Lypsinka even overpowers Lypsinka. Mr. Epperson’s creation is in part a portrait of a woman being devoured by her own image. You see, Lypsinka has never been just an act of female impersonation, not in the traditional sense. She deals with female impersonation as practiced by women, particularly by women who are expected to be laminated in glamour on all public occasions.
— Ben Brantley, The Wasp Goddess, Imperious, Vulnerable and (Gasp) Unmasked
John Epperson Returns, in ‘Lypsinka! The Trilogy’, New York Times, 16 November 2014
Great review of an amazing performer.
“I do not call myself a drag queen,” says John Epperson, also known as legendary performer Lypsinka.“I don’t like that term. I think of Lypsinka as a woman. [Lady] Bunny thinks of herself as a drag queen. Bunny reminds her audience that she’s a man in a dress, and I don’t do that.”
How do we play into and/or play against our gender role? Every human choice has a cost, and the choices we make around gender presentation are no different.
Sometimes we don’t acknowledge the cost, sometimes we camp up around the cost, sometimes we consider the cost and sometimes the costs just show through cracks in our expression.
As Lypsinka, John Epperson plays with those costs in an intense way that performers who don’t attempt “realness” never do. Real and unreal merge, forcing much more intense and brilliant revelation than we pass over everyday.