First off, I want to congratulate you on your 20 years on stage in Las Vegas. YOU GO FRANK! My first question is: where were you born and raised?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Oceanside, Long Island, hence where I got the Joan Rivers accent.
At what age did you realize that you were NOT like most of the other boys and that you were gay?
Probably Christmas of first grade when I got my first chemistry set. I was so excited the first thing I did was develop my own line of beauty products.
Were you raised in a liberal or conservative household?
Extremely conservative, borderline militant.
Did you date girls, boys or both in High School?
I had a lot of girlfriends but never dated a girl. They were probably always afraid I’d steal their clothes.
When did you see your first drag act or show? Please tell us about the first time you got all dolled up in full DRAG? Was it for Halloween?
1st drag show was on Fire Island at the Ice Palace. It was Halloween when I was just 16 years old and I got dressed as my favorite superstar, Diana Ross.
Please tell us about the ‘first time’ you performed on a stage in drag.
It was Mark 5 Nightclub on Long Island. I did a show as Diana Ross and “Baby Loved” my way around the room.
A few words about your first gig in Hollywood at La Cage on La Cienega.
Actually, I only did my audition in LA and the first show was at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
I heard you have the Number Two star on the Las Vegas WALK OF STARS! How does it feel to be placed higher than Frank, Sammy, Dino and the gang?
It feels great. I was deeply honored although I never thought I’d be so happy to have people walking all over me.
I know that many see you on stage or in a feature film and think that your life must be ALL glitz and glamour. I know it’s NOT! A few words about the sacrifices you have made to realize your TV, screen and stage dreams.
It’s a lot of hard work and dedication, keeping strange hours, and getting little to no personal time for myself.
What was it like the ‘first time’ you hit your mark on stage wearing a Bob Mackie gown?
It was my first communion and it was so cute, white beads and pearls. No, actually, it wasn’t until I got to Vegas and started making some real money that I was able to afford one and it felt like I had finally arrived.
Please do a major name drop and fill us in on some of the celebrities who have come to see you at the Riviera?
Just recently we had Joan Collins, Sandra Bullock, Roseanne Barr, Pamela Anderson, Whitney Houston and her dealer no just kidding he wasn’t really there), and Anna Nicole Smith.
I have to ask, what was it like working with Sandra Bullock on her new feature film Miss Congeniality 2?
She was an extremely focused woman that was wearing a lot of hats on this project. She not only stars but produces as well. But all in all, we had a great time but it was a lot of work.
What are the high points and the low ones when you work and appear in a major motion picture?
Low points would be the amazing amount of time you spend working, sometimes 6am to 11 at night and the high points would be finally getting to see your face on the big screen. I was extremely excited, I had always vacationed in Vegas but to be able to perform there was double the enjoyment.
Can you share a “Frank Marino” story with us? A few lines about a memorable escapade and learning experience all in one!
My first year in Vegas I was not allowed to leave the city without permission from my producer on my days off. I snuck away to do a benefit show in New York with Crystal Woods from my show and upon trying to return, encountered a major snowstorm. Luckily our return flight was the last plane to leave NY City and I’m still alive today to tell the story. I learned that if you are ever going to sneak away make sure it’s to a warm climate.
Can you share a few words with us about you as, “The Premier Drag Artist/Entertainer on the Planet”?
It’s hectic, there are always people pulling at you from every direction, and you have to pick and choose wisely where to put your energy.
OK, I want to know if you have ever been under the knife and if so, do you have any advice for our readers who are considering plastic surgery?
I have had numerous procedures over the years and each one has made me feel better about myself. It’s not for everyone but it is an amazing science.
You seem to be like TRANSFORMATION! Here there and everywhere! What do you do when you need a break, what is you R & R candy?
I love to go to Disney World. It’s the only place that has more evil queens than Las Vegas.
What are you going to do to celebrate your 20 YEARS ON STAGE IN LAS VEGAS ANNIVERSARY?
Party, party, party, party! Oh and get a new Bob Mackie dress.
Okay, let’s call it a “HOLLYWOOD WRAP” by asking you how we are gonna see you on stage in Las Vegas for TWENTY MORE YEARS?
In 20 more years I see myself behind the scenes working as a producer and collecting money for doing absolutely nothing.
By Marlayna Lacie
Catch up with Frank at www.frankmarino.com
This interview was originally published in Transformation 52 2005