On Point With: Venus D’Lite

August is Madonna Month, and Venus D’Lite is one of the most sought after talents of the season. Perhaps the most famous impersonator of the Material Girl in the world, Venus graced RuPaul’s Drag Race’s third season–but her time there was short-lived, thanks to snarky editing and bad advice from a previous Drag Race girl. You can’t keep a good queen down, though: Venus showed us more of what she was made of in two other widely-watched TV appearances, and she continues to perform all over the world. Catch her this weekend in New York for the Madonnathon in Brooklyn and her own Stonewall Invasion, and read this very candid Thotyssey interview now!

Thotyssey: Thanks so much for talking with us, Venus! Did you just get back from a Honolulu cruise?

Venus D’Lite: I just did, yeah!

Wow! What time zone is your body in right now?

I gave myself 12 hours of sleep yesterday to catch up with everything. As soon as I got back, I had so much to catch up on. Today I’m going to Palm Springs! I perform there every other week, for a show that I do with a good friend of mine, Mr. Dan Gore.

What kind of show is it? Are you Madonna or Venus there?

It’s an impersonator show, so I do Madonna. It’s hosted by James Haake, whose drag name is Gypsy. He’s the original host of La Cage, that started in Los Angeles & Vegas. He’s billed as the oldest living working drag queen–84 years-young! He looks like he can go on for another 84 years. He’s quite a character, an amazing person.

It’s him and me, plus three other people, who do impersonations for a two-hour dinner show. We do one or two characters per night. The other character I do in the show is Gwen Stefani. And at the end, we do a number where we actually go from girls to boys in four minutes. It’s an awesome closing number!

Impressive! I’d love to see that. That can be my excuse to get out to Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is a really fun getaway. It’s like you’re travelling back in time, back to the 50’s and 60’s.

Nice. Okay, let’s talk a little bit more about this cruise you were on, because it also happens to be the 14th drag anniversary of Venus D’Lite! Congratulations!

Thank you! That’s so sweet of you to say.

It’s an amazing accomplishment. I figure the average drag career–in the NYC at least–is four or five years. And you must’ve been a fetus when you started!

Seriously, I was! Well, I was eighteen. I was very young, very naive, young-dumb-fulla-cum! [Laughs] When I first started, however, I didn’t start as Madonna. I actually started as Marilyn Monroe. And the first night I did drag was actually the 40th anniversary of her death, August 5th.

How did you wind up there [at Club 7969] that night, in Marilyn drag?

My boyfriend at the time was good friends with the host of a show there. Club 7969 was a really famous drag bar in West Hollywood. [My boyfriend and I] had been together for more than a year, so I was used to seeing the shows. I tried doing drag a couple of times, and then the host asked me to be part of the show. They were having a Marilyn-themed party that night, for the anniversary of her death. Delta Work was in the show with me as well, and so was Raja. And RuPaul was in the audience as well that night.

Wow! So, this would’ve been long before Drag Race obviously, but well after “Supermodel.” So, Ru was a well-known star by then.

Yes! But drag in the media was very different then. Even in the gay clubs, it was very different. Anybody who wanted to be a drag queen at the time just had such dedication and passion for the art of it. Nowadays, it’s like everybody and their mother wants to be a drag queen–because it’s trendy, it’s fashionable.

But back then, if you were a drag queen and you were performing on the same night as a gogo/stripper group–you probably weren’t gonna make a lot of tips, because they were the ones who everybody came to see. And then after Drag Race, all that changed. We became the celebrities, the ones who everybody wanted to see, and take photos with.

So, before you started doing drag, what were you like when you were younger? How did you evolve as a performing artist?

Well, I was always a fan of Madonna, and I looked up to her as a mentor. So, I had a lot of interest in being an actor, a performer and a dancer when I got out of high school. When I was very young, I was very rebellious, because I was the eldest. My mom was really protective of me, because I was the first. And also, I didn’t have an older sibling to look up to or learn from. But I graduated early, and I went to college and wanted to be a dance major. I knew some movement, but I wasn’t great–I couldn’t even spin.

I was very young, and I met my ex-boyfriend at that time. His name was Eddie. Eddie did my makeup for three years; he was the one who definitely pushed me to do Madonna.

