A few months ago, I was scrolling through YouTube trying to find new artists to pay attention to and found a performance of a drag king named Phantom who dressed up as Edward Scissorhands and captivated an entire club of drag fans. That performance on YouTube was absolutely beautiful and I can only imagine what it would have been like to witness in person. Since then, I've been closely following Phantom, and the love he has for his art most definitely shows. Need an illusion to blow your mind? Call on Phantom.
1. Who is Phantom as an artist?
Phantom is everything and anything I wanted to be as a child.
2. When did you start performing?
January 13th 2008
3. Do you have a favorite look or performance you've done so far?
My favorite character to do is Jack Skellington. I'm a very big Nightmare Before Christmas fan and Tim Burton fan in general.
4. Who is your biggest inspiration?
A Drag Queen by the name of Glen Alen. The first drag competition I witnessed had him in it and I was hooked. He's been an ongoing inspiration to me and many others.
5. Do you have a most embarrassing moment?
The very first competition I was in, I had lost and didn't even place. I remember crying in the club and feeling very embarrassed. That experience made me want to try even harder.
6. Being a Drag King, do you ever feel misunderstood in the drag community?
Misunderstood is bit of an understatement. I walk into a drag room dressed as some creature and not say a word while everybody stares at me and whispers. I always kept quiet and to myself which got me through the experience.
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Seeing real talent go unnoticed because they are a Drag King. I'm trying to change this with every show I do. "life is a drag show"
8. What has been your biggest accomplishment/obstacle?
My biggest accomplishments would be featured alongside Kings such as Landon Cider in a documentary called the "Making Of a King " directed by Nicole Miyahara produced by Nicole Osborn. I was the first king to win at 340 night club in Pomona. I was also the first drag king to win Lip Service at the famous Abbey in Weho. Being able to balance being a drag king and a mother has been accomplishment in itself. I have many obstacles I face everyday. I am deaf in one ear and losing hearing and the other. It makes it hard to perform properly. I am a mother of 2 special needs children .They require my full attention and that is something I take with great pride. In between caring for my kids, I'm sewing, working on show ideas, prepping for other shows ect. Time is precious and I do not like to waste any of it.
9. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about the drag community?
In our community, there are more and more people accepting of the idea of Drag. It's a very exciting time. On the other hand, most people don't know about Drag Kings or the fact we even exist.
10. What is the biggest lesson you've learned during your career?
The biggest lesson I've learned in my drag is to always be prepared. Make sure you research your character properly. Makeup music outfits etc. Always be prepared to change your number to fit the stage. Bring back up numbers. Basically be ready for anything.
11. What is an item you can't live without?
My traveling makeup box. It carries everything important I need for the shows.
12. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a drag king?
Make sure you do your research and ask a lot of questions. Entering into competitions is good practice even if you if you don't win. It takes time to build your persona but someday you will get to the point where you are comfortable with your drag.
13. How long does it take you to get ready for a performance?
Getting ready for a performance is different every time. For a regular guy face it'll take me a good hour...maybe more if I add real hair. For a more crazy character performance like say hell raiser it might take maybe a couple of hours to get into. I've learned to do makeup fast so that I can do my outrageous makeup changes during shows that I'm in. It's all about the shock factor for me.
14. What is something that not many people know about you?
I have attention deficit disorder. Sometimes it's just too hard to stay focused. My anxiety gets the best of me sometimes I had a fear of speaking in public .I had faced this last year by hosting my own show.
15. If you could work with anyone in the future, who would you choose and why?
Glen Alen because he's my inspiration . The whole reason why I decided to do Drag with out him phantom would not exist.
The Drag Enthusiast: