Thursday, December 24, 2015

Xochi Mochi: Intergalactic Clown

Stating clown drag and outer space as her biggest influences, Xochi Mochi is determined to change how the world views drag. Starting out as a club kid, she also experimented with fishy drag and went through different phases to find out who she was as a queen and performer. A one of a kind aesthetic with a twist and a personality that wins over her audience members, she's sure well on her way to a successful career in drag. 

1. Who is Xochi Mochi? 

Where do I even start with this? Right off the bat Xochi Mochi is a killer clown from outer space, just like the movie! But she’s so much more than just that. She embodies different cultural clowns such as the traditional American White Face, French Pierrot, Japanese Harijuku and sexy interpretations of aliens with combinations of each other to embody a certain look or emotion.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

My “drag” started back when I was a wee young gayling many moons ago. At the time I could be labeled as a “Club Kid” because I loved to listen and dance to electronic music, going to the 18+ clubs in outlandish costumes and face paint. Shortly after I experimented with “fishy drag” and looked straight outta Tijuana. Girl, she was your typical Mexican chola turning all the tricks. See, I’ve always been a clown and Xochi has never been an alter ego, but more of an extension of myself. It was never a “why” but more self-expression.

3. Where did you get your drag name?

During my Tijuana phase I wanted the most straight up Mexican name I could think of. Naturally my stoner mind doesn’t work that well, so I went into my straight roommate’s room at the time and asked if he had any sisters and what their names were. He went down the list of many (typical Mexican) and the last was Xochitl and let me tell you... I could hear Mariachi trumpets firing up and the screams of sticky brown children running amuck. It was magic and I knew that was it. Over time I realized how hard it was for most to say it (correctly), dropped the “tl” and this year my dear sister, Dakota D’Vil was the one to dub me “Xochi Mochi” and I’ve been going by it ever since.

4. What inspires you the most?

Outer space genuinely inspires me most. The concept of how infinitely large and small things (in theory) go excites me most. Which segues into how much I love aliens, or the idea of other intelligent life from other planets. Regardless of what I’m going through, in the grand cosmic of things, they really are quite small and petty. So I try to be the best person I can by brushing them off and following what’s most important and exciting to me.

 5. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about doing drag?

My favorite part is when you’re when you’re getting ready makeup, padding, etc and that final moment when I have everything in place and I see Xochi as complete character is my “ah ha” moment and I’ve officially in character.

My least favorite is when queens can’t take a read out of fun and games. I’m notorious for spouting out a couple here and there but I’m always the first one to read myself or play along with the joke. I mean, it’s part of the game! Just have fun and loosen that tuck a little, sheesh

6. If you could work with any drag performer in the future, famous or not so famous, who would you pick and why?

Oh I love this… First who comes to mind is Trixie Mattel cause she’s only clown out there involved more in the joke than the rest of us and contours darker than my eye liner. Bianca Del Rio because slays me beyond death on the mic and Grace Towers because she is the sweetest bearded queen that has a really cool gig going for her.

 7. How has drag changed your life?

Drag has opened so many opportunities, so many friendships and bonds with friends and family. I never thought I would be working with the people I am today nor talking about front lace wigs with my mom!

8. What is your biggest pet peeve? 

Biggest peeve is going on stage or any event without wearing nails or gloves to “hide the boy” or seeing queens do the same. Throw on some huge rings and slap some polish on at the least. I pay attention to the finest details and nothing breaks the illusion more than this!

9. What is your most embarrassing moment during a performance?

I still find my wig flying off the most mortifying! It’s happened 2.5 times and I’ll never let it happen again. It’s best we don’t bring these up… Thanks…

10. What has been the biggest lesson you've learned pertaining to drag so far?

GLUE YOUR WIG DOWN IF YOU WANNA BE SEXY AND WHIP YOUR HAIR AROUND. It’s completely a horrifying comedy because everyone in the audience wants you to succeed and cheering you on while your sisters are waiting to rip you a new one backstage.

11. What would you like to do with your drag career in the future?

TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND BEYOND COLLECTING ALL MY FAVORITE CREEPS ALONG THE WAY! No, but really… Ultimately, I want to change people’s perspective – how they view drag (not everyone is fish or glamour) and out of drag (I’m still a boy, living with HIV, who does not let anything prevent me or anyone bring me down from what I aspire to be). I want to star in a few movies and/or tv-shows and when the time comes, I want to pass along the torch and nourish the new generations of drag.  

12. What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a drag performer so far? 

Sewing is still my biggest challenge. I can do makeup all day every day and learn songs in a few days, but ask me to sew a simple leotard and I’m already ugly crying on the inside. I look at my sister Valerie Von Boom and her partner Fuzz who can whip out some of the most elaborate designs in hours and I’m floored. But they’re pretty patient with me when I’m trying to learn something new! They’ve been great sewing masters.

