When Thotyssey last interviewed Viva Vidalia (one of our earliest), she’d just won the Mr. Rockbear sash at her home base of Rockbar, and had also just started doing drag. Much as changed! Now among many other things, Viva is the key element to Thotyssey’s latest nightlife venture. Let’s review with Viva!
Thotyssey: Viva, hello again! So I understand you’re off tonight… how are you spending your “down time?”
Viva Vidalia: Hey Jim! YES I finally have a Friday off, and all I want to do is be as far away from a bar as possible! I’m using today to catch up on sewing commissions and hair things. The drag never stops!
When did you start making stuff for other queens?
I have been sewing costumes for other performers for a long time now. I started openly taking commissions about two months ago, and I’m very fortunate to say that it’s been keeping me quite busy.
And do you have a piece you did for another queen that you’re most proud of?
I recently worked on Honey Davenport’s Poison Ivy costume for her BloodBath performance, and I am still super proud of how the entire look came together.
So the last time Thotyssey spoke to you was in 2016. you’d just won Mr. Rockbear, and had been doing drag for like 5 minutes! Obviously a lot has changed since then.
Yeah, that was a while ago!
What has surprised you the most about how you have evolved as a queen since you started?
I think what’s surprises me the most is how much I absolutely did not have anything together back then, even though I really I thought I did. The last time we spoke I was still trying to balance a bear life and a drag life. It was tiring, and not very fruitful. I think when I married both parts of my life, I was able to evolve into the performer I am right now.
Absolutely! That night actually is, to date the most nervous I’ve ever been about any performance. But I’m glad I was able to bring out Vincent; I perform as Viva so much that I sometimes forget about the man underneath the lashes and stretch fabric.
So today, what’s the best thing about drag for you, and what’s the worst?
The best part of drag is the performing. I absolutely love being on a stage and entertaining. For me there is no feeling on this earth like it. The worst part would definitely have to be getting out of drag! There is nothing I hate more than getting home at 3am and having to take everything off and shower before bed. All I ever want to do is sleep!
Dusty has been one of my favorite performers in NYC since I first saw her perform. She has always been a star in my eyes, and I’m glad to see that the show has put her in a place to get the recognition she deserves.
Will Viva be a RuGurl someday?
I’d sure like to be. NYC is full of incredible queens, and the show in clearly looking at this city as a prime pickup spot. I think the chances of me getting on that show are as good as any other queen! So… fingers crossed.
Yeah! Miss Runner Up has had many queens come and through. Working with all the previous hosts has always been great because they are all my dear friends. Every Friday on stage was essentially just hanging out with my friends. These days it will just be me and Lilith Lefae keeping it going. We will actually be postponing the show to do a viewing party for Drag Race: All Stars when is starts.
That fuckin’ Friday night Drag Race time slot! How bullshitty is that!?
Haha! Truly any chance I get to get up in drag, sit down, watch and make money… I’m cool with it.
Congrats on recently becoming Boxers HK’s Wednesday night karaoke queen! How is that treating you so far?
Thank you! This week was my first time hosting. It’s such a fun venue, and the neighborhood is super cute. The new GM is an absolute angel, and the entire staff are equally as great. It’s slowly becoming my favorite gig to host.
If you could pay, like, $10 to remove a song from the karaoke book forever, what would it be?
As much as I fully love and acknowledge this song as a classic, if one more person drunkenly stumbles through “Don’t Stop Believing” one more time I might pelt them with my wig!
Shuga is not only one of my favorite queens, but truly one of my favorite people on this planet. I have been guesting with her pretty regularly at the show, and stepped in to cover some she is away. It’s always such a good time.
Love her! Now let’s talk about Viva Variety, the variety show at Bedlam we just premiered this past Tuesday night. It’s a Thotyssey production featuring guest performing queens, musicians, burlesquers, etc. (this week: Honey Davenport, Gloria Swansong & Senerio) each night, and you are the host! How fuckin’ fun was that premiere!?
I’m truly humbled and honored to be a part of it! We are celebrating not just drag, but all the different kinds of talent that exist within our community. Singers, dancers, comedians, burlesquers… anything and everything is welcome… and most importantly, appreciated. Bedlam Bar is the new queer bar / safe space in town, and such an incredible venue!
YES! I got a message asking if I’d like to be a part of the party and off course I said yes. I’m actually a closet disco freak, so I know oit’s ts gonna be a good time. The party is going to be benefiting the Bowery Mission as well. DRAG for a cause is always a good thing!
I am at The Phoenix on Sunday 11/25, at 10.
Werk! Okay last question… Mariah Carey’s Glitter soundtrack is suddenly and inexplicably back in the Top 10 downloads… yay or nay?
ALL. THE. WAY. YAY.
LOL! Thanks, Viva!
Viva Vidalia hosts “Viva Variety” at Bedlam on Tuesdays (9pm) and karaoke at Boxers HK on Wednesdays (9pm), and co-hosts “Miss Runner Up” with Lilith LeFae on Fridays at Rockbar (7pm). CHeck Thotyssey’s calendar for all of her scheduled appearances, and follow Viva on Facebook and Instagram.
Previously: Viva Vidalia (4.19.2016)