Using movement and music unlike anyone else is New York drag, Young Viper is proving that her voluptuous venom is a force to be reckoned with. [Cover photo: Tyrique James]
Thotyssey: Hello Viper, thanks for chatting with us today! OMG, Halloween is already right around the corner… are you a fan of the spooky season?
Young Viper: Halloween is the dopest holiday to me. I grew up very fascinated by spooky things, and a lot of what I create today lives in a kinda hybrid spooky bad bitch universe. Halloween has always been an exciting time; all love for the 31st.
You definitely have this sort of dramatic, gothic vibe in some of your numbers I’ve seen! Would you say that you are mostly a dancer?
I actually wouldn’t. I wouldn’t call myself a dancer–however, I do love to dance. I center a lot of my work and performances with a more storytelling, theatrical approach. I would consider my drag performances narrative-based.
Where are you originally from, and what were your earliest creative interests?
I was born and raised in Florida, but I’m a proud New Yorker now. I was always drawn to music, even as a kid. That’s where I found a lot of the pieces to my creative world.
And I can see that you’ve modeled.
Yeah, I modeled professionally before I was doing drag. I’ve done campaigns, commercials, shows. Would love to merge the two!
How did Young Viper come to be?
I created Viper throughout quarantine. Through a lot of the unease I was feeling during the heat of the pandemic, I began to explore makeup and drag. I kept practicing and making videos in my room, then got my first live booking earlier this year at a Dragon Sisters show.
And how did you hook up with them?
We followed each other on Instagram, and connected. Then we began doing a weekly show together at 3 Dollar Bill, and got really well-acquainted.
It’s been really exciting and interesting to watch these young queens who popped up just a year ago in digital and outdoor drag, now playing to bigger and bigger houses. How has that process of playing to these increasingly larger audiences been for you?
It’s been surreal. It’s been such a short amount of time, and getting to reach more and more people has been incredible. It’s definitely taken me some time being back in social settings, but the hype is real and gives a lot of life.
You are actually starring in what I believe is your first headlining show, on Wednesday, October 20 at C’mon Everybody: “Venom!” The Dragon Sisters, Charlotte Harlot and Mo’Riah will be your guests!
Yess! Very excited to be taking this next step, and with a group of artists I respect and appreciate very much. The show is a cabaret of different group and solo numbers. In addition, it’s also a dance party–DJ Sp3cial K will be joining the team to keep the vibe set.
This show is also on my birthday! I’ll be turning 25 on October 21st, and I wanted to mark this year celebrating black artists and turning up with my loved ones.
So my last question is inspired by the season: have you ever seen a ghost, a UFO, or experienced any other supernatural phenomena?
Unfortunately no. As much as I would love to get abducted by aliens, I haven’t yet experienced any supernatural activity. But I was also born and raised in Florida… so I guess I have seen some supernatural shit.
No doubt, lol! Thanks, Viper!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Young Viper’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram and YouTube.