On Point With: Roxie Chanel

This lovely Peru-born pageant and dance queen is slaying both sides of the river… rising star Roxie Chanel! [Cover photo: Bryan Clavel]

Thotyssey: Hello Miss Roxie, thanks for chatting with us today! How was your Pride?

Roxie Chanel: Hey! It’s has been crazy busy, but a lot of fun all around– it felt like never ending!

Also, this past weekend you were at Wow Cafe, performing a benefit for the Continental pageant package of Shawntel K. Bonet! how did that go?

It was pretty great… [I was] mostly around pageant sisterhood. We all had fun; at some point, they offered us food, and we just kiki’ed between each other! Long day for us, but it was so much fun.

And you recently acquired a pageant crown and title of your own: Miss New Jersey Mundo Latina Newcomer!

I’m honored to have that title of a good prelim. Now I’m ready for the nationals in December. It’s a good experience, representing a Latina community mostly from New Jersey in this pageant… but I’m ready for it. And I’m still on the lookout for Miss Paradise, which I’ll be trying this year!

[Photo: Bryan Clavel]

Are you currently a Jersey resident?

Yeah, I live in Perth Amboy. But I’m looking to move at the end of this year, or beginning of the next, to NYC. I have been [working] full time lately in New York City, and I’m loving it!

We look forward to having you! Where are you from originally, and were you always into performance, fashion, etc. while growing up?

I’m from Peru, with an Italian background. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved performing, art, and makeup… I think it was just part of me, and I got the freedom to do drag and experience it. When I was 18, I moved to Chicago by my own! But when Covid and lockdown started, I moved to Jersey with my family for economic reasons. I tried drag in Jersey and New York, and I’m just so in love with it!

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

You’re part of Jersey’s Chanel Family of nightlifers, and the “Polish the Queen” competition producer Phil Chanel is your drag… mom?

My drag dad, I would say! My drag mom is most likely my drag mentor; she lives in Chicago, a big loved queen for many people: Veronica Pop. She’s like my mom, mentor, sister, all my drag career I own it to her. And Phil was so welcoming [and invited me to] be part of his family and community. I have met so many incredible people, and I’m so proud to be using the name Chanel, and I know the Chanels are proud to have me… and I’m so grateful for it.

Besides pageants, you’ve also been a regular presence in the city’s weekly drag competition scene. How do you like doing those? Do you feel competitive to win each week, or are you happy to just to be there?

I’m very competitive! I love drag competition — it pushes you to be the best that you can, and it’s amazing meeting new faces and new talent… new friends on the way! I always feel like drag competition is mostly like [job] interviews for us, because we never knew who’s out there watching us. And it pays off!

How would you describe the type of drag you like to do today, as far as the looks you serve and the kind of numbers you like to do?

I mostly consider myself like a dancing showgirl. I love dancing, but I’m very versatile about my drag; I could do more than that. But so far, that’s just like my main [style] for me. Dancing, sparkles and production… that’s what I live for! And to be honest, my favorite numbers to do besides crazy dancing mixes is mostly good disco!

I hear that! So on Tuesday June 5th, you’ll be joining your sis Freeda Kulo for her monthly show at the Slipper Room, “She Not Porto Rikan!” Tell us what we can expect!

It’s going to be a great show, I’m ready to do a good number and just have fun with my sisters, Lanyé Armön, Victoria Williams and Freeda. I’m just so excited for what each of us is going to bring on the stage! But it’s going to be a good show, that’s for sure!

What else is coming up for you?

Many things, actually: a good photoshoot, and some pageant things that I’m so excited for; I will announce soon. Some future bookings and benefit shows as well. And who knows… I’m working with all my heart, and good things always comes for me when I’m not expecting it!

Well deserved! Okay, in closing: what’s your favorite thing about drag today… and what’s your least favorite?

To be honest, I have nothing [to say on] the least favorite about drag! My favorite thing about drag is just the way how amazingly it keeps changing my life for the better, and changes other people’s lives [with them] not even knowing it! Drag is about art and entertainment… but most important, about passion, courage and dedication [These are role model traits] for anyone in our community to make a change, even a small one. It’s just amazing!

Thank you, Roxie!

[Photo: Jeff Eason]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Roxie Chanel’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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