A Tri-State Titaness with a new weekly show in New York, a package for an upcoming Philly pageant and a dazzling IG lookbook: the busy and beautiful Stefani Steel!
Thotyssey: Hello Stefani! So the other night you were in town, guest performing with Lexington Banks at Hardware. How did the show go?
Stefani Steel: The show was amazing! Lexington is one of my favorite queens in NYC to work with! She actually got me my first booking in NYC last year, and since than we always kiki and have the best time together.
Are you primarily a Philadelphia queen?
I currently live in South Jersey, but I started doing drag in Philly because I live, like, 15 to 20 minutes from Center City.
So you’re a Tri-State Lady!
Yesss! And a traveling queen: I’ve performed in Sout Carolina and North Carolina, as well and Delaware and all over the place. But yeah, I would say I’m a Jersey Girl — but also Philly and NYC queen, too.
You’re a Jersey native?
I was born and raised in South Jersey… in Deptford.
What were some traits you had growing up that ultimately led to Stefani?
I grew up as a very queer kid, lol! Ultimately, I think Stefani was always in me. But when I got to college, I felt like she fully blossomed and came out. I did my first drag show as a student there, and then I went out into the nightlife scene. And from there on, I’ve been booked and working ever since. It took a lot of hard work, trust me… and I still work so hard! Very grateful for everything, though.
Are you part of a drag family, or do you have someone you consider a drag mother?
I’ve actually had a few drag moms in my past. And I will say even though they aren’t my drag moms anymore, I did learn a lot from each of them… and I don’t regret that. But having a drag mom was not something I needed or wanted going into the future. I really enjoy learning new things, but also teaching myself new things and trying new things as they come.
As for a drag family: me and my sisters Buttakup, Lucy Moth and Venus Mystique created an amazing bond and became a small little family who supports each other non-stop! We hang all the time and we help each other with projects, so I definitely consider them my family and my drag family. Also, I have a drag sister: Miss Crystal Envy, who is currently Miss Paradise 2022. Me and her have gotten really close the last year, and help each other and love each other like crazy!
How would you describe your drag today, as far as looks and numbers you like to serve?
In the three years I’ve done drag, the evolution of Stefani has been interesting to say the least, lol! But now I think when you are coming to a Stefani show, you are going to see a polished, goofy queen who just wants to have fun and look pretty for you all. I try to always show up looking next level, and head-to-toe gorgeous! And maybe she’ll throw in a few stunts and splits while it’s happening.
Success! I see you’re competing for Miss Bob and Barbara in Philly in October… have you done pageants before?
No, actually! This is my first ever pageant, and I’m extremely excited! And I think I’m over-prepared, lol! I’m ready to win.
Bob and Barbara’s is definitely a bar I consider one of my home bars, and a home bar for me in Philly. I’m there usually every month, and it’s just an amazing place and atmosphere. [The monthly show I do is] the longest running drag show in Philly, and hosted by a Black Trans Woman (Lisa Lisa) who is absolutely amazing, and someone I love so much. It’s also ran by Crystal Elektra who is a house girl and a good friend of mine! I look up to them so much, because they have truly paved the way for us girls to be working non-stop now. If you haven’t seen a show at Bob and Barbara’s, you need to!
Break all the legs! Now tell us about “The Pretty Girls,” your new Wednesday weekly (9pm) at The Q in Manhattan co-starring Kimmy Sumony and Natalie Carrera. How did it come to be, and what can newbies expect from it?
OMG, our show! Ugh, honestly a bucket list cross-off for me. This year I wanted to get my own show in NYC… and it happened! The event manager Xavier got all three of us together, and was like, “I want a Jersey Girl takeover at the Q”… and we were like, fuck yes, lol! And prior to this, I had only worked with Kimmy, like, two times and I’d never have worked with Natalie… and we all just get along so well and have the best time.
This show is like the perfect atmosphere to get a drink after a long work day. Kimmy, Natalie and I just have amazing chemistry, and just talk like we are kiki-ing on the mic. So it’s a very intimate kind of show, full of all-different kinds of performances, because we are each so different. So y’all should definitely come out, because it is the place to be on a Wednesday night!
Is there anything else coming up for you that you?
Well, there is a lot coming in the future for Stefani Steel… so be on the lookout and follow my Instagram! But other then that, I started a new brunch in Philly at an amazing restaurant called Barra Rossa on 10 and Walnut. We are doing a Hocus Pocus brunch October 23rd, with all the characters and a bunch of fun themed drinks with dry ice! So be there!
Werq! So last question… you perform in so many places, do you every forget what state you’re in, lol?
OMG, lol… sometimes! I was in NYC a couple weeks ago, and I came out of the bar and I was like “OMG WTF, I’m in New York!” Lol, it was just a surreal kind of a what is my life kinda thing. But yeah, sometimes, lol!
Lol, hang in there Stefani! Thank you!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Stefani Steel’s upcoming area appearances, and follow her on Instagram.