Wednesday (5.26.2021)

WEDNESDAY (5.26.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: James Oblak

Imagine being a gorgeous and charismatic musician who is also extremely talented, creative and disciplined enough to have released your own original album. Now stop imagining, because you’re clearly James Oblak… and the new season of your Fire Island show premieres this weekend! [Cover Photo: John Kale]


Thotyssey: Hello James! It’s a lovely day in New York City right now; are you on Fire Island yet?

James Oblak: Yes, I’m out here every weekend. Actually, I’m headed back to the city now.

It’s only been a few weeks, but how has the FI season been treating you so far?

It’s nice. This year I’ve been able to get my own place out there for the weekends, and really treat it like a working vacation. Plus, I’m super excited for my show to start at Cherrys’ on the Bay Memorial Day Weekend!

[Photo: Korey Smerk]

I see you’re from Cleveland… were you always performing in some way while growing up there?

Yeah! I grew up in Ohio, just a bit south of Cleveland. I started playing the piano at a very young age, and my first ambitions were to be a singer / songwriter. I then started getting into acting and musical theatre, and pursued that so I could get a degree and perform. The piano performance kind of came full circle when I moved to NYC and needed some performance work while I auditioned for acting gigs.

You’ve done lots of regional and touring productions of big musicals at this point: Mamma Mia, Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Hairspray… have you had an overall favorite experience on the stage as far as musicals go?

That’s tough–each show holds a special moment in my career and artistic journey. The Legally Blonde national tour was really special; I played Warner, which was a blast. But I also clicked so well the rest of the members on tour. It was a really good company.

Do you have a dream role on the stage?

Shakespeare in Something Rotten is one I am really getting into. Also, a childhood fantasy would be Fiyero in Wicked.

Your work in the piano bar scene here at venues like Uncle Charlie’s, Club Cumming and the Townhouse is always very well-received. What are your specialties on the piano? And… what’s a really annoying song that everyone always wants to hear, lol?

I love doing female pop covers. The crowd goes wild for some throwback Britney or Taylor Swift.
But I’ll also give you your piano classics like Elton John, Billy Joel and Jerry Lee Lewis.

An annoying song–that’s funny! Honestly, if somebody asks for it and I know how to play it, it’s always a win. It’s annoying when they just expect you to know everything, and they’re super insistent that you play a song that you’re not too familiar with. I’m always like, “okay I’ll play it, but you asked for it if it’s not great,” haha!

Recently a promoter posted on Facebook that he was looking for a really good-looking and talented pianist, and, like, 90 people responded with your name!

Aw, that’s sweet. Maybe the looks compensate for those annoying songs I don’t know how to play, lol!

You released a whole self-titled album in 2019.

Yes! I self-produced the album on my own; it’s all my original music, lyrically driven contemporary pop. I’ve heard it described as a mix of Gavin DeGraw, Mika, and Shawn Mendes. I’m really proud of what I did with what little I had to work with, actually. It was just me and a few friends doing it together. I think we spent two days at a studio in Pennsylvania, and just had a really good time doing it. The first day was just a dream, hearing the things in my head come to life.

I see it as an unfinished process, really. Just something to put my points of view, sound, and style out there. These things shift and change, and as you grow as an artist you listen back and think “oh wow, I totally would have done something different there.” So often, artists don’t publish because they think it’s not perfect or they didn’t produce it with enough spectacle. For me. I just wanted it out there, I kept telling myself, “just do it James, just put it out and the rest will follow.” I’m glad I took [that advice] and just did it.

[Photo: John Kale]

It’s an extraordinary achievement! Do you randomly find yourself writing music as inspiration comes, or do you have to sit down and say “okay, it’s time to brainstorm?”

Both. The music always comes to me at random; maybe it’s a melody, or some kind of hook. But then there’s always a moment where I have to tie the ideas together, and sit down and figure out structurally what’s going on. But I never force it.

Does the idea of maybe writing a whole original musical, or at least the songbook, hold any appeal to you?

