In Arts & Entertainment

Reflections before the Dining with the Divas show at Hamburger Mary's. (PHOTO: Royal Brevvaxling)

From Bjorn to BJ: the stunning transformation of man to queen

Bjorn Nasett has performed as drag queen BJ Daniels for more than 40 years. Nasett retired for 17 years to focus on his hair styling career, but returned to the stage in 2012.

"When I stepped back on the stage it was like the 17-year absence disappeared," says Nasett. "It was very clear to me that this is a part of me and that I still had it."

Nasett currently performs and emcees one Friday per month at Hamburger Mary's Dining with The Divas. The shows run every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

"Hamburger Mary's is perfect for an older person like me, who isn't a club person anymore. I love all the people and I get to use my emcee skills," Nasett says.

Nasett and friends will return with a slew of almost-sold-out Golden Girls Christmas Specials – parody drag shows based on the television show – which run from mid-to-late December. Nasett plays the matriarch of the group, Sophia. The remaining tickets are available here.

Recently, OnMilwaukee went behind the scenes with Nasett and documented his transformation into the gorgeous BJ Daniels.

"I'm the complete illusion," says Nasett. "When I walk through a space as BJ, nobody thinks twice. I'm that gal."

1. The canvas

2. Prepping with pup

3. Lights, camera ...

4. The space between

5. Say ah

6. Lip line

7. Lonely lashes

8. "Glitter brings the drama"

9. Mirror, mirror

10. A closer look

11. In the mist

12. "I have my go-to wigs"

13. Looking fly

14. Adjustments

15. "If you're a queen and you're not wearing nails, you're not doing it right"

16. Hello, beautiful BJ!

17. Sassy undergarment

18. Quiet before the glam

19. Ooooooo

20. Backlit

21. Costume change

22. The spotlight

23. "You have to treat yourself like a star – because you are"


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