A teacher by day and newbie drag performer by night, Queen Brendaline returns to her home base Rockbar in a major way this October.
Thotyssey: Hello Brendaline, thanks for chatting! I understand you saw a movie tonight… what and how was it?
Queen Brendaline: Thanks for asking! I fulfilled my Gay Contract™ and saw Bros, which was a lot of fun.
Oh cute! Would it surprise you if the straights actually go out to see it?
No, because the gays are very in right now. As long as they bring singles (or fives), straights are always welcome at my shows.
[Editor’s note: whoops, the straights didn’t come after all]
Tell us a bit of your origin story, if you will! Where’s your original hometown, and what ultimately put you on the drag path?
I’m either from New York, the sea air of Seattle, or the forests of New Hampshire… depending on which part of my childhood you’re asking about. There’s a photo of me and my (straight) best childhood friend in costume-box drag. He’s having fun, but I am clearly feeling myself, living the fantasy.
Years went by with nothing… then like so many people stuck at home in 2020, I finally thought “hey, I can do that.” And I was absolutely right.
So you began as a Digital Diva?
More or less, though I was blessed enough to avoid doing video-chat drag. I did some virtual poetry readings, and it’s just not the same.
How and where did you start doing live IRL shows?
I started on a loading dock at a distillery in Jersey City at a Halloween party. And then my second show was the Miss Rockbar preliminaries. Rockbar has been my home out of drag for years, so it’s been fun to add a new way to spend my nights there.
How did you enjoy that pageant experience… and are you taking part in this year’s?
The real pageant was the friends I made along the way, so of course I loved it. I would love to list them all here, but this is my interview and I’m tired of sharing the spotlight with queens who are far more dedicated and talented than I am. And yes, I’ll be back for Mx. Rockbar this year. I’m ready to make new friends and nemeses!
How would you describe Brendaline as a queen?
Queen Brendaline is just me, Brendan, but in a wig and makeup. My aesthetic is a sort of “why not?” maximalism, because why perform if I can’t throw every piece of spaghetti at the wall and make it all stick? There is no reason I shouldn’t do DDR dances while carrying a tiger purse and wearing gym shorts as a dress, you know?
We’ll get to see some of those flying noodles this Tuesday night, for your show at Rockbar! Tell us more about what we can expect!
At my “Fall Flavors” show, you can expect music by melancholy white women with acoustic guitars, fall fashion runways, my signature homemade pumpkins-and-leaves dress, party favors, ghosts, maybe a scavenger hunt…and performances by some stunning queens (heeeeeey Ratchét Marseilles and Taína la Cienega la Fina!) who are ready to blow you away like leaves in the autumn breeze.
Pumpkin spicy! What else do the children need to know?
As a teacher, I’m a certified expert in what the children need to know–which is to come see me any time I’m on any stage, book me for stages you have power over… and unlike most reality show contestants, I came here to make friends. So come say hi!
Oh, also: they should know that a queen with cardstock eyebrows (Nancy NoGood) said I have a “slanted take on drag.” So get ready to get weird, I guess!
All good to know! Okay lastly: Hocus Pocus 2! Yay, Nay, Meh or Wha?
Oh, absolute yay. I think this was a really smart and savvy requel. And to learn what I mean by that, come to my Fall Flavors show, Mx. Rockbar prelims on October 24, or follow and DM me for an explanation!
Lol, thanks Brendaline!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Queen Brendaline’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.