Jenna Davinci is a Birmingham based queen best know for her makeup skills and being the unofficial mother of queer collective DragPunk. I recently saw her perform in Cardiff and was blown away. Her performance used voice clips from Ivanka Trump and obviously had a political edge. It's amazing to see young queens upholding the tradition of drag being political and challenging! Jenna is a smart, talented and creative queen and definitely one to watch!
When did you start doing drag? I started doing drag about 2 years ago
What inspired you to start doing drag? I started wearing makeup in my teens (the emo/scene kid Years) and always had an interest in makeup but never pursued it, it was only from starting to watch Rupaul's Drag Race and then looking into the history of drag and club kid culture that made me want to give it a try.
How does drag make you feel? It makes me feel like I can do anything, any insecurities go away and you become this other being, in time I've learned a lot from it.
Who are you inspirations for your drag persona? I take a lot of inspiration from pop culture, movies, music videos, runways. My biggest inspirations come from musicians like Madonna and Pete Burns, visions like Amanda Lepore and old Hollywood sirens.
Who are your three all time favourite Queens? My favourites are Lacey Lou, Twiggy and Bettie Bitch. All visionaries and incredibly talented.
Do you have a specific look you like to go for, or does your look vastly vary? It tends to vary a lot, one day I'll be that over-pumped surgery addicted rich bitch, the next I'll be heavily influenced by club kids and abstract paints.
What would be your ultimate ambition you would like to achieve through drag? To influence through art, I'd love to be able to perform even more up and down the country with my Dragpunk family.
Do you perform in drag? If so, where are some of your favourite places to perform? I performed recently in Cardiff and I loved the people there, everyone is so lovely. I mostly perform in my city of Birmingham at Second Self, Glitter Sh*t and I recently did my first one woman show, it was scary but I loved it
What are some of your favourite songs to perform? I normally do mixes of pop culture, my Donald Trump mix is one of my favourites because it's funny and really gets the crowd going, I recently debuted a track mixing Madonna - Material Girl with Debbie's monologue from The Addams Family Values and the third is my Fembot routine.
If you could only have 3 makeup products to do your complete drag makeup, what would they be? The Makeup Forver Flash Palette, Illamasqua Pigment in Furore and some gold nail glitter. The flash palette - you can mix and create anything from eyeliner down to a blush, the others are for sparkle
What is your one favourite piece of fashion or accessory from your wardrobe? I have a few dresses created from Burbo K'ture that I adore, the designer Paul is amazing and can really create something that is unique and high fashion and make me feel like I'm living my runway fantasy....either that or a jock strap.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? With my lips pumped so much I won't be able to see my feet when I look down... and also in a place where I can look back and be proud of what the Dragpunk collective have achieved.
What's your opinion on the recent increase in popularity of drag, due to things such as RuPaul's Drag Race? If it wasn't for drag race, I wouldn't HAVE discovered drag or looked into the history of drag, with other shows appearing like Dragula that is more about monster drag, I think it opens the eyes to viewers that drag can be whatever you want it to be, it's liberating and a great way to express art and make people smile.
Anything else we should know about Jenna? I am 1 part of the Dragpunk Collective that also includes Paul Aleksandr, Amber Cadaverous, Tacky and Lilith from Birmingham.
I started a paint series called #davincipaints where I paint myself inspired by various UK queens, e.g. Atlantis, Liqourice Black, Dharma Geddon etc.
Felix Love is one of Cardiff's most influential Queens. With a beautiful and expertly constructed look, huge internet following and an affinity for the bizarre and the beautiful she captivates and inspires. Best know for her amazing looks (which are some of the most polished and amazing we have ever seen) What really sets Felix apart is her creative choices with her performance.Taking a step away from the mainstream drag scene, her performances consist of live music (with her band) and witty off beat comedy. With a mix of unexpected songs and a kooky demeanour everything about a Felix gig screams "this is not a usual drag show!" Felix will be headlining our Alyssa Edwards after party in March. read our interview with her below.
When did you start doing drag? I first started wearing women's clothing when I was 21. I wouldn’t have called it Drag because it was a very fishy look with very little going on. At the time I defined myself as ‘transfashion’ which was a term I made up that meant I wasn’t a transvestite, didn’t want to be a transexual and didn’t qualify to be a Drag Queen. Instead it was just me being me but with the fashion meant for a female.
