Monday, June 27, 2016

Miss Maxine LaQueene: "Just Throw Some Glitter On It!"

With a mix between pretty and alternative, Maxine has really pulled together some incredible looks. Being a self taught makeup artist has helped her be one of a kind and step up her game when it comes to her drag. And like every evolving performer does, she takes any opportunity to grow and better herself as not only a queen, but an entertainer. 

1. How would you describe your drag aesthetic? 

Editorial on a budget. A bitch is broke. Especially being a hairstylist/drag clichĂ© 

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I first started playing in makeup years ago. We all would play in our mother's clinique brand eyeshadows. I'd say 16-17 was when I really took the time to study drag and begin my craft. I spent a good year working on my look before starting to perform at 18. Drag is my career. I work as a hairstylist and free lance MUA. It all just goes together. 

3. Where did you learn to do your makeup? 

100% self taught. All the youtube tutorials in the world can't help fully teach you makeup. I would spend entire afternoons studying magazines and models to practice makeup trends on myself. I find teaching yourself to do makeup really is the best way to learn. 

4. Where do you draw inspiration from? 

Good question. Like any other fashion type queen, i study fashion magazines like Vogue, and designers like Givenchy and Marc Jacobs. Most of all I draw inspiration from everyday life! Anyone I meet could inspire me in some way!

5. If you ever applied and made it on Rupaul's Drag Race, who would you be for snatch game?

Omg! There are too many ideas. My top 3 would have to be: Kelly (from that viral YouTube video...OMG shoes. Lets get some shoes), Deandra from Most Popular Girls in School (another YouTube series thats stop-and-go motion with Barbies. Its hilarious), and probably Tina Belcher from Bob's Burgers. If they wanted a real life celebrity, I'd change my persona to either Kristen Wiig or Melissa McCarthy (imagine me in a fat suit!).

6. What is something no one knows about you?

Not that its interesting or anything, but I wasn't actually born in the US. I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was adopted at 2 and moved here to St Louis. 

7. What is the most bizarre thing anyone has ever said to you while you were in full face?

That I look like a lady? Well, more like they want to have my baby. Not even kidding. I was at a show and this lesbian couple came up to me and said they found my beauty astounding, and wanted a baby that looked like me.

8. If you could change anything about the drag community, what would it be and why?

So many possibilities. If i could change anything it would be the acceptance of alternative forms of drag. St Louis isn't exactly known for being the most open-minded when it comes to "freaky" drag. Freaky being anything that isn't old school pageantry drag.

9. If tomorrow were your very last performance, what number would you perform?

"Death is Just Around The Corner". I went to Battle of The Seasons this summer and heard Jinkx Monsoon sing this song. I immediately wanted to know where to find it! It would be the perfect way to end my life.

10. How has drag changed your life?

Believe it or not, I used to be a dorky introvert who hardly went out. Drag has DEFINITELY given me a more fun-loving personality. Not only that, but I've learned not to take myself so seriously. Drag is art, it was never meant to be so political. I merely want people to enjoy what I do. Oh, and tip me!

11. How do you deal with negativity?

You don't. Just throw some glitter on it! RuPaul herself said "Other people's opinions of me are none of my business." I truly live by that statement. People will love you and/or hate you. Either way, they're thinking about you. If you're living your life and not hurting anyone else, then who gives a fuck?

12. What is your absolute favorite makeup product to use?

Well I'm a brow queen. If I was broke (which I am) and had no other cosmetic product, I would only need the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo, to at least have a crisp brow. That and an angled brush. #whoneedsmakeup

13. What would you say is your favorite quality about yourself?

Can i pick just one? Personally I love my eyes. They change between this deep emerald green, a bright sky blue, and a dull grey. Its hard to see unless you're close up, but when I'm working on my eye makeup, I love to see them change! If i could only control when they do change though.... 

14. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Jaidynn Diore Fierce, Detox, Willam

Marry Willam- she clearly has the most money and have you seen her shoe collection? I could help "enhance" her mug some too! 