And now you’re arguably the most famous and successful Madonna drag impersonator in the world.

In the beginning, that was thanks to Eddie. He was my Sonny Bono. He saw potential in me from the beginning, from the first day we met. He asked me to sing for him. Since day one, he had this plan to make me a star. It wasn’t until I did Madonna that he realized that it was my niche–it was what I was good at. He was my teacher; my drag mom, I guess you can say.

Were you always, in those early years, going out as Madonna? Or were you developing a Venus D’Lite look of your own?

Well, I started out as Madonna. I didn’t really branch out into other types of drag until two years later. Those first two years i was doing a lot of contests as Madonna, and I was winning quite a bit. By the time I was 21, I had my own show, which ran for six years on a Saturday night. I had no hosting skills, no management or marketing skills, or a wide array of characters or acts that I could do.

My Mom always taught me, “If you can’t do something right, go back and try again ten times harder.” She raised me to succeed. I didn’t want my show to die in three months.

The show gave me my own platform to explore myself as an artist. I learned how to host, do comedy, do other characters. I also got to learn how to socialize! A lot of drag queens don’t really know how to socialize with people.  I traveled a lot after Drag Race, and heard a lot of stories about how the queens everywhere don’t socialize with the people. That’s what the people want! I had to learn how to interact with people to make my show work. That was one of the biggest things I cherish from my time at that show.

So much emphasis in the media is spent on your physical appearance–on your cosmetic surgeries, and the amount of money you’ve spent to look like Madonna. $75,000 is the figure you’ve often quoted, and other sources really inflate that amount.


But there’s more then just her appearance that a career impersonator needs to get right, of course. There’s her personality, her mannerisms, her movement. How long did you study all of that when you were trying to get her down?

For hours. I always watched interviews with her, and still to this day I watch a lot of interviews. The thing about Madonna is.. well, everyone, we all grow. We all change, our mannerisms change over time. Watch an interview with Madonna from 1985, and you’ll notice a big difference between an interview from 1995, or 2005. In ‘85, she was very bubbly and flirty, and playful. And in 1995 she was very Diva. And in 2005, she had a British accent and was very prim and proper.

I like her interviews now! She’s more spontaneous. I think she’s more comfortable doing interviews now. She’s always hated doing them. She blinks a lot when she’s nervous.

I know! A Madonna fanatic friend of mine showed this to me, her eyes were going nuts during the press conference. It’s crazy!

Yes! You can tell she’s in her head, trying to think of the perfect answer. That’s one thing that’s very difficult about Madonna as a character to do, because she doesn’t give out a lot of emotion. Most of her emotion comes out in her dancing. And her singing, and her songwriting. That’s where her emotion and her passion come out.

She’s definitely been through the ringer this past year or two: the public fallout with her son, performing drunk, the nasty fall. This is probably the must human that we’ve seen her in awhile, right?

Absolutely. I’d have to say, since 2012–that’s when she was doing the MDNA tour–it was the first time I ever saw her cry, on stage. I’ve never seen her show any emotion before, and she was just bawling, tearing up.The last four years, we’ve definitely seen a lot more emotion and vulnerability come out of her.

It must’ve have been a real intense moment for you, as her impersonator, watching her break down like that all of the sudden, after all this time. As if you were the one having the breakdown in that moment.

Totally. It really made me feel emotional for her, made me wonder what was going on.

Let’s skip a little ahead now, and talk about your time on the show.

Is that what they’re calling it now, “The Show?” [laughs]

But of course! I mean, you’ve actually appeared on two shows after that, so you’re two step ahead over most of these other queens. But of course it’s the show [laughs]! I’ve seen it written that you were one of the few queens to get onto the show via an “open auditon,” and I’m not really sure what that means.

For Season 3–it was the only time they did it–they had an open call casting, where they were gonna pick you on the spot to be on the show. They asked you a lot of questions, watched your personality, checked out how you performed a little, saw how you looked on camera and what your fashion sense was. And then they’d pick you right there and then. That’s what they did with me and Delta Work. We were picked raw, basically!

When they picked you, in that moment, did you realize immediately what a life-changing experience it would be for you?

Hmmm… wow. I was very ecstatic. One of the hardest things about it was that I couldn’t tell anybody. We’d couldn’t say anything when we came out [of the audition], and all these girls was asking me and Delta these questions.

