Now captivating audiences with glamor, style and humor, this young queen’s paying it forward after drag saved her life. Don’t forget to stop and see Elle Rose before she gets too famous! [Cover photo: Johnny Pozzi]
Thotyssey: Hello Elle, thanks for chatting with us today! So how is your May so far?
Elle Rose: Hi babes! My May has been good and busy, just how I like it. Besides the wild up and down weather, May has been so gorge to me!
Yes, wild stuff! So how long have you been doing drag now?
My two year anniversary is next month in June!
Congrats! Where are you from originally, and were performance and art always in your life?
I’m originally from St Louis, Missouri and have been living in the city now for six years! Performance was not a part of my life prior to drag, actually; I was always an artist and creative, though. I started my career off at 15 years old as a wardrobe stylist and runway producer. Eventually I moved into beauty, doing hair and makeup for big companies, freelance, editorial and runway! Creativity has always been a part of who I was / am. I couldn’t have survived without the arts and creativity.
I’m guessing that background gave you an important foundation in your drag today… or is drag hair and styling completely different from what you were trained in?
Having a fashion and beauty background totally gave me a foundation in starting drag. I was able to understand the concepts of makeup, and being able to transform a face. Yes, I had a massive “booger phase!” And I knew how to sew some, but not really how to style an outfit and push those fashion limits.
Having a hair background was nice, but styling drag wigs and doing human hair are very different. A lot of drag wigs are synthetic or a synthetic blend, and the ways to style it are very different. But knowing hair, it was easier to learn how to style wigs and problem solve to create great hair. Also, having been in the fashion and beauty industry not only gave me a creative artistic foundation, but gave me a leg up in knowing how to network and work a room and strive for excellence.
What made you wanna get into drag?
Honestly, I had always been interested in the art of drag since I was like 19, going to the gay bars in St. Louis. But what really got me into it was the passing away of my mom. She passed away in May 2019, and after that happened I found myself in a really dark deep hole that I wasn’t sure where I was or what I was doing. I felt like I needed an outlet to re-find myself and my happiness.
Fast forward to the peak of the Covid lockdown. My roommates / besties and I watched a lot of old Drag Race seasons and I started to just play around with makeup since I had a lot of down time. And once I started getting the mug together I just ran for it, and wanted to do it full force because it made me feel so happy and loved, and as if my world was no longer crashing down. Drag literally saved my life.
Beautiful! What about a favorite onstage moment?
Hmm… there are many, many good ones. But I’d have to say one of them would be one of the first times I performed (at Hardware Bar) with my sister Lola Ceilings. My two absolute best friends / chosen family were there and just seeing the love and support made me tear up, and that’s when I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life.
How might you describe Elle’s drag today?
I’d say my drag looks-wise is very Erika Jayne meets Ariana Grande, in the sense of loving high fashion, girly fashion, and sex appeal. As for numbers, I love a number where I can shake some ass and serve you some fierce dancing, and I love being able to throw a good amount of camp and comedy in my numbers and performances.
You’ve been co-hosting a Drag Race All-Stars viewing party these past two seasons with Novaczar at Secret Pour in Brooklyn on Fridays.
Yes I have! its such a fun show and space to work in! First off, working with Novaczar is so amazing and so fun. She’s such a sister, and so easy and dope to bounce ideas off of and to banter with. Our show is always mixed with shenanigans, shade, tea, laughter, and drinks! We will always serve a fierce number, and give you a good time!
If you haven’t been to Secret Pour, you must. It’s a really cute local Brooklyn dive bar with a secret door that opens to a secret room with really good drinks! There’s a pool table, and plenty of space to hang out! The owners Jaime and Roberto are such an amazing duo, and I love working with them!
What are your thoughts so far on the first episodes of All-Stars? Will this be a good or bad season, and whose team are you on?
So far I feel like the people sent home were the correct ones. It’s always hard to watch legends go home on All-Stars, but both Monica and Naysha were just a little… off compared to the others, lol. I feel like this season is going to be really good, actually. This cast is sickening, and so full of talent! I can’t wait to see what happens. I’m totally team Heidi and Kandy! Jimbo as a third choice, lol.
When the Drag Race episode ends, the party is just beginning at Secret Pour, right?
Yeah, I also have a solo show on Friday nights starting at 10pm called “Friday Night Fever,” with DJ Jay Essex. It’s a cute dance party with pop-up drag numbers! I’m just so blessed to be a drag artist, and I love sharing my art with everyone. Stay tuned, more to come!
Glorous! Okay, to wrap up: what’s your favorite, and then least favorite, thing about drag today?
Ohhh.. hmm. My favorite thing about drag is two things: 1) The sisterhood / community of the drag scene, and 2) The way drag has changed my life, and how I now view myself and the world around me. My least favorite thing about drag is how bad my feet be hurting after every gig… but like, the fantasy isn’t real unless we got these stilettos!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Elle Rose’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.