February 20, 2011



John Epperson, known as the fabulous drag performer Lypsinka, played the “Jaded Piano Player” in Black Swan. He writes of the freezing set and being told, “You’re hot!” by Darren Aronofsky.

The New York Times has written at least three critics’ pieces about Black Swan. And there has been still no mention of the Jaded Piano Player.

That is how my role in Black Swan is, unfortunately, described in the film’s final credits. I had nailed this job at an audition for Darren Aronofsky, the film’s director. Suspecting he didn’t know what I had achieved professionally, I plopped down in front of him the full page spread that New York magazine had run of “The Personification of Pizzazz,” as Lypsinka insists on being called. It was part of a portfolio of actors the magazine had culled with the utmost care for its 40th Anniversary issue. I then flipped the magazine shut and pointed toward the flap on the bottom of its cover that heralded the stars inside: “Streep! DeNiro! (And Lypsinka).”

“You’re hot!” exclaimed Aronofsky as he leered at the photo.

Intrigued by The Aronofsky Mystique, but all business, I said, “That will have to wait.”