Me and Delta, out of the whole group… we were respected, because we were part of the Dreamgirls Revue, which was the longest running drag revue in southern California. So I think everybody could tell that we had a better chance. All eyes were on us when we walked out, but we couldn’t say anything!

Oh my God, I had to run into the bathroom because I was filled with emotion, I was crying. I felt like my life was gonna change. I had already been in the business for 9 years, and a lot of hard work and blood, sweat and tears went into it, and I thought this was finally gonna be the big pay-off.

It was a wish come true. I had seen all these girls from previous seasons that would be travelling, and that had always been my dream from when I was very young: to travel the world. I was happy that this would help me go in that direction.

Did RuPaul give you any indication that she recognized and remembered you from your first performance at Club 7969?

Yes, she did! She actually used to go see the Dreamgirls show a lot. She knew me and Delta pretty well.

What were your feelings about the production value when you were there?

When I got to the set, it was definitely very professional. It didn’t feel like it was low-budget, or that everyone was running around with their heads cut off. It was the third season, so they had definitely worked out the kinks from the first two seasons. What I loved about my season was the variety of the girls. It was one of the few seasons where all the girls were their own persona, and weren’t carbon copies.

And for me, I was the first of the lookalikes in the series, before Chad Michaels & Derrick Barry. I was the first! And Phoenix had her own style, and Mimi, and Yara. Everybody was in a certain category. I loved that we were all different. 80% of those girls I had never met before. When I got there, I was so in awe… the set was beautiful.

One thing that happened [differently then] on season 3, when we did our walk-in to present ourselves, we had to open a door. In season 4 or 5, there was just an open space to walk through, but in my season we had to open a door. They told me before I went on, “Okay, open the door, and in front of you there’ll be a camera, and then you give your really cool greeting, or something.” So, I opened the door, and I couldn’t see the damn camera! So when you see my walk-in from my season, I look kinda lost because I don’t see the camera… like, what the fuck [laughs]?

When I got on Botched, I walked in and said “Helloooo dah-ling!” That was my make-up for Drag Race!

When you got onto the Drag Race set and saw the girls and planned ahead, did you consciously decide that you were going to be yourself and be natural, or were you going to play up a “character?”

One of my absolute biggest regrets being on that show was that I did take some bad advice from a season 2 girl–I won’t say names, yet! I will later, but not now. But I did get bad advice from a season 2 girl to be an awful cunt and a bitch. She said it would keep me on longer.  So I did kinda play this aggressive, bitchy character. I didn’t really get to show the real me, and I regret that. On the other shows I did, I got to show a lot more of who I am. But not on Drag Race, no.

Unfortunately as the First Eliminated, we didn’t get to see a whole lot of you, so that Bitchy Character was edited into this into this very narrow caricature for the first episode. Especially during your lip sync for your life with Shangela, where it looked like you were being roughly physical with her as you vied for the spotlight, tearing off pieces of her costume, etc. That was probably a five minute number, condensed into maybe a minute and a half of screen time. What did we miss from that aired edit?

You missed me jumping off stage and landing in a split! I was really upset about that getting cut. Me and Shangela were trying to give you this I Love Lucy moment, you know? Like, ripping each others clothes off. But it was edited to make me look like this crazy, wild drag queen who was beating up Shangela. But her costume was made out of a lamp, so it fell apart a lot easier than mine.I made my costume so that it wouldn’t fall apart if I had to lip sync.

I thought your costume was cute, and your wig with the ponytail was cute, too!

Thank you! That was another thing: drag queens have that theme, “Christmas in July.” That was the theme of my costume. Editing didn’t mention that… if they did, it would’ve made a lot more sense. That’s why it wasn’t so elegant, and why it was so simplistic.

Some years afterwards, Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio released a “Really Queen?” video segment where she mocked your performance in the episode. You made a video response to that, and you seemed annoyed and maybe hurt by Bianca’s comments. Were you really?

Well, Bianca reads people, and that’s her schtick–that’s her brand. So I did something different: I read back. But everybody took my read as so serious and hurtful, like I just threw a bomb at her. But a lot of people see me as a warrior queen from Drag Race, so that’s probably why they took it so seriously.

