Sunday, September 27, 2015

LaMona Divine: Brazilian Drag Goddess

Photo: Bless Magazine 

In Brazil, drag isn't as appreciated as it is in America. The performers in Brazil find themselves struggling to put their ideas together, mainly because getting work can sometimes be a hard task and the materials they need to create their work can sometimes be pretty expensive. It should really make one appreciate what they have. Brazil has a wonderful drag scene filled with talent and beauty, and hopefully the performers who work very hard to keep going, will soon receive the appreciation and gratitude they deserve.

1. Who is LaMona Divine? 

LaMona Divine is a glamorous bitch, a seductive villain of comic books flirting with the fashion world, aesthetics are very important to her. She is a strong and ambitious woman who is not intimidated easily, inspired by many female icons that show that strength and independence. She calls herself of Divine’s daughter. 

2. When and why did you begin performing in drag?

LaMona was born from my need to explore my creativity in parallel with my professional life (I am Fashion Assistant), I needed to give life to my muse that has always accompanied me since I was kid, but in the past she had no aesthetics and my contact with her was only in the imagination. Years later, after I was watching the reality show RuPaul's Drag Race, my conception of a drag queen has changed completely, and in 2013 it inspired me bring LaMona to real life, and being very shy, I bought my first wig (very simple) and some make-up and started testing. The first time I went out for a party dressed as LaMona Divine was in February 2014, since then I never stopped.

3. Where did you learn to do your makeup?

I learned a lot with tutorials on the internet, but also learned a lot of makeup tricks with my best friend and makeup artist Alessandra Lira (she is everything to me), and also learned a few important things with the makeup artist Mychelle Pav√£o. I believe that I'm still constantly learning something and I hope always be able to learn new things to evolve my makeup and job.

Photo: I Hate Flash 

4. In your opinion, how is Brazilian drag different from American drag?

Is very difficult to make a comparisons because we have very different cultures especially in the scenery of LGBT, our way of consuming art is very different too, so it ends up reflecting the lack of appreciation that we suffer here. One of the most noticeable differences of American drag to Brazilian drag is outrageous and glamurous costumes, for example to us it's much harder to get some basic materials and for American drag it's much more affordable, they have everything, and this definitively influences the final result of the Brazilian drag queen's look. I also notice that the Brazilian drag queens like to show more of our body because we have a great latin blood! And of course a good portion of these drag queens want to look like fishy queens. But even with the difficulties, I'm happy when I see very talented drag queens with different styles, and this has happened often. Unfortunely the American drag community is very different, because here our drag community is still small and not very united. This year, Rupaul's Drag Race debuted on Brazilian television and it certainly will bring more visibility to our community, and it will help us to show that drag queen is also a beautiful art.

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

The best thing for me is being able to tell a story to the public through the costumes, choreography and music and feel they are enjoying it. The Brazilian public is very passionate and have an incredible energy, they are so amazing, it’s very good to perform for them. Lately we have received many queens of RuPauls Drag Race and they are loving the contact with the Brazilian public, it’s something that they have never ever seen before.

6. Is your family accepting of you being a drag performer? How did you tell them?

Today my family accepts me, especially my boyfriend, who gives me a great support and all the love that I need. At first my mother did not understand and it was so complicated, but I didnt have much of a chance to explain to her because she unfortunately is not here anymore, but I believe today she would understand this kind of artistic expression.

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

People don’t know that I'm a perfectionist Virgo neurotic and fussy about my work, but it's something I’m working positively to my favor. And people don’t know that I have a lot of really cool projects and ideas on the way!

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

I take around 3-4 hours to get ready, I like to do everything calmly to be able to fix something that may not have been very good.

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

There are so many places I want to travel and know, but first I would like to take LaMona to the drag scene in EUA and London, it would be a very cool thing!

10. Do you have a favorite drag queen that you look up to? Why do you look up to them?

I have many drag queens who inspired me, I can tell Violet Chacki (I love all the costumes she wears), I love the makeup of Kim Chi, Mika Holly White and Lill Queen, OMG has so many others!

11. What other queens from Brazil are worth following?

We have very talented and wonderful drag queens here, for sure I can say that I follow Biancca Banks, Ikaro Kadoshi, Gloria Groove, Alma Negrot, Tiffany Bradshaw, and my sister Shady Jordan (and many others)

12. Is there anything you wish to change about the Brazilian drag scene that bothers you a lot?

I can say that what bothers me most is the lack of appreciation of our art, because people still have difficulty in assimilating what a drag queen is and how wonderful this work is, it sure reflects in our paychecks and job opportunities.

Photo: Bless Magazine (Aquila Bersont)

13. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? 

Hmm, think is when people recognize me at parties and say my work is cool because I do different things. It has already created an identity for me, it's really wonderful to hear!

14. What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to face? 

I faced and and still face today the lack of money to invest in all my ideas, because when you have little money you need to be more creative, it sure has been a learning experience.

15. If you were deserted on an island, what 3 things could you not survive without?

Let me carrot wig, my lipstick and my eyeliner, I think is enough for me, I guess hahaha

Photo: Kaique Talles

Follow LaMona: 
Instagram: @lamona_divine 

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

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