How does a six-foot, 88kg Australian pro-wrestler end up becoming a cross-dressing, heavy metal-singing internet sensation? We catch up with the smiley, hairy, and oh-so-“kawaii” Richard Magarey, (aka Ladybeard) ahead of his Hong Kong gig to find out.
You’ve had a very interesting career path, how did it all happen?
Well, my wrestling career began in 2009 in the Hong Kong Wrestling Federation. I decided to wear a dress in the ring and make Ladybeard my ring name. Everyone loved it, but I still wanted to sing heavy metal, and it was almost a year after my wrestling debut that I made my metal debut. I kept the same character because I already had a fanbase for it, and after every show, people in the audience told me they thought the Japanese would love me, and suggested I check out Japan. So I organised my own small Japanese tour in 2011, doing shows in Tokyo, Osaka, and Okinawa. It went very well, and I really enjoyed my time there, so eventually made the move over. Before long, I had released three singles with my (Japanese) group, Ladybaby, and was a hit.
How did you become an internet sensation?
Shortly after I got to Japan, I met my now manager, Naoko Tachibana, who is Japan’s foremost photographer of cross-dressers. We did a photo shoot together, and she put the photos up on Twitter. They blew up on the internet, and the rest is kawaii history!
Is it true you came to Hong Kong to star in Kung Fu movies?
Yes, it is true. But I realised there wasn’t much of a future in it beyond playing the evil gweilo again and again. There’s a 2011 wrestling movie called The Fortune Buddies, I play the foreign wrestling champion (evil gweilo) in that.
How was your experience of living in Hong Kong?
I loved HK! I lived in several places – Tsim Sha Tsui, Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Hung Hom, and Mong Kok – over a period of 6 years. It’s a very vibrant, exciting city, full of opportunity and adventure. There’s a lot I miss about it.
You’re a hit in Japan, but where is your biggest fan base?
I think probably China. I’ve got a LOT of fans in China! Bless em!
So what does Ladybeard like to do in her free time?
Work out, study, watch movies, smash things, and most importantly, find kawaiiness in all things in the world around me.
You’ve certainly hit “kawaii” on the head, what’s your favourite outfit?
There’s several that I really love, but I’m particularly proud of my wrestling bikini because I designed it myself, and managed to solve several challenges in doing so (mainly balancing kawaiiness with functionality).
And who is your biggest female style icon?
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, she’s a Japanese fashion model and singer.
What is your top beauty tip?
A positive attitude and great outlook on life will make you far more beautiful than anything you could ever do to your appearance.
Speaking of appearance, how do you make your hair look so shiny?
I occasionally wash it with avocado and egg yolks.
They say that “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” – do you agree?
I’ve never worn a diamond, so if they’re as friendly as they say, then I guess a stranger is a friend I have not yet met! I also hear that diamonds are forever, in which case they’re certainly doing better than the dinosaurs. It seems the dinosaurs could have learned a lot from diamonds’ longevity practices.
What’s your life motto?
Sing, Dance, DESTROY!!
What can we expect from your solo gig in Hong Kong?
Amazing kawaiiness beyond compare!
What’s your next career move?
World domination. What else???
Take a peek at what’s in store!
Catch Ladybeard LIVE in Hong Kong!
Don’t miss your chance to see him return to the city in all his kawaii glory on April 16 and 17 at Focal Fair, 28/F, Park Avenue Tower, 5 Moreton Avenue, Causeway Bay. Tickets cost $250 (advanced), $300 (on the door), and $450 (VIP). Lucky VIP ticket holders will meet Ladybeard after the performance and get that super kawaii selfie. Click here for more information and tickets.
Read more! Spend Five Minutes With some other colourful characters who are shaking up Hong Kong.