A relatively new and entirely fierce drag performer making waves on Wednesdays at Brooklyn’s The Rosemont (as part of the popular show “OOPS”), this queen’s love of drama and musical theater combined with her sickening looks puts her front and center of Brooklyn’s latest nightlife Renaissance. Thotyssey sits down with the stunning Jacquée Kennedée!
Thotyssey: Jacquée, hello! How’s December treating you so far?
Jacquée Kennedée: Hi, thanks for having me! We’re only three days in, but I’m alive still, so that’s good.
How many times have you heard “All I Want For Christmas is You” in just these three days?
Honestly, not enough. I could listen to that song on repeat year round. I’m such a Mariah-stan.
Are you okay with the fact that she seems to be putting the bare minimum of effort into her performances lately, or does that make her more amazing in a way?
I love Mariah now and Mariah in her prime for very different reasons. Currently she’s kind of a meme in how she conducts herself – and is shameless and almost delusional, which I find hilarious. But she can totally get away with it, because no one can touch Mariah in her prime. Like, hands down, one of the best vocalists.
Preach! So okay, let’s get to Jacquee! I know the queens of the Rosemont
– and the those who perform in the Wednesday night OOPS party specifically – are mad in-demand these days. Were you part of the OOPS crew that performed for Frankie Sharp’s party at the Public Hotel this past week?
I was. It was super fun! I always love that party, so it was a blast hosting and performing.
Where’s your hometown, and what were your early artistic interests / influences?
So I grew up in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio and went to college in Cincinnati. I liked to draw a lot as a kid, and then eventually moved into making collages and other random stuff in Photoshop, and coding websites and stuff, as I got into high school.
I went to college for graphic design, and one of my friends introduced me to Rupaul’s Drag Race. I had been to drag shows before, but never fully grasped the artistry of it. I got immediately addicted, and went back and watched all the other seasons. I even got ended up doing my senior thesis project on the history of drag.
Oh wow, so you’re a certified drag expert! When did you start performing drag yourself?
I started going out in drag maybe two years ago, and didn’t have my first performance until about a year ago.
I heard that you particularly enjoy performing more dramatic numbers, like your take on “Rose’s Turn” at Bushwig! Where does that appeal for drama come from, do you think?
I was a huge musical theatre person in high school, and there is a love for showtunes that is forever ingrained in me. I’ve always loved performances that make you feel something.
We all love to be impressed by dancing and tricks and funny mixes, but I think there’s something really powerful about being able to make people actually feel something, or to tell a story.
It is a very powerful experience to watch a performance like that! I guess it’s impossible not to mention that Sasha Velour has helped to introduce that type of drag performance to the world, thanks to Drag Race and her popular “Nightgowns” shows.
Oh yeah, she’s a huge inspiration. I’m actually so mad I didn’t think of using projections before I saw her perform. I work in motion graphics, and it would be a perfect marriage of my two main artistic talents. It’s just such an iconic style of performance, it would be nearly impossible to do without people drawing comparisons.
Well who knows, maybe you can take that to the next level!
So how did you discover the Brooklyn scene originally?
I honestly don’t know if there was ever like an “aha” moment with Brooklyn nightlife for me. It was a very gradual process of me just going to bars to search for trade or seeing shows. Then I would go out in drag every once in a while, and then got asked to perform, and then things just started happening. I don’t know… I was drunk, lol!
That’s the best way to start! How about your drag name… do you have any particular fascination with Jackie O, or did it just sound cool rolling off the tongue?
My last name is Kennedy, and I always loved Jackée Harry from Sister, Sister so I just spelled it differently (always gotta be a lil’ extra) and put two and two together.
How dumb am I, I am literally right here on your Facebook page and not processing that your last name is Kennedy!
Hahahaha, It goes right over most people’s heads, honestly!
That look you had for Bushwig was very high fashion, with those swooping shoulders… are you a designer/sewer?
No, not at all! That was made by my very talented friend Jamil Moreno. He is making moves right now! He dresses a lot of my friends and other people in nightlife. Please check him out!
You must’ve started performing at The Rosemont right about when they started showcasing new Brooklyn drag talent, right?
Yeah, all the way back in January
It’s hard to believe it’s been such a short time… their one year anniversary is coming up on Thursday!
Yeah, it is! I’ll be performing there.
Did the time kinda whiz by?
It has gone by so quickly, it’s wild! Especially doing a weekly party there. It’s amazing to watch the bar transform.
OOPS on Wednesdays has become a hugely successful weekly event there. To what do you attribute its success?
I really think people were maybe ready to see new queens in a new space doing new shit. I think we create a fun environment that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but also isn’t a complete shitshow (usually). It feels like a huge family.
I stopped by The Deep End in Ridgewood for a bit last week to see Ruby Fox’s birthday bash… she also started in OOPS. Lots of Rosemont queens are turning up at the Deep End now, is that gonna be The Next Place?
I think it’s a fun space that’s getting a lot of new attention.
And they have onion rings and jalepeno poppers, which is so amazing. I was there as well!
Oh, I missed you!
Yeah I was painted blue for Ruby’s birthday.
Oh wait I DID see you, that was amazing!
Crystal Mesh was also there at Ruby’s party… and her own birthday’s gonna be at the Rosemont on Saturday! Are you gonna pop in for that one?
Yeah, I will be there for sure!
I was thinking about this proposal to cut the subway hours at 2AM. That’s really going to devastate Manhattan nightlife, but it might help the Brooklyn scene, right? Residents will stay local!
I mean, I think it would have an impact. I really don’t know about statistics within the queer scene about Manhattan vs. Brooklyn, but I feel like Brooklyn is kinda where it’s at. Like, most of the time now if I have a gig in Manhattan at a certain point, I’m just like, “Wow, I wish I was at the Rosemont right now.”
Okay, so to sum up with where to find you….
Come to OOPS at The Rosemont (duh). I’ll be at the first anniversary party Thursday there as well, and back again Saturday for Mesh’s birthday, lol! So pretty much go to the Rosemont every day.
Done! Okay, last question… what is the worst damn Christmas song, in your opinion?
I’m not like a Christmas music hater, lol! Ummm, but like, anything with a children’s choir is a boot from me.