Pageant. Day Four. Blending.
There probably isn’t a female impersonator on the planet who isn’t aware of Raja Gemini, the winner of season three of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and declared “America’s Next Drag Superstar”.
In real life, off stage, Raja is Sutan Amrull. He started out his career as a makeup artist and progressed to making up his own face as Raja in the early 1990’s.
Sutan Amrull and Arnold Myint became friends a couple of years ago when Sutan was passing through Nashville and was told by a mutual friend, the fashion designer Traver Rains, that he needed to meet Arnold and have a meal at one of his restaurants. Arnold knew he was coming and put out quite a spread. They became very good friends, automatically blending the world of pageant and pop queens, and having fun in the process.
Sutan’s talent for makeup has not been lost on Arnold. I have noticed that every time Arnold hangs out with Sutan, Suzy’s makeup takes another step to perfection. Sutan’s techniques with makeup are very smooth, every part of the face is beautifully blended. Since both of them travel because of their work, they have managed to make their paths cross and spend a good deal of time together. On one of his trips to Nashville, Sutan spent an entire day doing different faces for Suzy. I was thrilled to be there to photograph all day as well. These are some of my very favorite pictures of Suzy.
I was very happy to learn that Sutan would be joining us this week to do Suzy’s makeup for the pageant. It is always great to see him. Before I met him, I didn’t know what to expect from “America’s Next Drag Superstar”. What I found from the very first was that he is one of those magic people, and they are few and far between, who has a way of making other people feel good to be around him. He is one of the least affected, nicest people I know. I am not sure how you can look like him and not be affected by it. Physically, he is pretty impressive. He is 6’3″ and if he’s wearing heels–he is one tall woman. He is a beautiful man and a stunner as a female.
I am been impressed by how low-key he’s been here. We haven’t discussed this, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to draw attention to himself and away from the competitors. So, as much as a beautiful, exotic, 6’3″ man, (who also happens to be a cult celebrity) can, he has just blended into the crowd.
His creativity goes beyond the world of makeup and female impersonation. You should check out some of what he does on his website, http://www.artofraja.com.