Meet Our First-Ever “Best Drag Queen” ~ Toothpick

When did you start the art of drag, and what made you want to become a Drag Queen? 

I started dabbling in drag when I was a sophomore in college and began taking it seriously my senior year, in 2016. As I became more comfortable in my sexuality, I quickly realized that drag was an outlet for my creative passions: music, painting, fashion, and media.

I have always said that if I could choose ANY job, I would be a pop star regardless of skills and qualifications. Now… I can’t sing well, so I think drag is the next best thing. Drag allows me to express my art in multiple ways, all at once, and that’s what I love about it.

What are some of the inspirations for your looks? 

I pull a lot of inspiration from pop culture for my looks. Female musicians are always setting the standard so high for conceptual albums and “eras” that I use them as my muses. When you look at artists like Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Gwen Stefani… They all have these very iconic and distinct looks that anyone can recognize.

I want to create that same energy and provide a familiar yet unique take on what I present to the crowd. I start almost all of my costumes myself, so I truly get to have the creative freedom to make my looks, however, and whenever I want. I also like to do impersonations of pop stars, like Gaga and Dua Lipa, and creating replicas of their looks is really fun to do. My specialty is delivering a performance of a song released the same day as the show.

Many wonder how long it takes to get in full hair and makeup, how long does it usually take to “get ready?” 

It takes between an hour and a half to two hours to get ready… beginning with washing my face and ending with zipping up my boots.

What does drag mean to you? 

Drag means so much to me. On top of being the creative outlet I talked about earlier, it’s really a safe space for me as a gay man. Drag is rooted in acceptance and queerness, which is so powerful to so many people. The community that drag fosters is strong and welcoming, something that I haven’t found elsewhere.

I love the sense of liberation I feel when I’m on stage and the happiness I see from the audience while they’re enjoying a show.

How has the pandemic affected performances and appearances? 

The pandemic has been a fascinating thing to navigate in the drag world. Obviously, bars were shut down for a few months, so many of us queens were out of work and turned to virtual shows to supplement income and continue to provide that comfortable space for our community.

The virtual shows offered a new and creatively challenging method of delivering drag, which was really fun, but a lot of hard work. Many of us were putting in double or triple the effort for one show with all of the filming, editing, and promoting. It was incredible to watch the queens develop new ways to showcase their drag during this time.

Now, the show I’m a part of, the 4Some Revue, is back at the Kobalt Bar, performing once a week, and it’s definitely a little different! We are very strict with following CDC guidelines, ensuring that social distancing, masks, and sanitation are enforced, but this also means that the bar is at a limited capacity.

We can’t take cash tips or interact with the audience in the same degree as before. I’m just happy to be back on the stage at a bar that cares so much about the guests and staff’s safety.

What have you done to still sharpen your craft even through the quarantine?

One thing I worked on during quarantine was customizing human hair wigs. It’s been a fun challenge to take on while isolating at home. Those things are expensive, so it’s a little high risk, but I’ve gotten pretty good at them and have sold a few to other queens. Another skill I’ve gotten better at is definitely my video editing.

This one was a skill acquired out of necessity for the virtual shows, but now I can carry that over to the stage when I create backdrop visuals for my performances!

Follow Toothpick on Instagram

For more information on the 4Some Revue, visit: https://www.kobaltbarphoenixScom/4some-revuew

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