That seems like a very big undertaking. But most of my songs are story-driven and work in relation to each other, so I don’t think it’s so far off.

Maybe you’ve already started writing one without realizing!

What year did you start bartending and performing at Cherry’s, and what do you most enjoy about being there?

It was a total accident that I started last year. I was supposed to be touring all year, so my apartment in NYC was sublet. So when everything shut down and I was abroad, I was like, “well dang, I don’t want to kick my friend out of the apartment during the pandemic to just not work and pay NYC rent.” So a friend of mine and I actually contacted a few bar owners on Fire Island to see if we could rent out a room in some staff housing that wasn’t being used. We moved out there super early in the season, with the thought that if things got worse we’d be safe quarantining out there. But if things got better, we could do some outdoor shows / work and also be close enough to get to NYC if we needed.

The fact that the show worked and the community really embraced me is my favorite part. Cherry Grove is such a special place, and I was so lucky that they took a chance on me and gave me a platform. People always show up and support, and to have been able to work and perform during that quarantine summer was an extreme blessing.

Cherry’s (and really all the businesses on the Grove) did very well with managing lockdown protocol last year, but there was still some much lambasted foolishness on behalf of the patrons elsewhere on the Island.

There were so many hoops to jump through to keep the place open and safe. It was an incredible feat; it relied on each person to be responsible and represent ourselves in a way that kept the community safe. Huge kudos to the small business owners of Cherry Grove for taking on the challenge and keeping nightlife performers employed.

Yes! And we’re in for a great season this summer. For one thing, your show “James Oblak on the Bay” premieres at Cherry’s this Friday at 6pm! Tell us what’s in store for us.

A lot of fun! I’m so excited to play out there again. I’ve got a lot of new songs to play, and some usual crowd pleasers. I always try to incorporate some recent Top 40, with my own spin. It actually was quite a good year for new music.

Yes! Did you have any favorite songs or albums from this year, by the way?

I adore Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, and Chromatica of course. I actually like some of the new flavors Bieber gave us this year, too. Kylie Minogue’s comeback last year was also much needed.

Good stuff all around! Okay, finally: what is an amazing trivia fact about James Oblak that the whole world should know right now?

Hmm… loves pineapple on pizza. Currently binging Ryan Murphy’s new show Halston. And I’m trying to read more, since I have these long commutes back and forth to the city. So send any recommendations my way!

Will do! Thanks, James!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for James Oblak’s upcoming appearances, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Stream or download his music on Amazon, Apple, Spotify and all related platforms.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (5.25.2021)

TUESDAY (5.25.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

  • REBAR: Drink & Draw (7pm)

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

  • FEATHERS: Bingo feat. Nickie Love (10pm)

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

X-Rayed Sex: “So Many Bottoms Among Us”

By LeNair Xavier

Thotyssey presents a bi-monthly column by LeNair Xavier, a writer/poet who has worked in many levels of the sex industry, and has a lot to say about the social politics of sex, porn and sexual etiquette.


One ongoing complaint (or joke, depending how you look at it) here in NYC is how there are so many bottoms. If you look on some hook-up websites where it’s easy to check out profiles from other parts of the not just the country, but the globe, you will probably find as I have that many of those profiles are those of bottoms as well. Making me conclude that the issue of there being so many more bottoms compared to the number of tops is not just one common to New York City, but to many cities across the globe.

But why might this be the case?

With all the bottom-shaming that goes on in the gay male community, primarily through porn and bad jokes in gay nightlife events, I recently wrote an erotic poem to combat that. It is entitled “My Submission Has The Floor”.

While as I stated in my “Audio Fuck Profile” that I am versatile in action, but actually prefer bottoming, the purpose of “My Submission Has The Floor” was to go a step further in celebrating that bottoming. Having no shame in the joy I feel from being submissive when I bottom and explain what in my life makes me seek being dominated.

Well, the first stanza of the poem explains that quite well. To reiterate, it reads:

To keep my life in peace
To keep my life sane
I am the aggressor and dominator
Over my life, destiny, and domain
But in this world of chaos
I’m in that mode around the clock
So many get concerned
Am I ever free to stop?

