Small World

Hair apparent

"I had a heyday with a lot of men," she says. "But they apparently either got chicken or started shaving. Or they stopped doing drag."

Calm down—the lady in question is a, well, what do you call someone who uses hot wax to strip unwanted hair from the supple skin of willing victims?

"You can just refer to me as Stacya Silverman, Waxing Queen."

Silverman is one of the best-kept secrets on the arts scene—a striking, brassy, big-hearted theater graduate from California who gave up the spotlight over a decade ago to devote herself to the more private craft of facials, skin care, and defurrification. She's been waxing since 1992, and she sees it as fate.

"I was the only one in beauty school who wanted to wax," she says. "When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with hair removal. I would even try to get the cat to let me remove its whiskers without squirming. I was obsessed with pulling out hairs. Always."

A longtime theater devotee, she's happy to give back to the stage in her own small, painful way.

"The Rep sends me people that need hair removal," she says, and gives an example of her aesthetically necessary contribution. "They cast this very good-looking boy, and he had to be very young [in the show]. But his chest is covered in hair. And he has to take his shirt off at one point, and there's no way that's gonna work—he doesn't look like a boy anymore. So he comes up, and I look at the carpet on his chest, and I just think, 'God, this is gonna kill him.' I told him to take some Tylenol; [he had] a couple of shots of vodka, and he got pretty loopy. It was horribly painful for him, but we got it all off. He ended up going back to the theater all drunk and hairless."

The men who sometimes furtively use her services—who don't have to endure even half the fleeting torment of, say, a bikini wax—take to the experience in varying degrees. "I have a very macho guy that comes to me for a full-body wax—he's a triathlete, and he does not flinch," she swears, but adds: "I've had some bodybuilders just wimp out on me."

So what makes those minutes of masochism so much better than shaving? "Because it removes [the hair] from the root," Silverman explains. "And it grows back baby fine, so you don't have that itchy stubble."

She has frank advice for males who are waxing wary: "Buck up, buddy. No pain, no gain."

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