Where are you originally from?
I am originally from New Orleans. Born and raised
How did you end up in New Orleans?
I was raised in New Orleans but moved to California after graduating from Xavier University in May 1986. I moved back to New Orleans in 2001.
How long have you been doing drag?
This is a good question. Prior to meeting Monica Synclaire-Kennedy what I was doing was not drag. It was mostly dressing like a girl, which I had been doing since I was about 17 years old. Even then it took me several years before I learned to appreciate the art form of drag. I needed to learn about hair, makeup, costumes, performing, lip syncing, jewelry, and the rich history of what drag is, where it comes from. And I needed to appreciate the inherent responsibilities we each have towards the art form.
How did you select your drag name?
When I started expressing my fem self, I took my name from Vanessa Williams. At the time, she had just won, and then had to give up the title of, Miss America due to “erotic” photos of her being published. At the time it seemed like it would be the embarrassment of a lifetime for her, but she quickly turned that around by not apologizing, or hiding and started a singing and acting career. Like a Phoenix she turned her situation around to a powerful comeback and gained even greater notoriety.
Did you have a drag mother?
Having a Drag Mother, Monica Synclaire-Kennedy, has been one of the greatest honors, and guidance, I could have ever had. She was instrumental in many ways, teaching me more about drag than I even knew existed. She also taught me to consistently raise my own expectations for myself each year.
Do you hold any titles? If so, which ones?
Yes. I am 2016 Miss Louisiana Leatherette, and 2016 Miss New Orleans Pride. I am extremely proud of both titles and they both helped me launch my platform of Peace and Inclusion within our LGBT community.
What is your most embarrassing moment performing?
I can say this because I am now going on four years sober. My most embarrassing moment came when I was drunk and almost had to cancel hosting my show. The shining moment in that turmoil was when Monica Synclaire-Kennedy and Felicia Phillips came to my rescue by pouring coffee down my throat while doing my makeup backstage and then shoving me out onto the stage and threatening me with my life if I didn’t sober up quick and do my show.
Proudest moment performing?
I’ve had many proud moments performing. One that stands out is being Miss New Orleans Pride and doing a live music opening for Bianca Del Rio in the Joy Theatre.
What is your favorite venue at which to perform?
One of my favorite places to perform is at the Anne Lane Gallery on Royal Street in the French Quarter. Anne’s Gallery is very welcoming to all. It’s usually about a two hour performance, half inside, and half outside the gallery as tourists walk by, or come in for a glass of champagne. It is the most New Orleans place I’ve ever performed.
How does your drag persona differ from your non-drag persona?
I don’t find my personality changing much between Drag and just walking around the Quarter in a nice dress. However, my fem persona can be quite different from my male one.
If you could change one thing about the drag scene in New Orleans, what would it be?
I’d add mutual respect to all of us. I wish we could all appreciate every form of drag that is created and thrives in New Orleans. I’d also advocate for more shows to have rotating casts instead of set casts. We have so many great Queens in and around New Orleans that some audiences never see. More diversity and inclusion in shows could give great artists a larger stage, and make all of our shows better.
Your zodiac sign?