This young queen currently hosts one of New Jersey’s most coveted drag gigs: the Saturday night party at Club Feathers! Honey Marie tells us how that came to pass, and why she’s truly a queen to watch in this period of transition.
Thotyssey: Hello Honey! Thanks for chatting with us today! So, how is March treating you so far?
Honey Marie: So far my March is pretty busy: I have my full-time job during the week, and about five or six shows lined up for the month. Plus, some costumes I have to get done.
I can imagine that balancing a day job with nightlife must be intense, especially in these Covid times. What’s your secret to keeping it all going?
Well, I try my best to not book a show during the week, just because I know I will be exhausted the next day. I just try and take it easy, drink lots of liquids and prepare myself for what the week brings. I try to do little by little as I get closer to a show, so that I don’t have to rush or lose track. And with Covid, it’s hard because I can’t play around with the audience like usual–I love to interact with them, it makes me happy. I recently had Covid in January and I was down for the month, but I realized how much drag means to me–and to entertain is what I love for. It’s an amazing part of my life.
Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that you had the virus! Have you fully recovered? Some people still have weird symptoms a year after “recovery!”
Surprisingly, I didn’t have it too bad. Still trying to get my taste and smell back to 100%, but other than that I’m pretty great! Thank god.
Well, that’s some good news! There’s a picture of you in full giesh and a face shield that’s commonly used on your show posters. I gather you’re very aware and careful about social distance measures in your live shows now.
Yes! I always make sure to have a face shield on! And I always tell the audience that if they get up during any time, to make sure they are wearing their face mask… because we don’t want to ruin what we have going on. I think being a performer, you have to take extra caution because you’re around people you don’t know all the time. I carry hand sanitizer with me at all times, and I try to keep my hands clean. I think I’ve gotten use to it. I mean, it’s crazy how something like having to wear a face mask everywhere can become so normal.
Where are you from originally, and what were your creative interests and pursuits while growing up?
I was born and raised in Newark, NJ. As a little kid, I wanted to be a lawyer growing up. When I got into high school, I realized I loved the theater… but was always too shy to join drama and all that. Then in my sophomore year, I saw Drag Race on TV one day, and I was automatically hooked. I started playing with makeup, and fell in love with the art form. Then I knew this is what I wanted to do! And I’ve been doing it ever since.
When and where did you first perform as Honey Marie?
I was 16; I performed at a straight pub called Pianos Bar in Bloomfield for a drag queen contest, and I won! My husband and mom are by biggest supporters, and they’ve helped me grow in all of this. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be doing drag because they are the ones who pushed me into that pageant in the first place.
We love that! What’s your favorite number to do now, by the way?
I’m obsessed with “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I. I usually end the night with that song–kind of my signature now, lol.
And has all your drag been in New Jersey? Any sojourns across the river to New York at all?
I’ve always been exclusively a Jersey girl… haven’t popped up in NYC yet, but maybe very soon. I think it’s about time I expand my drag.
Most folks first got to know you as a queen at River Edge’s seminal Club Feathers, where you took over several of their outdoor and social distanced indoor shows during the Covid lockdown. How did you hook up with that venue?
Well, the manager Jose is actually my drag mother (mentor). I tried out for their pageant once, and lost. But me, Jose and his husband (the owner) Paul got really close, and Jose always booked me after. We formed a great bond, and he adopted me to be his only drag daughter… so Feathers is basically home to me. When they opened back up, I was glad to be there for them and entertain.
We can usually find you there hosting the long-running Saturday night party, Boyzz Night Out!
It’s a great night! Saturday, we are open ’til three… so it’s the longest night of the week–people wanna be able to stay out late. So I usually try and do everything like: ballads, comedy, dance, etc. I do probably about two to three shows during the night, maybe three to four numbers each show. But your basically being entertained all night! We wanna make sure that the customers stay entertained, so that they will come back and enjoy themselves.
Yes! I’m super excited. I’ve performed there once before with Harmonica, and it was a blast!
Have great shows? Okay last question: who are you rooting for on Drag Race?
Of course, I’m rooting for my girl Olivia Lux. We have done many shows together–she super sweet and extremely talented, and she needs to do Jersey proud. Hopefully I’ll be the next Jersey girl on Drag Race!
We’d definitely tune in for that! Thanks, Honey!