Giving us some of the most breathtakingly beautiful, hilariously bizarre and occasionally terrifying looks that the city’s nightlife haunts have to offer, the mysterious mistress of makeup CT Hedden is now making herself known as a performer as well. Thotyssey learns what little there is to be revealed about this enigma… we love a good mystery!
Thotyssey: Hi CT, thanks for chatting! So, how about those Met Gala looks! Anything you loved or hated?
CT Hedden: Hey Doodle! Thanks for having me! Oh yes, the Met Gala. To be honest, I thought this was one of the best years in quite some time. I couldn’t choose just one fav, but if you held a gun to my head I would say Blake Lively for the win. Kate Moss for the lose.
Did you like the nativity on Sarah Jessica’s head?
What’s a Sarah Jessica?! Kidding! Um. It looked like something I would see on a normal night out. Actually, a lot of those head pieces did.
Yeah, it was very Bartsch Lite. Well you can’t blame a gal for trying! Do you enjoy themed gigs that dictate your own looks, or do you find them too limiting?
It depends, really. You can have a “themed gig” or night and it can be very successful, if I can have creative reign. Also, it really depends on the work week. If I have five gigs on a certain week, worrying about the themes can be stressful– and I never want to half-ass a look if I am running out of time.
You are certainly everywhere these days.
I try to get around!
Where’s your hometown?
I’m from Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.
Were you always creating art?
Yes! In elementary school I drew “doodles” of animals and would sell them to kids! Such a hustler!
Werk, art and capitalism from day one! How about later schooling, did you study art or design anywhere?
Nope! I’m au naturale!
When did you start using yourself and your wardrobe as the canvas?
Well, I would have to say 16 is when the madness started. I shaved off my brows and turned the Mimi from the Drew Carey Show look. Ugh. Eh, whatever… we all start somewhere. Right?
Mimi is iconic! Did you do the whole YouTube makeup tutorial route, or did you figure it all out yourself?
Maybe “journey” is a better word for me than “route.” But I will say, watching other creative people in any form, one being online tutorials, is very inspiring. Gets the juices flowing.
And when did you first become a nightlife creature?
Honestly, it just started happening. I would go out in looks… and I’m sure one thing everyone knows about me is I’m wild and crazy, always causing a scene. But it happened for me “big” when I was living in Chicago.
Linux, another amazing scene queen, also came through the scene in Chicago! That city must have something in the air when it comes to nightlife aesthetics.
It really does! It also comes from the underground club scene and music there. I mean, hello–house music is really Chicago-born.
By the way, do you hate the term, “club kid?” Would you ever call yourself a “drag queen?” What are you???
I loathe labels. Who knows, really? You tell me! I’m not really pressed on labeling myself. More so, I’m all about keeping people guessing.
Well whatever you are, some of the looks I’ve seen you pull off are just extraordinary. How regularly do you plan these piece-by-piece methodically, versus just pulling it all together in the improvised moment?
98% of the time, it’s improvised. I rarely plan looks. If I did and they came out anything less than I envisioned, I lose my shit!
So it probably all starts with the face, and builds from there.
Always the face! Then the ass. Because lets face it: it’s always out.
What inspires your looks?
I would say say growth as a person inspires me the most. I have come a long way, so overall happiness really inspires me. That being said…anger and sadness play into looks as well. Usually you can tell what kind of mood I am in based on my looks. So if you see the bitch in black, you know why.
What has been the most terrifying look in your repertoire?
Hmmm. I think it was my hospital look I did in Miami three years ago. I wore an oxygen mask, and had two IV’s in my arm with a stand, and had blood squirting out of my ears and nose all over club patrons. It was a look!
Do you ever repeat looks?
I never do the same look twice. I’ll wear things again, yes… but it’s always evolved into something different.
You must have barely any room at your home, with all that fabulous club gear.
I sleep in my closet. so there’s that. Organization is key, Mary!
What’s with all the “bleeding / sore noses” looks happening in scene drag right now? It looks cool, but there’s so much of it! Who started this?
Who knows? All I know is, I first did it on myself 3 years ago. Haha at “sore noses.” There’s plenty of those around town!
Truth! Do you have issues with anyone who you’ve seen, or heard about, ripping off looks you created?
Nope, ‘cause I’ve been guilty in my day, too. At the end of the day, this is supposed to be fun and exciting.
Yes. I can smell my daughters a mile away! Friends, half the time.
When you are working a party like the ones from Ladyfag or Bartsch, is it more your “job” to just be fabulous to look at and be like a living installation, or are you mostly there to meet people and personally engaging them?
This question hits to my heart. first of all, this is not just a “job” to me. This is my career and my passion. Every job I treat the same, and always try to give it my 150%.
I think one reason why I am lucky enough to work at some of the best parties in NYC and across the country is due to my energy. When you hire me, you get the whole package. I am always running around, dancing on ledges and tables, causing a scene, giving shows and looks, and having a blast.
One big flaw in NYC nightlife, to me, is when you have hosts sitting at a table hiding in the corner. I like to be present! after all, how lucky are we to have these jobs?
Yazzz! Only Amanda Lepore is allowed to just sit there if she wants to, because she makes even that entertaining and special!
Amanda can do no wrong. Also, she loves dancing, and it gives me all the feels watching her!
Did you have people like Amanda to kinda show you the ropes when you first started?
There are very few people I take advice from. She is one of them.
Your gal Aquaria is slaying this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race! I really assumed that maybe she was too young to excel too far, but I was certainly wrong.
When you got it, you got it. And she’s got it. Who gives a fuck how old someone is?
She is definitely something, isn’t she?
You are one of the few people on your end of the biz who works the big rooms with lots of other scene queens, as well as the smaller bar parties where you might be the only host turning looks. Do you have a preference?
No preference–as long as the vibe is right, sunni! Oh, and the people are hot.
You’ve made an unlikely home at ReBar these days, which has an interesting variety of offerings during the week. How have you been enjoying the space thus far?
The staff and management there have made me feel so welcomed. I’m going on my ninth month of being employed there, and I couldn’t be happier!
How in control of this day are you expecting to be, and how’s it going to go down?
Well, I am working two other gigs during the day first, so it’s going to be a long one. But it s going to be a stunt!
Okay, so give us a rundown of Your Life in Gigs in the near future.
So much amazing stuff coming up! We launch our eighth year of ON TOP at Le Bain for Susanne Bartsch starting next Tuesday, May 13th, which is so wild. I’m so pumped for that!
Also, starting next month I’ll be at Frankie Sharp’s new weekly party called GODMOTHER at Marquee. Then, Pride and summer are wild! I’ll be all over the states: DC, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, are already booked.
Booked and blessed! Finally, what is the next step in the evolution of CT Hedden?
To step the pussy up even more. I am now finally performing, so we will see where that takes me . Other than that, I want to see as many hot guys’ doodles who come to my parties as I can. Summer of ‘18 whore tour.
Oh wait, you’re a performer now!? What are you serving?
You’ll just have to come to a show to see!
Tease! Thanks again, CT!