With a performing style combining drag and burlesque, this sexy Bearded Lady vamps stages all over the city. And after an upcoming cabaret benefit extravaganza, Vic Sin will soon be taking over the world!
Vic Sin: Really cute!
Is door goddessery ever, like, fun… or is it all just kind of a job?
It’s kinda both! You really get to fuck with people. I never had more people buy me shots and drinks before, especially when you are in a straight bar looking like an alien.
So if people come and ask you like “what are you, what do you do” in an environment like that, how would you respond?
Uhhh, most people don’t really ask, honestly. The face says it all: “bearded lady.”
So how long have you been slaying the worlds of burlesque and nightlife now, do you think?
I started in burlesque in my home town (Kansas City, Missouri) in 2011, so a little over six years in nightlife.
What was growing up in Kansas City like for you?
Awesome! I was raised in a really awesome home, where I was always encouraged to be creative.
What were your early creative outlets?
Dance. I basically grew up in a mini-van going to dance class with my sisters. One day, the studio owners asked me to join a class. I never stopped!
How did you find burlesque, and what about it appealed to you?
I saw the 2011 Kansas City Burlesque Festival. I saw performers taking control of their own sexuality–all different bodies and sizes–so confident in themselves that that they would bare all to show you. I wanted that power.
After that show, I actually went up to the director of the festival who runs Kansas City Burlesque Downtown Underground, and told her I wanted to join them. She told me to make a burlesque name and an act, and she’d book me for their next show–which was in May of 2011!
What was that first time performing as Vic Sin like?
It was really boyish.
Gotta start somewhere! When did you get to New York, and did you dive right into the burlesque scene when you got here?
Got out here in 2013. I actually want to come to NYC to dance only. But the dance world moved so slowly, I kinda got thrust back into burlesque.
Had your performing style already evolved by then?
I started the character with the intent of evolving it. Vic was the male side, Sin was the female other half.
So, drag became an element of your act.
When I was in Kansas City I detested drag; I thought it was weird. After moving to Bushwick, I was exposed to some amazing drag artists, and it changed my idea of what was possible with my look and character.
I originally starting just doing boylesque with my gender-bending style. After my first [NYC] gig, Merrie Cherry cornered me and asked me, “what do you wanna do?” I said I wanted to perform. She told me that all I needed to do was paint my face and lip sync a song, and after enough exposure I could do whatever I wanted. She booked me for a Dragnet, where I did my first lip sync, and from there it all started!
How would you describe your role as a performer now: drag queen, burlesquer?
My role is to be myself. I am Vic Sin. Drag or burlesque are titles.
Is conveying sexuality an important element of your stage performances, or is it more about other emotions?
I think both. I usually focus on emotions. The sexuality comes through with emotion. The more you expose, the more people can connect. I usually use deep feels of things going on in my life to make beautiful images on stage.
This number from “Nightgowns” was made made through insecurity:
A performance like that reminds me about how blurry the lines actually can be between burlesque, drag and interpretive dance now. Do you try to be more like one than the others based on the gig your doing?
Yes, always based on the gig. I will always bring dance.
I saw some early videos of you performing beardless, but now your beard seems such a part of your stage presence. Growing it must’ve been a big part of your artistic evolution.
My beard is my brand. And I have evolved, not just my acts, but me the person putting this face on has evolved. I’ve grown fond of the beautiful face I can paint. I feel power in creating a beautiful look. The early days were me trying to find out who and what Vic Sin could be.
Well since then, your burlesque has gotten you travelling far and wide! What have been some of your favorite touring moments, and cities to perform in during your career?
My first trip to the 2016 Vienna Boylesque Festival has been a defining moment in my career; one of the coolest experiences in my life. Walking into a room and having burlesque icons like Tigger know my name and welcome me made me feel like I really do have a place in this community.
Everyone in NYC seems to have a drag/burlesque family. I’ve never really felt like I fit in, but in Vienna I had instant family. People ate me up. I felt truly validated! Hence, why I am so honored to be invited to return this year.
Sounds like an amazing experience. But the sad reality is, travel is damn expensive, especially on a performing artist’s wages.
Yes, it is expensive. I work damn hard to make my journey abroad possible, but I can’t do it alone. The contributions of my peers and supports is extremely important.
Fundraising is really humbling. To say “I need your help” is hard. I want to pretend I am a glamorous, busy queer artist, solely making my money on nightlife, but I’m not. I work 36 hours a week at a coffee shop to make this queer journey possible.
This year, I thought it’d be great to have a show to highlight not only my talents, but the individuals around me who have inspired my growth. Everyone in this cabaret has a really unique relationship to my art.
And fuck, it’s a beautiful cast. Not only beautiful people, but truly smart wonderful humans. It’s extremely masterbatory, but I fucking love that this cast of creatures will come together to help me do me!
You’ll have luminaries like Lee VaLone, Ragamuffin, Seedy Edie and Ms. Ter, plus many more. A large and diverse cast, which will make for a great show.
Without a doubt! It is Vic Sin: dance, drag, art, faggotry. This cast is me. And this cast also contains artists who don’t usually come together in this setting. Pepper Fajans is my dance mentor and friend, who has supported my queer experiment so early on. I did not choose these artists with a lot of thought.
They will definitely give you a great sendoff! When do you leave for the festival?
May 23rd, the day before my birthday!
Happy Almost Birthday! And I see you have a few more Bizarre gigs squeezed in there before you depart?
Oh god April is crazy!
On the 18th, the Fuck You Revue.
Then on the 21st, “Crown it.”
All really big shows for me. And an out-of-state show or two before I go abroad. It’s never ending!
Get those gigs! What else should we mention?
How single I am? [Laughs] just kidding. But really, I’m single and available!
Hear that, world? Get this! Okay, last question: what is the very worst song a person can burlesque to?
Omfg I love this question! I love music. I think burlesque performers do a really great job of picking songs. The worst song a burlesque performer can choose is a song that was not fully conceptualized with the idea of the number. The End!