A renown artist and painter who’s used the human body as his primary canvas for several years now–and has been mixing it up with drag queens and performers of all sorts for just as long–Ish Peralta has only started performing in drag himself just recently. Now the bitch already has a pageant crown, and several gaggable gigs under their belt! Thotyssey takes a trip with the one and only Lacy Stoner.
Thotyssey: Lacy, hello! Happy Halloween Week! How did Saturday night’s Albatross show with Avant Garbage and Bella Noche go?
Lacy Stoner: The show last night was absolutely amazing! We had a great audience, most of which were dressed in costumes!
You, Bella and Avant are, like, a little drag coven of your own.
Yeah! That’s a great way to put it. We all live together in a fun little drag den.
You’ve been drag-adjacent for a while now… would you have ever suspected, like, two years ago that you’d soon be a queen yourself?
It’s interesting… doing drag is something I often considered doing, as far as creating a drag name. But if I’m perfectly honest, I’m not sure I thought I’d actually go through with bringing Lacy to fruition. At least, not to the level that I have over the last few months. When I originally fantasized about it, the idea was more of getting into drag every once in a while, to go out and have fun at events. But thanks to the amazing people around me–and my two drag roommates–Lacy had become a full-fledged drag queen who performs quite often.
And now look how far you’ve come! Where are you from originally?
I was born in the Dominican Republic, and lived there until I was 10 years old… at which time I moved to South Florida, before finally ending up here in NYC.
And you’ve always been an artist?
Yes, art had always been a part of my life. At a young age, my mother always encouraged art be a part of my daily regimen. I learned to play the piano when I was 7 years-old, and then played the saxophone for 6 years. I also have a background in musical theater. But my specialty is painting, specifically body painting.
That’s what you’ve become known for… you paint people to look like these fantastic beings, or to blend completely into their background… how and when did that become your Thing?
That was a interesting adventure. After graduating high school and deciding that college was not the correct route for me, I started a career as a makeup artist. I was specializing in clean beauty makeup and specially effects for film and television. I did that for a few years, and had a chance to work on some very fun projects and meet some really amazing artists within the field.
One day, another artist invited me to join them for a body paint convention, just as a spectator. It was a really interesting setup; the first half of the day was all little classes you could take on different styles of painting, and during the evening they opened up a giant ballroom floor and allowed painters and models to just paint and basically have a party. I fell in love, after seeing the amazing things that these artists could do with just some paint and a brush on a human body. There was just no way I could walk away from that and not try it myself. I’ve since switched over my specialty within the makeup profession to body painting, and I’m happier for it.
It’s an amazing body of work (pun unintended) that you’ve put out there!
Thank you very much, they’re all really a labor of love.
But is there any one body paint job you’ve done that you’re the most proud of?
It’s honestly so hard to pick just one. What if I picked two to tell you about?
Go for it!
The first would have to be a body paint I did for a charity that had a large focus on organ donation and raising awareness around it. I was asked to create two body paints to be recorded and then turned into a video PSA. I painted two models’ backs in such a way that when they came together they became a set of lungs, and on their other side the rest of my team painted all the organs that can be donated wrapped up like presents. It was a really amazing and emotional project, as I spent the entire time talking to the models and the president of the charity about how organ donation had impacted their lives, and how they want to make a difference for others.
My second proudest paint would have to be a paint job I did for the Sotheby’s Auction House. They were holding an event in which they were auctioning off the famous playwright Edward Albee’s entire art collection. They brought me in to paint two models to look like lizard people, which happen to be characters from one of his plays The Seascape. Once they were painted, they were placed within a little sand and rock set piece and their job was to silently imitate the guests as they walked by. It was truly an amazing experience to watch hundreds of people interact with my work, and really showed me a whole new way to utilize body paint and how to present it to a much different crowd than I’d grown accustomed to.
If a nude figure is covered in body paint, are they still nude?
That’s a fantastic question! I guess it would depend on how much of the body is covered. Now that being said, something many people who have been fully body painted from head to toe report is that once the paint goes on and they see it, they don’t feel nearly as naked as they know they are. So I guess it’s all in the mind.
You painted the actors backstage for Broadway’s The Lion King for a stint.
That was probably one of the craziest projects I ever did–crazy in a good way. A show of that caliber has hundreds of people who all have to work together like a well-oiled machine to ensure that everything goes of flawlessly.
