Balancing a demanding day job with drag life is never an easy feat, but this new queen is doing just that… and with her own weekly show to boot! Thotyssey gets sassy with Gassy Bordeaux.
Thotyssey: Why, hello Gassy! That’s for chatting with us today! So, very important business to cover: that Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular? Um, what was that?
Gassy Bordeaux: To be honest, I wasn’t able to watch the special when it first aired. Upon hearing responses to it ranging from embarrassment to disgust, I decided not to prioritize seeing it. I do think it’s hard to say whether that was the RuBot2000 or VH1 that thought it would be a good idea to capitalize on the Holidays… but I think it’s safe to say most people were not feeling the spirit.
It was a difficult to figure out what it was exactly, but I’ve spoken to a few people who actually did enjoy it!
Well, who doesn’t love a fabulous queen twirling in some tinsel?
Truth! Any predictions for All Stars 4? I think it might actually be exciting!
All Stars 4 I will definitely be making a bit more of a priority. I’m thinking Latrice and Manila are favorites. I want to see Jasmine do well, mostly because I like to imagine the best in people and am hoping this isn’t a ploy by Ru to embarrass her (which would likely backfire anyways). And of course, I’m always rooting for any New York queen!
Speaking of local queens, you are definitely a Brooklyn queen on the rise! Where’s your original hometown, and were you always into drag-related pursuits?
I’m from Erie, Pennsylvania, spent four years in DC, and did a short stint in LA. So a little bit of everywhere, but definitely small-town beginnings.
I didn’t actually get into drag until I moved to the city. I was into makeup for a while before that, but didn’t do any drag until a friend asked that I do it in solidarity and support with them for the third set at Mondays on Mondays. And then I guess I was hooked! That community of people were also very supportive. I’ve met most of my best friends here through that show!
Where did your drag persona “come from?”
I like to think of Gassy as my Id. Like, an exaggerated expression of myself. It was very natural to come to where I am now. I’ve always been into storytelling, and at its heart that’s how I like to describe my drag: “I’m a storyteller.” Especially with a demanding “day job,” I have to make the most of – and say the most with – the one or two performances a week I am able to do!
Am I allowed to ask what the day job is?
Of course! I am the service / training director for a restaurant in midtown west, Ousia. I moved here to help open the space. So as anyone who works in hospitality will understand, that is very time-consuming.
Indeed! Are they on the market for any drag shows?
Hahaha trust me, if they were I would have jumped on that in a second!
But they are very understanding and supportive of what I do. I suppose that’s the benefit of working for a family-owned group. With enough notice, I am generally able to have off for any gig.
It can be a difficult balancing act, drag and full-time day work.
For sure! There have been days where I’ve worked ten hours, blocked my brow in the bathroom, do most of my beat on the train, change at home (and gather my inevitably numerous props), and run right back out the door. But I’m not doing drag to make money, I’m doing it because I love it. So the money has to come from somewhere!
Generally speaking, who are some local queens you admire?
There are so many for so many different reasons. The first people that come to mind are absolutely [Mondays on Mondays hosts] Ragamuffin and Ruby Roo. They gave me, and so many others, a first opportunity to step into the drag world. Plus, Raga has always really inspired me and pushed the boundaries of what drag really is and can do.
Then of course, all of my friends that continue to work hard to break the cookie cutter mold of what a drag artist really is: Crystal Hart, Le Petit DumDum, Theydy Bedbug, Blvck Lae D, Shiny Penny. PLUS, they all put up with my shenanigans… so they’ve got to be good people.
All amazing! You actually got your first weekly show courtesy of a Drag Race viewing party at a venue called Juno in Brooklyn… and long after that season ended, your show there has evolved into Dutch Oven!
Yeah, DJ Cameron Cole and I sort of jumped on at the tail end of last season. We kept it going with the idea that when the new season started we would pick it back up…. then they played us all and put it on Friday Nights.
Tell us about the space!
The bar is really interesting. It’s a restaurant as well as a bar. There is no real stage, so we are very ‘in your face’ with everything. Performing in the small space between a row of tables and the bar. But that is what is great about it! I generally leave each show knowing every patron’s name.
So what’s your favorite thing about performing there?
That we often get first-time-drag-show-goers. And then when they come back the following week, it’s even better. Exposing people to this art form, under the guise of a dinner date that they may not otherwise venture out to see, is awesome. It is always a very welcoming space. We are very relaxed. And most of all, we are just trying to have fun and make sure the guests do as well!
It has to be very satisfying to have your own gig in your own exclusive space. It seems that so many queens are vying for the chance to perform in just this small handful of queer venues.
Honestly, I owe that to Cameron. He was the liaison to the space, and trusted me enough to do the show justice. It has been awesome. I have been able to host many new queens and many seasoned professionals, as well as a variety of performers. Speaking of Theydy, I finally have them joining us this week! We also have plans to have queer vocalists and other styles of nightlife performers join us.
Ally Witch, who became a co-host of sorts in the beginning of the show, is now hosting the first Drag Race viewing ever in Sofia, Bulgaria! So it’s pretty cool to see where people just starting out have gone since working with them.
That’s fascinating! You go, Bulgaria!
Anything else to report?
Yes! December 30th I’m rejoining the crew from Church Night for their Holiday Spectacular. It’s a ridiculous and irreverent (award winning!) comedy / variety show set around the structure of a church service. It is so much fun!
Other than that, if you haven’t been to Juno, the Tenders are amazing, and the Mozz sticks are killer. Come for dinner and stay for the show!
To close: If you had to pick a theme song for Gassy, what would it be?
It’s hard to say, but maybe “Linger” by The Cranberries. A stink you just can’t shake.
Well done! Thanks, Gassy!