Gigs for drag queens on Long Island are few and far between, but here’s a queen who’s snatched up what might be the only weekly gig for miles. Now also planning to host one of the biggest ever drag shows on the Island, Jazzie Royal Miranda tells us about the joys and challenges of LI queendom.
Thotyssey: Hello Jazzie! Thanks for chatting with us today! August is gone, which means Fall is Coming… how was your summer?
Jazzie Royal Miranda: It was quite eventful, taking on Babylon Pride and creating shows all over Long Island.
You made LI a little more “draggy” this year! What was the crowd like for Babylon Pride?
A mix of people, but I noticed a lot of straight allies came out to support. I hosted four bars that day; it was a blast, but super exhausting. You could tell everyone had a blast!
Queer bars, and a visible queer presence in general, are all largely lacking on the Island. Most of the gigs you hardworking gals do out there are in straight pubs, restaurants, coffee houses, stores, etc. Do you think there are enough queer folks on the Island to create a more tangible scene if they wanted to, or will that never happen?
I think the queers want a place, but they are not willing to support when the time comes. The island is full of queer folks. Everywhere I go I see them in packs, and when I go out to Veranda on a Friday, it’s packed with them. The problem is keeping them on the island… especially at the end of the summer, because everybody wants to run to the city or to Fire Island to get the last hurrah rather then supporting more locally.
Are you a native Long Islander yourself?
I was born here In Huntington; my parents and I moved when I was 5. I came back by myself because of drag two years ago; I got a gig up here and got stuck, and never left. I used drag to literally survive.
What is it about drag that speaks to you so strongly?
I was an entertainer my whole life; I grew up doing gymnastics and dancing. I was very dedicated to doing that from the age of four until I was 16–then I had to get a real job when my dad left my mom, because we had no money.
I snuck into a nightclub in Greensboro, and I saw a drag queen; she was flipping all over the place and dancing, and people were throwing money at her. I said, “I think I can do it better.” This could be somewhere I can work on my talent again, and I can do gymnastics again and dance… and get paid for it. So I went to a talent show, and the crowd went crazy; I never stopped doing drag since.
I love entertaining, making people smile and bringing people together. I have a passion for it. On top of dancing and doing crazy stunts, I was meant to bring people together. I was meant to make people forget what a hard time they have had, and to just let go and have fun and laugh.
Is there a queen that you consider a drag mother?
I don’t consider anybody my mother, mainly because I kind of got through everything myself.
Well done! I see on your Insta this gorge green feathery showgirl ensemble… do you create any of your own costumes?
I create a lot of my own stuff; a lot of it inspired from Brazil. I like to sell stuff from the collections that I have.
Is your family Brazilian?
No, my family is Hispanic and German Irish. I just love that culture.
So what’s a Jazzie performance like these days?
When you come to a show of mine, you can expect to see big showgirl outfits with feathers and stones. But not only will I gag you with my outfits… I always find a way to be over the top, and dance my way into your hearts. And when it’s time for me to emcee on the mic, you better be ready! You never know what kind of crazy mess is gonna come out of my mouth.
How much harder is gymnastics to do in heels, by the way?
OMG! I can tell you, it is 2000 times harder… every time I do a flip and don’t mess up, you can see on my face how shocked I am!
I bet! So these days in Babylon, you are hosting both monthly Saturday shows and weekly Tuesday Trivia at Molto Vino, a restaurant in Babylon. Tuesday Trivia might be the only weekly drag show on the Island. Tell us what that night’s like!
You can win a $50 a bottle of wine and food for the table, and it goes from 7:30 to 10. It’s been a blast doing it, but the last two weeks have been a bit slow… which is why I encourage the queer folks to come out and support. It’s a space I was offered to [create shows at] to make Babylon more of a mix.
You’ve also been doing monthly shows at another Babylon restaurant, Lily’s. Will you return there soon?
Yes I am currently planning a date for October or September to do a big bash.
I’m also doing a big one, of the biggest drag shows ever on Long Island, at Harp and Hound in Islip on the September 25th.
Tell us more about that one!
I’ll be hosting a drag show there once a month; I decided to make it one of the biggest ones in Long Island. We’re gonna have funny games where you can win drinks and prizes. It will be starting at 9pm; we do ask you to call for reservations to reserve a spot… since Covid is back on the rise, we want to keep it to a certain amount. It’s going to be a nice big drag cast with us: Bella Noche, Annie Manildoo, Stella Virgin and Sassy Temptress. If this one goes good, we will have more events there for y’all.
What else is coming up for you?
The queens of Long Island and I have put together a big project where you can see us on YouTube doing a reality talk show called “The Gag.” that’s a little inside scoop… it hasn’t been released yet.
Very exciting… lots to look out for! Any plans to come twirl with the NYC girls at all in the near or distant future?
I would love to break down some stages with the girls in New York City… I just don’t have any connections out that way. I’ve only been to the city maybe twice, but would love to be featured there more.
We’d love to have you. Okay, here’s my last question: what was the Song of the Summer?
“I Get It,” by Kelly Rowland.