13. What is the "Xochi shuffle" and how did it come to life?

Oh wow! You’ve really done your homework. The “Xochi Shuffle” came to life as soon as Xochi was reborn this year. I upgraded the height of my heels to meet the minimum height I need Xochi to be. It was like taking off your first pair of floatees in the shallow end of the pool. Instead of dramatically sinking I decided to shuffle my way into the deep end. Now I love to strut around in 6-9” heels like a champ. I’ve always been known to be a size queen in and out of drag 😉

14. Tell us about Cosmic Carnival and how did it begin? What other shows do you host?

Cosmic Carnival embodies the true essence of Circus and Carnival Freak show acts. The first with fun, colorful and energetic numbers. The second with eerie, gender bending, live singing acts with gimmicks that laughing your ass off or shielding your eyes in shock. I’m really proud of my main freaks (Luna Lovecock, Valerie Von Boom and Pinche Queen) because they have really helped me build the aesthetic of Cosmic Carnival. Word travels fast because with the new queens I’ve been booking they F*CKING BRING IT and truly put on a show. I sit in the back watching the show with a huge grin on my face. It really started with me co-hosting Divas of the Valley also at Cfrenz every other Sunday. The bar staff saw I had something extra and offered me my own night.

15. What advice do you have for performers who are just starting drag? 

At the end of the day YOU know EXACTLY what you want to deliver whether it be on stage or your overall look for an event. It wasn’t till the day I stopped asking for others opinions on what I should do and took drag into my own hands and started listening to my gut instinct. It was that day I noticed a huge change within Xochi and owned everything I delivered. I’ve hit a few bumps in the road since then, but it’s all experience and you learn so much that way versus someone telling you what to do. To me that’s all the success you can ever ask.

Photo Credit:

Branden Marcus 
Instagram: @brandenmarcus

Stalk Xochi Mochi: 
Instagram: @xochi_mochi

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pissi Myles Celebrates One-Year Show Anniversary With Special Guest Lady Bunny

            January 9 at L’Etage, Philadelphia 

Philadelphia, PA (December 16, 2015) – It’s been one year since Pissi Myles debuted “What Makes Me Pissi,” a monthly cabaret at L’Etage in Philadelphia. Combining song, dance, comedy, and audience participation, the show is known for its talented, humorous hostess and notable guest performers, and is usually performing to sold out crowds. To celebrate the momentous one-year anniversary, Pissi Myles is gagging to announce her special guest for the January performance, drag superstar, Lady Bunny. Following the show, VIP ticket-holders are invited to attend a meet-and-greet with Lady Bunny and Pissi Myles.

“The drag fans in Philadelphia love PASSIONATELY,” says Pissi Myles, “and it’s rewarding to see familiar faces return each month to my show. I’m honored that Lady Bunny will be lighting up our stage in January. She’s legendary in the drag world and offers true artistry. It will be an amazing show. I hope our guests are ready to be shocked and offended—and not just by the smell of my tights!”

Multi-talented drag artist Lady Bunny is a successful comedian, DJ, actress, singer-songwriter, and most famously the emcee and creator of Wigstock, the day-long festival of drag and music which entertained New Yorkers for over 20 years. Lady Bunny has shared the stage with Joan Rivers, Bea Arthur, Grace Jones, Margaret Cho, and many more. Past “What Makes Me Pissi” guests have included New York’s infamous Bob the Drag Queen, Glam Award winner Marti Gould Cummings, and drag icon Sherry Vine.

Tickets for the one-year anniversary of What Makes Me Pissi with Lady Bunny can be purchased at The show starts at 8pm on January 9 at L’Etage Nightclub in Philadelphia. Doors open at 7pm. A meet and greet will be offered to VIP ticket holders following the show.


Pissi Myles, cycle 4 winner of Philly Drag Wars and Best Drag Hostess at the Beacon Light Awards, is an accomplished comedian and Philadelphia audience favorite. In addition to What Makes Me Pissi, she continues to produce her one “woman” show, Boys Will Be Girls at Albatross Bar in Astoria, NY, and makes guest appearances throughout NYC, Philadelphia, and NJ. For more information, including bookings, images, and video, visit


Lady Bunny is a drag queen, nightclub DJ, promoter, and founder of the annual Wigstock event. Bunny began her career alongside RuPaul, and has appeared in movies such as Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, and Wigstock: The Movie. She’s also appeared on three seasons of RuPaul’s Drag U. She is known for her bawdy mix of potty-mouthed humor, zany, Laugh-In-style joke routines, and x-rated pop parodies. For more information, including bookings, images, and merchandise, visit 

What Makes Me PissiDrag Cabaret with Pissi Myles and special guest Lady Bunny

Saturday, January 9, 8pm (doors open 7pm)
L’Etage Nightclub, 624 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, (215) 592-0656 $25 (general admission); $35 VIP (includes meet and greet)
Tickets online at

The Drag Enthusiast:

Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Candi Kame-Loudly: The True Definition Of A Queen

Starting drag only a little over a year ago, Candi Kame-Loudly has quickly made a name for herself in her community. Being someone who has dealt with other performers being rude in the past, she's been working on making everyone who works with her feel accepted and included. She is a true queen who shows true hospitality regardless of how people have treated her in the past and she goes above and beyond to show love to everyone and help those who need it. One of her biggest aspirations is opening her own drag club someday and would also love to work with Rupaul's Drag Race powerhouse, Latrice Royale.

