From the Vegas strip to Metropolitan Avenue, this funny glamour ghoul became well-known in Brooklyn nightlife as one third of the nutty supergroup the Haus of Umpteen Corpses. And when the Haus got evicted, she became a much enjoyed entertainer in her own right–making the children laugh, cry and squirm. It’s the bittersweet Angelica Sundae!
Thotyssey: Angelica, hello! Thanks so much for talking to us today! How’s your summer been so far?
Angelica Sundae: Thank you so much for having me! My summer has been WILD! After Pride I was looking forward to a little slow-down, but that certainly has not happened! And I’m not complaining!
You’re everywhere these days… everyday is Sundae! I was just looking again at those fabulous pictures of you and the girls at the Met Opera House in full regalia from back in May. What was the story behind that outing?
Merrie Cherry approached me and Untitled Queen to be involved in the Met Opera’s season wrap party. It was a little mixer before their show Cendrillon, which was a cool take on the Cinderella story, so we came as the wicked stepmother and her two daughters. It was SO FAB, and the first time I had been to the Met. Truly unforgettable!
I bet you’re finding yourself in a lot of incredible places and situations you never would’ve imagined you’d be in back when you were a little Sundae scoop.
Yes, absolutely. I started doing drag 12 years ago in Las Vegas and had my share of fun gigs and opportunities there, but New York is really a completely different animal.
Are you a Nevada native?
No, I was born and raised in Rockford, IL but moved to Sin City with my family at 18 and was there for a decade. It’s definitely home.
What got you into drag there?
My first real job in Vegas was as a host at their Hamburger Mary’s. A few months after I started, we did a charity “turnabout show” where all the boys who had never done drag got to perform. I got such a positive response that I just kept going from there.
Was Angelica always your drag name?
Angelica was born in Brooklyn. My original drag name was Missy Boqu, bestowed upon me by Mary’s resident karaoke goddess.
And what kind of numbers / aesthetics were you sporting at that time?
Being a Vegas queen, there’s a lot of pressure to be a showgirl. There were a lot of sequins and rhinestones, some elaborate costumes. I did a lot of pop numbers, a lot of top 40. Very “give the people what they want.”
When did you make the move to NYC?
I came to New York five years ago, it’s so hard to believe!
You’re also a makeup artist and hairstylist. Did you come here to pursue that, or drag?
I had been taking a bit of a drag break when I moved here, so I did come to pursue hair and makeup… and have been doing so at Mudhoney Salon in SoHo since I arrived.
How did you discover the Brooklyn scene, and become Angelica?
My sweet auntie Severely Mame worked with me at Mudhoney when I first moved here, and really facilitated my introduction to the scene. I was a Bathsalts baby–my best friends and I went every Monday. After Mini Horrorwitz asked me to put her in drag, the spark was reignited and I finally started going out in looks again. My first real performance here was at Bushwig with the now defunct Haus of Umpteen Corpses.
Wait… was it Mame who turned you goth, or were you Born That Way?
Haha! I was definitely born that way, but growing up in the Midwest I wasn’t confident or bold enough to fully represent the dark side that I love so much. With Angelica, I felt like it was my second chance to really commit to that aesthetic.
The Haus of Umpteen Corpses was a very funny and bizarre drag supergroup consisting of Mini, yourself and a third person we won’t name, who was your partner at that point. That relationship did not end well and therefore the group broke up, but you and Mini have gone on to be successful solo performers and occasionally a duo. Were you worried that that wouldn’t happen… that people only wanted the House?
We did experience a lot of requests for “the Haus” when I think we were all ready to define ourselves a little more as singular performers. So yes, there was some worry about that because what we were doing was so special. I’d never discredit the work we did together because of tumultuous personal drama behind the scenes. When the Haus dissolved, it was heartbreaking. But in the end it was the best thing for Mini and I to be able to explore who we are individually, and she is by far my favorite person to perform with,…and we still do PLENTY of that!
When you and Mini do shows together, do you plan a lot of stuff out and rehearse a lot… or is it all mostly off-the-cuff?
We do some planning, we rehearse together if we want to do anything complicated, we definitely give our duets some structure. But I think we both love being in the moment. So a lot of it is improv, which has produced some really fun moments on stage.
Mini Sundaes is a blast! We don’t perform, but we definitely give showzzz. Basically we pick a theme each week, and then show music videos based on that theme, along with playing some drinking games. I like to describe it as Beavis & Butthead with drag queens.“
And I see that you’ve taken over for Mother Mame (who has moved out of the city recently) as the Tuesday night bingo queen of another Brooklyn spot, Boobie Trap.
Yes I have, and it’s really an honor to fill her extra wide shoes! Boobie Trap Bingo never disappoints, the crowd gets so competitive and so rowdy. It’s wild as hell each and every week, and I love it!
And now you’ve recently begun hosting a monthly Thursday goth / darkwave dance party at Dream Baby in the East Village, Vicious! One of the saddest trends in recent nightlife is the disappearance of the goth scene… is there hope for a resurgence?
Tonight [Thursday, July 12th] will be our second installment of Vicious, and I cant wait! Last month was so fun and this month should be even better. I think darkwave / goth / punk / electroclash nights have a very valid place in queer nightlife and offer an alternative for that part of the community that isn’t gagging over the newest Kim Petras bop (no offense, I stan Kim, but I’m all about more diverse options).
I’m bringing back one of my favorite performances that I did at the Spring Break edition of Razor 5000 earlier this year, and Mini and I are planning a cute little mommy / daughter number that should be a carry! Kit Kat Cabaret is absolutely one of best shows in Brooklyn, you don’t want to miss it.
I am SO PREPARED to crack the audience and the judges up with a new number that DreamBoi produced the mix for. My sharp contour seems to be a very defining characteristic of my makeup, and you’ll get to laugh about that at the pageant!
Busy July, queen! What else?
This just in: RuPaul’s apparently getting a talk show, and OMG maybe she’ll step down as host of Drag Race! Um, no, not likely. But if she does… who should take her place?
That is such a hard question! There are a lot of great options! My top three would probably be Bob the Drag Queen, Sasha Velour, and Bianca Del Rio, because they’re such great hosts and icons in the Drag Race universe.
Good picks! Okay, so finally: the BK scene has been constantly evolving and changing. What do you see now in nightlife that you really like, and what not so much?
Of course, I love seeing my fellow performers going out on a limb, not adhering to what the masses may think of as “drag,” throwing that definition away and exploring the infinite possibilities in their looks and performances. This community is endlessly inspiring! But, for as much as we strive for diversity and inclusivity, I still see talented people being underappreciated and underutilized. The market is definitely saturated, so it’s hard to give everyone a spotlight, but I would still love to see more of those performers get the recognition they deserve.
Here’s hoping! Thank you, Angelica!
Angelica Sundae co-hosts “Mini Sundaes” with Mini Horrowitz at Pizza Party on Sundays (10pm), hosts “Boobie Bingo” at Boobie Trap on Tuesdays (10pm), and “Vicious” at Dream Baby on second Thursdays (10pm). Check Thotyssey’s calendar for all her scheduled appearances, and follow Angelica on Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.