be looked at 
  15. ^ a b "Back to Black". The Independent Magazine. Vitality Publishing. p. 74. 
  16. ^ http://shoreditchunbound.com/interact/inside/evolve/
  17. ^ http://www.thespiderawards.com/gallery6/gallery.php?g=n&x=a&cid=94&fid=69731
  18. ^ http://www.achildofthejago.com/communique/default.asp
  19. ^ http://www.vogue.it/en/talents/vogue-video-lab/2011/09/hot-voodoo
  20. ^ http://www.theglassmagazine.com/forum/article.asp?tid=1831#title
  21. ^ "Dress You Up". Attitude Magazine. Vitality Publishing. p. 50. 
  22. ^ "Hip To Be Square". The British Journal of Photography. Incisive media. p. 21. 
  23. ^ "Shopping and Style". Time Out Magazine. Time Out. p. 29. 
  24. ^ http://riotonredchurch.com/supporting_cast.html.
  25. ^ the gentle author (4 October 2010). "The Trannies of Bethnal Green". Spitalfields Life. 
  26. ^ Bartholomew, Emma (19 January 2012). "Flip Side of Drag Star". Hackney Gazette. 
  27. ^ Smith, Ryan (16 May 2015). "David Walliams fed pancake by dancing drag queen". Daily Mail. 
  28. ^ Fabulous, Russella (11 January 2013). "Fabulous Russella'a Love Letter To London". Societe Perrier. 
  29. ^ Fabulous, Russella (14 February 2014). "Why I Love the Word Tranny". Sabotage Times. 
  30. ^ "Introducing...Fabulous Russella". Attitude Magazine. Millivres prowler. 20 January 2010. 
  31. ^ Hackney Gazette, 19 January 2012, Emma Bartholomew

External links[edit]