HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
JUNE 24.2005 17
ret BINNIE FISHER
Houston's Jill Jordan is paraphrasing the
title of a famous drag movie: To Wong Fu,
ii _M Thanks for everything, Jill Jordan.'
HOUSTON FEMALE IMPERSONATOR
Jill Jordan says she's tired of lamenting
the demise of drag in the city where she
has resided for 32 years. She's going
where the art of drag is alive, appreciated and where donning women's clothes
and singing your heart out pays.
"I'm moving to Vegas," says Jordan, 56.
Not only that, she's taking her hairdresser and make-up artist, Leon
Schwartz, with her.
"Leon's got a Chevy Trailblazer with a
tow package," Jordan says. "We're renting a trailer. Honey, it's gonna to be just
like "To Wong Fu," only we're not going
In the movie, "To Wong Fu, Thanks for
everything, Julie Newmar," three drag
queens head out from New York to
Hollywood in a convertible to participate
in a female impersonator contest overseen by Julie Newmar.
Jordan credits Vegas drag diva Roxie
Starr, the former Jimmy Emerson of
Beaumont, with casting out the lure.
"Roxie and I have been good friends
for probably 25 years," Jordan says.
Starr tells Jordan that jobs abound in las
Vegas, from the casinos to the drag stage.
"Roxie said if I was there for two days
without a job that she'd be stunned," says
Jordan. "She's already got six heads of
hair lined up for Leon to do."
Jordan said she already has two job
possibilities, one performing in an established drag show, the other in a new club
that is opening about the time she and
"They're looking for an older drag
queen who does nothing but the classic
drag numbers and who can run the
dancers," she says, adding that the description sounds an awful lot like Jill Jordan.
Over the last three decades, Jordan
says, it's been difficult to watch the
decline of drag in Houston. It's how she
once made her living, but in recent years,
it's turned into a meager subsistence.
"I've been trying to piece together a
life from a little bit of dancers and a little
bit of drag and a little bit of home health
care." Jordan says. "It's hard to do.
Nowadays, you don't get paid a fourth of
what you should (for drag)."
In Vegas, if she lands the job as resident drag queen at the new club, Jordan
says, "I'd sort of be a big fish in a small
ft MORE INFO
Jill Jordan Farewell Show
9 p.m. Wednesday
Houston drag queen Jill Jordan will try her luck in
pond. The money, I know, is fabulous."
If she doesn't land a permanent drag
gig, Jordan says, there are always casino
jobs in the city that rarely sleeps.
"It's such a pretty place and with so
much going on," she says. "You're never
going to get bored."
Roxie Starr has thrown out an incentive. She's offered Jordan and Schwartz
her rental apartment for free for a
month. She giving them a sweet deal
"Everything seems to be just falling
into place," Jordan said. "It seems like a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My friends
tell me that if I don't take it, I'll kick
myself one day"
Houston gets one last opportunity to
see Jill Jordan perform at 9 p.m.
Wednesday at E.J.'s, 2517 Ralph.
"We're pulling out on July 1." says
Jordan. "We'll be in Vegas in time for the
Fourth of July."
Television commercials for Las Vegas
promise, "What happens here stays
here," but Jordan says that promise was
made before Vegas knew she was coming.
"I may just get on the phone and tell
everybody," she says.