Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Capria Luchia: The Full Package

Capria Luchia is best known for her run on the Facebook drag competition formerly known as "The Drag Race" (now called "The Drag Battle Royale"). She was in the top 7 of the competition and then was eliminated. Since then, Capria has come a long way and her main goal is to focus on her performances and showcase actual emotion, even though she may not be the best dancer at the club. Drag is an outlet for her to express her creativity and be more comfortable with all aspects of her true personality. She aspires to soon cross paths with the one and only Mathu Andersen and really enjoys telling a story with her performances. 

1. How would you describe Capria Luchia as a performer?

Capria loves to show her emotions, she'll make you feel whatever she is going through during her performance. I've never been the greatest dancer, I can't death drop or drop into the splits but I can tell a story and tell it well. I also enjoy visual stimulation during a performance, for example my last show I did 'Colors of the Wind' and I used colorful fabric with fans to make colorful wind.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag? 

I started doing drag a little over two years ago and I started for many reasons. I was at a point in my life where I was at a crossroads, I didn't know what path to choose, I wanted to be an actor, a model, a artist and I had no clue how to achieve it or how to choose which to pursue. I was struggling with being gay, even though I was happy and all was well I was still closeting my feminine side, both out of habit and fear of being undesirable. At the time I was in a relationship of 3 years and I had changed myself so much because of it, I could no longer recognize or love who I was. So when I stumbled upon drag, it clicked, it was like the world was right again. Drag offered me an outlet of creativity that allowed me to do and be all the things I wanted. Finally I could embrace the femininity, I could finally showcase my fashion sense, I could be revered for it rather than shunned. It also allowed me to escape the person I no longer knew to be me and Capria helped me love myself again. Drag gave me all of that, how could I not fall in love with it.

3. Where did you get your drag name from?

Capria Luchia was created from the name Caprice Luchia, which was the name my mother had chosen for her daughter. She would have been my older and only sister if she had survived the 3rd trimester of my mother's pregnancy. When I was trying to come up with a name, my mother suggested Caprice. After that I was sold, I altered the first part of the name to make it my own but still make it a tribute to her. I've never met her but because of Capria I feel close to her and I also like to think she lives through Capria.

4. Who is your biggest inspiration when it comes to drag and why did you pick this person?

When I first started drag Raja was a huge inspiration, I was blown away by her take on drag, it was so cultured and profound. It completely eliminated my own preconceived notions of what drag was and helped me see it for the well rounded artform that it is. Nowadays my biggest inspirations are Phi Phi O'Hara and Mathu Anderson. Phi Phi has grown SO MUCH since season 4, she's become humble, kinder and is unbelievably talented. Her 365 days of drag gives me all the life I need everyday and I absolutely adore her for it. Mathu plain and simple is just goals, from the way can paint to the way he photographs to how he models. He is truely an extraordinary artist, who I not only look up to but hope to work with in the future.

5. What is your favorite thing about doing drag? 

Oh my.... thats a hard one, theres so much I love about doing drag. One of my favorite things about drag is, I think men can be gorgeous or considered pretty but I feel like women are the ones who experience beauty or are considered to be the image of beauty. Men never get to experience that beauty but drag allows me to fully grasp what that feels like. Honestly, sometimes after my face is fully painted and the lashes are dropped, I catch myself completely dumbfound by the image in the mirror. To truely feel beautiful as a man, is the most surreal experience.

6. Do you have a most embarrassing moment while you were onstage? If so, how did you cope with it?

As cliche as it sounds my most embarrassing moment was during my first performance, I was performing to Hurt by Xtina. When I first started drag I stacked wigs like no ones business, so while I was performing, my top pretty wig literally rolled off my head and down my arm and on top of that my strapless dress was pretty falling below my nipples. Although that all happened I ignored it and gave them a hurt drag queen lipsyncing her heart out.

7. What would you say is your best quality as a performer? 

My lipsyncing, hands down, I'll give you mouth tremors, tears, body language and lipsync breathing. Acting has always been an interest, so I love when a song lets me tell a story with my drag.

8. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

 My biggest accomplishment in drag has to be between being featured on World of Wonder's website and working alongside Morgan McMichaels and Pork Chop in an episode CSI: Las Vegas, that was quite the experience.

9. What is the biggest lesson you've learned throughout your drag career?

Remaining humble and being open to suggestions and constructive criticism are definitely things I've learned through this whole process. Something I'm personally still learning to do is not let negative people or comments get to me, no matter what you do someone will hate it and thats ok. Someone gave me very great advice and that was 'Don't give free entertainment'. So don't pay those bitches no mind or time.