Over the years my look changed and took on a life of it’s own. I would say my official ‘Drag look’ began when I met Sam [Felix's Partner] and together we created the look and character I have today.
What inspired you to start doing drag? For me it was a chance to leave the mundane behind, to become somebody else and do things I wouldn’t normally. From here my love of makeup developed and hand in hand they inspired me to continue developing my Drag and makeup skills. Over the years I have worked for brands such as MAC, Illamasqua and Urban Decay which all helped me improve my makeup artistry and inspired me to try new looks and evolve my aesthetic.
How does drag make you feel? Drag makes me feel uncomfortable and miserable. Claws for nails, face taped back, a wig pinned to my head and bound at the knees in a skin tight dress all whilst balancing in heels! My drag is no walk in the park! But through all the blood sweat and tears (literally) it’s all worth it! I absolutely love being in Drag! From initial ideas, research, creating a concept, to getting ready and stepping in front of a camera or on stage I love it! It’s exciting and challenging.
Who are you inspirations for your drag persona? (They don’t necessarily have to be other queens, just people you look up to/take inspiration from) I have taken inspiration from many things to develop my Drag persona and aesthetic. My look was inspired by Morticia Addams’ skin tight dresses and curvy silhouette whilst mixing in some ‘Death Becomes Her’ glam. The characters strive for perfection above all else is what inspired me the most. My glittery beard has become not only my trademark but also a middle finger to socially acceptable conventions. I spend 3 hours painting my face flawless then bend the rules last minute with a sparkly beard. That’s the beauty of drag, there are no rules and anything goes! Who are your three all time favourite Queens? I have so many favourites but my top 3 would have to be;
Lily Savage. She was the first Queen I was introduced to as a child on prime time TV with Blankety Blank! Her quick wit and black roots are what attracted me to her.
RuPaul (obviously) If for no other reason other than bringing us Drag Race and creating a platform for Queens all around the world. Plus she always looks f*cking amazing!
And Mary Mac, a Scottish Queen living in London. She’s as small as a button with a voice as big as Bassey. And she’s hysterical!
Do you have a specific look you like to go for, or does your look vastly vary? I love to try new things but I always stay true to my Drag character. I don’t show arms or legs but I love to show some boob! My dresses are always skin tight to show off my curves and always ridiculous. Whether it’s the colour or the design, there has to be something which makes it impractical.
What would be your ultimate ambition you would like to achieve through drag? My ambition was always to have a polished look and a fanbase that appreciated my type of Drag. I feel so blessed to have an online following and to see people wearing my merch is the greatest feeling! I want to continue growing and evolving and I hope to inspire others along the way!
Do you perform in drag? If so, where are some of your favourite places to perform? I perform with my boyfriend Sam (who also happens to be a costume maker and makes all of my dresses). We love to perform off the gay scene to audiences who don’t always see men in dresses with glittery beards, it feels great to expose people to new things and push their boundaries.
What are some of your favourite songs to perform? (Is there a reason why?) I absolutely love performing live, Sam plays piano and can pace the music to my performance which gives me the freedom to play around with the words and mix things up along the way. I love performing anything sexy or a bit different especially if it allows the audience to see the chemistry between us on stage.
If you could only have 3 makeup products to do your complete drag makeup look for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? This question is insane!! I probably use like a hundred things to create my look, it’s a huge part of my drag (which isn’t the case for all Queens) and without achieving my look I wouldn't be or feel like me. I’ll give you my 3 favourite ‘Can’t Do My Face Withouts’;
Lots and lots of face tape! I need to be snatched as tight as possible!
Lashes, stacked to the Gods! Top, bottom… stack, stack, stack!
Lip liner. If my lips don’t look plastic, plump and like they’ve been filled full of sh*t then it’s not my drag!
What is your one favourite piece of fashion or accessory from your wardrobe? (Include a picture, if you like) Soooo many to choose from. I love feathers and fur! My latest fave would have to be a huge long-pile white fur coat with a gorgeous red lining that Sam made for me, it’s a must have through the winter nights in Drag!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Still learning, still striving for perfection, and still doing what I love to do!
