This Denver native and elected delegate became a successful queen and hostess of weekly drag competitions in her hometown, but a near tragedy inspired a sudden move to New York. Now starting over in one of the world’s most competitive dragospheres, this queen is ready to reign again. Thotyssey reaches for the stars with Vivica Galactica!
Thotyssey: Vivica, hello! How are you?
Vivica Galactica: I’ve been swell! Slowly getting the hang of New York.
It’s never easy to have to adjust to life in a new city, and NYC is certainly harder than most. What’s the best thing and worst thing about life here, from what you’ve observed so far?
The best thing so far has been the diversity of things to experience, in and out of drag. I can go to a clown cabaret in Brooklyn one night, then the next I can see a one man show about a burlesquing ex-porn star. The worst is realizing just how lonely you can feel in a sea of millions of people… tied with reorganizing finances in a brand new city with a faster pace of life. Priority and necessities change, and that isn’t usually the good kind of change.
You never get used to that, unfortunately! But now I must pause and congratulate your home state of Colorado on electing our country’s first openly gay governor! What a progressive landmark!
Heck yes! It also looks like Colorado just elected its first trans person to any state legislature, Briana Titone. I had the opportunity to work on creating a drag fundraiser for her! I’m very proud to be from Colorado. Politics is actually how I got I to drag.
Really? Do tell!
I was a delegate for Bernie Sanders for my local caucus in Denver back in 2016, which led to county, congressional and State conventions. At the state election, I campaigned and was elected to be a national delegate for the 2016 National Democratic Convention. In order to raise money for me to get to Philly, my friends put together a drag fundraiser… and I made my debut that night.
Wow, that’s a first as far as drag origin stories go! How did you come up with your name?
I enjoy the repetitive syllables, and I saw “Vivi” one night while watching So You Think You Can Dance, and “Galactica” because I’m really into sci-fi and I’m a plus size queen (Galactica just fits for somebody that’s bigger than life). “Vivica Galactica” just rolls off the tongue, and sounds out of this world!
How did you enjoy your time as a delegate?
It was an amazing experience, one I certainly won’t forget. I met a lot of people with different opinions who all just wanted to see good changes.
Any anecdotes about Bernie, by the way?
I got to shake his hand once at a rally in Colorado. I really want to get a picture with him in drag one day and thank him in person.
He’d love that! So during your whole time working for the campaign, you were also doing drag?
Once I started I never looked back. My debut also happened to be the same night as the Pulse shooting, which was another factor of me keeping up with drag. The week after was Pride, so it was a huge week of experiencing a queer community come together that I’ve never been a part of before.
What’s exactly is Colorado drag like?
Awesome! When I started, it was primarily Top 40 dancing queens–and the Court System that was visible. But I was really drawn to the outlying queens like Kai Lee, Mona Lott, and Yvie Oddly. They’re weird or campy, and use drag as a platform instead of looking pretty. Lately [Colorado drag has] taken a turn towards celebrating the weird and eccentric, and it’s been a lot more accepting of non-binary and trans performers as well. It’s oddly a pretty solid mix of Brooklyn and Manhattan drag.
Jessica L’Whor, another great Denver queen, was just in town!
Yup! She crashed on my couch! It’s really exciting to see her in the national spotlight as Miss Jessica, creating a national conversation about drag.
What was your own drag career like there?
I had a two weekly competition shows in Denver. One was more lip sync battle-oriented, co-hosted with one of my drag moms. And the other was a celebration of all things weird, called Weirdo. Weirdo was inspired by Look Queen and Drag Wars. I’m happy to say that they’re both still going!
What then made you decide to pack up your wigs and come to New York?
I was hit by a car in February while crossing a street, with my head in the clouds. It was a huge wakeup call. After not remembering the ambulance ride, being put on a backboard, cat scans or x-ray, I walked away that night. Knowing that I easily could have died with my 30th birthday six months away, I realized that it was time to start living in the Now and not think “someday” or “I wish” anymore.I wanted to experience DragCon and Bushwig, so when I looked up the dates I didn’t want to fly out and fly back twice in the same month. So I said, “Why not, I’ll just move there.”
WOW. It’s gotta be difficult to have to start over, with all the guest spots and competition shows, in a new city after having established yourself so strongly in another.
It is terrifying. Instead of hosting the drag competition shows, I’m in them. And trying to find my audience here in the city is a whole new journey. It would be one thing if i were as young as some of the new queens in the competition scene now. But I’m 30, and I tend to find myself comparing myself to their abilities.
However, I moved here because NYC is the best place in the world to see and do drag, so this has turned Into a grad school kind of experience in a way. I’m excited to learn, discover my brand, and polish my skills. Comparison really is the thief of joy, and I’m working on taking joy in my own journey.
That’s certainly inspiring. I must say, though, that New York queens can be very welcoming of girls new to the scene, regardless of their experience level.
Oh, there are so many queens who have been so incredible to me, and so welcoming.
Viva Vidalia and
Boudoir LeFleur, specifically, have been amazing and inspiring. I had a weird living situation, and because of drag out here I found my new roommate who’s also a drag queen.
You have an exciting show premiere coming up. Tell us about Fresh Meat at REBAR in Chelsea, debuting Tuesday!
I’m so excited for Fresh Meat! Specifically to get back on the mic. I miss being a hostess. I wanted to create a show that gives space for newer queens, or queens from other boroughs who are doing amazing things that should be seen in a new space and should have more opportunity to perform.
So often from what I’ve experienced here in NYC, a lot of new queens guest with just one number–or do a competition with just one number–and only show one part of themselves, when they’re capable of so much more. I wanted to give space for queens to do more than one number, to show their fans and friends what they’re capable of.
There’s a pair of great guests for the debut:
Adriana Trenta and Juicy Liu!
Yep! Juicy is so phenomenal, and I love everything I’ve seen her do. And Adriana’s tenacity and drive inspires me so much! I’ve also got Xunami,
Didi Cumswell, and The Nobodies (Lady Bearica Andrews and Ariel Italic) coming down the pipeline.
Should be a great show, and just what Chelsea needs! last question: do you think we’ll ever have a drag queen President?
No, but I certainly think we’ll have a drag Speaker of the House. I think drag queens are community leaders and represent people, and we have a long way to go before a drag queen could equally represent an entire country.
Thank you, Vivica!
Vivica Galactica hosts “Fresh Meat” at REBAR on Tuesdays (9pm). Check Thotyssey’s calendar for her scheduled upcoming events, and follow Vivica on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.