10. How did you learn how to paint your face? 

My drag mother taught me the beginning guide lines to drag makeup and I'm not gonna lie my mug was rough and was for pretty much the whole first year of my drag. I got better by listening to queens I'd perform with that would suggest a different approach, whether it be eyes or cheeks or nose. I've tried so many different looks and styles and I'd like to think that has helped shape my drag and face today.

11. What is a makeup product that you absolutely cannot live without?

Oh my god, highlighters, I'm obsessed. Some of my favorite brands are Anastasia Beverly Hills, Becca and Mac for highlighters. My main palette obsession is the Glow Kit by Anastasia, its soooooo good. I think I love it so much because when its on point its one of the first things others will notice.

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

It really depends on the look, but if I had to give an average I'd say it would take me 2 to 2 and a half hours to get into face and maybe 15 minutes to get into body and hair.

13. Who would you say is someone you would want to work with in the future and why? 

Well as I stated earlier Mathu Anderson, I want him to photograph me, I want to watch him paint his face, I'd want to learn and absorb as much as I can with whatever time I'd have with him. He has and does so many things I want for myself. Bearded drag is apart of my drag portfolio and he does it breathtaking. If I was ever to have the pleasure of working with him, not only would to be a dream come true but it would be a stepping stone in my journey as an artist.

14. Where do you see yourself in the future when it comes to drag?

I want to be in a position where drag is involved in my career; I want to be modeling in and out of drag, I want to be collaborating with makeup companies with sponsors or featuring my own lines, I want to be apart of fashion week and runways, I want to do more acting, I want to be an overall successful artist. That is where I see myself and my drag in the future.

15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Raja, Trixie Mattel, Tyra Sanchez.

Marry Raja for sure, she could teach me a lot and access to her drag closet? I think yes. I'd Kai Kai with Trixie because she's a cute boy and I'd kill Tyra because she's prettier than me. 

(Photo edited by Miss Crime Scene) 

Follow Capria:
Instagram: @caprialuchia 

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cherry Lemonade: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

Photo by Mat and Ash Photography 

When one is on the lookout for an entertaining drag queen, they might like for what entertains them most. Cherry Lemonade is everything wrapped into one. Sugar, spice, and everything nice. She has had the major opportunity of being able to showcase her singing talents on American Idol and made it to the Hollywood round, which she considers her biggest accomplishment thus far. She loves to make people smile and forget about their every day problems even if it's for a few minutes while she's onstage and tells a few corny jokes. And most of all, she's absolutely addicted to the flavor of Cherry Lemonade food, beverages, and scents (which is how she came up with her name). 

1. Who is Cherry Lemonade?

Cherry is like the modern-day version of the madame of a high-rollers-only bordello in an old movie. She was always dressed the nicest, but she still had edge and swagger; she'd flirt like you were the only person in the room, all the while finishing your cigarette, your bourbon-rocks, and your pool game in one swift motion. And you'd let her, 'cause you knew it was her way or the highway. She's one part Old Hollywood glamour, one part Fleetwood Mac roadie, two parts WWE Diva, a dash of Missy Elliott backup dancer, pour over ice and garnish with a pack of Marlboro Light 72's and a couple of unwrapped Now & Later's.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag? 

Six years ago today, believe it or not! It's Cherry's sixth birthday! The story starts a lot like other drag queens, I'd imagine. My local gay haunt was hosting an amateur drag competition, and there was a cash prize, so I threw on crap from my girlfriends and swept the competition. It led to a paid booking with a group called the Short Bus Divas, which eventually led to me being asked to join the group. We'd do all these weird shows, like once we threw a Mother's Day thing and rewrote scenes from Mommie Dearest to be more absurd then they already were. My drag mother, Razy B., cut up an old wig while it was on my head, but she accidentally laced up her hand with the shears and bled all over everything. She had to finish the rest of the show putting pressure on her cut with a bar rag.

3. Where did you get your drag name? 

When I was in sixth grade, we were doing fundraisers to raise money for us all to go on a whale watch. There were a bunch of students walking around school with these giant boxes of those gourmet lollipops, and I decided to try a cherry lemonade-flavored one. I immediately hunted down every single one of the students selling them, dug through their boxes, and bought them out of the flavor. Ever since, I've been addicted. It's kind of a problem; I'm always taking the red and yellow Starbursts and chewing them together, or giving bartenders specific instructions on how to make the boozy version properly. So when I needed a drag name post-haste, I sat on it for a minute, wracking my brain. I looked to my left and saw a cherry lemonade-scented Yankee candle, and it just snapped into place.

