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

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Miss Crime Scene: Unbreakable Work of Art

Fresh off the Facebook drag competition, The Drag Race, Miss Crime Scene has no plans of slowing down. As a woman in the drag community, she's had to work especially hard to prove herself as a drag performer and continues to show that she's more than just a girl in a costume. Miss Crime Scene won the first season of The Drag Race by winning the hearts of her judges as well as having the opportunity to gain a following in the process. Unlike most queens in online competitions, Miss Crime Scene has always gone above and beyond to show her support for her fellow contestants even in tough times during the competition...which is a truly admirable quality.

1. Who is Miss Crime Scene? 

Miss Crime Scene is basically my escape. She is so different than who I am normally. She is not scared to put herself out there, show off her body, bend the rules, and just go for it. While normally I am a hermit, shy, glued to some video games or behind the scenes creating art, all paired with yoga pants, messy hair and no make up on. She is in the spotlight instead of holding the spotlight. She comes off as a very sexual being who is just isn't scared to take on the world and give everyone a show. She is everything I am scared to be, everything everyone told me I couldn't be.  No matter what is thrown at her (even if at the scene of a crime) she refuses to let things break her. She turns anything that might harm her well being or happiness into humor, or her own personal cat walk. She makes the best of anything that comes her way. Putting her feelings aside to make sure she keeps herself together is what she calls her "survival instinct" and it kicks in whenever it's needed. 

2. Where did you get your drag name? 

I got my name YEARS ago, when I was 13 years old and I am 27 now. I made it up one day, because I wanted to use a modeling/photography name for any online profiles I had. I had crime scene tape all over my room and pictured what you saw in my drag race photo for the name challenge, and Miss Crime Scene was the name that popped into my mind. I never knew it would become anything really serious or even stick, but everyone started calling me by that name. People in my school, others schools, people online and it just grew like wild fire. People really liked my stuff, made fan art, sent me gifts, featured me on pages and I just knew I couldn't change my name and really didn't want to after thinking about it because it's cool to see how much I have grown with this same name over the years. 

3. When and why did you become a drag performer? 

When I started I wasn't a bio queen, I was a back up dancer for my friend Twylyte Starr. I met him at a show I went to and he wanted to go dancing after, so we all met up at a bar. I drank too much and fell off stage, bringing him down with me onto the dirty muddy floor. The next day I apologized and we laughed about it and the bruises that came from it. We didn't even know it happened until someone told me and I said I was sorry. It was such a fun time, and we kept going out dancing together until one day he asked me to be a back up dancer and I said I would try it out. It was so fun, I did back up dancing for him, was in an "Alice in Wonderland" play he put together as the white rabbit, and then one day I asked if I was allowed to do a solo number and he said yes. I was so nervous and did my first number which was teeth by Gaga as a lion tamer. After a while I started doing more solo numbers and trying to experiment more with my look and performances to just prove to myself that I was allowed a spot next to all these talented queens. I learned about being a bio queen way after and I am just so happy to keep growing and learning. 

4. Where do you draw inspiration from? 

I get inspiration from so many things. I use all the negative things people have ever said to me to keep going. I LOVE the 90s, video games, cosplay, comics, halloween, clowns, and just so many other things. I am used to being able to be visual because of photography/modeling and putting together an entire theme, outfit, background etc so visual art in general has looking at it and thinking "how can I make this come to life, instead of just an image but a performance". I also use the fact that I want to help everyone who has ever been bullied to know that they can do anything they want. Anytime I think I am not good enough, I push for all of those people and for anyone who is just scared. The whole reason I do modeling…. I am a fat human who says "I am allowed to feel beautiful and to create art with my body, or even just to look sexy" and I want to show others that also. I refuse to give in due to bigots, bullies, negative miserable trolls, or insecure people who try to rip apart anything different. 

5. What is your favorite and least favorite part about being a bio queen performer?

My favorite part is being able to tell women of all ages that they can do it also, even though they are so used to the world telling them no…. it's a yes if you want it bad enough. Also being able to interact with such talented and amazing artists and being able to learn from them for my personal growth as a performer and person. My least favorite part has pros and cons to it. Not being valued, discredited, or not taken seriously due to the fact that I am a biological woman is my least favorite part, but also it's part of my drive to do better, do bigger, and push like crazy…. so it's still a win. As long as I get my McDonald's after each show, I am gooooood gorl. 