I really didn’t understand why Bianca made a video of me. Of all the 90-plus queens on Drag Race, why me? I mean, I must be doing something right, for her to call me out! I was the first who went sent home in my season. I guess when it happened, my episode of My Strange Addiction had been aired, and it was blowing up and being talked about.

There’s another video you posted about a year ago–it looked like you were in a dark place, mostly because of your recent breakup with Eddie. But also because you seemed a little overwhelmed by the hate-trolling on social media, and a bad crowd of fake friends in your personal life. Was that aspect of your fame very difficult for you to handle?

About a year after Drag Race, I had broken up with Eddie, who I was with for 11 years–

Eddie being the one who started you on this whole journey.

Yes. It was a very hard transition. And I just had my year after Drag Race, which was a roller coaster itself. I was always so used to being in this one place–my little imaginary Madonna world–for years. And then when you become famous, you deal with the rest of the world. It’s a lot to handle, and not everyone can do it.

Now I handle it way so much better. Before Drag Race, I hadn’t really been doing drag for almost 10 years. And when the show hit it was drag overload, basically. I needed a break; I needed to really find myself.

Unfortunately, when that time came, I was hanging out with the wrong people: people who were just interested in my fame, wanting wanting wanting. I was blind to why these people were hanging around me; they weren’t there for my well-being.

The vultures know where to circle.

Oh, definitely. When you’re down and low, that’s when they come. I had just gotten out of this really important relationship in my life, and they swarmed around me. And it wasn’t just one or two, it was a couple. One of them was that guy on My Strange Addiction.

It finally took some realization to be like, “You guys aren’t really my friends. You’re just taking me away from the real me, from what I’m good at.” When I finally realized that, I cut them all off.

Let’s talk about these other two TV appearances you made after Drag Race. First, there was Botched. That was a reality show that followed plastic surgeons consulting and correcting surgical mishaps. The funny thing about your appearance was, you just came in to one episode for a consultation. You didn’t have any botched surgery, you were just asking about a potential nosejob to more closely imitate Madonna’s nostrils.  So, were you just using your association with surgery as a way to to be on this popular show about surgery?

Well, actually my appearance on the show was a fluke, and I’ll tell you what happened. A friend of mine who casted Drag Race Season 3 was also casting for Botched, and was looking for any of us girls who had plastic surgery who wasn’t happy with it. And I had joked with her, saying “Well, it’s not like I hated my surgery, if anything I would want more.”  And she thought it was funny, and took that to the producers, who loved it. And thy asked me to come in for an audition, and I was like, “Okay, why not?”

I auditioned, and then I hadn’t heard from them in such a long time [afterwards]. And then they finally said, “We liked your audition, and we’re going to start shooting soon, would you like to be in it? It’s gonna air after the Kardashian show.” So [I agreed]. And I was interested in fixing my nose. They said I didn’t need it, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get it, wink wink [laughs]!

It was the easiest show I ever shot. we didn’t rehearse anything, it really was all raw. I had fun! The doctors were a lot of fun, and we all got along really well. It was a side of me that you didn’t get to see on Drag Race that I got to show: the fun, bouncy side, the jokester.

And then, when did you shoot that My Strange Addiction episode?

That was January 2015. Shot in November 2014.

That was a memorable appearance, where we saw a very emotional, human side of you.

Definitely. It was the hardest shoot of my career, it lasted a whole week. They were going for an hour-long episode, and I got the short one. They’ve re-released it now with deleted scenes. But it was very hard. i almost didn’t do it, actually.

I was seeing that guy [who appeared in the episode] at a time when i was quitting drag. I was laying low and hiding out, nobody really knew where I was. It was the same casting agency as Botched that told me this show had interest in me, and would I be [in to making an appearance]? And then they told me that they were going to do a whole season that wasn’t going to be as whacky or crazy [as prior seasons], with people eating mattresses and stuff. They wanted to do something that was gonna be about double identity–people with an identity crisis, or a dual personality.

My friend Tony, who is now my manager… I told him this show wanted to shoot me, and I was not in a great place for this. I was planning on quitting drag, and was all over the place. How can I make a show like this? He was like, “You know what? Do the show, get on camera, and you tell the whole world everything that’s going on in your life right now. Trust me, you’re gonna blow up. This story is gonna be huge. You might not think that because you don’t think it’s glamorous, but it’s gonna show a side of you that everybody is gonna eat up.”