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

My favorite part about drag lately has been hosting. People will legit pay me to stand with a microphone and a cocktail, and just talk until people stop laughing? Sign me up. I had a show the other night that was standing-room-only, and I ended up going on a tangent about why fart jokes are funnier than dick jokes for a solid four minutes. I wish somebody got it on tape; it was just me making crap up until I felt like I'd been on stage for too long, and they ate it up. I felt like I was on fire. It makes up for the less favorable parts of drag, which include shaving, tucking, and not having real eyebrows out of drag anymore. My absolute least favorite thing about drag, though, is when patrons think that because you're dressed as a gorgeous Amazonian goddess, that suddenly means they have the okay-go to put their hands wherever they want. I've gone all "Save the Last Dance" before and grabbed ahold of a dude's junk in front of the whole bar, yelling "oh, I guess you've GOT it like that, huh?!" Don't fuckin' touch me, you crusty weirdo.

5. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far?

Making it to the top 124 of American Idol's fourteenth season in full makeup was a pretty amazing thing. The process was grueling, but worth every minute of it. I wasn't allowed to say anything to anybody, but when I got the call to go to the producer auditions in Kansas City, I had to scramble to come up with the money to swing it. I put together a GoFundMe account called "Cherry's Super-Secret Road Trip", stating everything that I was able to say about why I was randomly heading to the middle of the country for seemingly no reason. People got the hint and we raised a few grand to go, I made it through the celebrity auditions, then later got flown out to Los Angeles, where we were simultaneously treated like royalty and cattle. I got to perform at the Orpheum Theatre as Cherry Lemonade in front of some of the music industry's biggest names, and got their nod of approval. It was amazing and humbling.

6. Where do you want to take your drag career in the future? 

My next big project to launch further into is effects makeup. I want to be the first drag queen to get noticed for having fully-realized, large-scale SFX looks. I'm talking full-body pieces specially made for my body that are covered in scales and tentacles, looking like Face Off's answer to Ursula the Sea Witch while singing "Poor Unfortunate Souls". Sharon Needles said it best: "When in doubt, freak 'em out." I love the idea of having head-to-toe concept pieces walking into a gig. Sometimes, I get bored with regular ol' drag. I need something to spice it up more, and learning how to do face and body prosthetics will be so next-level, and nobody will see it coming.

7. If you moved to a different city, what would you say that you would bring to the drag community there? 

I'm from a small city, but a city nonetheless. In Portland, Maine, everyone is nice to everyone else, even strangers. The positive attitudes and the acceptance different lifestyles permeates the city. I've had the distinct honor of being able to cross over to a large straight audience by performing at venues other than gay bars. It's changed my perspective on drag, really, because my exposure to a lot of the cattiness and bitchiness that can happen when you get a lot of queens in a room together has been very little. When I move out to Los Angeles (shooting for August 2016), my perspective is going to be that of a professional performer, not an ignorant bitch out to prove something. I'll let my performances speak for me, all the while staying humble and appreciative. An esteemed trumpet player, who's name is escaping me at the moment, once gave a good friend of mine this sage advice: "Practice every day, and be nice to everybody." You're there to do a job, which is to entertain. Letting that other bitchy garbage cloud your vision is a good way to not get any bookings.

8. What is a makeup product that you can't live without? 

The beauty blenders from Sephora are the best makeup investment I've made, but my face doesn't feel complete without the following: 301's, MAC's Vanilla pigment, and the Makeup Forever flash palette. Ooh! And there's a new thing I found that everybody should know about: Maybelline put out a felt-tip eyeliner that is fat, like those markers from elementary school that smelled like different things. It cut my time and effort on my eyes in half. I think it's called the Master Graphic pen or something like that. Go get one! They're cheap, and worth every penny!

9. How has your family reacted to the fact that you are a drag performer? 

While I'm from Maine, my family is from Nassau County, New York. There's a certain way things are done there. There was a good long while where the women of my family (mom/sister/niece/cousins) were all 100% on board, while the men kept their distance from it. I decided that it was important for me that everybody was very much aware of my lifestyle and career, but that I'd let everybody absorb it and approach it their own way. For instance, when you introduce two cats to each other, their natural reaction is to keep their distance but never take their eyes off of each other. Gradually, they'll get closer and closer and investigate what has entered their space at their own pace. My dad took a minute, but it was important to me that he take interest in my drag on his own accord. He came to my big show the other night and left saying that he'd had a blast.

