Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sindy Vicious: Spark Waiting to Catch Fire

Sindy Vicious is a 17 year old performer from Illinois. The one thing that is stand out about her is she may be a young queen but her age doesn't stop her from slaying the stage with as much charisma and passion as someone who is deeply in love with what they do. She holds a spark that is just waiting to catch on fire. 

1. Who is Sindy Vicious?

Sindy is basically my other half. She is the girl ditching class to smoke a cigarette behind the school. But at the same time she has this charm to her. She is the type of girl who can look posh and elegant and the next day will go out in all leather and messy hair. Sindy is definitely a sweet heart gone wrong. She's precious and vicious. I have different taste so I wanted Sindy to be diverse with her image. 

2. When and why did you start doing drag? 

I started drag 3 years ago, but I started performing last year. I do it because it gives me such a rush. I love getting dressed up and performing for a crowd. It makes me feel so good. 

3. Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my mom and my grandmas. They are all very storing women and that's why I look up to them. Another huge inspiration is Pete Burns. I take a lot of inspiration from his looks, fashion, and attitude. 

4. If you could work with anyone in the future, who would it be and why?

Im did a show with Bianca in front of like 2,000 people and it was insane! And I'd love to work with any drag race queen. But I would love to work with any of the queens from London. My mom is from the UK and I have always loved the culture that comes with it. Drag in the UK is so diverse and they have a humor that's very similar to mine. 

5. What does drag mean to you?

Drag means everything to me. It's fun and exciting. Its one thing that I see myself doing more of in the future. It completes me.

6. Where do you want to go with your drag career?

I would love to be on Drag Race, cliche but it be a great opportunity. In the near future I want to be performing more. I would also like to take the drag shows I produce to the city of Chicago.

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

I'm still learning if anything. I kinda just taught myself how to do it. 

8. Where did you get your drag name?

My name comes from Syd Vicious of the Sex Pistols. I wanted a name that represents me. I love sin and I'm a vicious bitch when I need to be. 

9. What is your guilty pleasure?
 My guilty pleasure has to be enjoying pissing people off. 

10. What is something no one knows about you? 

I'm secretly in love with my lesbian friend. No I'm kidding something people don't know about me is that despite my character being a tad bit slutty but I'm not. Another thing is out of drag I'm such a "dude". 

11. What is something unique about yourself that separates you from other performers?

I think my work ethic and performance is something that separates me. I manage to do good in school while producing shows and getting everything together with the free time I rarely have. Performance to me is more then just a lip sync it's a story. I try to convey the idea of songs i do in the performance using props, people, or projectors. I give my all for a performance.

12. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go? Any specific reason? 

I would love to go to England. I have been there before but I love it so much! 

13. What do you do in your free time?

I don't have any but when I do I just create some sort of art. 

14. What is your favorite song to perform to?

Anything by Britney Spears! 

15. Why should people pay attention to you?

People should pay attention to me because Sindy is going to go far. She's likable, she's fierce, and she's vicious. 

Follow Sindy Vicious:
Twitter: @shamangoad
Instagram: @sindy_vicious

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Diana Dzhaketov: Deadly Alluring

Diana Dzhaketov is definitely more than just a pretty face. She's pretty, she works hard, and loves to be silly. Sometimes queens do all of these things but forget to be approachable. People sometimes get caught up in the catty attitude of the drag community, but Diana is proving to be the opposite, which is very refreshing to see. 

1. Who is Diana Dzhaketov?

Diana Dzhaketov is the Bond Girl of Drag! Think Dynasty’s Dominique Devereaux meets Veronica Lake. Shirley Bassey meets Karen Walker. Vanessa Williams meets Jackée Henry. She’s bold, brave,
and a little unnerving. I've been told when you first meet her that you’re not sure if you want to kill, fuck, or marry her because she’s so deadly alluring.

