Cross-dressing Ladybeard and Japanese fellow wrestler to release single, three years after he left Hong Kong for Tokyo

Australian who launched his ring career in Hong Kong before moving to Tokyo forms musical duo Deadlift Lolita with Japan’s Reika Saiki, and says self-discipline has been key to his success after multiple failures

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 7:31am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2017, 11:28am

Australian professional wrestler and heavy metal sensation Ladybeard describes his passions as dancing, singing and destroying. And now he has a new playmate to help him delight and assault the senses of his fans across Asia and Europe.

Ladybeard and Japanese singer, professional wrestler and female bodybuilding idol Reika Saiki will release their first single as Deadlift Lolita, titled Six pack Twins, on March 31 and perform live for the first time in Tokyo on April 5. The muscle-bound duo have something for everybody: heavy metal vocals from the towering Ladybeard, delicate alto singing from the doll-like Saiki, dance energy galore, and cute outfits and pigtails all round.

How cross-dressing wrestler Ladybeard was born in Hong Kong

Three years after moving from Hong Kong to Tokyo, Ladybeard (real name Richard Magarey) now has 200,000 Facebook followers and a long list of successes, including two years as the frontman of one of Japan’s biggest kawaii (“cute”) metal groups, Ladybaby. The group’s first music video went viral in 2015, with 20 million hits. Ladybeard has since performed in 15 countries, and returned to Hong Kong for a gig at the start of last year.

Magarey grew up in Adelaide, Australia, as “the fat kid at school”. Looking back, he is grateful to his schoolyard bullies for the career guidance they unwittingly gifted him. As a teenager, he discovered the empowering worlds of heavy metal and martial arts, and the whimsical escapism of cross-dressing. As an adult, he applied dogged self-discipline to those passions and built his dream career.

Magarey moved to Hong Kong in 2006, after completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts and stunt training in Australia. He worked as an actor and stuntman on television shows and martial arts movies. He also took up professional wrestling, appearing in cute outfits and pigtails.

Despite the intense physical work and gruelling hours, Magarey was still searching for more.

“I sat down and said ‘All right, what’s going on here?’” he recalls. “The answer came back: ‘I don’t want to do what I’m doing right now.’ So I asked myself what I wanted to do, and had a profound realisation. I walked out of my room, almost in a trance. My flatmate asked if I was okay and I said, ‘I think I want to be a rock star.’ He said, ‘Do it.’ And I said, ‘I think I will.’”

Meet Ladybeard, the cross-dressing wrestler

Magarey immediately thought that Japan – the world capital of kawaii culture and all things cute and quirky – would be fertile ground for a budding rock star. He moved to Tokyo, and joined the heavy metal scene and pro wrestling circuit. He also posted photos of himself in full Ladybeard regalia on social media, which quickly netted him a large and diverse fan base including lovers of kawaii, wrestling, martial arts, heavy metal and cross dressing.

I failed and failed and failed, but I pushed through, and that built skill and led me to this super-exciting, amazing career
Ladybeard (Richard Magarey)

Despite his versatility and wide range of achievements, Magarey says his only natural talent is a strong inclination to perform. “My career has been the by-product of finding a way to exploit that natural strength while overcoming or working around my natural weaknesses, of which there were many,” he says. “I kind of had no choice but to make a career out of it,” he laughs. “There wasn’t any other option.”

He puts most of his success down to self-discipline. “I really believe that self-discipline is the key to life,” he says. “I failed and failed and failed, but I pushed through, and that built skill and led me to this super-exciting, amazing career. There is massive joy and deep satisfaction in that.”

And now, with the launch of Deadlift Lolita as the next phase of his career, what’s his long-term plan? “World domination, of course,” Magarey says. “What else?”