World, take note! Also known by her burlesque alias Regina Stargazer, LadyQueen (i.e. a female self-identifier who drags female, and also the name of her all-female drag troupe) Cream Victoria is claiming April Wednesdays at Rockbar for her own. Thotyssey meets The New Queen of the West Village!
Cream Victoria: The show was wonderful! Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen, NJ is a fantastic burlesque spot, and White Elephant continues to deliver with their unique brand of beauty and entertainment.
How do you identify more commonly now as: a burlesquer who sometimes drags, or a drag queen who occasionally burlesques?
Definitely the latter. My calling as a drag queen has helped me re-build the confidence i needed to get back on the stage in burlesque. There was a dark period where I thought I was going to outright quit the stage altogether.
So drag saved you?
We’ll come back to that, but let’s cover the basics first… first off, where’s your hometown?
Born and raised in Clifton, NJ. Then the ‘rents split up, and I moved around a lot in Northern NJ.
Did you know your gurl and fellow Jersey LadyQueen Crimson Kitty from back in the day?
I’ve known Crimson Kitty since she was a burlesque performer known as “Agent N” or “N, the Only Letter in Burlesque” with Hypergender NYC. After getting my first taste of the burlesque scene 10+ years ago, she was the first live performer I saw. It blows my mind that she’s now my drag foster mother.
Werk. What was it about burlesque that first appealed to you?
Burlesque made a mark early in my life, watching Jessica Goddamned Rabbit seduce the fuck out of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I wanted to be that. I wanted to kick drooling men back to their seats, and twirl around to a live jazz band.
I want that too! Where was your burlesque debut?
My very first official burlesque performance was at the Salon Convention NJ in 2006 with White Elephant. It was one of the first international events to introduce the Victorian Steampunk lifestyle. I played the part of a submissive male, opposite to Betsy Radicle, who played turn-of-the-century dominatrix.
I had my first solo in early 2007 as Regina Stargazer to Duke Ellington’s “The Mooche”. Draped in sheer black fabric, I swooned both the crowd and myself when I stripped off the layers and reminded myself, What Would Jessica Rabbit Do?
So Cream, why did burlesque ultimate go sour for you?
Burlesque became so popular within the past decade that it seemed like everyone you ran into was a burlesque performer. Then you get the producers who have openings for anyone who wants to perform for “exposure,” instead of paying for actual talent.
Then the movie Burlesque hit theaters, and suddenly everyone who bought lingerie at Hot Topic and a feather boa from the Halloween store is a Professional Burlesque Performer. When I continued to introduce people to my profession, no one took me seriously.
What is it about performing as a LadyQueen that’s much different than burlesque?
I can tell you this much: I get a greater reaction from people when I tell them I’m a drag queen [laughs]! On stage [in drag] I feel more open to my acting talents, compared to my burlesque antics. And that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an actor.
What’s your favorite number to do now as Cream?
To date, I would have to say my favorite number is “Carioca” by Jonathan and Darlene Edwards. It’s most recognizable as the theme song to The Kentucky Fried Movie. And when I started getting Cream Victoria together a year ago, I envisioned her as a Queen who performs in a Southern Florida night club, in the 80’s–that tropical resort, almost La Cage aux Folles feel.
There are still a lot of old-school male drag queens out there who don’t get the LadyQueen movement, including RuPaul. Do you feel a lot of shade and difficulty trying to lay your claim to the drag stage?
Of course not. It’s understandable why male-identifying drag queens don’t get the LadyQueen movement, because it’s hardly been exposed to them before. Throughout history, it was illegal for a woman to even be on the stage!
I’ve been told It’s not quite as shocking to see a female identifying performer dress as a drag queen because “there’s no illusion,” whatever bullshit excuse that is! One of my favorite old-fashioned queens, Witti Repartee, pulled me aside and told me that the most important thing I needed to be in order to be a drag queen was to be entertaining.
From then on, I have made it a point to producers and hosts of the shows I do to not make it a point to the audience that I’m a cis female. I want them to be prepared to be entertained, not for them to deconstruct my image the entire time I’m on the stage.
Have you ever gone through a whole gig without anyone clocking your gender?
There have been a few nights where my gender was not questioned. It’s both a blessing and a curse, because I don’t feel singled out by my co-performers and/or audience. But on the other hand, I need to continuously promote my drag collective, LadyQueen, which is made up of female-identifying, non-binary, and trans performers.
Your next LadyQueen show at Stonewall, with Crimson Kitty and company, is coming up on April 9th. we’re all glad that female drag performers aren’t commonly called “bioqueens” anymore, because now you have some trans queens in the crew, like Krymson Scholar!
It’s fantastic, isn’t it?! The feeling of being accepted and encouraged to be who you are, without the harsh judgments of what society thinks it should be, just fills my heart. I can only hope that those who have walked the same path as Krymson feel inspired by her to grace the stage without the feeling of being ridiculed.
Yes! C’mon Residency! I have had my own show before, but nothing as involved as this. As a prize for making it to the finals of the Miss Rockbar 2016 Pageant, we were awarded our own one-night-only show. I went first, and called it “Timeless.” It was a small reflection of who I was, and how I came to accept the person I am now. It went over so well that I was asked to do an encore performance a month later.
Now that I will be filling in for Petra Fried, Wednesdays in April is getting to be pretty interesting. I’m hoping people will catch wind of it so I can secure a more permanent position. The most exciting part is that my show comes right before the White Elephant Burlesque show at 8:30pm!
That is gonna be a pretty seamless lineup! Can’t wait to see it!
Wonderful! I’ll dedicate a song to you! How does “Talk To Me” by Peaches sound?
Absolutely perfect. What else is going on in the Creamiverse?
Cream will also be in Coney Island on April 20th for the Reefer Revue.
Let’s talk about the importance of Coney Island for a bit, in terms of burlesque, and just a historical home for fringe performing arts.
If you ask anyone in NYC what they think of when they hear Coney Island USA, they’ll automatically say “burlesque and sideshow.” It’s vital that people know about this place as a legendary location for some of the most memorable times in NYC history.
A perfect day trip for me is Coney Island for the beach, Nathan’s hot dogs, ride the Cyclone, and be lured into a building with a barker out front promising us “sights to behold.” We would walk in and see beautiful women with giant feather fans and gorgeous silk gowns dancing across the stage. Then we would look as a strong man covered in tattoos shove a double-edged sword down his throat with precision! And they’ve been doing this for over a hundred years!
I’ve felt like Coney Island has always been a part of my life, and it’s only right to let others be aware of what part Coney plays in their own hearts.
Beautiful! Any more burlesque performances in the near future?
If you’re interested in what Regina Stargazer is up to, she will be back at Roxy & Dukes, and with her White Elephant family, in May.
Noted! This was a great chat, thank you!
I cannot thank you enough for this wonderful opportunity to speak with you. You are doing the Lords’ Work. And if my application to season 10 of Drag Race gets accepted, I will believe there is a God!
God Save The Cream! Take care, and slay these gigs!
Cream Victoria hosts “The Young Queen” at Rockbar Wednesdays in April (7pm), and is the recurring guest host for Florence D’Lee’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 9 viewing party at Lantern Hall in Brooklyn (Fridays, 8pm). Check here for more upcoming gigs. Cream / Regina can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.