What's your opinion on the recent increase in popularity of drag, due to things such as RuPaul's Drag Race? I think it’s amazing! Any Queen that isn’t happy are either insecure or jealous. Drag is for anyone and everyone has to start somewhere. We should all respect each other and learn from one another. That said, Drag is more than sticking a wig on your head and borrowing your sister's lippy. It takes ‘charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent’ as RuPaul would say!
Anything else we should know about your drag persona?
I don’t shave my legs or wear tights
You’ll never catch me in flats or without nails
I style my own wigs
You won’t see me in the same dress twice
My drag name is my real name
My real name is not my birth name
Before getting ready I ALWAYS take a long bath
I usually watch Addams Family while getting ready
When not in drag I look homeless
If you see a Cardiff queen with good hair, makeup, promo pics or website…. I probably did it.
The International League of Dianas (ILOD for short) is a new drag comedy troupe from Cardiff based queens Lucy Fur, Lilith, Medusa Repulsa and Polly Amorous. These queens, best known for alternative club night ‘Hey Mary’ have shaken up the local drag scene and are now moving their talents online. The move from cabaret performance to youtube comedy is not as left field as it first appears. Lucy and Lilith are no strangers to the comedy scene, with both of their acts mainly consisting of stand-up these videos were just a “natural progression” Lucy said when we interviewed her.
The ILOD have launched their new endeavour with 4 Halloween videos titled “spooky Halloween tales” each video is hosted by a different queen as she tells a story that is acted out by the other queens (or two Barbies in Medusas case) The stories are weird and funny but also echo classic horror films and even poke fun at them. Lilith describes her story ‘Frankly, Stan’ a militant feminist take on Frankenstein as “A send-up of 50's B-Movies, complete with dodgy scenery and terrible special effects!”
Spooky Halloween Tales: Frankly Stan (Told by Lilith) - YouTube
“We wanted each video to reflect each queens personality, so although me and Lil wrote them Pol and Medusa gave us ideas and inspiration” explained Lucy “Medusa just said she wanted Aliens and Devil worship so we kind of just ran with that and then the Barbies thing came out of the blue, we didn’t know if it would work but we thought fuck it”
Their mini anthology is not only impressive for its clever narrative devices and witty writing, the ILOD give interesting and sickening looks!
Basking in her ‘sex kitten’ image, Polly's video is obviously filled with smut and sex but also an off beat sense of humour that most people haven’t seen from Polly before. Her video is a reverse of the Elvira like comedy of Medusa in her story “nightmare in Elm Trees” in which Medusa professes her distain for “ditsy bimbos” in horror films.
So what can we expect from The ILOD? Mostly sketches, Lucy informs me. However, they are going to have other interesting things on the channel such as makeup tutorials, interviews and reviews of TV and Films all with a dark satirical twist.
Although they are focusing on creating content for youtube The Dianas assured me that they will still be a feature of the night club scene “you can’t get rid of us that easy! We’ve all got nights coming up, this is just another thing we are doing”
Anything else we should know? “we aren’t a girl band, we are womens, we are humans, we aren’t spies”
The International League of Dianas are some of the most peculiar, funny, talented queens I have ever come across and their take on sketch comedy is something new and interesting that I’m very excited about!
LIKE T.I.L.O.D on Facebook HERE SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE HERE
Lotus is a young ambitious queen who is one half of the "haus of Beck" (a relatively well know drag haus in South Wales) Although she is relatively new to drag and is yet to perform she has gained some attention online. Her fishy looks and weird fashion make her a queen to watch. A self proclaimed "drag race baby" Lotus represents a new wave of drag queens. Queens who have learnt the artistry of drag not from the traditional club scene route but from watching RuPaul's Drag Race and primarily online. This new breed of queen marks a shift in the culture of drag, moving away from nightlife and more into the online world, a place where they can reach thousands of viewers with just one selfie. Read our interview with Lotus below.
