This “art school anime magical girl” and a countess of the Court of Filth is serving us fierce digital shows this month. Make way for our true Renaissance Woman, Sophiella DaVinci!
Thotyssey: Hello Sophiella! I’m glad you made it home safely from work in this snowpocalypse! What is your day job, exactly?
Sophiella DaVinci: I’m a retail makeup artist, so it’s been quite the day for me!
Oh, I bet. Were you doing professional makeup before you started drag?
No! Actually, the other way around. My love for the transformation of drag led me into pursuing makeup as a career.
Where are you from originally, and what were your interests that ultimate led to drag?
Jersey born and raised. As a kid, I was always doing artistic pursuits–acting, singing, dancing, drawing, writing–that kind of led me down the road to drag. When that route didn’t pan out, I switched gears and studied fashion in college. But I missed being on stage, so falling into drag satisfied that craving. Drag allowed me to put all my interests and creativity together, for once.
How did your drag name come to you?
Sophiella (so-fee-el-la) came from the bookshelf in my room. One day, I quickly glanced over my books, and saw the name (it was actually a portmanteau of an author’s name). I wrote it down, and then decided to see if it actually existed. It didn’t at the time, but there’s an angel with the name Sophiel (meaning “light of wisdom”). So I decided to use it.
The surname “DaVinci” came from Leonardo. I wanted something to reflect my Italian background, and something based in my interests. DaVinci himself was queer–an artist that had very layered pieces. And there was a theory for a time that the Mona Lisa was a self-portrait in drag. And I just loved the idea of carrying that energy into my art and drag.
You’re probably best known as a member of the Court of Filth, the recurring cast of eccentric drag performers led by Lady Macncheese that pre-lockdown had a monthly presence at Rockbar. How did that affiliation come about?
When Lady Mac was putting the cast together, she had made a Facebook post looking for performers of all types to join a new show she was producing. So I sent her a message with a link to my social media, and she had asked me to be a part of Dumpster Bitch Theater with her and [co-host] EZ Mac back at Bizarre Bushwick. That was about 2, almost 3 years ago now. I had so much fun that first show that I just stuck around, and over time I just found a family of sorts. We always have a fun time, and I just love everyone that has been a part of our cast over the years.
How would you describe your own live drag for the uninitiated?
It’s kind of an anime magical girl that went to art school. Sometimes high concept, with layered themes to the songs I’m performing. Other times, I love to do a high-energy number while living my pop star fantasy. You can always expect a kawaii floozy, in lots of color.
That sort of aesthetic you’ve just described translates well to digital drag. Have you been able to do a lot of that during this weird time?
Between quarantine and returning to the day job, I haven’t made as much content as I’d like, but I’ve kept myself busy enough. The videos I’ve made during this time have been therapeutic and a fun alternative, since I haven’t been able to perform for a bar crowd since February. Mostly, I’ve been a member of Ellipsis Queen’s “Children of the Spring” digital show on Twitch.
In fact, you’ll be rejoining the Children of the Spring on Wednesday, December 23rd (9pm) for a fourth installment, “Free Britney!” That’s going to be a great tribute to our beloved pop star in peril.
But the night before before that, on Tuesday, December 22nd (8pm) you’ll be part of another digital show.
I’ll be joining Amanda Massacre’s “The Slay Before Christmas.”
That has another great, large cast of queens, and you all will be serving some seasonal chills along with the holiday cheer!
Anything else we should be looking out for?
Right now, I’m looking in to starting my own digital drag show in the new year. So please keep an eye out for that! In the meantime, if you see me around in person or online, say hi. I come off as quiet, but I’m just a socially awkward weirdo that loves performing.
That’s the best way to be! Okay last question: what’s your favorite holiday song?
I’m not one for holiday music (many years of retail will kill the genre for you), so I’ve just been listening to my favorites of 2020. Good music is one of the few bright sides of this year!
Ain’t that the truth! Thanks, Sophiella!