Tiz the season to get to know our spooky queens, and here’s a rising darkstar of the scene. Haunting venues in Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan and beyond, this young vamp is quite a bit more than just your run-of-the-mill Halloween queen, however. Let’s get to know the ghostly Coma White!
Thotyssey: Greetings, Coma! So, you seem like a good queen to talk to as we rapidly approach the Halloween month… are you excited for it, or will Spooky Time fail us in 2020?
Coma White: Everyday is Halloween for me… so when the holiday comes around, I surprisingly don’t do anything! But I’m actually really excited for it this year, and the fall weather has definitely put me in the Halloween spirit.
I see you have a lot of looks on your Instagram that are inspired by horror movie icons… do you have a personal fave?
OMG, such a hard question! I have so many favorites, and it’s always changing. But over the past few years, I’ve come to really appreciate Leatherface [of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise] as the gay icon he is! I really identify with his over-painted lips, whore-ish blue eyeshadow and messy wig. Also, he’s basically a drag queen in Part 4. He may not be an icon to everyone, but he is to me!
I’m assuming your drag name comes from the Marilyn Manson song off his classic 1999 album Mechanical Animals.
It does! Marilyn Manson is my all-time favorite [performer] and my biggest inspiration. When coming up with a drag name, I knew I wanted to pay homage to him. And when looking into more about the meaning behind that song, “Coma White” is not literally a woman, but a personification of an ideal of perfection… which I thought was really interesting.
Did you see his new record reached number one on the Billboard rock charts for the first time in his career?
I did not know it reached number one! That’s really amazing!
So, you are currently a Long Island girl.
Yep, born and raised! I live in Nassau County; I’m close enough to the city if I wanna go, but also a good distance away if I need to get away from all the noise!
Growing up, were you always into some type of makeup / fashion / performance expression, and was the horror aesthetic always a thing?
Yes! I was always into art so as a kid; I used to draw a lot. Horror is a lifestyle for me. “This isn’t a fucking costume, it’s a way of life!”(That’s a Return of the Living Dead reference for all you horror nerds out there!)
How did drag come about?
I was always attracted to that androgynous, genderfuck type of aesthetic from bands like Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Motionless In White… so I would actually go to concerts with a white powdered face and smeared black lipstick from the 99 cent store, lol!
I discovered drag one day from channel surfing and coming across reruns of Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 4, and seeing someone like Sharon Needles really opened my eyes to what drag could be. The artistry and creativity is really what drove me to it. And then senior year of college, I did it for a school project. From then on, it was something so inside of me that I had to do it.
I’m guessing you follow Dragula as well?
Of course! Love that show. The artistry is truly on a whole other level.
If we don’t see you on Drag Race someday, then we’ll see you there!
So Long Island drag was stagnant for awhile, but has been making a comeback these past few years. Drag audiences are pretty mixed there, how do they receive Coma?
I’ve been very well-received, but I think one of my greatest strengths in drag is my versatility. It’s not always horror. I can go from Marilyn Manson to Madonna–so depending on where I’m performing, I try to do lewks and performances that I think that particular audience will respond well to. If I’m doing a show at some random straight bar here on Long Island or a brunch in the city, I probably won’t give myself an abortion on stage or eat shit out of a garbage can. I’ll try to be more family friendly!
I can’t wait to see the shit and the abortions!
Your makeup has really become refined and unique… was this the result of experimenting and trial and error, or did you follow any makeup tutorials or any specific look queens?
Thank you. As an artist, it’s important to evolve, and I like reinventing myself. So I’m constantly experimenting, and seeing what works on me and what doesn’t. I’m always watching makeup and hair tutorials. I find inspiration in many different people, different eras, etc.
There seems to be a crew of young queens from Long Island with arguably an “alt” aesthetic that frequently performs in Brooklyn. Are those your gurlz?
Yes, Jessica Rose, Frida Cox, Aphrodite and Ruby Monroe are my sisters. All of us started around the same time, and I feel like we definitely helped kick off the resurgence of the drag scene on Long Island and raised the bar.
And speaking of Madonna earlier, back in August you did the digital edition of Chauncey Dandridge’s annual Madonna Worship.
I’ve been wanting to be a part of Madonna Worship ever since I found out about it, so I’m very glad I was able to do that.
How do you like digital drag?
Digital drag isn’t my favorite, to be honest. If there isn’t some type of production value, it can be a bit awkward to do / watch. I’ve seen some queens do some really amazing things though, and since this seems to be the future of drag for the time being, I gotta keep up with the times and push myself even harder now.
In fact, you’re a digi-guest for Jessica Rose’s weekly “Rosebud” show on Instagram this Sunday (8pm EST).
Yes I am! I’m very excited to just kiki with my sister, and talk shit and have fun.
We’ll all definitely tune in! So these are challenging times for plugs, but is there anything else coming up for you that you can report?
I don’t have any gigs lined up…yet. But I have a few projects I’ve set for myself that I’m very excited to work on, so stay tuned for that!
We shall! Okay, in closing: music-wise, what is the One True Halloween Anthem?
There’s so many! Let’s go with a classic, though… “The Monster Mash!”
A true graveyard smash! Thanks, Coma!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Coma White’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.