When did you start doing drag? My first experience was at the Rupaul BOTS Tour back in March so it's safe to say I'm a baby drag queen! What inspired you to start doing drag? I admit I'm a Drag Race baby. I fell in love with the show and the art of drag. As my obsession with the show grew my desire to do drag also grew. It was inevitable that I'd end up finally doing it, it was just the case of when. How does drag make you feel? Growing up I was completely mesmerised by fashion. Women's fashion in particular. The shapes, colours and fits. It was pure art. It was something I wanted to get involved with. Lotus allows me to play with fashion and test the waters with amazing costumes I'd never be able to experience as Joe. Who are you inspirations for your drag persona? My drag persona is extremely varied. My main inspiration is my drag mother, the incredible Vita Beck. Not only is she an incredible makeup artist she's the baddest bitch I know. As cliche it will sound Adore Delano is an incredible role model. She doesn't care what anyone thinks and she's just having a good time. Everyone should be more like adore. Who are your three all time favourite Queens? Kim Chi' artistry kills me. Nina Flowers is my one and of course Adore is up there with the best! Do you have a specific look you like to go for, or does your look vastly vary? As a new born drag queen my style is still evolving. I've worn everything from a fishnet dress to a floor length metallic dress. Lotus is about setting trends so playing with fashion is a must!
What would be your ultimate ambition you would like to achieve through drag? I would love to have a lifestyle website with all things drag. Although travelling the world to meet other drag fanatics whilst getting payed to perform would be a dream. Do you perform in drag? If so, where? I don't currently, I need to start looking for gigs! If anyone needs a bad bitch who can give a killer lip sync give a girl a shout..! If you could only have 3 makeup products to do your complete drag makeup look for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? My Kevyn Aucoin - Book of Contour is my go to. My eyes and powder contour are covered! I need my Kryolan TV Paint sticks, without those I'm a man in a wig. Colorpop liquid lipsticks always have me covered for a night in drag, I can kiss as many men as I want too and my lips are still in place! What is your one favourite piece of fashion or accessory from your wardrobe? How can you beat a bondage choker? You can't! Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? If everything goes to plan I'll be moving to Manchester in September to study fashion buying and merchandising. The drag scene in Manchester is killer so I need to up my game massively before moving there. If my degree goes to plan I then want to move to NY to become a fashion buyer whilst doing drag on the side and again, we all know how incredible the drag scene is there! Ambitious? I know.
What's your opinion on the recent increase in popularity of drag, due to things such as RuPaul's Drag Race? Incredible. The art of drag is being shown to millions of people which means people's opinions are being changed and are becoming more open minded. It's a huge positive for the gay community as a whole! Plus I've got more people to talk about drag race to! Anything else we should know about your drag persona? I can't sing and I can't dance but I do both. I drink Tea, I don't spill it. I didn't call the wrong number, you answered the wrong phone.
Heidi Wurst is a queen from Birmingham and living in Cardiff. She is best known as the host of "Sickening Events" in Cardiff.
Read our interview with Heidi below.
When did you start doing drag? The first time I ever did drag was when Sharon Needles came to Birmingham, there was a competition which was set-up for someone to win - sadly I had no chance of winning but I had a great taste of what it was like to be a queen. I actually entered another competition when I came to Cardiff and with this previous experience in mind, my goal was never to win, it was to learn.
What inspired you to start doing drag? For me drag is performance art, it's about creating something, whether it's widely accepted or acclaimed by a select few, your art is what you make it. You can't compare any two queens because even if the finished product is the same, the journey to get there isn't.
How does drag make you feel? I truly feel anxious doing drag, before any performance I have to talk myself off the edge of the cliff and convince myself that the people waiting are there to enjoy themselves. I have low self esteem, all my teenage years I was ridiculed and bullied for wanting to be an actor, it's something that's never left me. There is a huge sense of relief when I do get to the stage because the journey to get there isn't easy for me.
Who are you inspirations for your drag persona? Andy Warhol, Lady Gaga and Divine - I have an affection for the real outcasts and freaks, the under dogs and even those who have succeeded but are on the receiving end of so much aggression - I think when there's so much negativity aimed towards someone it's because you're doing the right thing. Lady Gaga is so underrated, even though she's so versatile and grown, her artistry inspires me and then with Warhol - there's this constant concept of a Haus or a collective - people who are working for the same aim.
