This fiercely glamorous young dancing queen is appearing absolutely everywhere these days, and has already assembled a few weekly gigs. Strike a pose with Devo Monique!
Thotyssey: Devo, hello! So wow… I saw you Thursday doing the benefit for the Florida high school victims’ families at Macri Park, then again Friday turning numbers at Pieces. And then Saturday I see you were back at Macri, and just last night you did the Sunday party at the Rosemont! Gurl, the hustle is real! Do you sleep?
Devo Monique: Hahaha! Yeah, it was a long weekend. But I’m super grateful that I’m being embraced, and able to have so many different opportunities. And yes, I sleep, lol! Sometimes too much!
What’s a venue in the city that you haven’t performed at yet, but you’d like to soon?
I’m interested at performing at iconic parties like Metrosensual or the Late Late Show with Marti. I think the people who are in charge of those events are setting up a base brand for something super positive and successful, and I would wanna be part of that.
I know you might already be beyond this point because you have a few weekly gigs now, but have you done the drag competition shows like Drag Wars or Star Search ever?
No. When I started coming in May from Virginia, I was in Brooklyn a lot and really worked at the Rosemont and Metro and Macri, so it didn’t occur to me to go that route. But maybe one day I’ll twirl on a Monday at Pieces.
So you’re a Virginia native, then?
Yeah, born and raised!
What was it like growing up there for you?
Like, Taylor Swiftian-white?
Nah! I had a lot of friends of color, it was just very isolating being so young and so queer… especially at that time, when everyone wants to be understood.
Were dance and performance ways for you to escape and express yourself back then? And were you studying dance and/or theater at school?
No, I did dance outside of school. I did a few plays and talent shows in middle school, which were some of the best times I remember cuz those were the first people that got what I was doing. But I started training very, very early on! And it was probably my biggest escape. I used to study music videos ‘til I got every moment right.
What was some of your favorite video choreography?
Oh shit! Well, “Lose My Breath” is some of the best choreo I have ever seen. Britney’s iconic “I’m A Slave 4 U” video… and, oh, Madonna at the VMAS performing “Vogue” is so good… I think about that moment a lot!
The one where she’s in the big Elizabethan hoopskirt dress with the fan?
Yes, it’s so iconic! Like, it’s a reference to how long LGBT people have been here!
When did you first become Devo?
Back in 2015; I was at Pride in Virginia. I went to make modeling connections, but nothing panned. I ended up at a club called Godfreys, and danced my heart out in Revlon sheets of makeup and a brown wig. I met the show’s casting director that night, and that was it.
How did you name yourself? And by the way, for the kids and Oldz at home who haven’t seen you yet, it’s duh-VOH, not DEE-vo!
Haha, true! I’m not the 80s band, lol! I’m used to all pronunciations I get. I chopped the words “deranged” and “vogue” in half. I’d say I’m a twisted queen with a fashion edge.
Did you come to New York specifically to be a working drag queen?
I’d being lying if I said no! NY was, and has always been, the goal! I knew this was where I wanted to make it, and I’m here!
So what was your first NY performance?
I did Hot Fruit! And I performed “Mothercreep.”
There are soooo many drag queens here, but you’ve already managed to stand out and be noticed. Is it just about being fierce and talented, or is there, like, a formula to follow for NYC drag success?
Hmmmm… I don’t there is formula to being “the girl,” not saying I am. But I hear a lot of girls say that they want this and that, but aren’t doing a thing to get it. And I couldn’t imagine having as many opportunities we have and not take advantage of them.
Do you consider yourself more of a Brooklyn Queen then an overall NYC queen these days?
I consider myself an “anywhere they’ll have me” queen! I love working, and I have huge love for Brooklyn–the drag queens and drag audience are so queer, and are really invested in what I’m doing. As opposed to the city, where that audience is picky and it really pushes me to get out of my comfort zone… and that helps me grow so much more!
A great counterbalance! And you’re already gobbling up some weekly gigs. On Tuesdays, you’re now a regular fixture of Misty Meaner and Mocha Lite’s Macri Park show.
Those girls are legends! I love it cuz Tuesdays are so much fun! We laugh a lot, and we always get to experiment with new numbers. We did a group number, “Keep It Positive” from Legally Blonde, and it was easy to navigate with those two. They teach me a lot.
And now you’re also part of the CAKES Wednesday night party at Metro alongside Horrorchata, Hannah Lou and DiDi Disco. Yeah, it’s been such a good time! Those girls keep me on my toes; they’re so much fun! I leave the night with the biggest smile on my face, and the music is always a highlight!
You’ve joined up with some great established events, but here’s some exciting news… you’re gonna be headlining a brand new event this Friday–the monthly party Loads at Bizarre! Pepto Dismal, Church Gore, Sookie Sterling, Queen Robert and Magenta are all going to be there too.
Yeah, I’m dipping my toe in the water! I’m super excited about this; it’s gonna be nasty as shit, lol! It’s going to be a party for all hoes, shapes and sizes, and if by the end of the night you don’t got a load of something in you then you’re not doing it right!
I‘ll take a load of that! By the way, my compliments to some very tasteful booty pics on your Insta recently.
Thanks! It so important to showcase queer bodies and have them represented it a way that’s healthy, especially right now.
And you’ll be representing in more ways then one pretty soon… on March 23rd, you’ll be competing in Round 3 of Mr(s) BK at Metro! Do you have a pageant package prepared yet?
Yasss! I’m so excited for that! It’s going to be incredible, and I’m working my fingers to the bone on making the best package I can make, cuz I’m coming for the crown. I have a lot of ideas!
Good luck! Anything else coming up?
Oooh I’m, at Be Cute this month, and at Reparations…
I have a few things up my sleeve, but I’m going keep that low key for now!
[Just announced: Devo will also appear at Crystal Hart’s ”Drag Race All-Stars” viewing party at The Bedford on March 1st at 8pm, then later that night at Metropolitan Bar’s “Straight Acting.”]
Will we see you at the SLAMs?
Yeah I’m presenting! It’s going to be so cool, I’m wearing Batman.
Lets gab about Drag Race for a sec… did Bebe fuck over Aja, or do you think that was kind of a falsely edited “plotline”?
See, I think the producers had made that decision more than Bebe did.
The whole season seemed like it was made in the editing room. And whatever this big “twist” will be, it’ll probably be dumb, right?
I don’t know, this season had been really good up to this point! So we’ll have to see.
As for Season 10… team NY! I know you’ve done Dusty’s show a bunch of times, have you met any of those other queens?
Yeah, Dusty is always super positive, and puts me in a good mood! I met Miz Cracker and Aquaria the same night, when I was gogoing for this past Straight Acting! They were both really sweet, super kind and complemented me on how hard I had been working. Yuhua is super nice and very funny, and keeps me cracking up. I’ve never met Monet, but I’m such fan of her work.
All amazing queens! So okay, last question: when you finally land on Drag Race, what will your walk-in catchphrase be?
“You spelled Dragula wrong.”
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Devo Monique’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.