Known for her colorful looks and zany mixes, this painter and actor turned drag queen and makeup tutorial star is one to watch in 2020. Making her mark on the city by way of South of the Border, it’s DD Fuego!
Thotyssey: Hey, DD! So, Jennifer Lopez was denied an Oscar nomination today… should we revolt?
DD Fuego: Please feel free to revolt to get more women and POC nominees at the Academy Awards. But if you ask me… I didn’t think she, or Hustler, were ALL THAT!
Ha! I guess it depends on who you ask. I mean, some of us are still mad that Gaga didn’t win Best Actress year.
She got her Oscar for “Shallow,” she’s gonna be fine! What I would like, though, is for JLo to be at the ceremony so that she can wear something fab on the red carpet.
A redemption moment! But I don’t think that her Golden Globes dress was as terrible as everybody carried on about.
I didn’t think her Christmas present dress was that bad [either]–it’s a very DD Fuego kind of look!
You actually turn it out every week with very colorful and eclectic looks. Who are your style icons?
I find style inspiration everywhere, but there really isn’t a single source or icon I look to emulate. I love fashion in general, whether keeping up with what’s new or researching vintage looks. Then my brain jumbles the inspirations up, and my skills achieve what they achieve, and then DD has a new look!
So, you are originally from Mexico.
I grew up in Monterrey, in an area that’s been described as, like, the Beverly Hills of Mexico. This meant there were very wealthy people around me–even if my family wasn’t–and also it meant society was kind of closed-minded about a lot of things. I was different for being interested so profoundly in the arts and not so much sports, but thankfully I have a very supportive family and I was always allowed to be me.
When did you come to the U.S.?
I moved to NYC for college–Tisch School of the Arts!
You seem to approach your looks very much from the point of view of a painter.
Yes! As long as I’ve been a performer, I also have also been an artist/designer. I majored in both, and post-college ended up working as a TV/Theater set and costume designer for shows such as Billy on the Street (where among other things, I put Jon Hamm in drag). But I still missed the stage! Thankfully now as DD, I get to take all I know about design and bring that approach to my drag.
Billy Eichner is hilarious… and kinda bae!
I love him. I think he is a true comedy and creative genius, and I admire how hard he works. I will always drop anything I’m doing if I get the phone call to work on a new segment of Billy on the Street. Last month I got to work with Mariah Carey– so yeah, I love Billy Eichner!
By the way, your Insta selfie game is pretty great.
I have a setup in my home studio where I do my makeup, and take pictures of every face with nice lights before I head out. The issue is that I usually put the wig on when I get to the venue, so I’m usually not glued for pics. So don’t look at the selfies too close, because I don’t use FaceTune!
Ha! So how and when did you become DD?
Well, after years of doing drag in the privacy of my apartment, I had my first official performance in late 2017. I loved it, so I started going almost weekly to Drag Wars at Pieces every Monday, and thankfully that led me to where I am working today.
What has come to surprise you the most about the reality of drag life?
Hmm. I expected a physical toll on my body… but it is way more than I bargained for! I’m putting my body through a lot, and I’ve been injured badly the past year. Do I go too hard? Maybe. But I don’t know how to not!
You have some funny, kooky, intricate mixes that you perform (I love “Bang Bang!”). It must take you forever to make them! Did you wanna be a Mix Queen from Day One?
OMG, is there such a thing as a “Mix Queen?” Now I’m wondering what “___ Queen” I am! Also, “Bang Bang” was my first ever mix of my first ever drag performance! So yes, from the jump it’s been important to me to bring joy through drag storytelling, and the mix is a vital part!
Oh, I love Woman Crush Wednesday! It really is a very special show because not only is it high energy, silly, fierce fun drag, it also is like a beautiful joyful family vibe with the audience. Like a safe space we can all be ourselves and come by for a big dose of love in the middle of the week.
And of course, you are Bootsie LeFaris‘ monthly guest co-host for Sinful Saturdays at Hardware’s Elder Sister bar and your drag birthplace, Pieces! That show is a well-oiled machine going on 5+ years, but the audiences devour it each and every week.
Yes! I love Bootsie, and I love the Pieces Bar audience! Sinful Saturdays is hard to do in some ways because the crowd is very unexpected, but it also is the most fun I’ve had in drag every time!
And this Friday you’ll be covering for RuGirl Yuhua Hamasaki’s Friday happy hour show at Pieces while she’s in Mexico! Will that be your solo hosting debut?
Not quite! I’ll have guests. But also I’ve been lucky enough to do solo shows outside of my usual group gigs–I did a solo show for Snapchat once, and also did a Gender Reveal show last month! But I am very much looking forward to an official DD Fuego solo show– now who’s gonna give me that? I only get to do that on my YouTube channel.
And then there’s Read My Lips. That’s a major lip sync competition hosted by Nicky Ottav & Blake Deadly with a $1000 prize, which will be returning to 3 Dollar Bill for a Madonna edition on January 30th. You’re competing!
I’m very excited to do it, because I do love Madonna and the songs that I get to prepare. I feel weird about the concept of competing, but excited to create new production numbers, and to share myself with new people! Plus, I’ve never had to lip sync for my life against another queen at the same time… but it’ll be practice for later!
What else should the children know about DD?
Naturally everyone should follow me on Instagram, come to WCW, check out my YouTube videos, and start a prayer circle so I can get on Drag Race Season 13. Oh, and my venmo is @ddfuego!
And finally: what is one singular makeup or otherwise drag product that you swear by above all else?
I’ll tell you my biggest secret-not-secret: most of my eye looks are created using Mehron brand body paint– I can’t let go of my painterly background!