Debuting in a college pageant with what sounds like the greatest stage prop ever, this young queen is now living out the classic story of “Oklahoma Girl Makes It In NYC: Drag Edition.” And this spooky season, the fantastic Plasma has got your vintage vixen brunches! [Cover photo: Bryan Clavel]
Thotyssey: Hello Plasma, thanks for chatting today! How is October treating you so far?
Plasma: Well hell-ooooo hunny! Thanks for having me! The spooky season is truly the only thing keeping me creatively afloat. I’m a Scorpio, so when the leaves turn evil so do I!
Bad Witch is where it’s at! And of course, October weather is kind to the proper drag queen, as opposed to the summer doldrums.
Oh my God, no kidding. I especially love a floor-length gown, so the summer is just a rotted bitch to combat in most of my looks.
By the way… I originally came to know you as “Plasma LaRose,” but I see you’re mostly being billed as simply “Plasma” these days. What gives?
I am officially just Plasma… the LaRose is silent.
You haven’t been in the drag game too long, but you already seem to have a big following… especially in the Broadway Adjacent world! That’s where you’re originally from, right?
Eep! Yes, Broadway is my first love. I’m a proud Musical Theatre BFA-wielding menace. I actually started doing drag in Norman, Oklahoma when I was a student at OU. The School of Drama would host a charity benefit drag show fundraiser every year, and I completely lost my mind over it.
Of course, it must be asked: have you ever been in a production of Oklahoma?
Ha! I (thankfully) have not. If I were ever in the show–in or out of drag–I’d be Ado Annie. That bitch is wildin’.
I’m guessing you came here to NYC to pursue musical theater?
Originally that was the plan, yes!
And then Plasma intervened, as one does.
As one does! Plasma D’Onor (like Dior) was her name, but naturally the pun is lost in translation. It’s also a bad pun. So I adopted my first drag mother’s last name of LaRose! Voila! She was sort of born as a solution to Miss STI (the OU pageant… a convenient acronym for Student Theatre Initiative), and for my talent portion I made a Marilyn Monroe performance mix… including a costume change from Norma Jean to the iconic white Seven Year Itch dress and a custom-built “sidewalk” with a built-in box fan that blew up my skirt… on wheels. My dad actually built it himself; he’s very proud to lead Plasma’s carpentry division. I won the pageant with that sidewalk.
The rest of the origin story is pretty much a Covid lockdown slow-cook recipe–lots of late nights at my parents’ house in rural NE Texas in front of a ring light. That was how I spent the last fourth of Junior Year at OU: Boomer Zoomer. I went back for Senior Year, and balanced finishing my degree during Covid (singing Rodgers and Hammerstein under a mask and face shield, trying to be an actor with one third of my face) with starting my Instagram for Plasma and entering online pageants to keep my artistic brain healthy. Delirium.
When I moved to New York I promised myself to keep my ear to the ground and listen for the first passion to call me to arms. It was the Lady Liberty pageant!
Do you sew, by the way?
Oof. Well. I own a sewing machine, and I can thread it. I tell people that I have higher standards for my drag than my sewing abilities can provide.
Oh, and speaking earlier of Marilyn Monroe: any thoughts on Blonde on Netflix? We didn’t see it yet, but the girls seem to hate it!
My thoughts are: watch Some Like It Hot instead. [Blonde] is absolutely traumatic to watch, and although Ana de Armas is breathtaking I absolutely mourn for the image of an empowered Marilyn that we have destroyed by hyper-fixating on the horrors of Old Hollywood. Marilyn was a badass. I love her.
So back to Lady Liberty at The Q, which is where you first caught the eye of many–including me! You were a fan favorite contestant for a few rounds of that competition, with lots of admirers and friends in the audience cheering you on. How did you like that experience?
I loved Lady Liberty. When I got the chance to go back for the Halloween edition last year, I was absolutely thrilled. I still brag about that Sarah Paulson number, and doing eight costume changes in five-ish minutes. That’s my crowning achievement until I’m on TV.
Tell the uninitiated children what a Plasma live experience is like these days!
Sort of what I’d hope you’d witness at an underground jazz club in the 50’s or 60’s–vulgar jokes, homophobia, tobacco and champagne. That’s what drag is all about, yeah?
No no, we have a lot of fun! We keep it real. My family is semi-political so I like to touch on how drag can be used as a political statement to comment on political mishaps.
Regarding political drag, how weird is it now to see these MAGA politicians in Florida and Texas using Drag Story Hour as scare propaganda for their base!?
Oh my God, I love it. I love scaring the far right incest monsters into thinking we’re the problem. Sure, Jan. Lol!
It’s a constant experiment! It was the first venue where I’d ever hosted a show single-handedly. It’s a blast. Our bartender Valentin is totally invested, too. He loves to raid the register and throw cash when I’m dancing on the bar. I absolutely love brunch–very much my vintage lady speed!
Yes! My dear drag mommy and I are finally giving ooky-spooky!
Anything else to mention?
Um… I am available. And bookable. And fun.
Take note, all! Okay lastly: in light of this season of spookiness, have you ever had a ghostly or paranormal encounter?
Ooh. Good question. I’ve been visited in dreams once or twice–usually by my late grandmother in a pale blue Christian Dior nightgown with a chocolate ice cream stain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ghost with my waking eyes… but I certainly believe in paranormal energy!