She cleaned up at Shequida’s “Drag Wars,” and now she’s slaying Miss Barracuda. Makeup artist and stylist Markey Ricciardi is one of the newest fierce queens to slay the nightlife of NYC… you know her better as Miss Zeta Jones!
Thotyssey: Zeta, hello! So, okay, I must start with: did you see your namesake Catherine Zeta-Jones’ cameo as Olivia de Havilland on the premiere of Feud the other night?
Zeta Jones: I did! I feel like a part of that character is actually her: a little bit boujie, high class chic who’s always dressed to the nines! All up in high society life and what goes on.
Totally! Why specifically do you love Catherine?
She’s a total sexy, dark woman that gives High End Sex Bomb that’s effortless, without any affectations. Besides that, she’s friggin’ talented, and all that jazz.
Werk! So, how long have you been doing drag now?
It’s been about six months and counting.
Where’s your hometown, and how did this all begin?
I am a Jersey boy from the shore. The spray tan is just washing off now.
I started everything as a performer, coming in and out of NYC for gigs and training as a kid and teen. After high school, I ran to LA for a moment. Then I came back and fell into makeup, of all things. It’s been really good to me as a career: I have gotten to assist famous and talented people, been on makeup teams for fashion ads fro Marc Jacobs and TV shows like Project Runway Al-Stars. It’s pretty cool.
So, drag was something that happened when you combined the performance side of my life and the makeup/fashion side of my life. For me, drag is a combination of things and factors of my life that come together to bring something effortlessly fierce!
Definitely the perfect storm for a drag career!
That, and a big fat ass!
What actually motivated you to actually start drag, though?
What motivated me to go into drag was my friends – I’m friends with a lot of the drag artists here in the city – and they were being supportive and encouraging.
I said, why not, only live one time, let’s go for it… but take it seriously. It has quickly become a fulfilling outlet for myself, emotionally and creatively. And it’s just fun!
What were your first gigs as Zeta?
I am the longest-running winner of Drag Wars at one of my favorite places, Pieces Bar in the Village, hosted by the icon–and a person I adore–Shequida. Also, [I performed at] the Ritz with an amazing friend and sister Maddelynn Hatter. Following the advice and guidance of Shequida and Maddelynn really helped me on that path of always stepping it up.
I also have done a lot of fun one-off gigs, like a Christina vs. Britney debate in Brooklyn, and some fun, cool others. I always feel humbled when someone wants to book me for something, or even give me an opportunity to share what I can do with people. It’s very cool, and all I feel is humbled by it.
And Drag Wars was probably good training for Miss Barracuda! When did Miss B. get on your radar, and what motivated you to give it a go at this early stage in your drag?
With Miss B., [pageant host] Tina Burner actually had asked me to come by [the weekly drag competition she hosts at Barracuda] Star Search for a moment, and she asked if I would be interested in this pageant. Everyone knows I can paint and be a stage slay with a crowd, so I wanted to do something where I can show off a little more creative artistry.
It fit what I wanted to do, and it’s a good time. Everything I do, I want to always have a great, fun, “come and play with me” energy… and sometimes if I can add some artistry in, it makes people say “Yes Gawd!”
Werk! Miss B. really drives queens to their creative edges, particularly with looks. Do you have any background in designing or constructing costumes?
Concepts are something I have worked with in my career as a man. So with drag, where I am this fun Bond Girl, it’s a great time being able to create and show different sides of my Rubix Cube. It’s a skill on its own that’s always developing, I really enjoy it!
Last week at the pageant was a film-themed Gown Week! Describe your look there, and how happy were you with the results?
I did Titanic! I felt it would be a fun concept to being in the scene where Jack sketches Rose like one of his “French girls,” so I did half of my face and body as the sketch and the other half as Rose: very simple and clean. I chose a silhouette from the era. I kept it simple, I liked it. Thus far, I loved my candy counter bathing suit the best in all the looks: the concept was fun and cerebral.
How are you gals getting along in this pageant? I know there’s (literally) very little room for drama in tiny Barracuda!
[Laughs], I am rather quiet myself when it comes to backstage. I like to show up, be professional, be kind and be a human. Then I go out there and slay. So I am just kind of me, and focused on the job that I’m there to do. Everyone is fun, and I enjoy seeing all these cool chicks that are also sitting on a secret.
I mean their scrotum.
Ha! So, what’s this week’s challenge?
Oh, I can’t wait to see those! I won’t ask you to spoil yours.
Anything else coming up?
Yes! I have the awesome opportunity to perform with Pixie Aventura at Hardware on March 14th. I’m guesting in a few Stonewall Invasions, and I have a few fun things in the works. You can find out on what they are on my Instagram.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9: who’s gonna win?
And the show’s time slot and network change this year: yay or nay?
I say fucking Yay, full toot, bring RuPaul (who is always the real winner of Drag Race) back to VH1.
Final question: Did Catherine Zeta-Jones’ vag really give her husband Michael Douglas cancer?
[Laughs] I don’t know, but all I have to say is, “Pu$$y gewd, Pu$$y sweet, Pu$$y gewd enough to eat!” [Laughs] I love that carefree, “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that comes with rich people. Werk Ms. Jones, with your X-Man vagina!
Werk indeed! Thank you Zeta, and good luck with Miss Barracuda!
Zeta Jones competes in the Miss Barracuda 2017 pageant at Barracuda Bar on Thursday nights (11pm) through March 16th. Click here for more upcoming appearances. Zeta can be followed on Facebook and Instagram.
See Also: Zeta Jones (1.29.2019)