6. Have you dealt with any discrimination from the drag community because you're a biological girl? How do you handle negativity thrown towards you?

It's 2015 and still humans just can NOT accept other humans. So many people seem to have to be oppressive about something. I get shit for being a "woman" from a lot of people online randomly, it always comes in waves. I even get shit from other bio queens which makes no sense at all. I don't understand how people can preach about equality or how their art is valid but then try to rip others down and say they aren't valid. It's literally the chicken surfing on a pizza a potato. That doesn't make sense and neither do their views. I am thankful for feminism every day. When it comes to handling negativity I try to remember that anyone who acts unpleasant is most likely dealing with bad things in their life, had it rough and can't figure out how to deal with all of that frustration, dealing with their own insecurities and projecting it onto others, or they just want your attention so they try to insult you and take it back as soon as you say something back to them. Sometimes I might take a break from the internet and compose myself. Nature, baths, dance parties, friends, things in the real world can help you stay away from that dangerous fake negative head space that tries to pull us in. Getting upset? Go do something, don't stew in it. When you come back, you will feel fine and you will be able to laugh at them.

 7. What advice do you have for women who would like to become a bio queen performer?

:insert Shia labeouf photo: JUST DO IT! No but seriously, life is short and if you were laying on your death bed the only think you will regret is the shit you didn't do, you won't give a shit about who said what, and all of that other shit that doesn't matter. Don't let yourself down, and fight like hell for the things you love. Respect and love yourself enough to do the things that you want to do, you deserve it and only you can make things happen.

8. You recently won the Facebook drag competition, "The Drag Race", what do you have to say to your supporters? 

THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU SEXUAL ANGELS!!! I thought I would be the first one to be eliminated and you guys just were so supportive and kept me going. I always think everything I do is terrible, so thank you for letting me know when I did something that you loved! 

9. What was your favorite challenge from The Drag Race? 

DAT INSTA WEAVE GORL! Magic in a spray bottle. I had so much fun filming that video and I might keep going with more videos like it. I love my boyfriend for always helping me out and also one of my best friends Ryan for helping out also. I was so excited to use my dog Captain Bill in it as well as the lip sync challenge. He loves his camera time. 

10. Which challenge was the most difficult one to execute in your opinion? 

Snatch game nearly killed me. I was so upset trying to think of who I could be. I ended up choosing Sofia, drinking some beer and filming it. I ended up having fun and people loved it. That is what really makes or breaks anything to do honestly, always remember to make it fun.

11. Who were you closest to out of all the other competitors? 

Well besides Twy and Myrtle because they are drag family, I got pretty close to Vegas and Luxe the most. Vegas and I figured out that besides our drag style, we are pretty much twins. Luxe is just such an angel and I enjoy talking with her a lot. In reality though I talk to all of the girls and love them so much, everyone is so nice and supportive. I am in love with this cast and all of the judges. I was scared that everyone would fight and it would be a war but it ended up being a sisterhood. Season 1 sisters and I feel very grateful to know these angels. Oh, and Sunday and I are having a chicken nugget wedding. 

12. Who would you say is your biggest inspiration when it comes to drag? 

This is so hard, I have a list of people that inspire me in drag. Honestly I would just have to say members of my drag family are my biggest inspiration, they are always there to support you and to give you talks if you are doubting yourself. They never let you fall flat, they teach you things so you can improve, everyone loves to share the spotlight instead of fighting over it, they keep you laughing, and they are just part of my backbone. 

13. What is your biggest insecurity when it comes to drag? 

Hmmmm…. I have 2 things that get to me. The fact that I always have ripped tights because my thighs fight with me each time I pull them up and trying to not bore the crowd. Performing is SO fun, but I want people to always enjoy what I do and never to fall into a safe zone where everyone knows what I am going to do before I do it and they lose interest.

14. If people want to see you perform, where should they go? 

They can come to Higher Ground every First Friday of the month in Burlington VT, or they can come on over to Plattsburgh NY where I live. I perform other places also when booked, was recently in Massachusetts and heading down to Albany NY in a few days. So if you know people in your area who put on shows, request that I am booked and I would LOVE to go meet all of you and perform in your town! 

15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill...a few of your former competitors: Capria Luchia, Vegas Van Dank, Nina Von Queefs

Marry and Kai Kai all of them bitches. Only kill if they touch my damn pizza rolls.