2. Where did you get your drag name?

I’m really obsessed with this speakeasy in Los Angeles called “Varnish”. Every Sunday they have a burlesque singer named Naughty Niki who sings risqué songs from the 20s, 30s, 40s. Well, one her original songs is entitled “Take Your Jacket Off” –a play on words for “Jack It Off”. I fell in love with the phrase and knew I wanted to incorporate it in my drag name somehow, but I didn’t want it to be “Jack It Off” outright. So a friend of mine was like how about the Russian spelling “Dzhaketov” and boom!  I chose Diana because it’s a play on  “Dyin’ to” and because I liked the dichotomy of “Dirty Diana” and “Princess Di”

3. Do you have a drag family?

I do! My drag mother is Swedish queen Elecktra Moulin of Cabaret Moulin. She and her husband were on their honeymoon here in Los Angeles where we met at Mickys. I had just gotten back from my European honeymoon and so we instantly bonded. And the Queen of Stupid, Misty Violet is my drag auntie.

4. When and why did you start doing drag?

I started drag 10 months ago. A college friend had mentioned that he had always wanted to do drag with me and I was like “hmmm, maybe I’ll give it ago”…next thing I know, I’m a full-fledged drag

5. What has been your biggest accomplishment/ obstacle?

I think the biggest accomplishment any drag queen has is getting over your booger phase and I think that’s also the biggest obstacle. First you have to hone your makeup skills and then you have to find your face.

6. What is something that not many people know about you?

I have an insatiable love for cheese. I sometimes sit and contemplate if a devastating cataclysmic event occurs and I can no longer have cheese, would I want to live? I think the answer is no.

7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I think at that point my husband and I will have little spawns running around getting in my makeup and wigs.

8. Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has always been myself. I was raised by my maternal grandma, who has been a big influence on me, and she taught me that I should always aim to be the best person I can be outside of others’ opinion; consequently, I’ve always just relied on my belief in myself. You’d be amazed how inspiring your own life story can be.

9. What is your favorite/least favorite thing about drag?

Favorite part about doing drag has to be meeting people who I would have never had the opportunity to meet had I not started doing drag and the conversations about the world/life I get to have with these people. Least favorite part is washing my makeup off at the end of the night and cleaning my brushes. Ba humbug, there really needs to be some instant technology developed for
these two activities.

10. If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be and why?

Facebook Event Invites. I don’t think this needs an explanation. Talk about vexing.

11. What does drag mean to you?

To me drag is an art form, no, the ultimate art form. It’s a way to tap into yourself and broadcast the colors of your soul. Personally, drag is a vacation from the mundane activities of day to day life.

12. What is your opinion on Drag Kings and Faux/Bio queens?

I love all drag artists! I think drag should be open to any and all souls who are brave enough to step outside showcasing all the hard work they’ve put into their art. In my mind there are no rules and limitations to who can do drag and there should never be, because I said earlier: Drag is an art form and there’s no limit on who can be an artist.

13. What's the best advice you could give to other drag performers?

Be yourself.  There’s no “For Dummies: How To Be A Drag Queen” so write your own path. There’s nothing worse than seeing a queen try to be what she thinks everyone wants her to be. Be you and
be unapologetic about it.

14. Favorite thing to do in your free time?

I love tennis. I love playing tennis. I love watching tennis. I love reading about tennis results. If I had the free time to play tennis every day, I would in a heartbeat.

15. Favorite Drag Queen of all time and why?

My favorite drag queen in the world has to be Mayhem Miller. She’s like Della Reese in Touched by an Angel; Sweet, kind, bold, one hell of a performer, and just a great role model for all aspiring
queens. I hope I can someday be as great of a human being as she is.

Photography by Kelly Balch

Follow Diana:
Twitter: @dianadzhaketov
Instagram: @dianadzhaketov

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

Friday, February 6, 2015

Meet My Drag Mother: ARABIA FELIX

The past couple of years have been very hectic for me. I'm definitely not the most perfect person in the world. I put up this tough barrier but I can actually be very sensitive. Two years ago, I cared way too much about what people thought of me and would cry myself to sleep because I felt there was no more hope. But then I got into drag, and everything seemed to make sense.

