Known for slaying the competition circuit in recent years, New York native queen Olympia is now climbing her way to the top of NYC’s drag mountain.
Thotyssey: Hello Olympia! How is March treating you so far?
Olympia: Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes… March has been good to me so far! I really can’t complain. I’m truly booked, blessed, and busy at the moment. I know we’re all constantly striving for the three B’s, and I’m lucky to be living it right now–especially in the current climate. I’ve got my hand in a few different pots, and things are going well. Plus, my birthday is at the end of the month as well.
Happy birthday! Wow, you might actually have a chance to have real life birthday shows this month!
Thanks a lot! I’m super excited. I will be guesting at a brunch show on my actual birthday at the end of the month on March 28th! Very satisfying, since I had to cancel last year’s as we just went into lockdown.
Have you experienced digital drag at all this year?
I did, both as a spectator and a performer. I was so grateful to get to still share my drag with people, and got to perform with and for people outside of NYC because of that. However, on the flip side I’m a high-energy queen–and let me tell you, jump splits just don’t feel the same in your living room.
What are your favorite numbers to do… and how might you describe your whole look, for those who haven’t experienced you?
I love to dance, so a high energy number or a number with some well-known choreo in it is always a go-to. I also live for a live tour mix. Every time you’re at an Olympia show, I want you to forget you’re in a bar or a restaurant and feel like you’re in a sold out arena. I’m obsessed with the Pussycat Dolls; “React” has quickly become a signature number for me. When I hear a Pussycat Dolls song, you can’t tell me I’m not Nicole Scherzinger. I’ve loved Nicole since 2000, when she stormed onto my TV on Popstars!
That being said, Nicole informs a lot of my aesthetic choices–however, It’s a lot more than that. Olympia is a goddess. You’ll meet her on the crossroads of Mt. Olympus and a sold-out stadium tour. In a nutshell: OLYMPIA, the Goddess of Popstars and Concerts… lol!
So where are you from originally?
I’m a born and raised bi-racial New Yorker; I was born down in the Village but raised in Astoria, in the neighborhood I still call home.
And what put you on the path to goddessery / queendom?
You know, it sounds cliché… but I think the queen was always inside. I just didn’t know how to express that energy. So in my 20s, I got a safe job and climbed the ladder to reach a level of success that I’m very proud of. I found out that being proud of what I had accomplished and being fulfilled were two completely different things.
Living in NYC, I have access to some of the best queens in the world. That proximity to drag excellence ignited my fire and opened my eyes. There are so many NYC queens (local performers and RuGirls included) who have helped light the way both directly and indirectly. I got a bit of a later start than many of my peers, but I’m so happy that I’m on the path I’m on now at this point in my life!
Is it a great challenge to balance daytime and nightlife careers (under normal circumstances)?
It certainly is! I work a full time day job at a leadership level, I teach a few dance classes, I can be performing anywhere from 2-4 times a week, and I started a custom human hair wig business during the pandemic. I have a lot of plates in the air at all times, and sometimes that means little to no sleep! However, I choose to do these things. I’ve learned that work / life balance isn’t about money, hours of sleep or how well rested you are. It’s about being fulfilled, happy, and healthy… and if you can maintain all of those things while you do what you do, then you’re winning!
Truer words have never been spoken! You’ve been a popular queen on the competition circuit… I associate you most with Stonewall’s Polish the Queen. Do you enjoy the competition experience, or is it stressful?
I love the competition scene! The NYC competition circuit is like a game of double dutch: It can be really intimidating to jump in, but once you find your opening and get in the groove it’s so much fun. You wanna do it over and over. It’s always stressful and nerve-racking for me, but that’s an exhilarating feeling. The first time I ever performed was in January of 2019, at Drag Wars at Pieces hosted by the legendary Shequida. I was so scared, I sat in the audience for two weeks prior to doing it to scope it out.
I definitely really got comfortable at Polish the Queen. I love the format, the atmosphere, and of course performing at Stonewall is such a surreal experience. I started in Season 5, and placed top 3 in the finale. Season 6 was gonna be my win, I could taste it… but Miss Rona had different plans.
Who knows what the future holds? Well, we do one one thing… you’ll be serving us Saturday brunch this week at Aura Cocina in Brooklyn, alongside several other great queens. That should be a kiki!
Kiki isn’t the word, let me tell you! That brunch is lit, the energy is radiating, and the food and drinks are amazing! I’m excited to be performing with Janelle No. 5, Dahlia Sin, Vinny Gaga and Jupiter Gallaxxi.
I have to give a special shout out to Janelle: she is out here giving a platform to performers. I’m so grateful for the kindness she has been showing myself and all the queens. Janelle is a real one, and the only bitch I know booked eight days a week when everyone was giving shows in their living rooms. She makes opportunities for herself, and moreover is open to sharing with other talent. I’ve been a fan long before I was a queen myself, and I’m thrilled to be at a place where I can work with her.
What else is in store for you?
Well, I’m definitely doing my best to keep up the momentum and fire that I have going right now. I’m working on some photoshoots to amp up the content creation, and there’s definitely more stunts, shows and shenanigans. I’m back at Headroom and Feathers in Jersey, and uptown in the City at the end of the month. Most importantly, I’m working behind the scenes to have a few more consistent gigs coming up!
Enjoy it all! Okay, to conclude–who’s team are you on in Drag Race?
I’m #TeamKandy all the way! I think it’s a great cast as a whole, and gotta love all the NYC girls… but Kandy Muse for the win!