This fierce, multi-talented queen is starting to make quite a name for herself, having recently graduated from the rounds of guest spots and pop-up shows to hosting her own weekly in Hell’s Kitchen . And now she is preparing her package for one of the most anticipated drag pageants of the year, while a film she’s co-directed is in the final editing stages and on its way to a streamer near you! Thotyssey gets down and dirty with Renaissance man Jonathan Salazar, known in NYC and Texas nightlife (and soon, the world!) as queen Sucia.
Thotyssey: Greetings, Sucia! Thanks for finding a minute to talk with us. I know you’re busy putting your massive Ms. Barracuda pageant package together! How’s it coming?
Sucia: Oh, it’s coming. I’m actually “stoning” my outfit right now… I have to say It’s gonna be quite tasty! But overall, I will say I’m extremely excited for the Ms. Barracuda pageant because I have had some drag time under my belt, and I’m ready to showcase Sucia’s hidden talents in this creative pageant.
Exciting! Sucia’s talent is not so hidden these days; I saw you slay the Alotta Charity event last month.
Yes! It was Alotta fun–no pun intended. But I got to meet a lot of queens that I’ve never met nor worked with before, and they were all so sweet and talented. It was great!
Is meeting new people and networking one of the reasons you wanted to compete in Ms. Barracuda this year?
It’s not the top three reasons why. I mostly wanted to challenge myself as an artist, to see how I can showcase my brand and build upon it.
More on the pageant in a bit, but first… are you a New York native?
I am not! I was born and raised in Austin, TX. I was the black sheep in a conservative Hispanic family, and I’ve always been a performer.
Performing, meaning dance and theater?
Well, I actually started performing in music. As a kid I played guitar, violin, and sang. My main music was the blues, classical, and mariachi. Then theater came in high school, along with cheerleading (which I kick myself in the head for not being in the dance team instead). But that’s my evolution in Texas. I got to perform professionally in music and acting in all the big and small cities.
Do you still keep up with music?
I actually just got back on the horse after a three-year hiatus. I may have been out of practice, but muscle memory is such an amazing gift.
You can join Thorgy’s drag orchestra!
Haha, did that ever become a thing!? Because I’m so down if it is! Thorgy, if you’re reading this, have your people call my people!
So what brought you to NYC?
Just like any creative person, I was called to this city. I was in my sophomore year of college when I realized Texas wasn’t where I was supposed to be. If I wanted to grow as an actor, producer, and director in film or theater, I know I had to be at the most beautiful but most challenging place on Earth.
And how did you discover drag?
OMG, I was waiting for this question! I honestly never thought I’d ever be a drag queen. But I was tinkering the idea of around because my good friend Detoxx Busti-ae was one of the first drag queens I had met in NYC.
It wasn’t ‘til election time I decided to start drag. I saw that this unimaginable leader might become president, and I thought, how can I be a strong activist?How can I fight as a gay man to help my community in any way? “Drag queen” came to mind. In history, they have been on the front lines, and have never been afraid to stick up for themselves and others.
I see drag queens as superheroes. I’m proud to say I can put on a wig and heels and fight for something I believe in. I’ve been able to raise about $10,000 in different charities since I’ve been doing drag, and was one of the first queens to introduce Drag Queen Story Hour to NYC.
That’s incredible! It’s sometimes easy to get wrapped up in the sillier aspects of drag life, and forget what a powerful platform for activism and positivity it can be. If you could start implementing your own charity shows, what would one of your major causes be?
Well I’m all about the youth Jim. They are our future, and only they can create a better world for them and so forth. I believe education is the key to having an open mind. I have many ideas for charity events, but I would like to work on a scholarship for kids so they can start saving up for college. As a student, I know how important scholarships are. I want to create a scholarship every year, and give it to a prospective student. Hopefully one day, I can give multiple scholarships out to as many students as possible.
Most drag queens go through a name change or two over the course of their careers. In the beginning you were first known as Sucia (”Filthy”) Bottoms, but established NYC queen Dusty Ray Bottoms made a small stink about the similarity. I think everyone agrees it was a coincidence, but I see how it would be confusing to have both of you working in the city under those names.
Yes, it was a coincidence. I developed my name as Sucia Bottoms in Texas back in 2015, prior to knowing that there was a Dusty Ray Bottoms in New York. I had come up with Sucia Bottoms originally because I’m of Hispanic culture, and was brought up with “gringos.” Most queens had a pun or joke to them, and “Sucia Bottoms” made everybody in Texas laugh. But since, Sucia has come to be–and will stay–a powerful Latina drag influence in both Texas and New York.
I loved Boots, and the entire Boots family.
I heard about that, and I’m really excited for the new owners and revamped facility. It’s a great space, and is such a good spot for any drag queen who has the opportunity to perform there.
Tell me about Neon Boys, a short film you’ve played a major role in creating.
[My boy self] Jonathan worked on Neon Boys. he wrote the story, (not the script). and was working on co-directing the film, acting in the supporting role, and being the executive producer. Sucia didn’t have time; plus, I heard she’s a diva on set! But Sucia does help out in the marketing aspect.
Neon Boys is a LGBTQ drama based on a true story. The film tells the story of a man who’s suffering in all sorts of ways. The character “Shawn” (played by Matty Glitterati) dances in a private club to earn money to support his daughter, and falls in love with a man for the first time. It’s a story of love and loss that touches on suicide awareness.
Mattioli Productions and I are in the final stages of editing right now, actually, and will soon send Neon Boys to film festivals worldwide; it will also be streaming on Amazon. Once this film is finally done, you’d best believe Sucia will be in front of the camera in my next upcoming project.
We’re going into our fourth week of the show!
And this week’s installment is gonna be a little different.
I decided to try something new and out of the box for Hell’s Kitchen and VSBU. This week, March 25th, I’m making Sucia Sundays a burlesque show to showcase boylesque, burlesque, and draglesque! I’ve been teetering different things with the show, and I am really excited to experiment with this project
I’m working on making it a once-a-month show that is tied to Sucia Sundays. Think of it as a “special edition,” Sucia Sundays! You should come and check it out!
Have you noticed any ways that your drag has evolved that surprised you?
Of course! And my drag is evolving every day! From makeup, to dancing, stronger comedy, fashion, and whatever you can possibly think! I look at past photos and performances and think, “damn, I’ve come along way…” hence why I relate to Shangela.
Which brings us back to Ms. Barracuda, debuting this Thursday after a weather delay! Ms. Barracuda is a multifaceted pageant that really tests the creativity of the contestants in regards to design, presentation and performance. What aspect of the pageant are you most looking forward to?
Honestly, the performance! I have something in store that no one is expecting or has seen Sucia ever do!
Good luck! Okay, last question: what is the world’s greatest trivia fact about Sucia?
There’s a common misconception about my candor. But once you take the time to know me, you’ll understand me better. But hey, I’m just Sucia!
Sucia is Everything! Thanks, gurl!