After writing that poem, I reflected on it to do as I try to with all my poetry. Asking myself if it is possible for many readers to even subconsciously relate to what I am saying. That’s when I realized that the answer is a loud and echoing YESSSSSS.

Many males can relate to this. And not just gay males, but straight males as well. In fact, in straight males, this might explain why pegging (anally penetrating a heterosexual male) is becoming of growing interest to straight men.

For we as males regardless of age, color, ethnic background, religion, and sexual orientation have it constantly drilled in our heads to be the aggressor. To be the dominator. What has started happening is that many males are coming to realize that those displays of aggression and domination to “prove one’s manhood” need a break from time to time.

Now, considering how little individual thinking happens among us males, whether or not those displays of aggression and domination are honest to their character is another topic. So let us focus here on what has been indoctrinated in us males as to how we are to see ourselves, as opposed to what we might actually be. For it is that reason as to why many of us use being a submissive bottom as our break.

That preceding statement was not to throw shade at my fellow males. It was to state a matter of fact. One in which I will explain by detailing what provokes my own aggression and domination.

My aggression and domination shows itself in my aura. It works usually without me having to say a word, but the energy gives off a demand of how I want to be treated in my relationships. Be they platonic, romantic, or business, that energy is not considered troublesome unless the other person(s) is up to no good. And it is not considered intimidating unless a person doesn’t make the same demand for themself. Which when you think about it is most people. Hence what brings forth much of the drama you hear of in so many people’s various kinds of relationships.

Now, to continue with the main point, while I said that there are many males who admit to needing that break from aggression and domination, there are some who will not admit to it. For some of these males, they are aggressors all the time, and refuse to give up that power, even for a moment. For other such males, they probably live work lives in which they are very submissive to those over them in the workplace totem pole. Therefore, sex as an aggressive and dominating top becomes their outlet to have a dominating moment.

In either case, a number of these males go overboard. That’s why I keep total tops at a distance. Almost interviewing them like they are applying for a top-secret government position before they get to play with me. And if I do play with such a top, trust me, it will be a one-time thing at a sex party/backroom. Unless I get the chance later to pick his brain more to find out if his aggression is from a healthy place or not.

The ratio of bottoms to tops is probably not too much different than the number of straight females to straight males. After all, last I heard, there are a certain number of straight females to every single straight male. So it is quite likely that there is a nearly equal ratio of bottoms to tops. Thereby showing yet another way as to how, as much as militant gays hate to admit it, we are not too different from straight people. In any case, this pulchritude of bottoms is a sign of the societal pressure put on males. One in which the ratio won’t even out until we individually maneuver ourselves to not adhere to those pressures outside of ourselves.


LeNair Xavier can be found frequently at the Cock, and at various other exhibitionist-friendly venues. He can be followed on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. He guest blogs occasionally for Kiroo.com.

X-Rayed Sex Archives

Monday (5.24.2021)

MONDAY (5.24.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • CLUB CUMMING: “Broadway Video Jukebox” feat. Austin Ruffer (6pm)

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Rayne

This young queen also happens to be “NYC’s burlesque bombshell,” and is leaving her sultry mark in venues across the city as the re-opening unfurls. Leave your umbrellas at home and feel the Rayne!


Thotyssey: Hello Rayne! Things are certainly looking like they’re going back to “normal” in NYC nightlife this month, don’t they?

Rayne: Hello my love! I think I speak for most queens when I say that I am so ready to reconnect with queer nightlife in person. Thankfully we have a vaccine available for us, and I’m ready to party, baby!

During this lockdown, you and your gurls dabbled in some digital drag. I love that you filmed your Kali Uchis tribute number at the Kew Motor Inn, which is a, um, famous hotel with *exotic* rooms and hourly rates in Queens! What was that filming experience like? PS: I’ve been dying to ask you that for weeks, lol!