Follow Miss Crime Scene 
Instagram: @misscrimescene

The Drag Enthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Valentine Addams: Chicago's Fairy Princess

Every big city has their own type of drag aesthetic that makes the performers in that city stand out from other communities. Over the past few years, there has been some insane growth in the city of Chicago because rather than having a signature aesthetic that does well, each performer uses the stage as their outlet to do whatever they feel like doing, regardless of outside standards. Chicago performers are truly one of a kind artists that take their work to a whole new level, and that work should never go unappreciated. The performers in Chicago have formed a sisterhood and have encouraged each other to take things to the next level instead of trying to tear each other down. That's what makes the city of Chicago so very special. Meet Valentine Addams, who was encouraged by Chicago's star host, Trannika Rex, to showcase her talent, and since then, Valentine hasn't looked back. Valentine Addams is just one of the very many Chicago performers that prides herself in being a one of a kind artist and is always looking for ways to take her work to the next level. The possibilities are limitless. 

1. Who is Valentine Addams?

Valentine is a fairy succubus princess from one of Neptune's moons! She is super sensual but can be very cute and flirty. She never hides her body and uses it to get what she wants, boys and money! Super Kawaii!!!

2. When and why did you start doing drag?

I started doing drag when I was 21. I did it for Halloween, I went to work as my boss and she loved it. And then around 23 or 24, I started performing because my really good friend, Trannika Rex, forced me to perform and I haven't turned back since.

3. Where did your drag name come from?

Valentine came from my first name being Valter. Addams, because I love the Addams family and I started off being more gothy like my boy drag.

4. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I find most of my inspiration from anime really. That and fantasy films and such. I used to make up fantasy worlds in my mind as a kid, so a lot of my looks are just those ideas coming to reality.

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

About 3 hours. From the time I start glueing down my eyebrows to the time I'm putting those lashes on.

6. What is your favorite thing about performing in Chicago?

I think the community. I have such a great amazingly talented group of friends like Kim Chi, Shea Coulee, Trannika Rex, Nico, Lucy Stoole and Beverly Lately just to name a few. But it has less to do with how talented I think the Chicago queens are, and everything to do with how supportive we try to be of each other. 

7. What makes Chicago drag unique?

What's makes Chicago drag so unique would have to be how different we all are. There's sooo many different looks happening in Chicago right now. And in most recent years all the different kinds of queens are finally starting to work together and do some amazing things. We are all striving for the best and to have a great time. I think we all are very serious in our art but don't take ourselves too seriously, so most Chicago queens are easy and fun to work with. Most of us consider ourselves artist's before drag queens, so we are trying to cross the boundaries of what drag is and into the art world. 

8. Does your family support you as a drag performer?

My mom loves it and all 3 of my brothers are cool and have come to see me a few times. But my father and I don't really talk about it. We unfortunately don't talk about much in general. 

9. What has been the biggest lesson you've learned so far during your drag career?

Don't drink and do drag. At least not a lot.... Hehe

10. What advice would you give someone who is more new to the drag scene?

Practice makes perfect! And PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS!!!! it pays off. 

11. What is your favorite makeup product to use?

For sure my highlight. It's Studiofix Shivering White by MAC. Game changer! My good friend, Trixie Mattel told me about it the first time I met her years ago. And I haven't gone back since. It's the whitest white. I'm so pale I need something crisp and white, unless it won't show up on my milky skin tone. 

12. If you could change something about the drag scene, what would you change and why?

Probably the cattiness. I think there's a lot of drag queens out there that can be catty. But I try to surround myself with great friends. 

13. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

Honestly my biggest accomplishment so far has been my career in hair. I still can't believe I've been doing it for almost 9 years now. 

14. Do you have a specific role model that you look up to? If so, who is it and why do you look up to them?

I think my role model would have to be my mom. She is a strong woman in my life, so I've always looked up to her. She has always been my number 1 cheerleader. She's always supported what I've wanted to do, or at least once she realized that I was always gonna do whatever I wanted.

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

Most people don't know that I'm Mexican. I was born in Mexico and my family moved to the states when I was 5.

Follow Valentine:
Instagram: @itsmevalentine 
Twitter: @valentineaddams

Photo Credit:


Plastic Factory

Adam Ouahmane 

Nestors Photography 

The Drag Enthusiast
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @dragenthusiast