10. Do you have a most embarrassing moment that you experienced while performing? If so, what was it and how did you deal with it? 

I did some go-go work back in my early twenties, which included a lot of pole tricks. There was one show where I was really feeling myself, and I did a dope spin on the pole, landing on all fours on the ground. Boom! Nailed the move perfectly! It looked so dope! Wow, I'm KILLING it right now! Keep it going! Be sexy! So I decided to swing my head all exotic-like, and I whacked my temple right off of the goddamn pole. I had a giant egg develop on the side of my head, and they gave me the rest of the night off 'cause I was having trouble seeing straight. I guess we probably should've considered that it was probably a concussion, but hey, I'm still alive! All is well that ends well!

11. Who has been your favorite person to work with so far and why? 

The producers at American Idol were awesome, because I got to see first-hand what a reality competition show looks like from all angles. I learned so much about professionalism from them. As far as drag queens go, though, Mimi Imfurst is absolutely wonderful. She got such a shitty edit on RuPaul's Drag Race, and only people whom have seen her live know how truly special she is as an artist. My favorite drinking buddies have been Jujubee and BenDeLaCreme. Those two know how to rage, and they're sweet as all get-out.

12. If you ever auditioned for Rupaul's Drag Race and you got to do Snatch Game, who would you choose to impersonate?

I've thought of this for hours on end. Both of the people that I impersonate have been done. I do Amy Winehouse as a live show with a full band a couple times a year, and I've played Ke$ha in a few gigs, but I'm much better impersonating characters from movies and shit like that. I don't know, I've considered the idea of being Edward Scissorhands, and not answering any questions because I can't pick up the pen. Instead, I'd just walk around and try to fix the other girls' hair, or walk around the set exploring while they play the game. Risky, but I'd totally make myself laugh. That, or Pee-Wee Herman.

Photo by Matt and Ash photography 

13. What is something no one knows about you? 

We live in the Information Age. That term should mean that we've got the technology to discover anything we set our minds to, but instead I think it's called that because everybody volunteers every personal detail about themselves on the internet. It should be the Too Much Information Age. Accordingly, my life is an open book, but I guess my deepest, darkest secret that I'm willing to share is that I'm irrationally trypophobic. DO NOT LOOK IT UP, OR ELSE YOU WILL BE, TOO.

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

I give myself four and a half hours from shave to taxi. I like to take my time, relax, and get in the zen of makeup. I'll throw on an old jazz record and just zone out. My makeup typically takes me two and a half hours, and then about twenty minutes to a half hour to go from boy to ladyboy. Then I have to pack up my suitcase, load up my purse, call the taxi, zhoozh up my wigs and clean up my makeup area. And somehow, even with all of that time, I'm still five minutes late for everything.

15. If people come to see you perform, what should they expect and where can they see you onstage? 

If I'm hosting, expect to laugh. Expect that you'll hear me sing. It has become my calling card, so I tend to do it at least once per show. Expect that I'm going to stop what I'm doing to say hi to you after the show, even if I'm busy doing other things. Expect that I won't remember your name, and please know that I'm super sorry about that; my brain is like an old laptop, and I have to keep deleting things in order to fit in new information, but it doesn't mean I don't like you. It just means that I drink too much. Expect to have fun. And above all, expect that I'm only going to bring you the highest caliber show. You work hard, and you choose to spend your downtime watching me dance around like a doofus. At the very least, I'll strive to be the best doofus you've ever seen in order to help you escape from your everyday worries.

Photo by J. Robert Photography 

Follow Cherry Lemonade:
Instagram: @cherrylemonade207 

Photos by: 
Mat and Ash Photography 

J. Robert Photography 

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

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Gemini DaBarbay: Voluptuous Beauty of Massachusetts

Gemini is a voluptuous beauty who resides in Lenox, Massachusetts. Wild, passionate, and sassy...Gemini says her love for the drag community stems from being around like minded people that understand her as an artist and performer. One of her biggest pieces of advice is to keep practicing and stay focused because it's too easy to lose yourself. 

1. Who is Gemini DaBarBay as a performer?

I like to say Gemini is a crossdressing stripper. I think thats a really honest and clear way of describing her. She's wild, she's passionate, definitely an A1 thottie. She is everything and more that at one point or another I've wanted to be.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I'd have to say Gemini was "created" or more so I think "born" somewhere between the age of 13 or 16. At age 13 I had just gotten really into makeup, it was such a huge part of my early teen years because there was rarely a day I went without it. I had used makeup and drag, which at the time didn't even know was a thing, as a safety mechanism. I was a horribly shy and insecure kid back then and I used drag as a mask to keep people at bay, but I guess now it has the reverse effect doesn't it? 