Lol, OMG yes! My vision with the “Telepatia” music video was missing my special someone in a motel feeling sexy… and the Kew Motor Inn made that fantasy come true. Although, there was probably a crazy orgy going on in that room before I filmed because I saw handprints all over that mirror! The cool thing about it, though, was the different themed rooms. Definitely a place to check out!

Had you gotten a chance to perform much in New York before lockdown happened?

Oh, absolutely! I got my start at a competition over at Pieces Bar, and from there guested at several bars in Brooklyn and [Manhattan]. Right before lockdown. I was hosting drag brunch over at Toro Loco every other week.

Are you a native New Yorker, and were performing arts and fashion always interests of yours growing up?

Much like Wendy Williams sang, I am definitely a native New Yorker–born and raised in Richmond Hill, Queens. Fashion was definitely something that helped my growth in figuring out who I was inside. I never liked or identified with the typical cis male clothing; I always needed to add my own feminine flare to it to feel comfortable with what I was wearing. To me, my sense of style was an expression of myself that at the time I felt I wasn’t allowed to say out loud, but showed through my clothing. At 5 years old, I was singing “Oops I Did it Again” by Britney Spears on my sister’s karaoke machine! I remember being home alone a lot when I was younger, so I would always put my sister’s clothes and makeup on and learn Gaga’s choreo, and perform it in front of the mirror. She really thought she was that girl.

What actually motivated you to become a queen, and then choose your name?

My friend brought me to a drag show; I was way too scared to go to by myself, and I instantly fell in love. I saw myself doing it, and went right for it! I chose my name from this video game called “Blood Rayne,” [featuring a character] who is this vampire femme fatale out to stop her evil father. So I was able to relate!

Who are your drag sisters today? Do you have a mom?

My drag sisters are very special to me; we’ve created our own little family consisting of Blue, Roqué, Boyish Charm, Jubilee Rogue and Stasi! Over quarantine we worked together closely, and since then have tried to support each other as much as we can. As for a drag mother, I do not have one right now… but I have learned so much about this art form from my sisters.

What’s a Rayne experience like today, as far as the looks you serve and types of numbers you do?

I feel like I’m very versatile in terms of my looks; I take a lot of inspiration from 20s-50s fashion mixed with modern trends. If you’re ever at one of my shows, you will always experience a step into my fantasy of erotic glamour. I’ve gotten into doing burlesque in drag, and I love it! I’ve found burlesque to be so liberating, and it’s really shown me to appreciate and love my body.

So you’ve started a new event with Boyish at 3 Dollar Bill recently—the next installment of “The BFF Party” is Thursday, May 27th!

Oh yes! It’s a dance party thrown by our friends Alex and Danny, who are killer DJ’s! If you’re looking to dance to the latest and hottest pop music, then this is the party for you. Boyish and I give shows throughout the night and also host on the mic, always having the crowd cracking up at our silly banter. This Thursday, the crowd is actually allowed to get up from their chairs and dance on the dance floor… which is super exciting!

What else is coming up for you?

I’m very excited to announce that Blue, Roqué and I have a new show coming up on June 10th over at Astorias Secret! It’s a speakeasy bar in Astoria, Queens that looks like a lingerie shop on the outside, but once you walk in it’s a bar with super sexy décor. The name of the show is “Kama Sutra,” and we will be giving you a hybrid burlesque / drag show!! I’m so happy I was able to convince the girls to get into doing burlesque with me for this show, and I’m so excited for everybody to see what we bring.

That’s very exciting, have a great premiere! And finally: Miss Mexico just won Miss Universe! What are your thoughts?

I’m not too knowledgeable about Miss Universe, but I do know that Miss Mexico doesn’t usually win–it usually goes to Venezuela or Colombia. So that’s amazing she’s taken the win this year! I love to see Latinx representation.

Thanks, Rayne!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Rayne’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram. [All photos above by Stasi.]

