Where are you originally from?
I am very proud to say that I am a true New Orleanian from birth!
How long have you been doing Drag?
Well, I started on the original drag queen’s birthday (Halloween) in 1998. I did it on occasion for a while until I relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2002. That’s where my career took flight. I did it more regularly and was in different show-casts around the city.
How did you select your Drag Name?
My first name came from the only soap opera I ever watched, which was Passions. I thought it was different and it also explained what I had to offer the drag community—PASSION. My middle name came from my love of fashion and ARMANI is my favorite clothing label. My House Name comes from one of the greatest in the artform who ever lived! CASSADINE!
Did you have a Drag Mother?
Of course! My mother is a legend in her own right. Tanisha Cassadine took me under her wing in 2003 when some of the other performers shunned me for my makeup and performing skills. She started working with me and sharing with me her wisdom and greatness. She has won several national titles prior to her departure. Some include Miss Continental Plus, Miss Black America, Miss Diamond of the South, Miss World National, Black Continental, and Bitch of the Year among many others.
Do you hold any titles? If so, which ones?
I don’t hold any at the present time, but I am gearing up for the next competition as we speak. Some of the titles I have held in the past include Miss Gay New Orleans America, Miss Queen Fashions, Miss New Orleans Pride, Miss Starlight III, Miss Louisiana Leatherette, Miss Black Continental Bitch of the Year, Miss Regional Southeast, Miss Pride International, Miss Pensacola Gay Pride, and most recently, Miss Peach State Plush!
What is your most embarrassing moment performing? Proudest moment performing?
My most embarrassing moment was from one of my peers when I first started. I was onstage and I remember hearing her saying how ugly I was and how horrible my makeup was. It really did something to me inside to where I vowed to myself to keep pushing and to overcome the level that said person was on. I have accomplished so much in the artform and grown as well. Although drag is a revolving door whereas you have to keep growing, I think I can say I’ve overcome that level many times over.
My proudest moment is winning the Miss Gay New Orleans America pageant. After competing in other preliminaries that year I was just going to wait until the next season. But our very own Miss Gay America Raquell Chevalier contacted me and coached me and told me that I should continue and not wait. I wanted to go to MGLA, but I also wanted to be a part of such a rich history of New Orleans drag, and Miss Gay New Orleans is the longest running preliminary. With anything that is worth winning, that night I was faced with obstacles, but I was victorious in overcoming them! I have been Miss Gay New Orleans now for 15 years!!
What is your favorite venue at which to perform?
I have performed at most venues here in New Orleans. I have taken a break from performing for a little while in order to focus on my career, but I make an occasional appearance every now and again. I love working mostly with Vanessa Carr Kennedy and Mama Honey Desiree Chevalier. They host many different types of shows at many different venues!
How does your drag persona differ from your non- drag persona?
I really would like to believe that they’re one in the same actually. But, if there is a difference, then let me say that Passion is more daring to do the things that Jonathan won’t do!! Hahaha!!
If you could change one thing about the drag scene in New Orleans, what would it be?
It would be the divisiveness amongst each other. I notice that many talk about one another behind their backs. I even know of someone who doesn’t care for me, and I have never even been in this person’s company. It bothers me because with many other battles that we face in the LBGTQ community we should be standing united on ALL fronts. God bless us all in our fight to be who we are!
What is your zodiac sign?
Which one? Passion or Jonathan? LOLOL! I am a Gemini! There are two of us, so I guess it’s good to have two sides!