“So why ‘Daphne’?” I asked. “Daphne was a nymph from Greek mythology- Apollo wanted to have sex with her but she wasn’t interested so to avoid it she had her father turn her into a tree.” She spoke about the transformation and how it felt appropriate for someone who transforms for a living. Walking into her Bed-Stuy apartment, she asked me what it was I was looking for in the piece and to be honest I wasn’t sure. I knew I was interested in this world – this double life so to speak – but didn’t know why so I mumbled a nervous, jumbled mess. I was a girl wearing pigtails, a basketball jersey and the same denim shorts I’d been wearing for two days. The contrast between us was embarrassingly clear. We proceeded to her costume covered room as she got ready to host a party at This N That in Williamsburg. She was tired and stressed – it was Sunday night of Pride Weekend, the 3 day long equivalent to the LGBTQ community’s Super Bowl. “The darkness of it, I guess, is sometimes having to be the life of the party when all I want to do is go to bed,” she explained, “but I get paid to make people happy, bring out their imagination and inner child so really there isn’t much darkness.” She put on a Pride playlist to get more in the mood while she prepared her bloody feet for another night in six inch heels. I watched as she painted her face and wondered if it changed who she was. Was Daphne a character she created or was Daphne her? I think that’s what I was looking for. She got ready the same way we all do and didn’t say too much except to answer my dozens of (possibly ignorant) questions. “Its not as mysterious as people think,” it was the first time I disagreed with her all night. We searched the floor for bobby pins to secure her wig and her friend tied the finishing touches on her costume. She spun around the living room with her room mate and co host, Scarlet Envy. “Isn’t she gorgeous?!” they’d say about each other. They were. I got caught staring, I couldn’t help it- it was all mesmerizing. I felt like I was in the room with two Disney princesses- they really did bring out my inner child. We called an Uber and headed over to This N That – I could tell the driver was humored by this. We pulled up to the club and you’d think Daphne was Beyoncé the way people gravitated toward her. Every person wanted to talk to her and take pictures. “How ya doing, hun? Happy Pride!” she’d greet her guests in between sips of Red Bull. I thought back to how tired she was 2 hours ago and how quickly that was able to be turned off- I felt like I was in on a secret. Daphne told me her character was an exaggerated version of herself – I found it to be a bit more complicated than that. Her world is as mysterious as I thought it was, if not more. When your job includes gender bending, transforming personalities, and creating a whole new reality for a few hours a night- it has to be.