Debuting this current drag incarnation just last summer, actor and dancer Buddy Flowers already has a weekly show lined up: and it’s a coveted Fire Island summer gig, no less. While quite candid about exactly how she got show, few can argue that she’s an amazing talent. Let’s slip behind the curtain into the chamber of gypsy queen Boudoir LeFleur!
Thotyssey: Bodouir, hello! How’s your week so far?
Boudoir LeFleur: So far, so good! I’ve been busy prepping a few new numbers and “tricks” for Wednesday night at Boots & Saddle.
You’re popping up all over these days! How long have you been Boudoir now?
I officially became Boudoir on August 29th, 2016, when I premiered as a special guest with Ginger Snap for a show called Dining with the Divas.
And I’m popping as much as possible–that is for certain! There were other versions of Boudoir in the past, but I’m happy she came together at a great time in my life.
Aside from Boudoir you have all sorts of jobs. How much is going on with you right now, exactly?
I work part time for a wonderful little Japanese Diner called Ivan Ramen on the LES as a bartender; Saturday and Sunday nights as the singing cocktail waiter at Marie’s Crisis in the West Village; and a few nights a week pulling as many guest appearances as possible for Boudoir. All while trying to keep some form of dance technique up! I’m having a blast!
That’s on a lot on your plate! You must be experiencing every type of person and situation there is right now.
Yes. Every type! And that’s why I love NYC so much, I feel lucky to get to connect with people of all walks of life and lifestyles. I try to bring a sense of humor to life as much as possible, it’s fun to see how and what will help you connect with people you barely know.
Are you craving downtime at all?
I’m looking forward to treating myself to a long vacation in the fall! So the marathon continues until then.
So, it’s time for the origin story!
Okay! Here we go…
Where’s your hometown?
A small and lovely town called Dover, Ohio… about an hour south of Cleveland.
And how long have you been a performer?
The first performance I gave was a mime act, to “Send In the Clowns” sung by Judy Collins, in the 4th grade. I knew I wanted to be in the talent show, but I didn’t have what I thought was a talent.
Well, My grandfather had been a gymnastics coach in the late 70’s, so I asked him for help and he choreographed an entire routine! I was 9, I believe.That means 20+ years… the + doesn’t count, right?
Don’t worry, I can’t do math! I saw a video collage of your dancing, and I must say you’re incredible; where did you continue your training?
I take one class religiously–even if I have the busiest week. I make sure on Wednesday nights I go to a “classic” Jazz class with Stephen Harding at the American Swiss Ballet Academy, on 43rd & 8th Ave.
Besides that, I get studio space to rehearse for Boudoir. I like having a lot of private time in a “safe” [space] to create a new number. I have to feel the vibe. I want to know what my body could do–not only to the lyrics, but also the subtleties and different qualities within the music.
Does Boudoir move much more differently then Buddy?
The best way to describe it is like a cake. Buddy and Boudoir are the same cake, with completely different icings. Boudoir is more off-balance, dramatic, and accentuated than Buddy. In life, so many times all we see is the icing. And with a visual art, like drag, it makes all the difference! Creating that new icing each time is so exhilarating.
Did you ultimately move to New York to pursue the stage?
I did! My first job was in CATS in 2004! For the next 10 years, I performed in many choruses of tours, and various theatre companies.
Do you have a favorite memory from those shows?
On the Evita tour–in Akron, Ohio actually–my good friend Malia Tippets was the understudy for Evita. She knew it was her moment to snag the role, as contractually the current Eva Peron was set to leave. I taught her how to really walk in heels, how to hit the power poses, and all the dance steps. She went on, and by the end of Act 1 she was cast!
I was so proud to help a friend reach her goal. She was possessed that night onstage! That focused energy could have conquered the world.
So, Boudoir has a very baroque aesthetic, very gypsy Stevie Nicks. Where did that come from?
I was very close with an Aunt in my childhood. Amber was her name, and she was a mystic. She read tarot cards, had crystals, loved to cook for everyone we knew, make drinks, and threw huge outdoor parties. Those were the happiest times from my childhood. I grew up around many adults with loose morals, and so, Boudoir is simply the natural reaction, I believe…
Oh I love that! I just read Cherry’s description of what your show’s gonna be like there this summer (Sunday nights starting June 4th). It says that you will be mystically channeling divas past!
Boudoir is very nostalgic! And my show “Boudoir, Ce Soir ” is going to have a ton of throwbacks! I love to combine the old and the new by mixing together different eras and genres. The show features a “wheel of fortunes,” which dictates what happens. I’m taking drag suicide to another level with this! There will be numerous categories for the audience to spin, and fate decides who & what Boudoir does next!
it must be very exciting to come out swinging with your first weekly show, and it’s on Fire Island no less! Did you get that gig as a result of your debut with Ginger?
It definitely got the ball rolling! Luckily for me, a week or so after that gig, there was supposed to be a hurricane: ferries were canceled, queens flocked home in fear of being stranded. But the storm was barely a sprinkle, and Cherrys needed a show that night! I got a text around noon, spent 9 hours throwing together a show, and jumped out onstage. It was more exciting than I could have ever anticipated!
It gets worse! When Ginger offered me the gig via text, my number was saved wrong in her phone, so she thought she was texting a different queen. I won’t tell you all the details, but I managed to keep that diva’s gig, which wasn’t mine in the first place! And it was the best risk I’ve ever taken.
It’s amazing how these things work out that way! Well, it’s great to see somebody new performing on the Island.
It’s a drag fairy tale, to be real!
And in the meantime… you’ll be appearing with Emi Grate and Gilda Wabbit at Boots & Saddle on Wednesday, for the debut of their monthly show there! How do you know those two?
I met Gilda through my drag manager, Lindsey Kay. She had an inkling we’d work well together, and she was right! I’ve had a ball guesting with her at Albatross over the last month or so. I’m looking forward to performing with Emi for the first time tomorrow!
So, OMG, Drag Race Season 9 premiered last week! Thoughts? And who’s team are you on?
I’m dead after the season premiere! Jesus, this is going to be a good one. As for what team I’m on, it’s definitely team New York. Lady Gaga spoke of a drag artist with a point of view. Point of view, for an artist, is an important spark of creation!
True that! On that that note, any closing words of wisdom for the children?
Listen to the call in the back of your mind, telling you what you need to do, even if you’re scared, you have to do it. It will change your life!
We hear you loud and clear, Boudoir, and thank you!
Boudoir LeFleur hosts “Boudoir, Ce Soir“ at Cherry’s on the Bay, Sunday nights beginning June 4th (9pm). Check here for other upcoming appearances. Follow Boudoir on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.