Were you really feeling at the time that you were having the identity crisis that the show’s producers were trying to “sell” you as having, that you were actually obsessed with being Madonna?

No, it wasn’t to that extreme. The show is called My Strange Addiction, so–

So you had to have the hook of being addicted to something.

If I would’ve been able to give it another name, it would’ve been “My Strange Investment.“ They didn’t really show [on the episode] that I had a career from that. That’s one thing that I wish they would’ve added.

t’s a major thing to leave out, that this was your job to look like Madonna!

As far as “extreme”-wise– the money [I’ve spent on the surgeries, the wardrobe, cosmetics, etc.]–that’s all true. Another reason why I wanted to tell the story was that, as drag queens, it is true, we do spend a lot of money our other identity.

To a lot of people, it’s crazy. And in some sense, it is. We do lose ourselves. I know so many drag queens who are just stuck in that character. They talk and live like that character 24/7. But, where’s “Ben”? Where’s “Dan”? Where’s “Craig”? Who are they?

I didn’t see [my boy self] Adam for many years, with my bleach-blonde hair, no eyebrows, always playing Venus and Madonna… I lost Adam. I didn’t know who Adam was. I really didn’t. I didn’t even know what he looked like! I had to grow back my eyebrows and dye my hair back.

I wanted to show that other side of drag. We do lose ourselves. There is that dark side, and I wanted to show that. We have problems with our families, our relationships, and also with ourselves.

It was pretty riveting. And, uh,  then came Novympia’s video parody where she’s a drag queen was addicted to pretending she was furniture!

I heard about that. That was a spoof of my appearance. I guess I started a trend! That’s following in the footsteps of Madonna, if you can start a tend!  [laughs]

How do you feel these days… do you feel whole again? Have you found Adam?

Oh yes, I’ve found Adam! He’s a hot, sexy motherfucker! And he’s a lot of fun to be around. I can actually look in the mirror and see who I am, and be happy. A lot of us drag queens aren’t happy with who we see in the mirror. That’s a reason why so many people like drag so much, because it gives us a chance to be somebody else… to take on another personality and get away with it. There’s things that Venus can do that Adam can’t do. But now I can look in the mirror and be like, “hey, I really like the person I’m looking at.” Venus is just a character I play; she’s a brand. She’s somebody I work for.

So, August is Madonna Month, which means you must be in really high demand now, right?

This is always my busiest season. I’m very glad to have just gotten back from Hawaii. Madonna’s dancers came onstage there and surprised me. They’ve been touring for their documentary Strike a Pose. I didn’t know they were gonna be at the show. I hadn’t met them before; I worked with Carlton on My Strange Addiction, and I met Luis Xtravaganza, and there’s a couple of others I met, but I had never met Jose or Kevin. I’ve tried to have a conversation with them on Facebook, but it’s never happened. I met them at a bar the night before and asked them if they were coming to the show, and they said they were thinking about it.

I had a 20 minute set, and it was during my second number that I saw them in the front row watching me.  So as I was performing, I kept slipping on my high heels because the stage was so slippery, and my last number was “Vogue.” I was going to do it in the choreography of Blonde Ambition, and I was like, “Oh my God, I can’t fuck this up in front of them!” [laughs] I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself! So I took off my heels for “Vogue” and did the whole choreography, and that made them happy. Then they came on the stage. I heard the audience screaming, and then I turned and I saw them on the stage dancing, and was like, “oh my God!”

That’s a great story! Have you seen Strike a Pose yet?

Not yet! I’ve seen clips of it. But [those dancers] have always had a special place in my heart since I was a teenager, because I always watched Truth or Dare. What I loved about Truth or Dare was that not only did you get to know about Madonna, but you got to know her dancers as well. I idolized and admired them, and then as I got older I got to work with them… each time I met one of them, it was like meeting someone who I grew up idolizing. When I finally got to meet Jose and Kevin, it was another moment of being a teenager back at my grandma’s house watching Truth or Dare.

Let’s talk about the 13th annual Madonnathon at the Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday. August 20th! Have you done this one before?