1. Who is Candi Kame-Loudly?

Candi Kame-Loudly is the other half of my Gemini zodiac. She was locked away for so many years deep in the back of my mind just waiting to come out and play. Candi is a go getter who is hungry for success and recognition. She loves to inspire people to go after their dreams and to be as fabulous as possible on that journey. She is a true underdog who roots for all other underdogs as well. Because she had such a difficult time being accepted by some of the local Queens in New Haven, she is always more than welcoming to the new Queens on the block and will help create opportunities for them to perform when she can. Candi loves diversity in Drag culture which is something she believes in and is what motivates her to constantly push herself with her look and to try new things. All in all....Candi Kame-Loudly is a reminder to me and hopefully other people that, it's never and will never be too late for living your dreams. 

2. Where did you get your drag name?

My drag name, Candi Kame-Loudly, was the result of a phone conversation/video message with my best friend. When I was in the very very early stages of pre-production of Candi Kame-Loudly. I had the 1st wig I purchased on my head and was feeling my fetus queen oats and it just came out " this is your girl, Candi...Candi Kame...Candi Kame-Loudly ". And that's pretty much how she got her name. And I f*cking love it!

3. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I began doing drag on June 14th 2014. I guess I had always wanted to do drag but was terrified of how I would be treated by family and friends. And probably terrified of how hideous (I thought) I would look. I remember spending a lot of time with my friend Jack who had never watched RuPaul's Drag Race before and was like " Oh gurl, we need to fix that!" and we would make fabulous dinners and watch episode after episode together. But the moment I decided to start drag was when I went to see Jiggly Caliente at The Polo Club (now closed) in Hartford, CT. She is so talented and so beautiful. Watching her perform and getting to chat with her for a little while really is what inspired me to do drag. I love her so much for that experience and I think she is fabulous. 

4. Where did you learn to do your makeup?

I learned to do my makeup primarily on my own. I have watched a few tutorials by Vivienne Pinay in the beginning and then just expanded on my own. Ari Ola of Providence, RI had recommended a few products when I knew nothing and Miz Destiny Nations of Hartford , CT also gave me some tips at that time. Thank you ladies! 

5. How has drag changed your life?

Drag has changed my life in all aspects. My confidence has definitely been boosted since Candi Kame-Loudly burst forth from my mangina. I have learned to be more diplomatic when it comes to conflict. Often looking for the resolve rather than placing the blame. And let's face it gurl, there is a lot of conflict in the world of drag. But I digress, I have become more outgoing and compassionate.
Drag has also changed my life in the realm of friendship and love. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram I'm sure you see me spouting my love and respect for one of the most amazing people I have ever met via the drag world, my sister and very dear friend, Mia E Z'Lay. Such an amazing person and Candi Kame-Loudly is as fierce as she is because I have such an amazing role model. And I know this answer is getting long but, this is a very important question and the answer is just as if you are still with me...thank you. 

Drag has also changed my life when I by chance met my Drag Grandmother at a charity event, the amazing Brandy Alexander of the Imperial sovereign court of all Connecticut. This wonderful person has shown me such kindness and has bestowed to me the greatest gift of all. My partner and future husband, Johnie Burke. Being a Drag Queen its hard to find someone who is secure within their own self who is aware enough to separate the two entities ( performer and person ) and love them and accept them both equally. I have been so blessed since starting drag and I hope that I am able to pay it forward for someone else someday. 

6. Who are some big inspirations of yours? 

Some of my biggest inspirations have been and continue to be: Mia E Z'Lay, Brandy Alexander, Ari Ola, Destiny Nations, Biana Del Rio, Coco Peru, Ben Delacreme, Raven, Alyssa Edwards, Dandy Lions, Sassie Saltimboca and waaaaayyyy too many more to name. Anyone who really has put in work to get where they are and yet continue to strive for more without being a total bitch about it. 

7. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about drag? 

My absolute favorite thing about drag is the moment when your face is beat for filth and you look kinda disgusting and then you put that wig on...and then BAM! There she is hunny!!! Eat it!! My least favorite thing about drag is having to shave. Being of the bear community, I have to shave a lot more than most people. F*ck my hairy life!!! 

8. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishment so far has been from in a year being the underestimated booger queen who wasn't treated very nice by my gay "hometown" at pride, to hosting this years New Haven Pride with the legendary, Robin Banks. Actually, I'm proud of everything I have done with Candi Kame-Loudly. Hosting my own drag competition this year, to having my own monthly party, Candiland at Partner's Cafe in New Haven, CT. And of course all of my connections in and out of state. Its really insane and I am so grateful. 

