This Wicked Witch of the North (Wisconsin!) has swept down and taken over our fair city, casting her deadly spell on all of us. Behold her sorcery in Brooklyn and basically everywhere else, and read a page from the Urban Spell Book courtesy of Thee Suburbia!
Thotyssey: Hey Suburbia, Happy October! So how was your Bushwig experience this time around? It wasn’t your first time to that rodeo!
Thee Suburbia: Bushwig was beautiful. It was a great moment to reconnect with other performers and supporters that I don’t get to see too often; sometimes because they live outside of the city, and other times because we’re just passing ships in the night.
What did you perform?
“I Fink U Freaky” by Die Antwoord.
Amazing and perfect for you! What do you look for when you want to try a new song for a performance? Like, what does the song have to be to meet your performing style?
Something witchy. Doesn’t really matter to me if the energy is low or high. Within the performance and the circumstance, the energy will be determined right before going on. All of the things I perform – be it a lip sync, a poem or me singing live – will seem like a spell.
My character is a witch stuck in the 90s. So you see, any song works. it’s really more about the look for me, and the story I’m telling. I perform mixes as well. I’ll reveal more about myself in the further questions. I mean, *POOF orange smoke*
The spell is already cast! So Suburbia, where is your hometown? Dare I ask, are you from the suburbs?
The Suburbs in the Midwest. Wisconsin. They’re mostly all the same.
What was your impression of life there?
I didn’t exactly have an impression. However, my reality was interesting. I didn’t exactly live how I wanted to live. I just lived how I knew how: extracurricular activities, Boy Scouts, church, bonfires, tennis, North Faces, catty lovable neighbors that get your mail when you go on vacation. Once I actually figured out how I wanted to live, I saw how I was living and had impressions of where my life would go.
How did you want to live?
In the city! With a dog. As an entertainer. I also wanted to be a Disney character, but sadly that was not a reality. That’s when I looked to all of the queer movies. Then I learned about community.
So when did you make the trek to NYC?
When Jermaine Dupri told me.
He’s an influential man. What did you find when you got here?
I found Fashion Week and the giggery that came with it. I’d go to school, create spells, go to Fashion Week and these shows, and be at the parties in ridiculous D.I.Y.-wear. Eventually that part of my life made it on all the MTA buses advertising Humans of New York. When Brandon asked me who I was that day, I said, “The Sultan of Wisconsin.”
It might’ve been because I’m actually a witch of Wisconsin. That’s when I really learned about the power of social media. He posted that pic, and everyone had something to say.
[from Humans of New York]
Did you become a more powerful witch when you got to NYC?
Yep. Spells for days once you live in the Apple. Spells on the MTA clerks, spells on the baristas, spells on the traffic lights. It’s Basic Witchy, til you’ve been waiting 15 minutes for a frappe.
With those little moments came the other witches. Over those moments you see eye to eye, maybe share a ride or a coffee or a laugh, and then POOF you’re singing Ertha Kitt in the shower and wondering if you should be a drag queen or a witch. I chose both.
You choose fabulously! Please teach me your spells on the MTA clerks someday.
You’d have to witness me cast it in order to acquire the knowledge of the spell.
When did you start performing as Suburbia?
After I decided I didn’t wan to be Fritto Lay.
Another wise choice. Who were the first queens and queen-adjacents that welcomed you into this world?
Rify Royalty, Elizabeth James, The Nobodies (Lady Bearica, Ariel Italic, Eric Shorey), Ruby Roo, Ragamuffin, Nancy (one of the security guards at Metropolitan Bar), Blue Hawaiians and taxi drivers that tolerate my witchiness.
What do you think of the Brooklyn scene these days? Has it changed since you got here in any huge way?
It’s still great! And yes and no.
That’s fair! You perform a lot there, but you also do stuff in the Village. And you just twirled for the Hell’s Kitchen children at Marti Gould Cummings’ Hardware show recently! Is that a very different crowd than what you’re used to?
I loved performing there. They’re just as amazing as the humans in Brooklyn. The main difference in the audience was that they were all seated. They have many rectangular blocks for the audience to sit on. It looks a little similar to Barracuda. The best part about the night was doing drag suicide. We could have gone on all night.
I am such a drag suicide junkie!
Okay, let’s talk about where we can find you these days… Last Tuesdays of the month, you’re at Sing Sing Ave A in the East Village for Fairyoake! I know queens who love hosting karaoke and those who have hated it. Where do you stand?
I love karaoke. I love encouraging people to sing. Working at a karaoke bar does things to your brain. All of those screaming voices. Blahkalashabakala. So many spirits reaching for the right notes and to unleash what’s within: creative blocks, writer’s block, bad week, haircut that didn’t go so well, losing a job, getting a job, holiday doubts, the fact that it’s the end of the day, and let’s not forget… getting married. There are never lost voices or poor unfortunate souls when I’m hosting a karaoke gig! *cough, cough* stolen voices.
And pretty recently, you and Lady Havokk started hosting “The Most,” a Friday show at Macri Park that stemmed from a viewing party of Drag Race. How do you like WERQ-ing every week with Lady & DJ JCLEF?
I love those two. And we love Macri Park. We’ve been working together for about 6 months now. We actually do lots of numbers, sometimes a drinking game.
The crowd is always cute. It’s a happy hour time slot, 7-11. Goes from chill to lit very fast.
I’m getting there. I have to start baking them the night before instead of he day of, lol! I love Rockbar. I love working a bar and connecting with the people there.
And you’ll be at the 3rd anniversary of everybody’s favorite Brooklyn party, “Straight Acting,” at Metropolitan this Thursday!
I’ll be performing at the door.
Amazing! So what else is up?
I just finished shooting a movie in Westport, CT called Batsh*t Bride. You can find it soon on Hulu and all the other channels. I’m a supporting actress. I play a queen named Pandora. The title tells half of the story! I guide an uptight human into not being a bitch to the humans anymore. I also help get her to tell her fiancé that the wedding is off on April Fools Day. And that’s all I’ll say until you go to Netflix! Maybe in the spring or summer, I think. The director’s name is Jonathan Smith.He had produced and directed two movies that are findable for your readers: Breast Picture and The Worst Year of My Life.
Uhhhhhhhh Mazing! Cant wait to see it! Okay, final question: this may be redundant to ask a witch drag queen…. but what for you wanna be for Halloween?
Sextina Aquafina from Bojack Horseman. Or one of the Orca Stripper drivers of Cabracadabra from Whale World, on Bojack Horseman. You thought I was gonna say witch didn’t you? Nope. It’s some sort of marine mammal. From Bojack Horseman.
That will be a sight to see. Thank you, Suburia!
Thee Suburbia hosts “Let’s Have a Croissant” weekly Sunday nights at Rockbar (10pm) and karaoke monthly last Tuesdays at Sing Sing Ave A (10pm). She co-hosts “The Most” with Lady Havokk at Macri Park (7pm). Check Thotyssey’s calendar for other scheduled gigs, and follow Suburbia on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.