I think my biggest takeaway from that experience was how to work quickly and efficiently… because if Rafiki wasn’t out of my chair and ready to start the show… that was not just an issue for me, but would create a problem for every single cast and crew member. And you know what they say: the show must go on! Truly one of the most amazing and humbling experiences I’ve had in my career so far.
And you were a star attraction during the last huge season of Lady Liberty at the Ace Hotel (and several of that competition’s subsequent one-off events). A body paint from you was part of the winner’s package, and you were there each week painting a model to help promote yourself and the finale. Is that where you wound up meeting a lot of the queens that would ultimately be your sisters?
Through Lady Liberty, I was able to make lots of new friends with performers and people who stretch across the large spectrum of NYC’s nightlife. Through doing the show, I definitely gained quite a few friends who I now call sisters.
But in all honesty, the performers I’m closest to and that I truly consider family are some of the first people I ever met when I first moved to NYC about five years ago. And what’s even more interesting is that I met all of them on the same night, thanks to a drag queen who had found me and hired me to body paint for an event.
So you could say that my career as a body painter in NYC has always been heavily intertwined with the drag community, and Lady Liberty helped solidify and foster these friendships as well as helped create many more.
What was your first appearance in drag?
My first appearance as Lacy Stoner was for my sister Bella Noche’s birthday show at Rockbar. She had me come in and do a number as a special guest.
And how would you describe Lacy as a queen?
It’s funny you ask that question, because it’s a question I’m currently asking myself. I consider Lacy to be genderqueer, and technically would use the pronouns “they / them,” but I’ll honestly answer to any pronouns and don’t take offense to people using any of them when receding to Lacy.
But I guess the best way I can describe Lacy at this time is a drag performer. I’m still exploring who and what Lacy is, and what they could be. As Lacy, I’ve explored lip syncing and burlesque, and I’m looking to find other ways to set myself apart and do different types of performances.
You often color your beard and hair for drag looks… is that a messy process?
Funny enough, coloring the beard is the easiest and least messy part of my entire makeup process. My beard color is one part of my makeup I never have to worry about transferring or getting messed up. While my face could be a sweaty mess and I may have lost an eyebrow–which can happen if you’re doing a long show without breaks–my beard and mustache always stay intact.
Werk that beard! Are you thinking of entering a pageant anytime soon?
So, I’ve already competed in a pageant and won. I recently competed in the one day pageant that was a part of the Bodega Ball, which is a two day punk festival in Brooklyn. I am your current reigning Miss Bodega.
Thank you! And I am in talks with a couple upcoming pageants about possibly competing. But to be honest, competing isn’t something that totally excites me. The only part about pageants that excites me is the opportunity to take on a theme or challenge and using it as a way to push yourself and grow as a performer.
I just saw you in the audience of the Miss Rockbar pageant finale this past Tuesday. Nicole Onoscopi was crowned, but it was a tight race and all the queens brought it.
That was such a great night, filled with fabulous performances.
And we’ll be seeing you back at Rockbar this Tuesday, hosting “Mischief Night,” aka Halloween Eve! What do you have in store for us?
I’ll a few fun, spooky numbers for you to enjoy. Well also have a thriller dance-off for a chance to win some prizes, and a costume contest. At 11pm, there will also be an open stage where any performers new or experienced can come in and do a number. I already have a few people lined up to perform on that open set–amongst them will be a bearded queen from Australia, and some burlesque performers.
Let’s not forget we will have my amazing brother DJ JCLEF spinning tunes all night, and making me and all other performers sounds fantastic. You’ll have to come by and see what else we have in store!
Great! Anything else to plug or report?
You can also find me at Bizarre Bar in Brooklyn this Wednesday the 31st for Zalika Parsons’ Legendary Show…
…as well as hosting a private screening of Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms On November 1st along side my sisters Bella Noche, Avant Garbage and Gloria Swansong. This is an invite only event, but if anyone is interested they can reach out to me or any of the other three hosts for a an invitation as long as space is available. The tickets are free for anyone who wants to attend, as long as there’s still space.
Amazing events all around! Final question: what is a fun Ish / Lacy trivia fact that the world needs to know?
Contrary to what Lacy’s name might suggest, they’re more of an indica strain, than an sativa… LOL!
Higher and higher! Thank you, Lacy!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Lacy Stoner’s upcoming gigs, and follow Lacy on Facebook, Instagram (Lacy or Ish Peralta) and Twitter, plus check out Ish Peralta’s makeup artist website.