No, I haven’t! But I call it the Coachella of Madonna events!

Perfect description. You’re headlining the night of Madonna performers, can you give us a spoiler for what you’re gonna perform?

I’m going to take us back to the 80’s, some Virgin Tour Madonna.

Have you ever been a New Yorker?

I lived in NYC for about six months in 2013-14, but I never really got to go to Brooklyn much. So performing in Brooklyn is actually a first for me. I’m very excited! Cathy [Cervenka] called me a year ago to do it, but it was really late and I was on tour. But we connected and talked about me doing it [next/this] year, and we were talking back and forth about it for the whole year. And now I can’t believe it’s gonna be in a week [laughs]! New York has such a special place in my heart. I think about it almost every other day.

Come move back! We need you!

I would love to! LA is my homebase, but I’m a wanderer. I’ve always said  I wanted to live in Florida, but I only lived there for a month. Now the next place is either an island or Europe.

Well, that’s a good way to go, too. So Sunday–the following night–you’re gonna be headlining the Invasion at Stonewall. That’s a show that they do with a new queen every week. But you performing there is gonna be a big deal! Have you performed in Stonewall before?

No, I haven’t. It’s definitely another moment for me. It’s an historical landmark, and a landmark moment for me as well. I’m a little nervous. I have in mind what I want to do. It’s gonna definitely be a different type of show than Madonnathon. I like doing intimate shows. I kind of have in mind, like, something Madonna did for the Tears of a Clown  show.

Oh my God, if you rolled in on a tricycle in a clown costume, I think people would lose their shit.

Yeah, they probably would! [laughs] You know, when she did that, that made me fall in love with her so much more. It was a very intense, raw tour, and for her to go in a totally opposite direction and do this fun, silly, intimate, emotional show… I couldn’t get enough of it. Maybe I’ll do that. If I was watching a drag queen coming out as a clown on a tricycle for a Madonna show, I probably would lose my shit., too!

You’re gonna have some guest performers there, are you familiar with them? Crimson Kitty, JizzaBella and The Countess Mascara. Are you familiar with any of them?

Well, Jizz used to be my booking manager in 2011.

Really? Your manager? I didn’t know that she did that.

Yeah, she did! We’ve known each other for quite some time. And I know the Countess. I’m really excited to be performing with them. I love these kinds of shows. They take me back to shows I did before Drag Race, to the VIP Club in Riverside, where I learned to be very intimate with everybody.

I was in Hawaii, and they had two stages. They have the stage-stage, which is in front of everybody, and they have this dollhouse stage, behind a sheet of glass, with all this furniture. And people have actually performed in this box. And they asked me where i wanted to perform, and I said I don’t want to be in the dollhouse, I wanted to be on the stage. I wanna see all the faces of everybody who came, I wanna shake their hands. I love an entertainer who connects with the audience.

One performer I saw who was a great entertainer, but totally missed it with me with her interaction, was Britney Spears. SHe just seemed very robotic and human, and din’t interact with her audience.

Yeah, she get’s like that sometimes, doesn’t she? By the way, is it true that you were  in Christina Aguilera’s video for “Hurt?

I was!

That’s the one where she’s on a tightrope in a Depression era circus, and her dad is there, and she cries?

Yes! [laughs]

 How was that experience for you?

Awful! [laughs] That was the first time I met Willam, actually. We were shooting in the Wine Country party of California at midnight until 6 in the morning, and it was winter time, and it was very cold. We were freezing, and none of her staff brought us heaters, and gave us an area to keep warm in. WIllam and I snuck off into a tent to get warm.

Miss XTina was very diva and very rude, and didn’t make us feel very appreciated. She looked at me a couple of times and laughed and giggled like it was high school. It was very uncomfortable. Like, “I’m freezing my ass off to be in your video, and you’re just being a bitch.” That experience was awful. I’d never do another one of her videos again.

You know what was cute, though? I saw a video you did a long time ago, as Paris Hilton, doing the weather. You looked and sounded exactly like her!

I watched her on The Simple Life and I fell in love with her! I had the chance to meet her, and it was great. When I met her, it was very close to when I met Christina. I took pictures with both of them, and [when I posted them] so many people just said these horrible things about Paris. And they were praising Christina! And it was really the exact opposite. Paris was so welcoming and nice, and Christina was just a bitch. And I was like, “if these people only knew!”