3. How did you acquire your drag name?

Its actually really weird. Me and my friend at the time had been cruising our local teen hotspot, the mall, as most everyone at the time was doing. We walked past this arcade machine and it suddenly flashed Gemini on the screen. When I saw it I knew that was it. I had always seen myself as two beings sharing a body so it was a perfect fit. The DaBarbay I came up with as a kitschy way of saying the Barbie. 

Photo by Kobey Lawton

4. How has drag changed your life?

I can't express how much drag has changed my life, its done more than that. Its kept me on this earth. The makeup, the wigs, the eyelashes, it gave me a sense of belonging in a world which I didn't think I could exist. It brought me to a community of like minded people who finally understood me, and saw me for my artistry. Growing up in a predominantly wealthy white town I never had that and I finally did.

5. Who is your biggest inspiration and why did you pick this person?

I can't say I have just one. Early in my drag it was Lady Gaga. She still is, but Ive added a lot more to the list anywhere from Azealia Banks to Kim Kardashian. But there's also the people I get to work with. My drag parents Misty Meaner and Mocha Lite, Avi Munster, Kashi Golean, Angel South, Sybil Syrvice, Philly Pino, I could keep going on honestly haha. I pull inspiration from tons of places.

6. What has been the best comment you've ever received from someone either online or in the audience at a performance? 

This was from 1-2 years ago I believe. I was doing a show at Rocks in Albany, NY and had just got done performing Fierce by Azealia Banks. I was out on the back deck smoking a cigarette when a man had come up to me. He started at the time what I thought was talking quietly to a man next to him but I quickly realized he was signing. The man next to him started telling me how his friend had gone completely deaf early in his life but that he could literally feel the song through watching me perform it. He may not have been able to hear it but that didn't matter to him because by seeing me perform it was as if he could. I quickly rose to my feet and hugged him for what seemed like the longest time. Ive always kept that memory right at the front of my mind.

7. What is your favorite look that you've put together so far?

Hmmm my favorite look... To be honest I'm not sure I have one yet. If I had to choose it would probably be this Melanie Martinez, ratchet, pastel, crying look I did for a photoshoot. Its really simple but the photos I took in it kinda tell a story, atleast for me anyway. 

8. What is your favorite piece of makeup that you absolutely can't live without?

HIGHLIGHTER. I literally abuse the fuck out of shimmering highlighter. I love that dewy look your makeup gets after a night of drinking and being hot, and with a shimmering highlighter on top of that, ugh... Amazing.

9. Where do you see yourself in the future when you think of your drag career?

I definitely have a lot of things I wanna do. I wanna get involved in the fashion industry in some way, I want some form of makeup product, and music as well. 

Photo by Josh Schnopp 

10. What is your favorite number to perform and why?

God, thats a hard question. I like all my numbers! Choosing one I'd have to pick my Mean Girls number. I had Bijou Bentley and Liz, my sisters from Tumblr's Drag Race, a few of their friends and Angel South record pieces of audio from Mean Girls as if Gemini had been Regina. Its so ratchet and fun.

11. Favorite and least favorite things about drag in your opinion?

My favorite things is the people you meet, and sense of community, without either things would be very different for me than they are now. My least favorite thing would have to be how so many queens see it all as a competition. We're all so different, we don't need to compare each other in a competitive way all the time.

12. Do you have any secret talents? If so, what are they?

I make some bomb ass fried chicken.

13. Do you have any embarrassing moments that you've experienced during a performance?

Pretty recently actually. I had been performing Sex Dreams by Gaga and if you've seen one of my numbers then you know there's a lot of sexual based... Movements you could say. Less than half way through my number I felt a breeze on the lower half of my body. I had ripped my tights at the crotch through all 4 pairs. These chestnuts were roasting on an open fire honey.

14. What is your advice to other performers who are generally new to the drag world? 

Practice makes perfect. No one beats a perfect face their first time, hell I still can't. Don't be afraid to try new things with your look. For awhile I was so afraid and unwilling to try new things that it definitely hindered me a lot. Go out as much as you can, just get your face out there. Lastly be you, remember your supporters and where you come from. Find yourself a good core of people who support you, these people will help you and these people are VERY important. Its too easy to lose yourself in this community, I'm not even gonna lie, it's happened to me before, you just have to stay focused. 
Photo by Kobey Lawton 

Follow Gemini: 

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