A gorgeous new edition to the drag stage who brings the fashion but is a performer first and foremost, this queen is about to make a her majestic hosting debut in one of NYC’s trendiest venues. And, have we ever been graced with a drag pianist before? Expect glorious things in the near future from the luminous Miss Olivia Lux!
Thotyssey: Olivia, hello! Thanks for chatting with us today! Happy Almost Summer!
Olivia Lux: Happy Pre-Summer season! Thank you for having me, Jim.
Fire Island season has begun, are you planning on making any trips there this year?
Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Fire Island! But we shall see for this summer. So far, I will definitely be taking a trip to PTown a.k.a. Provincetown.
Oh, that’s fun too! You’re a pretty young queen. Has 2019 been your debut year?
I started performing at the end of August 2018, at a small hole-in-the-wall in Jersey, then made my way over to NYC in October to compete in a competition for newer queens called Open Call at the Ritz. It has been a whirlwind ever since!
I actually first saw you perform at Open Call, guest performing with then-host Maddelynn Hatter as a result of having won the prior week’s competition (the prize for winning is a paid booking there the following week).
Ah! Yes! Open Call was such an amazing experience. Six months of challenging myself with new numbers, creating new looks, and learning not only about the culture of drag, but ultimately learning who Olivia Lux truly is.
We’ll get back to Olivia on a bit, but first let’s explore Pre-Olivia times. Where are you from, and what were your earliest creative interests?
I’m originally from a small farm town in South Jersey–a farm was literally right outside my childhood room window. I have vivid memories of locking myself in my room playing musical instruments my music teacher lent me: clarinet, flute, trombone, trumpet, piccolo… anything I could get my hands on. I would borrow them over the summer or extended breaks, and come back to show my band teacher what I accomplished!
I discovered my passion for music early on at about age 7. I performed in both statewide orchestra groups and choir groups; the ones where you have to beg your parents to drive an insane number of hours for rehearsals and performances. My mom, grandmother, and aunts were very supportive of my art, and have continue to be an amazing support system.
Band and choir turned into drama club and musicals, which then turned into pursuing musical theatre in college. I still play piano, and actually got an opportunity recently to integrate my love for music with drag–which I’m ecstatic about.
We’ll talk all about that amazing gig in a bit! How did you ultimately discover drag, and finally step out as Olivia?
I feel like drag has always been following me–practically stalking me. When I was in college I studied musical theatre, and found myself in more drag roles than non. Of course at this time, I was just an actor portraying a character, and had never done drag. But I soon began thinking about a character that I wanted to create.
Fast forward to Summer 2018, and I was seeing a ton of drag, and got to visit PTown for the first time. I was inspired by artists that integrated all facets of their artistic selves (i.e. singing live, production numbers, original music, playing instruments, poetry etc.). Coupled with the need for more POC drag artists and storytellers, I felt compelled to contribute and share with the world Olivia Lux. In fact, diversity and representation was a leading factor in why I embarked on this journey.
I have to say, I am surprised that your first love was theater and performance… from what I’ve seen on social media and in person, you seem very high-fashion oriented. I would’ve pegged you as a designer firstly.
That’s so sweet of you! Thank you! Ironically, I work in corporate luxury fashion when I’m not performing. I like to think my 9 to 5 influences what I bring to Olivia’s looks. They’ll be days where I run into garments or editorial selections that I fall in love with, and then run home and use that as inspiration for a concept. Not even just full looks–a lot of times, I get inspired by designers’ thought processes or the origin of the piece. I could talk for hours about fashion!
At the Lady Liberty competition the other night, you sported two cute, well-executed looks: a Statue of Liberty presentation ensemble, and a leopard print leotard for your fierce performance.
I had so much fun with these looks! The Statue of Liberty look started with a re-purposed leotard. I really liked the color, then something just sparked. The category was “camp” and it’s the LADY LIBERTY competition… BAM! Statue of Liberty. So then I fabricated the props and draped sash moment, then covered the garment in stones!
My talent number look was created by a fabulous seamstress in Queens, and lent to me by a drag sister. When I first saw it, I fell in love with the concept of red stones on leopard print!
It was a great night over all: as expected, New York drag queens put the Met Gala celebs to shame!
It’s kind of like the Met Gala at every drag event!
So, how did you become friendly with Novaczar?
Novaczar and I became friends through Instagram last summer. I was just gaining my grounding as a drag artist, and I stumbled upon her page. At the time, I was doing some portrait photography at my NJ apartment… and after the photoshoot with Novaczar, the rest was all history. She invited me to my first NYC drag competition that she was performing in, which ironically was Open Call! From there, we continued to keep in touch, and started bumping into each other all over NYC.
And now you two will be debuting a new ongoing show together at Club Cumming.
Yes! When I heard the news [about us getting the show], I had my fair share of screaming!
“Production” debuts there on Sunday, June 2nd, and will be bi-monthly. Tell us more!
“Production” is a new live drag experience, integrating live singing by both Novaczar and me… and I’ll be on the piano for parts of the evening! We have some amazing collaborators lined up, and are ecstatic to be performing at such a fabulous, theatrical venue. We’ll be holding an open stage at 10pm for any and all performers: poets, actors, songwriters, dancers, comedians… you name it! Afterwards, we’ll introduce the top of the show! We have a lot of great content in store that we cannot wait to share! “Production” at Club Cumming, 10pm, first and third Sundays, June 2nd Opening Night!
This is gonna be a great, unique show! Anything else coming up for you?
I’m in a cast of gals at a bar and rooftop lounge in Jersey City called Six26. You can catch me there twirling on Fridays. I have a few other projects I’m unable to share at the moment until finalized; however I always post on my Instagram, should you wish to keep up to date with shows, lewks, and daily shenanigans!
Great! And in closing…. Dionne Warwick says Beyoncé is not an icon! Thoughts?
An icon, yes. A legend? We still working on it, Bey! LOL!