On Point With: Voxigma Lo

A multimedia performance artist, drag artist, writer, photographer, model and more… the dynamic co-creator of Brooklyn showcase “Sylvester” Voxigma Lo is puzzle you can’t solve and a party you won’t want to end!

Thotyssey: Hello Voxigma, thanks for chatting with us today! Did we interrupt you running through the rain like Drew Barrymore, lol?

Voxigma Lo: Hi! I just missed the rain, thankfully, lol. I was able to catch it from my office window, dry!

Well done! How is the reality of balancing a day job with nightlife performance for you, by the way? Do you need to limit the amount of time Voxigma can come out and play to stay sane?

I don’t limit myself, the universe does… which I’m actually really grateful for. As much as I would love to be booked constantly, I’m happy I’m not–for many reasons, including my work / werq / life balance. Another positive of less bookings is, I get to go out and see more shows. And I love, love, love seeing shows! Not all the time, lol! But when I do, I’m fully in it. And that’s a really good trade-off for me, personally. I love showing up for my friends and screaming my head off for them. But even that, I do when I have the time and space (mentally) for it.

By the way… it’s pronounced “Voxigma,” like it’s spelled? Or does it rhyme with something like “Noxeema,” lol?

Most people say it wrong the first few times, lol! But that spelling is correct: “Vox” for voice, and “-igma” for enigma. The Noxeema reference is always asked! There’s no correlation, folks–sorry, lol!

You have an interesting artistry to discuss, so we best get to the beginning: where’s your original hometown, and how did you begin with your interests in art and performing?

I’m from Staten Island! Born and raised. I started performing when I was a child! I used to be a theater kid, and in the chorus in elementary school. I was always so inspired by music videos and loved the storytelling, and knew that performing was for me. I think I was 7 years old when I got the role of Simba in Lion King, and had the solo of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” That was the first time I had a huge audience’s attention on me individually. I’ll never forget that feeling!

You’re a lot of things: a drag performer, a multimedia artist, a writer, a photographer… did all of these skills and vessels develop gradually over time, or were you kind of doing everything all at once from day one?

They all kinda came to me individually. And whatever medium(s) I was working in prior to a new one coming in, I was always finding ways to merge them together. I’ve been a writer since I can remember. Then performing came [when I was] really young, and I took a long hiatus from that because I became a Jehovah’s Witness in my formative years. In college I picked up photography… then zines and photography reintroduced me to performance. I now can only juggle a few things at a time because I’m always so concerned about quality, but the skills I’ve learned from one are always being incorporated into another.

Your time as a Witness must give you a really interesting perspective now on queer life and art.

Oh yes! The time spent in the Kingdom Hall is still so influential to me now. Kingdom Halls aren’t as animated as many churches–they’re really boring, lol. But it’s built my attention span for things like shows and performers who aren’t moving at 100 mph.

Sounds like many of us could learn a thing or two from them!

I caught one of your digital “One VVoman Shows” on YouTube, Intimate, that you recording during lockdown.

Ah, yes! One VVoman Show is a variety show that I used to produce prior to pandemic. I’ve always dreamed of making it more conceptual like Intimate, but I have a fear of overwhelming artists and them not believing in my vision. So I did what I do best: do it myself, lol! It was actually inspired by Naomi SmallsSmalls World which I was not the biggest fan of, but I loved the bones of it and wanted to take on doing something similar… ’cause I was in my home, bored and stifled creatively.

How did you come to find yourself playing and performing amongst the queerdos of Brooklyn nightlife?

I’ve always loved the “unpolished” nature of drag in Brooklyn. I can be very lazy about my drag, and [enjoy] seeing performers give it and not look as “glam” as drag is often portrayed. I also have to credit my drag mum Untitled Queen for introducing me to so many folks in Brooklyn; she’s very big on introductions, and pairing like minds together. “Sylvester,” the monthly drag show I produce, probably wouldn’t exist without Untitled Queen introducing me to Julie J.

[Photo: MTHR TRSA]

Sylvester is currently monthly at Purgatory BK, and it’s show which you co-produce with Julie and Alexander Paris.

Julie J, Alexander Paris and I put our brains together a little over a year ago to produce an all-black, experimental, theatre-y, funk drag show together, and named it after the black, experimental, theatre-y, funk goddess Sylvester. The format of the show is very similar to MTHR TRSA’s “Hole Pics”–it’s two acts where we invite typically three guests to do a number, and an interlude in each of the acts. And all of them run continuously–no breaks or introductions between each number, just one long intermission right in the middle, lol!

The purpose was to just create a space for black performers to come show their true selves. We remind the performers that this show is not about the audience; it’s about you, as a performer. We always encourage people to try something they’ve been wanting to try for a while, and / or try something new. It’s a safe space for experimenting. That’s how it started… but over the year it’s been running it’s taken on its own identity, and it has been really, really rewarding to see.

On Thursday, July 28, Sylvester returns to Purgatory for its first anniversary show with a great guest cast: Mocha Lite, Cherry Jaymes, Klondyke and Zenobia!

It’s going to be a really special night… one that folks should attend and witness IRL, if they’re comfortable and feeling well!

Is there anything else coming up for you, or anything else you wanna discuss?

I’d like to talk at length about the socioeconomic nature of nightlife, and why we need more publications like Thotyssey. Kidding! I’d just like to say thank you for creating this platform and inviting me in to it!

It’s been a pleasure to have you! Last question, as we’re finally approaching the season finale… Drag Race All Stars 7! Who’s gonna win?

With this lip sync battle it can go any way, really! I think Jinkx has proven to the world what a force she is, and deserves the crown. And I was rooting for Raja the entire season; she’s one of my many inspirations.

It’s still anyone’s game… thanks, Voxigma!

[Photo: Briana Moreira]

Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Voxigma Lo’s upcoming appearances, and follow them on Instagram and YouTube.

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