Well, I'm an actor by trade, so, like, I always got pigeonholed into these masculine characters in musicals and after doing South Pacific, like 300 times, I decided that I want to be in charge of my art, and that was me dressing up like a woman.
and so, I actually did this production of Cinderella as a step sister and I kind of fell in love with drag. I was always kind of good at it, and when I was growing up, I would always claim the feminine roles. I would always want to be Jasmine instead of Aladdin, and I also love my LGBTQIA+ community so much that I felt like it was just kind of meant to be--like I found my true calling.
What was your aesthetic like when you first started, and how did it evolve into your trademark look today?
Oh my god, when I first started drag, it was rough. I truly looked like your favorite drunk aunt who wore white after Labor Day. I looked crazy. I looked more like an unfiltered version, and now I feel like I've filtered myself into, like, this glorious Mother-like figure. (By "Mother," I mean young mother. 16-and-pregnant, mother-like figure.)
When you're out with friends, what's your go-to vodka cocktail that you like to drink?
I really like vodka soda, but I love to put like a little splash of something on it, and it depends on what type of fruity mood I'm in. Sometimes if I'm in a sour mood, I choose grapefruit, and cranberry if I'm feeling a little frisky, or OJ if I'm waking up and having a cocktail, and then I love putting pineapple in it too, because I like summer vibes. It gives me that Polynesian flavor that I am.
What is your favorite vodka cocktail to make for friends when you're entertaining?
During the summer, I love making frozen drinks with fresh fruit and vodka and lemonade. I love mixing a lemonade vodka with berries, and maybe like a little mint and a fresh lemon to garnish.
Tell us about your ideal "Sunday Fun Day," where are your favorite spots to go out with friends and do day time drag?
Well, usually, I have two shows on Sunday. I have this show called Skinny Brunch. It's called Skinny Brunch because it's alcohol only, and all of the drinks are four dollars. It's the place where people go to turn up after brunch, because it's a 7 p.m. show, so it's always really cute. Everyone is really lit, enjoying their cocktails, and then after that I host a party called Godmother, which we're actually bringing back on the 17th, and it's at the Marquee, which is like a sickening venue. Our inaugural guest is Lil Kim!
Sunday Funday is like a party day. Just let loose, let the honnies come out and play.
Do you ever channel old-school '30s-'50s pinup "Betty" looks when you're performing? If so, what kind of Betty would you say you are?
Actually, the dress I wore to my show last night was the one I wore to the shoot y'all see me in on OUT (hyperlinked to gallery/video), and I was feeling that pin-up vibe so much. I would say I'm definitely the kind of Betty who loves paddle boarding at Sunset, and fireside kickbacks on the beach. I was like, Who doesn't love all of that? And it's a sweet tea vodka flavor: I live for it!
Where would we find Betty out on a Friday night, Honey Betty out on a Friday night?
She would definitely be at a late night beach party, dancing the night away with a myriad of shirtless, sexy men.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your dragged out, Deep Eddy vodka cocktail.
I really want to include all of my different types of personality traits into my cocktail. It has a lot of fresh fruit in it, because it was a grapefruit cocktail, like, "Oh, you gotta have grapefruit, duh!" And then I wanted to put pineapple, because I'm, like, the mulata of drag. It was very Polynesian of me to put it in there. I put gummy bears because it's my go-to late night snack when I'm craving sugar, and who doesn't love that in a cocktail? And rose petals! Because you gotta gay it up, and it was my homage to Sasha Velour, last year's winner. I just feel like it was me in a glass.
How does your cocktail represent a part of you?
There's so many great parts that make me up, that make me me. If you put them all together, there's something really special that no one else can create, much like myself.
There are so many great celebrations for Pride this year. How will you be celebrating?
I have 17 gigs on Pride week. I'm doing everything I can possibly do! It means so much to me to walk in the parade, to be proud, to have all that energy from all those people, so I'm actually going to be on a float with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. They help LGBTQIA elderly, and they give them services because they need to live a comfortable life, and so this year, their theme is "caring for diversity," and so they have different queens from ten different queens from ten different parts of the world. My dad is from Tonga in the South Pacific Islands, so I'm, like, sporting this Moana look, performing a Moana number on the float with my mom! It's going to be so much fun! I can't wait.
Vote for your favorite Betty in The Bettys Premium Drag Pageant here.
Be sure to follow Out on your favorite social platform
DON'T MISS THE OUT100 SPECIAL 3 DAY MARATHON STARTING NOVEMBER 24TH!
Journey through the year’s influential Out100 – the most iconic and long-standing celebration of LGBTQ+ icons and allies – in a 1-hour television special spotlighting the LGBTQ+ people shaping the world today.