This relatively new queen is already a part of two of the biggest drag shows in the city. And thanks to her electrifying dance moves and lewks, there are even bigger things to come. Thotyssey gets caught in the web of Black Widow!
Thotyssey: Thank for talking to us… Black? Widow? Lol, what do friends / sisters usually call you for short?
Black Widow: Thank you for having me… Widow for short, or BW.
Got it! How’s your summer treating you so far?
It’s been amazing! Definitely one to remember.
Was this June your first Pride as a drag queen?
It was my second, but first Pride with gigs and stuff. That was a crazy week, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. So much fun!
You’ve certainly had an amazing year, which we’ll talk about… but first the basics! Where are you from, and were you always a dancer?
I’m from Brooklyn, born and raised and always. I started theatre at the age of 9, then when I got to high school I start studying musical theatre and began my dance training there. Now I have a degree in dance from Marymount Manhattan College.
Amazing! So you’re a singer, too?
Yup! I haven’t sung in a while, but the voice is still there.
When did you discover drag?
I identify as a queer man moving through the world. Drag was something I slid into, literally. I’m am very androgynous by nature. So, Widow kinda just happened, lol!
I was part of working Freshman 18+ at The West End, and there was one night they needed a queen for drag suicide. So when it was my turn to go, they asked “what’s your name?” And Black Widow was born.
So it just kinda worked out that you became established as a Manhattan queen, instead of a Brooklyn nightlifer?
I have always thrived Manhattan. I just really love the energy there.
You were a regular presence at the weekly competition shows like Star Search and Drag Wars, as many new queens are. Did you actually enjoy that experience, or was it just what you had to do?
I had a really great time at those competitions. I think with starting anything new, one must pay their dues, and learn, and climb up the ladder. Those competitions gave me a stepping stone. I actually still go to Star Search, depending on the week I am having. It’s important for me to really rest my body when I have days off.
[photo: Stella D’oro]
You’re definitely known for your high energy dance performances. Can you get a cool-down ballad in there every once in awhile?
Definitely. I have been making it a point to do at least one ballad when I’m at Bad Bitch Review at Rebar on Sunday. Ballads actually have allowed for me to connect more to what I’m doing then when I’m doing high energy numbers.
You’re part of two big ensemble shows, so you probably don’t get to do much talking on the mic… are you ready for your inevitable Black Widow solo show somewhere, where you’ll be performing and talking?
Actually, yes. I love talk on the mic, it’s fun. Every now and then, I have a chance to speak while doing Bad Bitch… and also other gigs I guest at.
Let’s talk about where we can find you now–starting with TURNt, the major party and show Wednesday nighst at The Ritz. That’s a hugely popular late night happening in Hell’s Kitchen–it even draws in queens that are just getting out of their own shows. TURNt is you, Maddelynn Hatter, Sherry Pie, Egypt, Jasmine Kennedie and Jasmine Rice, plus shotgirl Nasty Queen and guest performers. How long have you been with that crew now?
It’s an amazing party… and I wanna say five or six months. The TURNt cast is really like one big family, and I am very happy to a part of them.
Aja and Miz Cracker have also been part of the cast, and great things have happened with them! Could RuPaul’s Drag Race be in your future?
Such incredible queens. And no. Drag Race is not something I want. I have two things I love: drag and dance. Right now, I have a dance career that I’m in the middle of doing on top of nightlife. I am very happy with these two [careers].
Where do you dance?
I actually have a very big announcement to make soon in the coming weeks regarding that!
Exciting, we’ll stay tuned! Meanwhile, as you’ve already mentioned, you are part of the Bad Bitch Review at ReBar on Sundays nights with Maddelynn and Zeta Jones, alternating with Egypt. How are you enjoying those nights?
It is incredible, one of my favorite nights of the week. That show really allows me to just go for it. The other week, Maddelynn challenged me to do ten turns in succession–which prompted me to do “The Music in the Mirror” from A Chorus Line. It’s things like that which keep me on my toes, and I love it. I love working with them so much. Again, family… and I love that we push each other to be our best.
Is there anything else coming up for you that you can plug now?
Well, just be on the look out for some big announcements coming soon… and follow me my social media to see what this spider does next!
Werk that web! Okay last question… what’s the best thing about drag, and what’s the worst?
I would say the best thing about drag is being able to blend two worlds that I love so much, and create some amazing art. And I think the worst part about drag is not enjoying it, because if you’re not enjoying it then what’s the point of doing it?
[Photo: Claire Sersun]
Black Widow performs with TURNt Wednesdays at the Ritz (midnight) and the Bad Bitch Review at ReBar (select Sundays at 8pm). Check Thotyssey’s calendar for all upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.