When Thotyssey last spoke to this gorgeous. hilarious and influential queen, she had just returned to the States after her recurring summer residency in Mykonos last year. This past summer, though, she was all over the world…and now she’s back in NYC once again to give us our lives. It’s Radio City’s Queen of Christmas Past, Present & Future, Miss Roxy Brooks!
Thotyssey: Miz Brooks, hello again! How are you? Or better question, WHERE the hell are you? You can literally be anywhere in the world at any given moment!
Roxy Brooks: Haha, hey boo! I am back in NYC. I was in Houston for a gig last week, for a couple of days.
How did it go?
So good! You know I love traveling, and being a Tranny on the Go. Or “Hooker on the run,” haha! Stole that from a friend.
You’re quite a traveler, whatever you’re called! Usually during the summer season you’re at your residency in Greece, but this past summer that didn’t happen because the venue was being renovated.
They were still open, actually. They decided not to have a drag queen this summer to cut costs for renovation.
Were you jonesing for Greek stuff this summer, or was it a nice change of pace to spend it back in Florida, where you lived for much of your life before settling in NYC?
I did miss it. Mykonos is a magical place. But not working 125 days in a row with two shows a day enabled me to travel more this summer and continue with my cosmetology license.
I did a summer tour. I was a featured guest during Amsterdam Gay Pride, which included hosting and performing for Bianca Del Rio’s afterparty for her new comedy tour she launched in Amsterdam called Blame It on Bianca. I also got to work in Amsterdam with Lady Bunny, Amsterdam’s MayDay, and a slew of amazing European entertainers.
[This summer was also] my first time headlining in Las Vegas, which was always a dream for me.
Sounds like an amazing season… who needs Mykonos!? So what are things you have to do immediately when you’re back in New York, as far as things to eat, places to be, etc?
Well, I think of places to drink first, haha! I love going to my home bar Hardware and seeing friends and family, and catching up over some drinks and shows.
I am so excited to try the new Empanada Mama!
It’s getting raves!
You also can’t order GrubHub and Seamless from your bed in every city in the world, so that I love!
See, the world outside of New York is still a terrible place!
One of the many reasons you keep coming back to NYC this time of the year is because you have a great gig with Radio City Music Hall, working with the Rockettes and the Christmas show. That hasn’t opened yet, has it?
Nope not yet! November 16th is opening night. We are in the beginning stages now, doing the commercial and filming for the big LED screen. We have loads of work to do, then we start previews! But yes, that is my “big gig” of the year!
And is it hair and makeup that you do there?
I work in the wig department. We mainly only do makeup for Santa.
Even that old Christmas Queen needs to blend! And you certainly know a thing or two about wig styling.
After I finish my hair license and get into the union, I hope to land a job doing wigs on Broadway! Or even a touring show, and see more of the country.
That would be incredible! When you started drag, did you ever think you would wind up pursuing that end of the biz– hair and makeup and beauty – as its own career?
You know, I have always wanted to. Growing up, that wasn’t an option for me. My religious family gave me one option, and that was to be a missionary.
I was just watching the clip where that lunatic broadcaster Alex Jones is yelling and screaming about how evil Drag Queen Story Hour is. I see a lot of queens are giving that a try… would you ever consider that? Are you good with kids?
Oh, I 100% would do that if I can find the time. I am good with kids. I grew up teaching children ESL. I also grew up working with special needs of all ages.
Wow, really? That’s very noble!
Life on the mission field. It had its perks.
That must teach you patience. It’s probably easier for you then for most people to deal with drunk idiots at the bar.
It’s basically the same, but it’s not encouraged to swear at children!
Have you been keeping up with Shade: Queens of NYC, the new docu-series staring some of our city’s finest queens? It’s juicy.
Oh, I have! I love seeing my friends on TV, and I love that the story of NYC drag queens is being shown. We are a special breed of people, and also a close-knit family. It’s not easy doing drag in this city. And I don’t just mean the shows, but getting to and from the gig – that’s its own art form, haha!
Not that you’re a Subway Fish, but the trains have gotten so much worse since you were last here, I think! It’s a disaster.
I have not been on it yet! Dreading every second.
Oh yes, it is good to be “home.” But it’s not easy coming back and getting gigs in this city. Even though I have started several shows and bars, it’s a challenge getting booked. Luckily, several people call me first when a queen calls out or has special events. And I know 95% of the girls, so if they have guest spots, they book me.
There are some new girls, though, and I’m not sure if I like them yet!
That part must be weird for you: seeing how many of the “players” change each time you come back, and how the scene changes in general.
Yeah it is, but it is also rewarding. It’s amazing seeing shows I created and bars I helped open still thrive and grow! Makes you feel good for all the hard work I put into this city.
You certainly were part of that fabulous wave of queens that was making drag huge in the city, before RuPaul’s Drag Race caught on. Oh, that reminds me! When I was watching the last season of Drag Race, Trinity Taylor really reminded me of you. Do you get that?
Haha, I do get that. Trinity (Ryan) is a Florida sister of mine. We have worked together several times. I take it as a compliment. Depending on what hair I wear and makeup, I do see the similarity! I guess you could say it’s a Florida, or a southern, thing.
[Speaking of Trinity,] I did bring hip pads to NYC. When I arrived I was ridiculed for wearing them. Queens started wearing them here, and boom!
You molded these city girls in more ways then one!
It took a few years, but the girls finally caught on!
So okay, you have just done two Sunday brunches at La Carbonara, and you will be there performing the next two Sundays too! Remember when drag brunch was kind of an oddity? Now it’s become a huge part of the industry!
Yes! I will say when I do a brunch around the country, that is where I make the majority of my money. I run Voss Events Drag Brunch in Orlando, FL.
How do you like day drag in general?
I don’t mind day drag if queens wash their clothing and look nice! Actually, tomorrow and Wednesday, I’m working for Screaming Queens dressed as vintage Lucille Ball from 9am-5pm, doing product placement for a company.
That should be fun for you! I remember you doing a Lucy lip sync number for the Miss Boots & Saddle pageant years ago! It was from the episode where she gets drunk while doing the commercial.
“Vitameatavegamin!” You have a good memory! Yes I did! Lost the pageant, but I love that number! It’s been awhile since I’ve done it, actually!
And I do also think you were the first queen I saw do that Ella Fitzgerald scat number that’s become, like, a rite of passage for serious lip sync queens.
It sure has! “The Airmail Special” has been around for quite some time!
I got that number actually from my drag Auntie, Natasha Richards …. may she Rest In Peace.
So, where else are we gonna be seeing you this season?
La Carbonara for two more Sunday Brunches.
In December I join Pixie Aventura every Tuesday at Hardware Bar for her Tuesday night show.
Heck, let’s face it, you’ll see me around town filling in for girls, guesting and starting some new shows.
The more Roxy the better! So by the way, they just released the cast list (well, most of it) for Drag Race All-Stars… so far, no Trinity! But who are you excited to see?
I am so excited to see Thorgy, of course! Haha, there were some not on this season that I hoped would be.
I hate to pick sides… Peppermint! I love my sister to death!
Oh, she will clean house when she gets on an All-Stars season!
What are you gonna be for Halloween?
WelI, I will definitely be at Radio City… but negotiations are up in the air for Halloween!
Okay, so any closing words?
There are lots of things happening with Roxy Brooks, a few of which I can’t disclose just yet. But keep your eyes and ears open!
Always! Thanks Roxy, and welcome back again!
Previously: Roxy Brooks (10.22.2016)