One third of the live drag band The Bad Judies, the multitalented WorshipHer is about to have a major showcase all her own! [Cover photo: Jonathan McPhail]
Thotyssey: Hello, Ms. WorshipHer! The month of May is nearly upon us… how was your April?
WorshipHer: My April was busy. I’ve been hosting a brunch downtown at Coco Bistro, and rehearsing a lot for some upcoming performances. The city is buzzing, and I get the sense that people are anxious and ready to get out and enjoy the weather… and all that NYC nightlife has to offer.
I feel that too! The city is coming back to life, bit by bit. Over the past year, as the head judge at The Q’s “Lady Liberty” competition, I had the pleasure of seeing several of your numbers; they were all so different and so engaging.
Aw thank you! I’m so happy that The Q does Lady Liberty. I’ve built some incredible relationships with the hosts and producers.
Your number in the semifinals was particularly amazing. How did you come up with all those ideas for your numbers, set pieces and costumes throughout the competition?
That semifinal number was of particular importance to me, so I’m glad it resonated with you. I’m a musician, and my drag concepts usually start with a song that I care deeply for. The disco remix of “Blind” sung by Anohni, a trans trailblazer with the most beautiful voice, seemed to reflect my aesthetic perfectly. It’s one of my favorite songs. And then I camped it up by dressing up as Lady Justice, blind and brandishing a big sword. With all of my drag numbers, I try to take it to the edge and then off a cliff. Writing and producing are my passions, so when it all comes together it just works.
“WorshipHer” sounds weird as a drag name when first hearing it, because we think of of queens as being worshipped and not worshipping… until we see it spelled out, then it makes sense!
Well, I’m a sucker for a good play on words. I must have said it out loud in conversation as “worship her” and it sounded right, so I melded the two words together. But in essence, it really is about embracing the divine feminine, which we all have inside of us.
Tell us a bit of your origin story: where are you form originally, and how did you begin and evolve as a creative?
I’m a New York native, raised by musicians and a family of artists. I spent my childhood singing and acting. I actually graduated college with a degree in political communication, but after college I was more interested in the arts. I’ve always felt that I was teetering around the entertainment industry, and now with drag I’ve never felt more immersed in it. I would actually love to merge the political background with drag and do more community outreach.
How did you discover drag, and when did you start doing it yourself?
I suppose I have Drag Race to thank for my exposure to drag; I started (binge) watching the series in 2012. It took me at least five more years to actually paint and dress up.
In 2020 I started performing and competing in NYC, then that got cut short with the pandemic. I stopped for a while, but the performance bug was always biting away at me. So during quarantine, I took serious steps to improve my craft.
When businesses reopened I decided to really go full force with drag, but I wanted an edge… so I created a drag band called The Bad Judies, and haven’t really looked back since.
It’s really a nice fusion between us gals. I’m a disco queen at heart, and I’ll always champion Sylvester, Crystal Waters and Divine. Wesley is a pop princess, and she brings the current song vibe, which thank God, because I’m out of touch. And Lyra brings not only the pop aesthetic, but she has a huge repertoire of Broadway and showtunes. So, a little bit of everything.
And as far as your own solo drag numbers go, how might you describe the sort of things you do onstage?
Well, it took me a while to listen to the feedback of my peers… but apparently I’m pretty sexy / slutty on stage (and I say “slutty” with the most reverence and power). I just love promoting sexual freedom and positivity. On the flip side, I give a lot of conceptual performances and mixes. And at the core, there’s a subversive humor to it all.
As you mentioned earlier, you and Lyra have been doing Sunday brunches at Coco Bistro. Drag brunch is a world unto it’s own!
Yes, this is my first brunch and it’s honestly the best. The crowds are there to party and have fun. Our show is very daytime accessible; we’re keeping it light and comedic, and really engaging the audience. We usually have a guest host each week to spice things up (last week was Julie J, and before that Sucia). We incorporate trivia! Finding the right venue to work with is key, and Coco Bistro is so accommodating. They have indoor / outdoor seating, so with the spring / summer approaching the possibilities for our show are limitless.
By the way, have you seen that there is now gonna be a Taco Bell Drag Brunch!? I guess society has come a long way, lol!
All I can say is, whoever the queens are who booked the Taco Bell Brunch are very, very, very lucky, lol!
Excited is an understatement. I am so ready for this Invasion! I feel like it’s a culmination of all the hard work I’ve done this last year. I handpicked these performers because they’re fierce and irreverent, just like me. It’s a dream of mine to produce a variety show, and perhaps this a stepping stone.
It’s gonna be a great show! What else is coming up?
Well, I’d love to see everyone at brunch on May 22nd at Coco Bistro. Also keep an eye out for The Bad Judies, who will be taking the town by storm this summer. You might also see WorshipHer on the silver screen come fall. So there’s plenty on the horizon, and I can’t wait to share it with y’all.
Okay, here’s my final question: Drag Race All Stars 7! Whose team are you on?