Kai kai Detox- have you seen her porn? If she bottomed for a black man, I'm sure she'll bottom for me! 

Kill Jaidynn- she's too nice! We can't have anymore nice queens! I must destroy kidness!

Follow Maxi! 
Instagram: @theonlymaxi

Photo credit: 

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Loris Queen: Femme Fatale

Formerly known as "Serket Vane", Loris has been steadily taking over the drag scene. With a painted mug to die for and one of a kind aesthetic, she has charmed the hearts of drag fans and drag performers everywhere. Check out the interview below to get a closer look at her personality and painted mug beat for the gawds! 

1. Who is Loris as a performer?

Loris is a femme fatale… a bad bitch in charge. I like to embody all the things that make women powerful, dangerous, and sexy when I perform. 

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?

I started doing drag in college, when my brother who was part of the local drag show  encouraged me to get on stage for the first time. This was approximately 3 years ago, but I had been dabbling in makeup and crossdressing for for at least 4 years.

3. You are formerly known as "Serket Vane", why did you decide to change your drag name?

Well in short, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I decided that my birth name is so eccentric and androgynous, that it only made sense to keep it. Besides, some of the most remarkable girls in the business (Willam, Rupaul, Chad Michaels) all use their real names as well, and they have had much success with them.

4. Where did you learn to paint your face?

In the bathroom at my mom’s house! I was never formally trained or educated, and I never had a drag mother to teach me, so I just practiced a lot until I got good enough to go out. 

5. How long does it take you to get ready to go out?

Nowadays it takes me about 2 hours from shaving to being 100% ready.

6. What is your favorite makeup product that you can't live without?

Well right now I am using a product called `Sweat Stop‘ by Nigel’s, and it’s a topical anti perspirant for the face. I love it because for people like me who reaally sweat a lot, it can really keep your face looking crisp and your lines looking sharp.

7. How would you say drag has changed your life? 

Drag empowers me, and helps me to love myself. Not only in drag, either! Being all dressed up like that gives me a chance to take all the things people don’t like about me as a person, all the things people shame me for…and turn them into something worth celebrating.

8. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I love the aesthetic of villains… Disney, Sci Fi, Horror, you name it. I think we can all agree the villains always look the fiercest! But in terms of what I want to communicate with my drag, I definitely draw inspiration from the likes of Divine, who never gave a fuck what anyone thought about her, and built her career off things that normal people might consider insecurities.

9. If you could travel anywhere to perform, where would you go and why?

I would love to travel to my home country of Switzerland and perform there. Swiss society is very old fashioned and I think it would wake a lot of people up, and maybe even inspire them if they saw a successful drag queen who was born in the same town as them. 

10. If you could work with any other drag queen, who would you work with and why?

I have actually contacted Raja several times on multiple social media interfaces, and one time even ambushed her at Mickey’s Bar in Weho to talk about drag with her. Since seeing her on drag race, her confidence and unconventional style of drag has encouraged me to kick down doors, and not give a shit about what people think.  It would mean the world to me to artistically collaborate with her!

11. If tomorrow you had your very last performance, what song would you perform and why? 

Rise like a Phoenix by Conchita Wurst… I would want to sing something that the people who loved me could revisit and get some joy and hope out of watching, rather than feelings of despare, sadness or loss.

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

I was born and raised in Switzerland and didn’t learn English till the 4th grade!

13. What is your favorite thing about doing drag? 

I love that it gives men like myself the opportunity to experience a lot of the hardships that women have to deal with on a daily basis. Because of that, it’s given me a great deal of perspective on the topics of gender equality and feminism. 

14. Do you have a most embarrassing moment while in drag? 

Nope. It’s hard for me to be embarrassed when I feel like the queen of everything. Whenever something happens that would embarrass mea s a boy, I just own it and when you’re operating at that level of confidence, people usually just go along with it. 

15. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill: Raja, Violet Chachki, Katya

Marry Raja, Kai Kai with Katya, kill Violet.

Follow Loris:
Instagram: @lorisqueen

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

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bentley James: Detroit's Drag Princess

Photo by Tony Lowe

Reigning over the city of Detroit, Michigan, Bentley James takes pride in being the fishy queen. But don't let her beautiful looks fool you. She is determined to separate herself from the cookie cutter mold of beauty and femininity and wants to take her work to a new level and also use her creativity to win hearts everywhere. Her ultimate goal is to distract her audience from their everyday life at home even if it's just for a few minutes and truly entertain them. Bentley is a fierce beauty queen with a heart of gold, silly sense of humor, and outgoing personality that will leave you gagging and demanding more. 

1. Who is Bentley James?

Bentley James is, in a sense, what I like to call the ultimate fantasy. To present myself as Practically perfect in every way, I pay a lot of attention to the small details a lot of people would sometimes ignore. I'm a glamour girl at heart so I love sparkly, sexy costumes, showing a lot of skin...being in my eyes, the epitome of femininity. I'm a walking, talking wet dream. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

2. When and why did you begin doing drag?  

I started doing drag when I was 18 and in my first year of college, my friend took me to a gay bar for his birthday before I even came out of the closet, and I still remember to this day the very first queen I saw and how I felt watching it, drag is such a positive, uplifting, energetic experience. And I feel like you forget all of your problems when your watching those girls strut their stuff, performing for you on stage. And I remember thinking to myself... "If I could make other people feel the way these girls did, I would be more than happy and fulfilled in life" so I did, and I haven't looked back since, and it's been such a fun and amazing ride, meeting all of these other performers and fans from across cities and states, it's very surreal, and I can't wait to see what's next for me!

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

It was actually what my sister wanted her kids name to be, I was going though names , left and right. From stuff like Roxy Hart, to more eccentric names like Vanity Rayne. (Awful I know) and when she told me about the name Bentley James as one of her options, I really liked the way it sounded off the tongue, it's masculine yet feminine. I think it's alluring and sparks curiosity, like a good perfume. So when she decided to go in a different direction, I took the name for myself. And it stands out for sure, I haven't met another Bentley yet!

4. How would you say drag has changed your life? 

It has changed my life so much! It's made me a not only a more confident man in my day to day life, but a stronger one as well, growing up, I was always extremely meek and mild mannered. I was the quiet one in the room who always was drawing or playing my video games, keeping to myself, so I didn't step on anyone's toes. But drag has boosted my confidence and gave me the courage to not only realize what I want in life, but to pursue it and make it happen, and not to be afraid to stand up for myself and say what I need to say when it needs to be said. People aren't lying when they say drag is a very powerful tool if you know how to use it, and it can do so much good for you if you let it. 

5. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?

Oh gosh, that's a tough one! I've been given so many wonderful opportunities doing this art, from performing in Chicago, to doing shows at Cesar's Casino in Windsor, Canada. But I think the biggest accomplishment I have had so far is performing at the Andiamos Celebrity Showroom with the girls from Rupaul's Drag Race, it's a show venue from my city where they bring in a lot of big name entertainment, so it's kind of surreal to sit there and realize that you are getting ready in the same dressing room as people such as Joan Rivers, Margaret Cho, and Kathy Griffen have before, and stepping on the same stage that they have stepped on, performing for over a thousand people, underneath those stage lights, looking out into a crowd cheering at the top of there lungs for you, you really feel like a superstar and on top of the world. That I think, is my biggest accomplishment yet, and I'm hoping I'm afforded luxuries like that in the future. (Thanks Murray and Peter!) 

6. What is something you want to achieve in the future with your drag career?

I want to be able to make a difference, to travel the world and leave a positive impact on people's lives with my art in some way, shape, or form. Ideally that's why I would want to be on Rupaul's Drag Race, because it would give me such a big platform to do what I love and do just that, and meet people of different cultures, ethnicities, lifestyles and backrounds, and do my best to make everyone feel the same way I felt when I watched my first show, to make all of their problems go away, even if it's just for a few minutes. 

