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New York Cool’s Ongoing Series:
Making It in New York
Maurice Neuhaus:
From Drag Queen to Show Biz Expert

Written by Rod Martinez

Opposite Photo: Maurice Neuhaus
Photo Credit: Scott Morrisson


It's been ten years since Maurice Neuhaus came to the United States from Frankfurt Germany - his vision: show business. Today, Neuhaus is recognized as an actor, drag performer, make-up artist and wig maker.

When Neuhaus first moved to New York City in 1998, he studied ballet, jazz and tap at the Broadway Dance Center on 57th street. During that year he auditioned for three acting conservatories: The Actors Workshop, The Neighborhood Playhouse and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He was accepted at all of three schools and in 2001 he graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While at the Academy, Neuhaus was also developing his skills as a drag performer, which at that time was still a hobby.

Maurice Neuhaus
Photo Credit: Alexander Heimberg
Maurice Neuhaus
Photo Credit: Alexander Heimberg

The idea of doing drag came to Neuhaus at a very early age. "When I was ten years old my brother and I were watching the female impersonator Mary Morgan (aka Georg Preusse) on TV. When my brother told me that she was a man, I could not believe it. I was absolutely fascinated and intrigued by the craftsmanship and skill of this transformation". With the goal in mind to someday look like his idol Mary Morgan, he made his drag debut at age eighteen at a friend’s birthday party. The show was a success, but he was far from being satisfied with his level of skill in this art form.

After Neuhaus moved to New York City he continued to practice the art of make up several times a week and he read every stage make up book available. He recalls: "I would do my make up at home, look at it, critique it and then wipe it off and go to bed". Having developed his make up skill to a level that satisfied him, he began to focus on the styling and creation of his wigs. Neuhaus soon desired to step up to the next level: handmade wigs. "I couldn't afford to pay $800$ to $2200 dollars for a handmade wig, so I decided to learn how to make them myself". And he did.

Maurice Neuhaus
Photo Credit: Alexander Heimberg

Bob Kelly, one of the most prestigious wig makers in the country, taught him this intricate art form. Mr. Neuhaus became so good at the craft that he began building wigs for Broadway shows and Opera Companies. Then Alexander Heimberg, CEO of Screaming Queens Entertainment (, an agency that provides drag entertainment to corporate events and private parties, asked him to design and build wigs for his business. At this point Mr. Neuhaus had reached his make up and wig goals and he had perfected the art of drag. Mr. Heimberg suggested representing Neuhaus as a drag performer. Mr. Neuhaus' background in acting, make up, dance and wig making made it possible to transform himself into almost any character. Mr. Heimberg recalls: "It was amazing, I would tell him – I need for you to impersonate Marilyn Monroe – and he did, there really is no limit to his talent, which is an agents dream come true".

Maurice Neuhaus Autoportrait

Maurice Neuhaus Autoportrait

From then on Mr. Neuhaus developed and impersonated characters such as Madeline Ashton, Marilyn Monroe, Space Diva, Mrs. Claws, Madonna, Tootsie and many more. His credits include: promoting the Central Park Film Festival on the WB11 Morning News, hosting the Central Park Film Festival, performing at the Marc Jacobs Christmas party, performing on the TV show Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, an advertisement for the TV show Faking It, the opening of the Cove Hotel at the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas etc. etc.

"Everything just started evolving, one thing led to another and before you knew it I was in demand as a make up Artist, wig maker, actor and drag queen. I got calls from all over the states…started teaching classes and built private clients", he says.

You can see Mr. Neuhaus on stage in the off-off Broadway production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde in the role of "Algy" on May 4th, 5th and 6th 2008 at the 13th Street Repertory Company in New York City. He is also currently cast in the new internet-soap opera Nobody's Perfect which will be available on YouTube in the near future.

"Don't learn the tricks of the trade. Learn the trade". This certainly holds true for this 29 year-old artist, who makes a living out of the craftsmanship of show business and proves, that a vision is only the beginning of a bright future.




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