My love for drag started out slow. I was always in love with the idea of makeup and transformation but I was never exposed to drag or what it was until I started watching a YouTube channel called "Perfect Androgyny" that was put together by my favorite makeup artist, Joseph Harwood. PA was a place that I found helpful to me because everyday there would be a new video...whether it was a vlog or a rant or a challenge...or just a topic that each cast member talked about...I felt that it was a place for me to go to find people like myself. What I loved about it was the cast actually interacted with their viewers and we all got to know each person individually for not only their talents but for who they were as people. That channel brought people together and it was the whole reason that Arabia Felix was brought into my life.

A year and a half later, I found my place in this community and it's all because someone saw something in me that I couldn't even see in myself at the time. I became absolutely obsessed with drag and watched every season of Rupaul's Drag Race. At the time I had a personal blog which I don't use anymore because I spend so much time working on this one. I wrote a post about my favorite drag queens of all time, and one of them was Arabia Felix. I had messaged her on Facebook thinking she might not even read it and may not even reply...but she did more than read it and reply. Arabia actually shared it and was really excited that there were people out there who understood her art.

For those of you who don't know Arabia and aren't familiar with her situation, let me explain it to you. Arabia lives in the Middle East where doing drag can land you a one way ticket to jail. Their beliefs are very strict and she takes a huge risk by doing drag in her area. For this reason, I felt a special bond with Arabia because I've always been an outcast in the small town that I live in, and her situation reminded me that I may be an outcast but at least I can express myself freely without fear of punishment. Little did I know when I first started talking to Arabia that she would become one of the most important and most inspirational people in my life.

There have been many times that I've wished that I could bring Arabia to the United States permanently. When we became friends, I was at one of the darkest times in my life and whenever I needed anything, like someone to talk to, even if she was busy, she found time to talk to me and make sure I was okay. Soon those Facebook conversations turned into Skype calls and our friendship only grew from there.

I've tried to explain my admiration for Arabia to other people and I can never put into words how much she actually means to me. With her strength, talent, and uniqueness, I asked her to be my drag mother. Ever since then, she has taken me under her wing and has helped guide me on the right path. Her art is absolutely out of this world and brilliant, and I've never seen anything like it in my entire life. Without her in my life, I wouldn't have this amazing page, I wouldn't have met so many talented people, and I wouldn't be as strong as I am right now.

Cheers to you, Arabia, for being the one person I can turn to when everything goes wrong. It genuinely brings me to tears that we haven't met in person yet, but I know everything happens for a reason and it will happen someday. I wish I could celebrate your birthday with you but for right now, this is all I can do. I'm so blessed to have you in my life and I tell you that all the time but I feel like I can't tell you enough how much you genuinely mean to me and how grateful I am for such a wonderful friendship. Happy birthday!

Follow Arabia:
Instagram: @arabia.felix

The Drag Enthusiast:
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

James St James: "Keep Striving For More"

“If we're all going to hell in a handbasket, we might as well make it a party on the way down." 
-James St James

James St James is no stranger to life's ups and downs, but what makes him so fascinating is that even though he was told "no" or he went through tough times, he still got back up and continued walking the path of life. Not only did he just "walk the path of life", he used his life to truly inspire many others to accomplish their dreams and strive to change the world. 

1. Looking back on your life, what is the biggest lesson you've learned over the years?

Dive right in. Let the river current take you where it will. Don’t be ruled by fear. Say yes to everything. Don’t worry about embarrassing yourself. Keep putting yourself out there. Don’t get too comfortable. Keep reinventing yourself. Keep the bitterness in check. Accept change. Embrace getting older. Etc etc.

2. What inspired you to become part of the club kid scene in the 90s?

I actually set out in the ‘80s to be a Warhol superstar, Andy was still around, the NYC club culture was thriving, and that’s what I wanted to be a part of. I fell in with the Downtown crowd, became something of an “it-boy” — and eventually the club kid scene came up around me. I always felt that they joined me in what I was doing and not the other way around.

3. I know you're probably really tired of this question...but what are your feelings on Michael being released almost a year ago?