Who are your three all time favourite Queens? Divine, Trixie Mattel and Miss Marty! Divine is punk and truly made herself glamorous, she's a queen who wasn't conventional very much like myself and her appreciation is still there today. Trixie Mattel is truly what I inspire to be - her effervescence and professionalism make her admirable. I love how sassy she is. Finally Miss Marty was the first ever drag queen I saw live, she's my home town resident queen too, everyone knows Marty - she's amazing and I think so underrated, she's a singer, comedian and true performer, I truly feel for Marty, so many young queens want her time and attention and she gives so much but I feel like she's taken advantage of - especially because she's so caring.
Do you have a specific look you like to go for, or does your look vastly vary? Heidi Wurst was intended to be a cliche, then there was all this uproar about cultural appropriation so I decided f**k it! I'm going to steal from everyone's culture then I won't be accused of favouritism. Heidi will truly merge into any niche, she's capable of pulling many looks off. I never feel let down if a look flops or doesn't go as I plan because it's learning and I know something new. What would be your ultimate ambition you would like to achieve through drag? I want to start a revolution - I've already made a name for myself on the scene in Cardiff, mostly for good things, Heidi has a habit of sticking up for the little guy, she doesn't tolerate bullies or fools. I think ultimately I want to produce a play, have my face on a t-shirt and perform in every gay club in the UK! I'm ambitious - I always believe if you're failing to plan then you're planning to fail.
Where are some of your favourite places to perform? I did my first one woman show in the Little Man Coffee Shop - it was brilliant - I was breaking out of the scene and taking my drag from night life to tea time! It was amazing to do that, to perform my own one woman show, it was hectic but it was very rewarding! I'll always have a soft spot for Pulse - because it was the real baptism of fire I needed to become what I would be.
What are some of your favourite songs to perform? Ironically for me, I was always against doing a Gaga number, for me it was a no go - she was my idol how could I do her proud - but then I realised - who else would be able to do her proud - Venus always gets me moving. I would say for the future to expect more comedy/parody songs. I can't sing so I am working on overcoming that.
If you could only have 3 makeup products to do your complete drag makeup look for the rest of your life, what would they be and why? I would say Kryolan TV Paint Stick - it's the best foundation ever and it's amazing what you can do with it - I have heard so much bad stuff about it - but it suits my skin so well. Secondly every girl needs a good liptick and for me it's all about LUSH's emotional brilliance range, they have some amazing hot pinks and they also double as eye shadow too. Finally LUSH's Ultrabland is a must have for removing make-up - it takes all the face off in seconds and it leaves the skin moisturised and doesn't harm the skin.
What is your one favourite piece of fashion or accessory from your wardrobe? The greatest thing I own is my Lady Gaga meat dress - at the contest in Pulse we had a Gaga week. We had to use rubbish so I recycled some old t shirts and a dress I hadn't worn for ages.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? I think that's a scary thought, because where I am now is far ahead of where I thought I would be five years ago - right now I'm in a huge transitional period - I have my career starting and I am expanding my horizons, I've begun to dabble in several things and they could take me to a multitude of places. But in five years time I want to have my pug Henry with my loving partner Andrew!
What's your opinion on the recent increase in popularity of drag, due to things such as RuPaul's Drag Race? On the one hand it's cute, the show has grown drag into the mainstream - but it's also cheapened the craft too. Now everyone is suddenly a drag queen, and I'm guilty of that myself - it's become easy to do but in the same breath not everyone makes a good drag queen - some people are motivated by the success of the show and not the underlying essence of what makes a drag queen. I would like to think I have done my homework and I'm not just gyrating to Jessie J with thirty of my mates clapping me on the back. I actually put the time and effort into what I do.
Anything else we should know about Heidi? My name is Heidi Wurst - it's a play on words, Hide the sausage, it's also unique, I spent years coming up with a drag name and searched high and low - many people assume I stole it from Conchita Wurst - but the name existed before she was famous. Heidi is also fluent in German - the character was born from my love of Germany and the German language so Heidi is able to perform in both languages. Sadly not many people speak English let alone German in the Valleys!
Heidi has many events in the pipeline, she's on stage with Raja and Milk December, she'll also be appearing at Raven and Jujubee in March. She's also going to be doing some stand up again in the future - Heidi is without a doubt a comedy queen!
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