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By Ann Arbor Miller, Published March 02 2009

In View: "Deja Vu"

As drag queens go, count Brandon Christensen among the more demure.

“I’m a pretty shy queen,” said Christensen, who regularly performs as Deja Vu in drag shows at area bars.

With his thigh-high faux leather boots, glamour-girl outfit, stylish wig and a face painted like a movie star’s, the 29-year-old Fargo man could easily be mistaken for a woman at first blush.

It doesn’t hurt that Christensen has a naturally petite frame, a finesse for feminine gesture and a knack for theatrical makeup. Deja Vu is quite striking.

Christensen was introduced to live drag several years ago at the invitation of a friend. He traveled from Minot to Grand Forks to attend his first show.

“I was just fascinated by it,” said Christensen, who was active in high school and college theater.

A few years later, Christensen’s fascination turned into exploration. His first attempt at doing drag was “horribly tragic.”

“The spotlight blinded me, and I forgot my words,” he said.

Despite that experience, Christensen tried again. He sought to craft a drag persona – a stage character that drew on his obsession with the rock star Pink and his love of live theater.

While being a drag queen in Fargo-Moorhead isn’t a full-time occupation, it certainly is an expensive preoccupation. Christensen, who works two part-time jobs and is contemplating cosmetology school, relies on tips from patrons to help supplement Deja Vu’s ever-growing wardrobe, wig collection and cosmetic arsenal.

“It’s grown to be such a part of me,” said Christensen. “I’m sure it’s going to reach a point where I’m getting a little old for this, but I don’t see it anytime in my near future.”

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If you go

- What: Drag show

- When: Around 10 p.m. March 13

- Where: The I-BEAM, 1021 Center Ave., Moorhead

- Info: Admission is $7 per person. Ages 21 and older only. Doors open at 8 p.m. The show’s theme for the night is Hollywood and Broadway, with a tribute to “Mamma Mia!” Tables are not reserved and are “first come gets the best table.” For more information, visit www.theibeam.com.

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“In View” is a photo column by Fargo-based photojournalist Ann Arbor Miller focusing on everyday people and places in our community. Look for it Mondays in The Forum.

To suggest future column ideas, e-mail annarbormiller [at] gmail [dot] com