This very young queen made a huge impression during the Miss Lady Liberty competition and The Ultimate Drag Pageant, and now she’s got some more huge gigs to slay. Meet the prettiest French courtesan from SoCal that ever lived, Miss Bijoux!
Thotyssey: Bijoux, hello! How’s your week so far?
Bijoux: My week is going pretty well! There are a lot of events happening with Halloweek around the corner, on top of very important events like “Enough is Enough.” I’ve basically just been trying to balance rehearsals with my day job!
Living the dream in NYC can be a real bitch! How long have you been a New Yorker now?
It’s been a solid 5 years now. I moved in 2012 from southern California for college. I’m actually the first person in my family to leave SoCal!
Wow! Which town do you like better?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one! New York allows so much more room for artistic freedom and expression. But there is such a special place in my heart for those California beaches, and 73 degree weather.
Also, I went home for a week in June, and it was almost impossible to find a place to perform as an amateur queen! There are so many incredible opportunities for new queens in New York.
How did your drag journey begin?
I’ve always been a performer, and ended up going to college for dance. But while in school, I got a job in the costume shop and ended up falling in love with fashion and design. Drag ultimately became an incredible way to combine as many of my passions as possible!
I also love the community, but can be rather introverted – and drag makes me feel powerful, so as to meet all of the wonderful people who come out to the shows.
Is your family supportive of Bijoux?
When I came out of the closet, my mom told me, “Just don’t ever come home in a dress.” Things have turned around entirely, and my mother couldn’t be more supportive. She sends me clothes, jewelry, and even tries to set up teaching opportunities for dancing in heels. My father thinks Bijoux is really talented, but it’s not quite his cup of tea. They both love me very much though, and if it makes me happy, they support it.
Where did your drag name come from?
My mother’s family is very French, and I’m in love with the culture! I also love shiny things, and Bijoux means “jewelry” in French!
Love it! So, did I hear correctly that when you competed in Miss Lady Liberty this summer, it was your very first performance in drag?
Yes it was! It’s crazy how you can perform for your whole life, yet suddenly throwing some makeup and heels into the picture makes you feel brand new!
It was a great performance! And I recall you had a huge built-in fanbase, which is pretty unusual for a first timer. Who were all those people?
Yes, I did have a large squad! I’m really lucky. When I posted about performing in drag for the first time, there people I haven’t even talked to in years that showed up, as well as my best friends. I love having them there, and am so grateful when they come! When I post about shows now, it’s still exciting to see who’ll come.
I cannot speak highly enough, in regards to opportunities for new queens. I absolutely adore [host] Marti Gould Cummings, and through the competition I got something even better than 8 weeks of performing. I found amazing connections with queens like myself, and through that, I’m getting even more performance opportunities and experience. It really makes you develop quickly!
Werk! And then there was Dragaret, a drag cabaret revue at the Metropolitan Room with Cherry Poppins and Vanna Deux, produced by Michael Block. When you have a trained theater background but you’re also a budding drag queen, what percentage of you in a project like this are you a musical theater actor, and what percentage are you a queen?
For an event like Dragaret, there’s a large percent of performance that needs to be dedicated to being a queen. Sure, there were a great selection of showtunes, but the times that you aren’t singing, you’re speaking on the mic. That’s where you really have to engage the audience and keep them into the show. I haven’t had much experience hosting, so Dragaret has a special place in my heart. I remember repeating to myself “Okay Bijoux… You have a mic. Time to use it!”
Yay! Well I’m happy to report that you’ll be getting a little more hosting time in this coming Sunday as you perform and co-host a stretch of ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, the nightlife all-star benefit for Gays Against Guns, this Sunday at Boots & Saddle! Michael Block and I are excited to produce this event for such an amazing cause. As a serious aside, why do you think people are so obsessed with heavy artillery in this country?
It’s honestly so baffling. I keep asking, “How many more atrocities?” But now I believe there will never be an answer to that. Some people will always think the answer is to fight fire with fire, instead of fighting fire by taking away the flint and kindle-wood.
Hopefully the time will come soon when people will listen to reason. Until then, Sunday should at least be an incredible show… are you gagged?
The lineup is INCREDIBLE. I am so excited to get to share this stage, and event, with so many talented humans. Also, endless thanks to you and Michael for putting this together. It is going to be such an important benefit, and I feel very lucky to be involved!
We’re lucky to have you!
And then the next weekend you’ll be back at Boots for the Halloween revue 7 Deadly Sinisters, where you and some Ultimate Drag Pageanters and UDP-adjacent queens give us your collective take on The 7 Deadly Sins. You’re Greed!
Yes I am! The event is on Sunday the 29th at 7:00pm, and I am so pumped. Because it’s Bijoux, my number will still be sexy, but I cannot wait to be covered from head to toe in jewelry and rhinestones, haha! There are also group numbers with choreography by Andrew Barrett Cox, and I’ve been a fan girl of his for years. The group of queens that are performing have such an amazing and natural rapport. The night is going to be amazing, and these girls will really be pulling out all the stops.
Amazing indeed! What else is coming up?
On Halloween night, (yes, Tuesday), there’s an event at The West End Lounge called “NIGHTMARE on West End” that I’ll be a part of. There will be a variety of acts such as queens, live singing, burlesque, and more. The best part is that if you get the pre-sale discount tickets, the open bar from 10pm-1am is only $40, which is wild for a bar in New York City! In order to get the discounted tickets, people need to speak directly to one of the performers, so let me know if you’re interested!
Great! Okay, in closing: what is something the world does not yet know about Bijoux, but should?
Bijoux is really true to who I am. I strive to let my heart and honesty shine through when I’m on stage, or talking to anyone I meet while out. When I see queens like
Brita Filter, or Marti Gould Cummings (and there are many others), the first thing I notice is the light in their faces. They are so different from each other, but who they truly are shines through and makes them stars, and I find that so inspirational. When you meet Bijoux out at night, I can guarantee you will be getting a genuine person.
Then to lighten the mood, Bijoux has also been an avid World of Warcraft player since age eleven!
All good to know! Thank you, Bijoux!