Michael remains one of my best friends. I’ve stood by him for almost 30 years, though drug addiction, fame, murder, prison… if our friendship can withstand all of that, I think it’s safe to say we’re BFFs for life. I feel compassion for the lives that he destroyed, the people that he hurt, and the pain he caused himself and so many others, but now he’s been given a second chance and I sincerely hope that he can come out of prison and lead a productive, fulfilling life again. I have a feeling that he's got a helluva 3rd act coming just around around the corner.

4. How do you feel when you look back on your club kid days? Any regrets or things you wish you did differently?

I wish I didn't do so many damn drugs. I see pics of myself and it LOOKS like I’m having fun. It LOOKS like a fun party, but I know that I had probably just come from doing drugs, or I was looking for more drugs, or looking for a place to do drugs… i was always fiending for more, more, more. I never really enjoyed what was going on around me. 

5. What inspired you to begin writing?

My earliest mentors in New York were Michael Musto (from The Village Voice) and Stephen Saban (from Details) – columnists who took me under their wings and showed me how intoxicating a writer’s life could be. I wrote for a gazillion bar rags and ‘zines – for free! – for years! – before I ever got the chance to write professionally. I did it because it was fun, it was a way to express myself, and it was a way to be a part of the scene.

6. Out of the books that you've written, do you have a favorite?

I've written two books that have been rejected by every publisher IN THE UNIVERSE. Some day they will see the light of day, I promise. 

7. So on the World of Wonder YouTube channel you work on a show called "James St James: Transformations". Do you have a favorite guest on the show that has painted your face?

I love different guests for different reasons. Sometimes the guest is just so fascinating that I almost don’t care what the look is. Sometimes the look is absolutely breathtaking, and just watching the guest do their thang is enough for me. All-time favorite episodes though include Mathu (of course), Squeaky Blonde, Oozing Gloop, Landon Cider, Nelly Rechia, Rainblo, Bianca Del Rio, Raja, John Stapleton, and MILK.

8. What is your secret to success?

I don’t think I’ve ever had any REAL success. Not mainstream anyway. I keep plugging away though. Maybe that’s it. Never be satisfied. Keep striving for more. Something better. But you just can't think of life in terms of "success" or "failure." 

9. Have you ever been star struck when meeting someone in particular?

I get star struck all the time. I was in an elevator the other day with Lisa Rinna, lol, and I just started babbling. She must have thought I was a raving lunatic. I think I scared her, poor thing. Oh, I’m terrible around famous people. 

10. What is your opinion on people thinking of you as a role model?

Well, I haven’t lived a perfect life. And I’m not a leader, I just do my own thing and if you want to come along, that’s great. But I have always been true to myself and try to champion the freaks, the rebels, the underdogs, and the outsiders. Maybe I’ll grow into the idea of being a role model. Who knows.

11. What is something that you really want to do that you haven't had the chance to do yet?

I’d like to learn to make jewelry. Big, barbaric stuff. Uncut jewels on cuffs and collars and skullcaps – things like that. Just for myself, mind you. I'm the only one who wound want to wear it, at any rate. 

12. What is a weird fact about yourself?

I collect vintage etiquette books? I’ve never had a pickle? I’m probably the best parallel parker IN THE WORLD? I’m a closet comic book geek? 

13. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to be successful in this particular community?

Everybody’s path is different. I can’t tell you how to find your way. Just put one foot in front of the other and start your journey.

14. You have interviewed people in the past. Do you have a favorite interview that you've done?

I once spent an afternoon interviewing Quentin Crisp that I will never forget. And my interviews with Holly Woodlawn and Joe Dellesandro stand out in my mind as bucket list items. 

15. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Hmmm. I had explosive diarrhea all week. Some people might find that funny, I do not.

16. Ending this interview with a funny question. If you were on an island and you could only bring 3 things with you, what would you bring?

A pallet of Pop Tarts, Dylan O’Brien from Teen Wolf, and a trunk full of fabulous outfits to play with.

Thank you to James St James for taking the time to do this interview as it was truly an honor. :)

Follow James St James:
Twitter: @JSJdarling
Instagram: @jamesstjames1
World Of Wonder YouTube:

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