9. Do you have a most embarrassing moment from a performance that you've done in the past?

I have an embarrassing moment from every single time I perform and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. I'm a 30 something year old man in a wig acting up for tips, smiles and applause. But specifically...on opening night of Candiland, 2 minutes into my opening number , my nipples kept creeping out as my top was slipping down. I went with it and just flashed everyone and kept it moving. Which is what you have to do. Not just in drag but in life. Your wig is gonna fall off...your balls are gonna fly out and sometimes your gonna piss yourself. Its the perseverance that is what's important. Ha ha 

10. Do you ever get nervous before getting onstage? If so, how do you calm your nerves?

The only time I am ever nervous when I go on stage is when the audience has NOT paid a cover charge. I feel like if you have a cover charge, it says " I want to be here and I specifically came to see this show ". In my opinion is makes it much easier to connect when you know they are there for you and not just because it's a bar with no cover. I over come those nerves by reminding myself that I always put together a great line up and if people don't like it because they aren't educated on the various styles of drag..too bad...they didn't pay to get in anyway. 

11. What is something you wish to change about the drag community?

One thing I wish I could change about the drag community would be the way we are 9 times out of 10 underpaid and disrespected by the club/bar we work at. We are your guests and should be treated as so. No Queen should ever be told to "get your sh*t and get the f*ck out! ". Especially after we have just spent the last 4 hours mingling, performing, taking pictures, promoting the establishment we are at and so on and so forth. Maybe we should start a drag union. #sallyfieldrealness

12. Out of all the performers you've worked with, who are you closest to? Why do you think you've bonded with them so well?

Out of all of the performers that I have worked with that I feel closest to would of course be, Mia E Z'Lay. I think we have bonded so well because we have the same sense of humor and we both respect one another's take on drag. She is an amazing performer, seamstress and promoter. I admire her for all of her hard work and I appreciate her hunger for (dick) success. I love you girl!!! 

Having said that, I wouldn't feel right not mentioning my New Haven family, Karelys Blue Rose, Tiana Max, Sylvia Heart and Casey Fitzpatrick. Great people and fabulous performers as well. 

13. If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you want to perform and why?

It's not so much a specific location, but, I would love to own my own exclusive drag club someday. A club with tables and chairs, a fabulous stage with a theater crew and a gorgeous dressing room where everything a queen needs to feel comfortable would be right there. Since I started drag that has been one of my goals to accomplish. That sh*t would be sickening as f*ck!!! Yaaaaaazzzzz 

14. Which performer do you wish to work with in the future and why did you pick them?

I would really love to work with Latrice Royale. I have heard nothing but amazing things about her and from what I see on television and on the internet just validates all of her praise. I am looking forward to meeting her as soon as possible. Hey girl! 

15. What is something not many people know about you? 

Something that people may not know about me is that I'm convinced I'm not walking the correct way in heels. Seriously, how the hell do these dudes make it look so easy. I'm over here all like...careful..careful..don't are too old to break anything. 

Photo Credit: 

Follow Candi Kame-Loudly:
Instagram: @candi_kame_loudly 

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mia E Z'Lay: Life of the Party

With a perfect balance of beauty, camp, and offensive humor, Mia E Z'Lay is literally the life of the party. She spends hours preparing for performances and sewing together her own outfits and has spent a few years working on perfecting her craft. Her brightly colored hair, a one of a kind paint, curves for the gawds, and quick wit is sure to win the hearts of several audience members who witness her performances onstage.

1. Who is Mia E Z'Lay?

Mia is a character that is just an extension of who I am. She is funny, weird, punk, political, and a bit crazy. I want Mia to be funny and colorful, while at the same time showing a punk and political statement. I love the play on gender and creating a character who I can push social boundaries with.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I started preparing to do drag in Fall of 2012. Making hip pads, practicing makeup, etc. I came out as Mia and started drag officially in January 2013.

I’m actually pretty reserved and get nervous very easily beforehand. I wanted to try out drag and I’m also that idiot who believes in superstitions and such. So I told myself if the Mayans were wrong and the world didn’t end 12/21/12 I would become a drag queen.

3. How did you come up with your drag name? 

The first name Mia is based off a character from a Game Boy Advance game called "Golden Sun". I wanted a pun and finally somehow decided on being called Mia Elizabeth Z’Lay, but if you have $20 you can call me Mia E Z’Lay for short. Haha jokes!

4. What is something not many people know about you?
-I’m a power top.

-I have around 40-50 piercings

-I’ve had unnaturally colored hair for about 10 years

One of those is a lie ;)

5. What is the most misunderstood thing about being a drag performer in your opinion?

My humor sometimes. I have very demotivational and offensive humor and sometimes it can be taken wrong. It’s hard for me to fathom the idea. I’m a gay man dressed in female garbs with crazy makeup and hair and I am a loving person. Mia makes offensive jokes towards everyone, similar to Lisa Lampanelli. The jokes are meant to make people laugh, but also think. If we do not look back on our history, we are doomed to repeat it. I think it’s important to talk about social injustices and keep them in our thoughts, even if it’s through a pun.

6. What sort of struggles have you faced being a drag performer?

Issues with my TBI and depression. Drag is a lot of work if you want to do it constantly. I get overworked and overstressed easily, so I try to prioritize and organize as much as I can in order to do shows. Overall, with all the struggles and issues, drag has been wonderful and I have had a lot of positivity come out of it. My grandmother, sister, and my father all come to my shows and it has brought me closer to them.

7. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Divine is a big inspiration. Please refer to my eyebrows! Jessicka Fodera from Jack Off Jill has been a huge inspiration for me.

8. How long does it usually take you to make your own outfits?

O jeez. It depends. I can make a pin up dress or bodysuit in an hour or two. If it’s something I haven’t done or am experimenting with, it can get crazy. I really love sewing so I just kind of dive in and go until I’m done or exhausted.

9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to continue to be doing Drag. I also want to expand my abilities in fashion and costuming. So hopefully somewhere filled with makeup and fabric!

10. What is something you wish to change about the drag community and why?

I think that people should do what they can to explore different styles and also know as much as they can. Always growing and improving. Know where drag started, what it means to be a drag family, and constantly evolve. I think it’s important to know how and why you are able to dress up, when some are unable to express themselves.

11. What is your favorite thing about being a drag performer?

The people I meet who understand my weird ways or have taken something I have said or done to help themselves. I have had issues in the past with depression and came out about my suicidal thoughts recently. I got a lot of messages of thanks or people who wanted to talk and share their own experiences. It means so much to me that I was able to help in some way. It’s hard with depression because even in a room full of people who love you, sometimes you feel alone. In the end I want people who feel the same to know that it can and will get better.

12. How long does it take you to get ready for a typical performance?

I can do my makeup in about 45 minutes to an hour or so, normally before a show. I usually pack for the show the day before, as to not forget things. If I pack before doing makeup I usually forget corsets and important things.

13. What is your favorite number you've ever done? Any specific reason?

My favorite numbers are either my Workout Mix or doing Don’t Cha. Workout is a number where I tell a story of being overweight and just wanting to fit in, but dealing with struggles of constant exercise and diet to no avail and in the end I take my shirt off to reveal my fat gut and finish the song going nuts and accepting my weight and body for who I am. Don’t Cha is also really fun because I act a hot mess while in very revealing clothing. It’s a funny idea to think that don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me when I’m a trainwreck, but at the same time the cheers and applause are for me for me and not for being the ideal body or weight.

14. You're stranded on a completely deserted island, what 3 things would you need to have with you if you could choose?

The Sims 3 with all the trimmings, Dark Chocolate, and my Jew gold.

15. What is the best advice you could give someone just starting as a drag performer?

Don’t stick to one style. Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t settle for good or pretty. Always believe in yourself and strive to improve and move forward constantly. Also, buy one of my shirts at

It won’t help with drag, but I love shameless promotion!

Follow Mia:
Instagram: @miaezlay

Photo Credits- 

PHolton Photography:

Midnight Skye Creations:

Kate Brodrick Photography:

The Drag Enthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rhiannon Cortez: #DragIsPunk

#DragIsPunk may just look like a hashtag to some, but to Rhiannon Cortez, it's a lifestyle. To Rhiannon, drag is all about art and pushing boundaries. Her aesthetic mainly revolves around performance and losing herself onstage. Starting her journey at an early age, she is not new to the definition of beauty and her passion for performance and art shines through. 

1. Who is Rhiannon Cortez? 

An artist first and foremost; a punk, glamorous gender rebel pushing boundaries; a free-spirited complete mess with a love for philosophy, cosmetology, eastern spirituality, and performance.

Every time I step on stage at Sway, the Little Rock, Ark. nightclub where I’m a resident artist, I’m revealing pieces of my two-spirited self that I once hid in shame. Rhiannon was born from the rubble of my devastating life before drag, when I had given up completely. Art and drag saved my life. I’m a dark soul with a colorful mind that’s obsessed with creating beauty and art with a statement.

2. When and why did you begin performing as a drag queen?

My first performance — which was in front of only about four people, including my drag father who tipped the only dollar I made — was on June 27, 2013, close to the day the drag community lost a legend, Whitney Paige (RIP).

I had been unknowingly doing closet drag since before I can remember. I won a baby pageant with my late mother at the age of one, and before long I was wearing dresses, playing the wife, obsessing over barbies, and braiding my stepmother’s hair. Then it was lip-syncing Alanis Morissette songs with t-shirts on my head and sketching gowns. 

I was born to do drag. Without it, I'm empty. I have no choice but to be an entertainer. And once I began cosmetology school and learned how to create fake beauty, I turned my new evil powers upon myself to create the monster you see today. 

3. Where did you acquire your drag name?

Soon after attempting suicide when I was 18, I heard the song “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, and it spoke to me spiritually. I began studying Rhiannon the welch goddess, mistress of the underworld. As the goddess of the moon and love, her power was to inspire artists through dreams. Her shroud of mystery led to her wrongful persecution, yet she remained humble and later found redemption through a pardon for her accusations. Her story gave me a deeper connection to the name, as I have always been an outcast and wish to remain one, even in drag. Since then, I’ve gone by Rhiannon both on- and off-stage.

4. What makes you unique? 

My life experiences as a faggot in the Bible Belt shaped my perspective and aesthetic and made me into the rebellious artist I am today. I was always the center of unwanted controversy because of my journey to find my identity. My mere existence pushed buttons daily. 

I think that experience is what makes me unique, because now, as an adult, I can push buttons and boundaries with skill. To me, that’s what drag is about. Drag is punk. Add beauty, and the ideas I’m communicating — whether they are about skewing gender lines or breaking the standard rules of drag — become more accessible. I’m lucky enough to perform at a venue that is also unique and that encourages my behavior. 

5. Where did you learn how to do your makeup?

Before I ever considered gender identity, maybe around age 5, I would braid my stepmother’s hair and play with makeup and barbies. My obsession with femininity and glamour started young, and by 16, I was in cosmetology school. Since 2008, I’ve been a licensed cosmetologist, so I’ve had plenty of time to work on makeup, hair design, and many other aspects that help me greatly in the art of drag. Only upon starting drag, though, did I truly learn what it meant to beat and snatch a mug. To this day, I have yet to be painted by someone else. 

6. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about drag?

I love bad, trashy, humorous drag, whether on purpose or otherwise. Drag is punk, and it's always fun to let loose, and usually much more entertaining than the same shit we see every week. 

Least favorite? My toes after wearing many pairs of tights and tall heels all night. They feel like they’re retracting back inside of my body and sitting on my balls. 

7. How has drag changed your life? 

Well, I have one now. Before, I didn’t. 

Drag turned my life around and gave me so much to live for when it felt like no one believed in me. Now I realize that I was selling myself short instead of going for something greater. Drag helped me overcome social anxiety and low self-confidence that came from severe bullying in a redneck conservative high school governed by an ex-preacher principal who liked to spank me when I dressed up.

Drag has given me a venue to express my creativity, to grow as an artist and human, and to belong in a beautiful, revolutionary community of artists.

8. What inspires you the most? 

Sway’s #Glitterrock community, an island of misfit toys, a community of artists and lovers of this art form. I’m able to be limitless with my art because of their understanding as fellow artists and their support of my shows. Without their help and inspiration, I wouldn’t be able to present my shows at such a high level. And without this community, none of it means anything but a four-minute dance number. So I'm blessed and grateful to have Sway as a family and venue to grow with. I’m the artist I am because I’m here.

9. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? 

GagaBall, a live concert-style experience focused on Lady Gaga’s four major albums. It was comprised of multiple 20-minute mashup performances that included group dance numbers and complex light sequences. It was the first production of its kind at Sway, a huge success, and the beginning of a new wave of innovative productions that truly are reinventing gay nightlife in the South. I directed; my Gaga sister, Queen Anthony James Gerard, acted as producer; and our family, the legendary children of #Glitterrock, made up the cast and crew. 

Also playing Magenta in Richard O’Brien’s ‘The Rocky Horror Show,’ Sway’s first piece of musical theater. Singing live in front of sellout crowds was new for me and challenged me as an artist. I also did the opening games, monologue, and Science Fiction lip sync. It was all terrifying and one of the most amazing experiences I have ever been a part of.

But it was meeting Sharon Needles via Sway at Little Rock Pride 2014 that started it all and led to some key accomplishments early on. The dark queen blessed me as a vision in black, recommended me, and called me a freak. After that, I hosted Sway’s New Year’s Eve show. Soon began monthly installments of my very own show exclusively at Sway, #RhiannonPresents.

10. What is the most misunderstood thing about drag? 

That drag is always serious, and just about glamour and beauty. Being beautiful is actually easy. Drag is punk. Be beautiful, sure, but be MORE. Say something, God damn it! Art should provoke and make you think.

Also that drag queens are bottoms. Not always true. Okrt?

11. What is the biggest lesson you've learned as a drag performer? 

Never stop growing. Imagine stripping it all off: the spotlight, the pads, wigs, lashes, costumes, mixes, heels, and makeup and tell me, is what you are doing on that stage entertaining, or nawl?

I’ve also learned not to set a car on fire in a rougher part of Little Rock while wearing a corseted drag gown and an afro at 3 a.m. alone on the side of the road.

12. What is your biggest dream that you wish to accomplish? 

Just to work at a nightclub where I have my own show and can do whatever the fuck I want, and to have a community’s support, help and love. And I already have that thanks to Sway and my #Glitterrock family!

Being on RuPaul’s Drag Race wouldn't be bad. Next year, I hope to be prepared to audition for the first time with the help of my talented family.

And to write my unauthorized autobiography coffee table pop-up book, "Memoirs of a $5 Whore: A Southern Faggot’s Rise to the Bottom.” It’s a working title.

13. What is an obstacle you've had to face as a performer? 

My self doubt. It used to prevent me from believing I was worthy of the spotlight. I once felt I had nothing to offer on stage because my expectations for myself were high, and I thought I would never be good enough for myself.

Ironically, I live in an area that worships pageant drag, as this is where it all started. It was hard to break through in that environment, but I have became the one who breaks the rules and standards of those systems and plays outside the box. Not conforming in any way to those systems is important to me, because doing so hinders the creative process. Drag should be boundless, fearless, and unfettered by any standard. 