Photo by Tony Lowe

7. How has your family reacted to the fact that you do drag? 

They are my biggest supporters! They went to my first show and still go whenever they can, I'm very lucky and blessed to have such a loving caring family, who supports any decision I make and loves me unconditionally, because I know, sadly, a lot of people in the LGBT community don't really have that.... Plus,  I mean, it doesn't hurt to have people who don't mind helping you stone your costumes! 

8. How did you learn to do your makeup?

My drag mother Melony Vonkruz taught me most of everything I know, she's a absolute knockout beauty who's inspired me in more ways than I can tell you, always inspiring me to step out of the box with my illsuion and step my game up, to find new ways to mix beauty with creativity. Taking inspiration from things like legends and fairytales, to video games and books. She used to tell me all the time, that being pretty is fine and dandy, (because we both are, not even gonna sugarcoat it, haha) but to be the pretty and creative queen, that's what's going to get you work, and what's going to keep you going further and further, because you will never be a one trick pony, and you will always have something to keep the crowd wanting more. And let me be the first to tell you... She was right! My mug would be a busted, crusted mess if it wasn't for her. And I'm very thankful for the day she stepped into my life. 

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

I paint rather fast, so that's only like a hour from start to finish, it's the pre show prep that takes all day, like I said, I show a lot of skin, but I'm actually a pretty hairy guy outside of drag, so I shave everything from my face down to my toes, because I don't wear tights either so everything has to be baby smooth , and then I use a self tanner to add a glow to my skin too, it just really adds a nice touch under the spot light, it's important to go through details like that, So a show takes like the second half of my day away. But the end results, as you can see, are so worth it. 

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

I would love to go to Greece! It's my ideal place to visit, I've always been obsessed with Greek culture and myths and legends, even as a kid. Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, is one of my favorite characters to perform as, not to mention it's such a beautiful country, and right in the middle of the Mediterranean. It would be a dream come true to visit there.

11. What is the most bizarre thing someone has ever said to you while you were out in drag?

Honestly the most bizarre things come from the chasers on Facebook, who love to try to sleep with the dolls, your jaw would drop if you'd seen half of the perverted and downright weird things people send us, from asking to wear our panties, to spanking them with a belt while their wearing our wigs or something, and then on top of that, These people never have real photos  of themselves, so getting these weird requests from people with pictures of koalas and stuff is just downright strange and cryptic.

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

Marco Marco!!! I love his work and it would be a honor and a dream come true to walk in one of his shows!!

13. If you ever decided to try out for RPDR and you made the cast, who would you pick to do for snatch game?

I would probably do Frankenfurter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I do a lot of characters and illusions (Adele, Jessie J, Britney, and the Grinch just to name a few) but i think Frankenfurter has a dark theatrical comedy that nobody's really touched on, and it would be Intresting to see how that would play out. 

14. What's your favorite makeup product? 

Highlighter and illuminator! I use like 4 of them on my face,  (Pearl from Becca is to die for!) I love, love, LOVE the dewy look. I think it's just so fishy and feminine and i can't get enough of it. 

15. What advice do you have for younger queens just starting out?

Never be afraid to pay your dues and put in the work! And don't be against accepting constructive criticism, both are essential in drag, to build yourself into a better and more rounded entertainer, and I think a lot of new girls are forgetting that these days and thinking that they can go and demand a crazy booking fee right out of the gate. We ALL had to pay our dues, and they are no different. And it will only make you better in the long run. OH AND DONT OVER EDIT YOUR PHOTOS, nobody's going to book someone who looks like Beyoncé on Facebook and shows up looking like pepper from American horror story. A filter is fine, but don't go crazy.

Follow Bentley James:

Instagram: @bentley_james

Photo Credit:

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