Ironica Leigh is a performer from Houston, Texas who didn't want to do drag at first. She openly admits she's a Willam Belli knock off and combines a sassy personality with charismatic performances.
1. Who is Ironica Leigh?
A Willam knock-off. A cheap imitation and combination of classic characters including: Madeline Ashton from Death Becomes Her, Cher from Clueless, Patsy Stone from Ab Fab, Jinkx Monsoon, The Van Come Lady, and anyone else I can steal a joke from.
2. When and why did you start doing drag?
Well back in late 2011, I knew and loved quite a few local drag queens and worked at a bar; I was then roped into an "employee turnabout" show to do drag for charity, so I came up with the name, borrowed a bunch of shit, and bought my first pair of heels. I'd never wanted to deal with wigs, nails, shoes, etc. so I told myself it would be a one-time thing only! The first number I performed was Paula Abdul's "Straight Up", by which time I was drunk enough for the performance to be more appropriate of Paula now. My second number was Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" which I performed in a wedding dress and smeared lipstick. I ended up making so much money for charity that I decided it was something I could get into on a regular basis. 3 years later and HERE I AM!
3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
ME! I borrow liberally from all of the talent I'm blessed to witness, but the sole inspiration is myself, my ability to take something: an idea, an outfit, a joke, and make it fit me so perfectly that the audience loves it.
4. What is your biggest accomplishment?
COMEDY, in general! Anytime I can make someone laugh, it's the best feeling in the world. Sure, the money is nice and the praise, the photos people want is a all great, but nothing makes me feel better than when people are rolling from something I'm able to do on stage.
5. What is your coming out story?
Me telling everyone I'm gay and them pretty much being like "Well duh!" I was fairly effeminate that it wasn't really a shock, so much as a "hey, I'm just making an official statement." I was blessed with a supportive family and friends who would never think twice.
6. Do you have a most embarrassing moment?
I suppose telling an audience that they're deader than Robin Williams only two days after he died and getting boo'd counts. But I live to embarrass myself constantly on stage. Sometimes the humor doesn't translate and the embarrassment from people NOT laughing can be terrible. Fortunately, if anything goes wrong, most people think it's part of my act and I just play it off. "Oh, I spent half my performance with my wig hanging off the side of my head? I meant to do that!" "2 of my press-on nails popped off? It was an artistic choice."
7. What is your favorite drag item that you own?
I have a black dress, shredded, covered in pink spray, and I perform Pink's "Try" in it. It's very sentimental to me because I am not a "dancing queen", but I learned the ever-loving shit out of that choreography and it's been an incredible winner with audiences, I think the dress is an intricate part of the performance and if I had to burn all of my drag except for one thing, I would keep that dress.
8. What is your favorite song to perform to?
I mixed Deven Green's "Welcome to My Home" parody with "Malambo no. 1" by Yma Sumac. That mix defines what I love to do on stage to a T.
9. How long does it take you to transform into Ironica?
When I first started, it took me anywhere from 2-4 hours and I looked terrible. Then I got to 2-4 hours and looking decent. If I spend 2-4 hours now, I think I look pretty good, but I usually settle for 1-2 hours and looking decent. The make-up has always been my least favorite part and if I could pay someone else to paint me every night, I'd be in heaven. I'm more of a personality than a work of art.
10. If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be and why?
Right now? Suicide. I recently lost a close friend who offed herself with very little explanation and it's infuriating to think there was no way to stop her because there was no warning.
Ask me again in a week though and I'll probably want to rid the world of German Shepherds cause my ex was into bestiality.
11. What is something you really want people to remember about you?
Besides my fascinating ability to make people laugh, I want people to always remember that I was better than Chloe Knox.
12. Do you have a favorite makeup artist?
No. And I respect the people who spend a lot of time perfecting it as an art, but I hate make-up. I hate the process of putting on make-up, I hate that it's so expensive, I hate the level of make-up is often debatable and causes pompous people to criticize each other in the worst ways about the way they do it. I want to get my own make-up level to where *I* think it's good and that'll be good enough for me. Because if I start judging my make-up based on what other people think, there will ALWAYS be people who hate it and think it's not good enough. And I would fuck their boyfriends for revenge.
13. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to freeze time. I mean, I could rob banks, punch people who deserve it, and probably make orgasms last forever.
14. If you could work with anyone in the future, who would it be and why?
I will work with ANY film or TV producer who can give me a hit film/TV show. PERIOD.
Collaborative-wise? That's tough. You never know who you're going to mesh with, but I imagine any comedy queen from RuPaul would do (and I mean the actually funny ones, not the ones who think they're funny and actually suck, like Kelly Mantle or whatever her name is.)
15. Do you plan on uploading more videos to your YouTube channel in the future?
ABSOLUTELY! With Chloe moving to LA early next year, I'm planning to premiere a new YouTube series called "Drag Police." In light of Joan Rivers' passing, I would love to do something as a tribute where I pretty much make fun of every queen I can.
The Drag Enthusiast: