A stunning performance pedigree and a recent “BitchFest” win make this dark demon of dance one to watch in Brooklyn and beyond: Vampy Von Thickums Galore! [Cover photo: Evangeline]
Thotyssey: Hey Vampy, how are you enjoying May?
Vampy Von Thickums Galore: I’m feeling amazing; this month is such a whirlwind of amazing things. Today is so beautiful as well. How are you?
Great! Excited about new opportunities this season. You’ve been pretty “all over the place” lately, which is wonderful!
OMG yes! I feel so blessed and truly honored by everything that has been coming in, and the experiences I’m gaining… the lessons I’m learning. It’s everything I wished and strived for, with so much more to come.
And you’re pretty new to the biz, right?
I have been doing drag for eight months now; May 16th made eight months. I started on September, 16th, 2022.
So you’re basically a post-pandemic girl.
Yes I am! It was actually before the pandemic I tried to do drag (only lasting three days). I went by the name Thickums Galore; I was trying things out. At the time, I did not feel so sure of myself.
It wasn’t until after I broke up with my partner (back in July 2022) when I came to the realization of my capabilities, and the passion and fire that I have for drag. Come September, I went full throttle: I bought a wig, outfit, and heels, and I went on to enter “Open Call” at the Ritz hosted by Holly Dae and Stasi. I lip synced my favorite song “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” (Thunderpuss Remix) by Whitney Houston and won.
So where are you from originally, and did you always have a performance or artistic background?
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, specifically in Williamsburg (well before gentrification). And yes, I do have a performance background. I studied dance basically all my life: ballroom, ballet, modern, postmodern, contemporary, African, jazz (Fosse the Haus Down), tap. I feel lucky I was able to study at Ailey School / Paul Taylor; I went to LIU Brooklyn to Study for my BFA in Dance, with a minor in Music Studies and Pre-Physical Therapy. I was also lucky enough to study theater and movement therapy in high school and college.
How might you describe what your drag in general is like today, as far as looks and numbers go?
Very classic drag mixed with new age ideas and aesthetics. My looks range from dancer to glamour, from creative drag things to horror. After competing in La Zavaleta’s “BitchFest” for the month of January (and winning), I can confidently say I’m very versatile (in this instance). My numbers are driven by my passion and care for music. I listen to music every day. I’m always on Spotify, going through music of every genre and seeing what I like, what I feel, how can I present this artwork of music and create a physical / visual number that my audience can live in with me. What I love most with my numbers is the ability to create and say “thank you” to my audience for sharing this moment with me.
Have you had a favorite onstage moment so far?
Yes, actually. Picture it: it’s the finale of BitchFest. It’s the top two, me and my dear friend MAUVE. We finish lip syncing to “Dream On” by Aerosmith. The winner is announced; I’m the winner of January. What made it so special was not the win, but that my fellow competitors Bertha Vanayshun, MAUVE, Xana Whoria, and Hot Messiah came to hug me and congratulate me as I lost myself on stage with so much emotion… and who is there but Sasha Velour! She’s someone who inspired my drag in the most Brooklyn creative fashion. I remember seeing her on Season 9 of Drag Race and being just in awe, and wanting to do that in my own way. Yet here we are, working it!
Lots of great stuff coming up for you, too! I see that Friday night you’ll be at Purgatory.
Yes! Martyr, another fabulous drag artist, is having their show called “Revelations,” a beautiful night of goth in all forms. I’ll be joining along with a stunning cast of open set ghouls to perform. I’m really happy that Martyr open their show up for an open set cast. It gives others that chance to showcase themselves and their art.
And later this weekend, you’ll be a brunch queen!
I’m excited! I’ll be performing in Freeda Kulo’s brunch on May 21st at Kween in Astoria.
And you’ll have a Sunday evening show as well.
That same day I’ll be at Good Judy for the first time with Brooklyn icon, legend, and someone who I love like a sister: Mocha, for her “Queen of the Month” club residency there.
And then, I see you’re premiering a recurring show of your very own next Sunday!
I have my own monthly debuting at Cantina in Bushwick called ” Haus Of Thickness.” It’s a show where (of course) everyone is welcome, a place where you can watch some fabulous drag performers, eat, and drink. For this opening I have Kekoa (my beautiful trans drag sis), Toxic Waste ( A steller AFAB performer), Manhatten Whiskey Brown (who is the resident of Cantina and a fab drag performer) and Piper (who I love near and dear, our permanent DJ and performer for Haus Of Thickness).
Haus Of Thickness will have its Thick Opening on May 28th from 8pm to 11pm, and will happen every fourth Sunday of the month. Again, everyone is welcome no matter their gender, size, color or age. At my show, hate has no place but out the door. And who knows… if you come in drag I might let you do a number, ’cause why not?
All excellent! Okay, here’s the last question: what’s your favorite thing about drag, and your least favorite?
Oooh, fabulous question! My favorite thing about drag that I love is the creativity–the willingness and passion it takes to become what you want in drag. It’s such a huge challenge that I love. I also love the family you make because of drag, and the way you find yourself through drag. Drag most certainly brings people together in so many ways. It’s incredible. In every way, drag saves lives. I can testify to that anytime.
The only thing I don’t appreciate with drag is the negative judgements that sometimes comes with it, due to people’s personal perception. My advice: do you, continue to grow, and carry on with love. I also have two sayings I would love to end with, and hope can enlighten someone: 1) “Not your circus, Not your monkey,” and 2) say this 20 times a day: “Every way, in every day, my life gets better and better.” Because it does.
Thank you, Vampy!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Vampy Von Thickums Galore’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.