 Also, tucking my large penis. #FatPussy 

14. What is something not many people know about you?

I was born on a bayou in the conservative South on a cotton field. I drove a combine and tractor before a vehicle in my hometown of 400 people, where I graduated from high school with a class of 20.

I identify as trans but align more closely with two-spirit or gender X. I'm neither and both.

I have severe social anxiety and a fear of failure or disappointing myself. 

I'm 25 and have yet to have a boyfriend in person, bottomed, or even go on a date.
I am Buddhist/Taoist and fascinated with philosophy, social justice, logic and rhetoric. 

I played clarinet for 8 years and was drum major. 

I am obsessed with Lady Gaga. Religiously.

15. What should people expect when they see you perform onstage? 

Passion, glamour, vulgarity, and a shit ton of eyeliner.

Stalk Rhiannon Cortez:
Instagram: @rhiannoncortez 

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pinche: Killing Gender Roles

There are many drag performers who absolutely live for challenging gender roles. Many of these performers are found to be controversial because they aren't everyone's cup of tea and some people are just way too traditional. Pinche just recently began to perform and one of her main goals is to make people question their sexuality because her look has the best of both worlds. She has a fishy mug beat for the gods, a hairy chest, and curvy silhouette to die for! Pinche is a performer that anyone will easily fall in love with and even though she's new to being a drag performer, she definitely has something special and she deserves the chance to tell her story. 

1. Who is Pinche?

Well, PINCHE is not one. She is many. I tend to model my life and work as a collage of significant moments or people and I like to think of PINCHE as the same. I think her roots really grabbed on tight and started growing when I was 20 years old. I have always seen women as my heroes. In times when I needed to be strong my inner thoughts were indeed that of a woman. Or I guess what I perceived to be a woman. 

2. When and why did you begin doing drag? 

So when I was 20 I was Gogo dancing at some bars in LA. I fucking loved the confidence it brought me because I am a bigger guy but I also appreciated the odd connections I would have with people. But it was all over shadowed by the others saying that my hair was too long or I was too queeny or that I had to butch it up because I look like a power bottom. I was actually told these things. But it was that voice in the back of my head that told me to keep going. I eventually quit but that's where PINCHE is from. That was her birth. If I was too fucking queeny, oh bitch I was gonna show you how much of a queen I really am.

3. How did you get your drag name?

There is a Taco shop above my work named "Pinche's Tacos" and I have gone there so much that I get free food and beers during my lunch break. I love that place so much! One day I was like THAT WOULD TOTALLY BE MY DRAG NAME and that has been in my back pocket since like 2013. Mind you I started at the beginning of 2015! I actually was just talking to the girls that work there last week and told them that I do drag and what my name was and that I got it from them. They thought it was the coolest fucking thing ever. Which is pretty dope! Their burritos are the shit and I would fuck someone up for their carne Assad fries.

4. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about drag? 

Hhhhhhmmmmm what is my favorite thing about drag? I would have to say constantly challenging myself to do something new or to step my pussy up. I also I think it's important to make a statement with drag because it used to be this punk ass thing that was like fuck yeah I'm gonna dress Iike a woman, battle with your gender roles and force someone to think. So I think that's what my favorite thing about drag is, but it can ask be hard to find now.

Which would bring me to my least favorite. How washed out and mainstream SOME drag has become. I understand that not everyone likes the shocking, dark or  crazy painted Queens. Which is dope, trust me bitch I live for a fishy Queen putting on shows and REALLY serving it to the crowd. Being a dope ass entertainer is everything, but what I don't Iike is that with some queens rest on being feminine, skinny, and a death drop. Bitch paint that mug, slap on some fucking pads and think about your performance.

Everything else is just part of the culture. It's what made me fall in love with it. The sass and the shade but also the family vibes

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Pretty sorority girls and dick pig leather daddies. I'm all about contrasting opposites because if you get a close enough look you realize that they are almost the same thing. 

6. Name a drag performer that you look up to. Why do you look up to them?

With out a doubt, Judas Joe Manson. That crazy bitch was the first one to ever put make up on me and push me to finally start doing drag. I wanted to start for years and some queens I knew would not want to help. But I remember when I was working on promo video for judas' show, she just looked at me and asked "when are you gonna join us, when are you going to start doing drag?" That's my hero, that is the queen I look up to and I am so humbled and thankful to even consider such a creative maniac one of my closest friends. I love my Judy, I owe her so much and promise to make her proud! #LivinLaVidaJudy! She could literally kick back some Jameson and rip her wig around in the air and the crowd lives for her. That's a true entertainer.

7. What is something you wanna change about the drag community? 

I think as a drag queen...We have to stand for something. We have to have opinions about the world we live in and speak on them. We have so many opportunities to stand up and say something. It's not all about flipping the cute wig you just got from Downtown and thinking your fierce. So what I try to do is influence change. Change within not only the drag community, but the gay community as well. My drag is a commentary on how I deal with gender roles and I think it strikes a nerve with people. They see a beat mug and are stunned and then they see a big ol hairy man chest under it. Some are disturbed but most are turned on. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

It's all about your point of view and how I can influence others. I'm about self love, acceptance, emotional intelligence and everything it means to be a human at this point in the world. So that's what I would want to change. Because a lot of these queens I'm seeing aren't giving the good fight like our brothers and sisters in the past have.