Ha! Well, who knows, Christina’s a mom now, maybe she’s mellowed out.

True, being a Mom changes you. Look what it did for Madonna!

 Have you ever gotten any actual feedback from Madonna during your career?

Well, you know, I’ve met her manager, Guy. He follows me on Twitter. I haven’t gotten any feedback. I’m gonna be very honest, it’s because I haven’t worked for it. I haven’t pursued meeting her. I’ve had front row seats at her last couple of concerts, and have been very close to her, but I never really had made time to actually go and meet her.

Now is a different story, but back then I just wasn’t ready to meet her. Sometimes you meet someone who you respect so much, and when you meet them in person, it isn’t what you’d expect. I was always afraid of that.

It’s a good thing you weren’t a Christina Aguilera impersonator!

Oh my God, I would’ve fallen apart! [laughs] Things like that happen. But now, this woman has been a huge part of my life, and I have been honored to work with a lot of people who have been in her life. And I just feel like it’s that time.

I’ve had a way that I’ve always wanted to approach her. I would want it to be very casual, and be like, “Hey do you want a drink? Maybe some wine?” [Laughs] And I didn’t know how she would react to that. But then I saw this interview, and Kurt Loder was asking her how she would like a guy to approach her, and she was like, “Well, he could just ask me if I wanted a drink or something, maybe some wine.” And I was like, [gasps] “Oh my God! I feel so much better now!” So now, I’m making more of an effort, and saying it in my prayers, and putting it out there in the universe that I would like to meet her.

I think it sounds like you might really be ready. And I think she might be ready to meet you! Maybe she’ll read this.

[Laughs] Let’s make some magic girl, let’s do a photoshoot!

So, what’s coming up for you? 

[Recording original music is] definitely a near future dream of mine. And I do want to do a lot more television acting. And I’d love to have a really big [stage] show, with dancers and props. A really big stage production.

I just started my new fanclub on Facebook, the Star DLite Club. And I’m coming to Portland in September 17th. And then I have Houston coming up some time in October–I’ll release the exact date on my social media really soon. I’m in Oscar’s Bar & Grill for Carnival Cabaret at Palm Springs every other weekend.

I must ask, did you see the infamous Kimono-thon that resulted from the Madonna challenge in this last season of Drag Race?

I thought it was the most stupidest piece of shit episode I’ve ever seen. That wasn’t a Madonna tribute, that was a Memoirs of a Geisha tribute. And I don’t understand why they didn’t ask me to be a judge on that episode.

Yeah, that was lost opportunity, Ru! So in closing, I want to ask you one last question. It sounds like you’re on the road to happiness and completion. But some people are still struggling with trying to take control of their identity, their life… what would you tell them are the main steps to be happy and to be whole?

Oh, wow! Okay. One: you need to relax. Stop trying to be in control. You need to find a support group. Find a group of friends that love to talk to you about anything, a family of people who will really respect and love you.

Another thing: make a list of five things that you like doing by yourself. You’d be surprised! I’ve asked people to make a list, and they can’t do it. They’re either co-dependent, or they need to go on Facebook and make a post and have validation.

And that’s another thing: stop looking for validation! If you want to really love yourself, you have to stop trying to get everyone’s opinion about you.

Happiness comes from within. Do the things that make you feel happy, don’t look for other peoples’ validation of your happiness. If you want to eat cotton candy, go buy it! Buy a ton of it. If you’re a bookworm, go read books! Just go do it. Don’t ever be afraid! Find your passion.If you have a love for doing drag, or impersonating someone, or writing, or blogging, or cooking, go do it! Each day goes by, you don’t get any younger. Start now!

Words we should all live by. Thank you so much for this, Venus, it’s been a pleausre! See you this weekend!

Venus D’Lite will be in New York City headlining Madonnathon at the Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday, August 20th (8pm). Then on Sunday, she’ll host the Invasion at Stonewall (11pm). Back in Palm Springs, Venus performs bi-monthly weekends in the Carnival Cabaret at Oscar’s Bar & Grill. She’ll appear in Portland on September 17th, and in Houston some time in October. Follow Venus on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube.


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