This young Brazilian beauty keeps her pageants won and her Insta cute. And check out her upcoming December gigs… Ms. Pietra Parker!
Thotyssey: Hey there, Pietra! Thanks for chatting today! So it’s already a week since Thanksgiving… how is your crazy Covid holiday season treating you so far?
Pietra Parker: Well, I’m trying to survive and stay focused, waiting for better days like everybody else. I love holidays, especially this season where we can wish for a brighter future. And I’m sure 2021 will be a better year! How are you?
Same! Busy and not busy at the same time! Have you been binge watching anything, or checking out other queens’ livestream shows at all?
Oh, I watched all the series available on Netflix! And yes, I’m always watching some virtual shows here and there, trying to support the community as much as I can!
I just interviewed a fellow Brazilian native, Nasty Queen! Do you know her?
Oh, of course! I met her here in NYC, and I love her. She is my Brazilian sister!
What part of Brazil are you from?
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro… the land of Carnival! Growing up there was amazing: by the beach, beautiful weather most of the time.
And what were your interests while growing up?
Since I was a kid, I was always involved in some form of art. I was always that kid that participated in all the school activities, dancing, acting… I used to write poetry when I was a teenager, and I won so many prizes in the poetry competitions. I was an actor for about 10 years, since I was 9 until I entered college. So I did a lot of plays and even a musical; I had so much fun.
I wanted to study arts and continue with my acting career in college, but I didn’t have the support from my parents. So I ended up graduating in Journalism, and I had to leave my artistic side behind. If I could go back in time, I would fight my parents and follow my passion!
So when did you become a New Yorker, and a drag queen?
I always wanted to do drag since I started seeing the drag shows in Brazil. But because of my very conservative family, I could never think of something like that. I remember when my parents found out that I was gay, one thing that my father told me was, “don’t show up here wearing women’s clothes.” So, it was difficult for me… but it was something I wanted, for sure.
I came to NYC just to spend three months during a student exchange program, and then I decided to stay more time and study English with two other friends. And life started happening for me here. I started working as an event producer. Then I started a YouTube channel talking about my gay life in NYC–and also about RuPaul’s Drag Race, haha! I used to do those RuViews of the episodes for the Brazilian audience. They used to ask me when I was going to do drag, but even if I wanted to do it I didn’t know how to start. I didn’t have any friends here that could help me.
That’s when a friend from Brazil that used to watch my channel came to NYC, and we met. She is a beautiful drag queen named Eva King, and she showed me the path–how to start, what I needed. And that’s how it happened. I started practicing makeup at home every day, and I learned. It’s been two years and three months now!
So you weren’t doing drag for long when you wound up winning a cycle of The Ultimate Drag Pageant at the now-sadly-shuttered West End!
When I won UDP I had celebrated my one year drag anniversary, so it was like a gift! But before that I also won Drag Wars All Stars in May, a competition at Pieces hosted by the amazing Shequida! But UDP was so nice because it made me create more, think outside of the box, and experience new things that I haven’t done yet. It was a great experience, and I am so proud for having won that competition. I learned a lot during that experience.
What would you say Pietra is like today, for the uninitiated?
I think Pietra is light! She is fire! Pietra is a very polished queen, super kind, and performing is really what I love the most about drag. She has a very tight lip sync (praised by Michelle Visage, by the way, during a virtual competition I did this summer and she was a judge). And I really love to seduce the audience, and make them pay attention to me when I’m on stage. I also love doing ballads! And I’m always very inspired by the powerful Brazilian drag queens I used to see.
I love how you’ve been curating your Instagram, by the way; many of your are pics “framed” with cute or meaningful quotes.
Haha! The thing is, I get bored easily… so I was finding my feed a little bit confusing, and I decided to make it more nice to watch. So I decided to do the frames, and it was really cute. But I got tired of it already, so I’m not doing them anymore! Now I’m posting my pictures with a black background. Let’s see when I’m gonna change it again!
A little variety keeps life interesting! So this Saturday at 7pm, you’ll be one of many amazing queens performing for Pride For Youth’s digital World AIDS Day event, the Ruby Red Ball! Tell us a bit about how you got involved in this night, and how the night might go down!
Yes! So Jarod [from Pride for Youth] approached me to do a show last year (we’d been friends on Instagram)–I think it was in Long Island, but unfortunately I couldn’t make it that time. So now with all the events happening online, he invited me to be part of this amazing event… and I said yes right away! I’m so excited for this night because not only will we have so many talents performing, but also it’s a very important event to learn more about HIV/AIDS, the importance of getting tested and everything. I had so much fun doing my number, inspired by the game “Among Us” that I’m so addicted to! I play it all the time!
Then next Saturday, you’ll be back online for a holiday edition of “Elation,” a Zoom event produced by Michael Block and Haireola Grande. Lots of great queens on this roster as well!
OMG, yes! And I’m so excited for that as well, and very grateful for being part of this! It’s going to be a very fun Christmas with all those queens performing your favorite Xmas songs! I’ll be doing a very classic song, and I can’t wait for that as well. I love the classic Christmas songs! Also, part of the cover will be donated to Toys for Tots. So everyone should get their ticket, enjoy an amazing show and also help some less fortunate children during this season.
And I understand that you’ve recently collaborated with acclaimed photographer Martin Schoeller.
Last year during DragCon here in NYC, I was invited to take some pictures at his booth. A few days later his staff contacted me, asking me to go to his studio in Tribeca for a photoshoot. It was so nice–he is a very kind and fun person, and I had a great time there. A month ago his people contacted me again to tell me that my picture will make to his new exhibition, and also his luxury photobook. All these plans will be for next year, but of course I was so happy to find out that he liked my work and picked me to be part of this!
Wow, we will definitely be looking out for that! And finally: what do you want from Santa this year?
Please give us the Covid vaccine! That’s all I’m asking! We need to go back to our lives, and perform, and hug people, and party! That’s what I want.
Make it happen, Santa! And thanks, Pietra!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Pietra Parker’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.