Oh and I would also change the fact that it's so fucking hard to find God damn quality heels in a size 13. I'm tired of using anal lube to slide my feet in a size 10.

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

I've always wanted to go to New York City. Luckily I've already been so if I had to choose a new place it would probably be like the UK it maybe even Japan.

9. What is something that makes you unique compared to other performers? 

Well the obvious thing that sets me apart is me not shaving my body. I love my body hair and the daddies love it too. It's my favorite thing about me in and out of drag. It makes me feel sexy. Which is funny because in high school I was so insecure about it. Now it's like my biggest asset. But with all the chest hair I still make it a point to be Drag in the way of being womanly. I pad I cinch, I shave my face, I wear wigs, huge fucking heels, and if it's a paid gig or there is gonna be pictures taken I will even slap on some nails. I'm not like this manly dude slapping on a bra and a wig and exaggerating the feminine. I take it seriously. My end goal is for you to be turned on by me and question your sexuality. Is it sexy because I'm pretty and serving body or is it because I'm a big dicked hairy bear.

10. If you could pick one drag performer to work with in the future, who would you pick and why? 

Well Judas was someone I always wanted to work with and I'm grateful I have on many occasions. But if I had to pick someone I don't know?? Hhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm from drag race fame it would probably have to be either Sharon Needles or Violet Chachki. Sharon because she has that in your face attitude and is just this stone cold ass icon in our community. I also want her to spit in my face at my funeral as they lower the casket. I also choose Violet because her aesthetic is so detailed and everything is gorgeous. She blurs the gender lines when it comes to sexy. And that's what I live for. She has this confidence that can't be knocked because she knows what she is doing. That's what I want.

But if I chose a performer from outside of drag race? The one and only Grace Towers. I've been a fan for years and have been lucky enough to meet her multiple times. Such a sweet and amazing soul. I remember when I was 19-20 I was sneaking into bars with a Grindr hook up in San Francisco. We went into The Stud and there was this huge portrait of her and, bitch, I gagged. It was such a fun night. Even the walk of shame at 6am in the pouring rain was poetic.

11. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? 

Cosmic Carnival. My sister Xochi Mochi is such a fucking creep and I am so proud and thankful for having a hand with making this show happen. Cosmic Carnival is a drag show that lures you in with sweet cotton candy and top 40 numbers, and then spits blood in your face with the freak show second half of the show. We do real cute numbers to begin with and then the second half is more performance art. I made all the video visuals we used for advertising, I get to perform and co host it with her. It's all just so much fucking fun. I literally just got naked on stage in my last performance to Mariah Carey. The crowd lives! 

I am so thankful for and also proud of Xochi. She works hard and is really talented. She has also helped me improve my crooked eyebrows!

But don't tell her I said anything nice, if she asks I think she is a huge cunt! ;) 

12. What is your opinion on bio queens and drag kings?

LOOOOOOVE THEM. My friend Notorious Ali Doom is like the ultimate bio Queen to me. She serves body, sex, glamour, and a whole lot of ass. When it comes to Drag Kings, hands down no one beats Landon Cider. Every drag king needs to look at Landon and realize they need to step their dick game. I've seen some kings that slap in a suit and smear eyeshadow for a beard and I'm like meh. But then you see Landon and you are instantly living. He has characters and concepts and costumes for fucking days! If they were to cast a King on drag race I know for a fact they would call Landon. Pure talent

13. What is the biggest struggle you've faced as a drag performer so far?

The biggest struggle I face as a drag performer is constantly running out of fucking duct tape for my waist!!! I'm a thick bitch and am almost always giving some kind of nudity and can't always user a clincher so I need duct tape. 

14. How long does it typically take for you to get ready for a performance?

If I'm in a hurry can do a mug in an hour and a half. Then 15 minutes to get dressed. If I'm relaxed and take my time I will usually take 2 hours maybe a little more. 

15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Xochi Mochi, Judas Joe Manson, Dakota D'Vil

Oh dear fucking God.

I can't with this one! I would Kai Kai with Judas because that bitch is crazy and I'm sure gives good head. But I will double check with her boyfriend on that one.

I would marry Xochi because we would sleep in separate beds and never touch and that's what Christian family values are all about plus I loved "I Love Lucy" when I was younger.

Then I would Kill Dakota but only because I'm sure she is into necromancy and that would be a dope ass performance at Whore Haus. Like that one time she did the leather face look! I think the concept was to be like leather faces daughter? It fucking slayed. I'm still in love with that look. And her Spread in QUEEN magazine just shit on everyone. The blood, the horror, the sex. Plus if she's dead I can snatch her clothes and pretend I'm not busting the seems as I wear them.

Photo Credit:
All photos used were captured by Branden Marcus
Instagram: @brandenmarcus

Follow Pinche:
Instagram: @pinchequeen

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast