Monday, May 9, 2016

Eve The Bunny: The Playboy Bunny of Drag

Eve The Bunny started drag officially on Halloween night, as cliche as that sounds. She started experimenting with different performance styles and briefly performed in Chicago which gave her the push she needed to come into her full potential as a creative artist. She prides herself on being different and rarely ever repeats the same number twice. 

1. How would you describe your aesthetic as a performer?

That is such an interesting question. Mainly cause I think it's hard to pick just one aesthetic for Eve. I'd have to say always seductive, passionate, and a little extra. Drag is my very own theatre, for 2 minutes and 30 seconds at a time.

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

My birthday will be my "drag-versary" actually so I'll have been performing for 5 years, although my first time out in drag was, you guessed it, Halloween. At first, I hated drag. Well, that's not really true. I, like a lot of people, didn't understand it. I saw my first drag show on my 18th birthday and I hated it. I wanted to dance with the boys. But I started seeing it for its initial roots, theatre. I was a theatre major in college, so drag is my theatre, and I get to be director, producer, costume designer, lyricist, etc..... 

3. What would you say is your best quality?

I think my best quality is my versatility. I PRIDE myself on it. There's nothing I hate more than a queen that does the same 5 dance numbers in the same 5 fringe outfits, with the splits in exactly the same spots and yadda yadda yadda. I don't know, I've always been different and I like being unexpected. Always keeps people on their toes 😊

3. How did you come up with your drag name?

Eve actually isn't my first name; It's my 3rd. There was Samara (From The Ring) then Alaysia (From ANTM S14) and I was actually listening to Pandora on my way to work and I had been thinking of changing my name for a while. I was planning on moving to Chicago, from Joplin, Missouri and I wanted to reinvent myself, start fresh. Like I said, I pride myself on being versatile and I wanted a name to reflect that. So anyway, I'm getting my life on Pandora on my way to work, and "Who's That Girl" comes on by Eve. And it kind of clicked. Not to mention, that song is a rap classic. And I always wanted a name that had a song about it, for future performances. I liked that the name Eve could be so many things; Eve the Bitch, or Eve the Sex Kitten, or Eve the Innocent One, Eve the Mother. The "Playboy Bunny of Drag" actually was influenced by my area where I grew up. Everyone had a "moniker", from "The Black Barbie Doll of Arkansas " to the "Dancing Diva of Texas". So I came up with "The Playboy Bunny of Drag" and it sort of stuck. A strong obsession with pink and all things fluffy and it swiftly came after.

4. Where do you get inspiration from?

Look wise, Janelle Monae, Tyra Banks, Erykah Badu. I don't know...I just like fashionable chic looks or conceptual looks. And that's for walking around the bar AND performing on it. Drag wise, certain people with their drag and then in general inspire me. Fashion girls like Raja, conceptual girls like Kim Chi and Manila Luzon, theatrical queens like Bob the Drag Queen and hardworking queens like my girl Shea Couleé from Chicago. There are so many representations of drag out there and I see certain things in queens that resonate with me and I stick with them.

5. What is your favorite thing about doing drag? 

The "APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE!" Is that bad? Oh well! I don't know, I'm an attention whore, but at least I'm up front about it. I love being the focal point for 3 minutes and I do love entertaining. I've always been one of those kids whiting their own tv pilots and plays when they were in school. And in the past few years, probably due to drag, I've grown a deep passion for music too. Of all kinds. Which helps with drag because my performance track record goes from Sneaky Sound System to Queen Bey herself "all hail".

6. How has drag changed your life?

Drag gave me my superhero, to be honest. Eve is absolutely the Batman to my Bruce Wayne, or Batgirl to my Barbara Gordon, but I'd rather not be a blonde.  I always have and still do struggle with self confidence issues. Depression is VERY real but Eve helps me through that. I don't know if it's the makeup or the outfits or the performances or what but when I'm her, I don't have any reservations. And that garners respect and adoration, which Eve eats up like Baskin-Robbins. But she's taught me so much and now I have that confidence and conviction without the makeup. I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for her.

7. What is your opinion on Rupaul's Drag Race? Has it helped or harmed the drag community? Why? 

Okay, I have HORRIBLE competition issues; I take it VERY hard and I am a perfectionist that's VERY hard on themselves as is, but I'd love the chance to do it. I think more so for me, to prove that what I can do is good enough. Good enough for Ru, that is. I see the level of artistry that makes it on the show but these are just regular dudes in wigs, honey. So, why can't I have the creative prowess that they do? Who says I don't? So it makes me study and grow with my craft. THAT is how I think it should be seen. Is it? Hell no. It's The Real World: Drag. That can be a good thing or bad thing. Verdict is still out for me but I am happy that it has given a more open face of drag to the community, all communities, and opened eyes to future queens everywhere. Drag Race has helped the subject of drag become less taboo and no one can really argue otherwise.

8. Where do you see yourself taking your career in the future? 

I would like to travel and perform. Different venues, different cities. Really elevating my performance factor and getting myself out there. I'm like a sponge so I'd love the chance to learn more and do more. I'd love to have a show or shows of my own, where I could showcase queens that I liked and respected and I feel could use a leg into the world of drag. 

9. What makes you unique compared to other performers? 

I'm very unpredictable. VERY. I rarely repeat numbers and I almost always perform something new. It keeps my creative mind turning and it helps me stay alert and not get complacent with my drag. I never wanna be the predictable one. Eve is a show, and she doesn't have time for reruns.

10. If you could have any super power, what super power would you want the most and why? 

Telekinesis. I've thought of this many times, especially from I don't know how many "Superhero quizzes" on Facebook, but definitely that. I'm a smart queen. Thinks a lot. Overthinks even more. Neurosis on FLEEK, like the whole nine yards. I like smart people and things and I love the mind. If I had powers, I'd want them to be an extension of my intelligence. You know what they say, "What do people with power want? More power." I think that refers to evil people though.........anyway.......

11. Do you have a most embarrassing moment from when you were onstage? If so, how did you handle it?

WELL, I'd have to say my most iconic moment WAS my most embarrassing one. I moved to Chicago in the Fall of '12 and I had barely been out in Boystown and never been out in drag in Chicago yet. I heard of a competition at Spin (RIP) in B-Town called Dragzilla and it was open. I was like "Sure, why not". It would give me a chance to meet some girls and see what kind of talent I could expect from the area. A fun recon mission, if you will. Anyway, I had been experimenting with a "buzzed head/no hair" look while back home in Missouri but due to the area, I didn't try it. I wasn't as confident in myself and the area I grew up in was/is a very "drag is a certain way" type of place. Something like no wig on on stage was a "no-no". Anyway, it was my turn and I was about to go on stage and the music started. 15 seconds in, I start feeling the gig and whip my head back. My wig comes off. I have a crowd of 75+ people staring me down with no wig on about to walk on stage. There's no time to signal to anyone to stop the track, nor can I find the wig on the floor. I was in anxiety mode: MAJOR. I did the only thing I could do: Performed the whole song without it. And, thankfully, the crowd LIVED! I was so happy because it was the first time that I felt like a creative step I wanted to take was met with a positive reaction. From that day on, I integrated the bald look into my performances and my looks. I liked being the "Buzzed head Queen of Boystown"

12. Do you have any specific routines or rituals that you absolutely MUST do before getting on stage or perhaps before even getting into face (i.e. praying, breathing exercise, etc.)?

Not particularly. Just relax. Go outside and take a breather. Just sit among the stars or in a quiet place and ready my mind for the stage. I need to be in a zen place before performing. I hate rushing on stage.

13. Who would you say has had the biggest impact on you as a performer and why?

Me. As conceited as it sounds, I may take certain things here and there from queens I've seen but 95% of what I do is from my own ideas and design. I start with a song and basically create a music video to it in my head. A visual album, if you will. The videos always star me and of course I pick makeup, costumes, set pieces etc. Then I make it come alive. And I love when someone loves what I've done because, I know it was my own. I always say that's one thing I'm not crazy about when it comes to pageants is how a queen can have someone else do their makeup, hair, gown, costumes, choreograph their dance number, and then win and be crowned "the best". That always rubbed me wrong a little. I wanna be the best on my own accord, not from the work of others. Honestly, if I had to actually pick a queen, it would be Shea Couleé from Chicago, hands down. We actually met that night at Dragzilla (I beat her). But I could tell she was in it to win it, she was a hard worker and ALWAYS gave it her all. And to watch that girl that I once had burritos with a Taco Burrito Palace become the powerhouse she is today, all from her OWN hard work, and creativity, and ingenuity. For independent queens like me, she's a total inspiration.

14. What is the biggest lesson you've learned pertaining to drag?

Be fearless. I used to not perform certain songs because I was scared of how people would receive them or if they would even like them. One of my fears is bombing on stage. It's happened a time or two but I got rejection issues, Boo so that doesn't work out that well for me lol. But yeah, I avoided doing those songs but I would constantly listen to the music and visually see myself performing them on stage. I just wasn't brave enough to make them real. But when I moved to Chicago, I noticed it was VERY "Queen eat Queen", and there was a schism between the classes of performers there. Some were safe, some were anything. So, for me I had to find a way to stand out. Performing has always been my strongest suit so it kid of forced me to make those songs I've always wanted to do happen. And every time I've felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff about to jump because I just had no idea how it would go. But I know the songs and concept were good and different so I'd take the plunge. And it got me into the habit of finding the harder songs to do instead of the easy ones. I'm not a big Top 40 fan. Everyone does Top 40.

15. What advice do you have for performers who are just starting out in the drag world?

Be you. Cause really, there is NO ONE who can do you better than you. No matter how hard they try. You are different for a reason. And don't try to be anyone else but you. Because you wouldn't want anyone to like you for being someone else. And most importantly HAVE FUN!! You might as well. There's duct tape on your junk for crying out loud. 

Follow Eve The Bunny:
Instagram: @eve4prez
Twitter: @eve4prez

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

No comments:

Post a Comment