On Point Archives

Sunday (5.23.2021)

SUNDAY (5.23.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

NOLITA / LITTLE ITALY

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

Saturday (5.22.2021)

SATURDAY (5.22.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

Friday (5.21.2021)

FRIDAY (5.21.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA / HUDSON YARDS

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

Thursday (5.20.2021)

THURSDAY (5.20.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOW EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • CLUB CUMMING: [outside] DJ JCLEF (7pm);
    [inside] “Pandemic Burlesque” feat. Tallulah Talons (7:30pm)

LOWER MANHATTAN / FINANCIAL DISTRICT

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Gusty Winds

Hold on to your hats, sisters… this hurricane is headed for our fair shores! Gusty Winds (aka Daniel Alita), an OG drag queen best known for serving irreverent comedy and ferocious lip syncs in venues like Lips and Cherry’s, is returning to NYC for a very special showcase! [Cover photo: Alan Kaplan]


Thotyssey: Hello Gusty, thanks for talking to us today! You are representing Pittsburgh these days… how has that city been treating you?

Gusty Winds: I miss bagels, pizza and 24 hour diners. I don’t miss $2K a month rent. There’s no place like New York, and it will always be my home. Pittsburgh is good, but can you believe the gays have more attitude here than NYC?

I cannot! How is that even possible?

NYC boys don’t need the attitude, ’cause they’re in NYC! Small city boys feel they have to be. I have met some good peeps.

Are they cute, at least?

Hmmm… a Pittsburgh 10 is an NYC 7.5, lol! There are some cuties here–God, how would I survive if there weren’t?

Heard! So I know you have a day job in Pittsburgh… would you say that you are at least semi-retired from drag at this point?

Semi-retired, but I still have a full arsenal of fresh makeup and wrinkled outfits. So, not much has changed!

Are you a native New Yorker, by the way?

Born on Long Island… so, New York State native. I moved to NYC at 23.

Before drag, were you a part of or interested in the arts or the stage at all?

I’ve always been a drama queen, but I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. Any dreams of that were not approved of.

It must’ve been a life-changing moment, when you broke away from that strict and intolerant upbringing to live your truth.

I was disowned by all my family and friends, with the exception of two people. But the positive side was, I then got to pick my chosen family.

Our chosen families are so important! How did you discover drag, and ultimately become Gusty?

How else? That evil holiday known as Halloween. After that, I had two very encouraging friends who coaxed me out once a month in drag for dinner. One night I had the guts to perform at the old gay bar known as Rome. Rome was owned by Yvonne Lame, who asked if I would like to work at her new restaurant, Lips! That was in 1996, the rest is herstory!

You were one of the original Lips divas! What queens were there with you in the beginning, or early on?

Destiny, Paulina, D’va Robert, Delilah, Daisy Shaver, Betzy with a Z, Evangeline, Frankie Cocktail, Gigi, Veronica Blaze, Madison Adams and my pookie poo Melinda Thomas. These are my legends and sisters. Then [later on] my sister and one of my hearts, Ginger Snap [joined up].

Ginger, of course, is still holding court! Lips has always been a part of NYC culture, even before the most recent drag boom. But you must’ve seen a lot of change over the years as far as the clientele of Lips goes.

First came the gays; I once got tipped with *ahem* some of that evil white powder, lol. Then came the in-the-know city dwellers. Then the bachelorettes and Sweet 16s. I treated everyone like they were in my home… though I did treat some of the boys like they were in my bedroom.

And outside of Lips, the art and business of drag also changed considerably over the years. Things were a bit rougher and edgier back in the day… less polished and more DIY / improvised.

When you made it back then, you didn’t have social media and competition shows… so all you had to go on was your nerve and talent. I have always been very proud that I carved a little bit of a name for myself in this town, without stepping on too many toes.

What was, and is, your particular style of drag and performing like?

I am self-deprecating, I attempt to be funny, and I try to chide with kindness. I will say this, as a 14 time lip synch nominee at the Glam Awards (when they had the category), and to paraphrase my sister Sweetie: “that bitch can lay a lip to a record.” May she rest in peace.

Sweetie is so missed! There’s a movement now with the younger generations to really police offensive humor, even in nightlife.

We need to stop being so fucking sensitive. Look at how successful Bianca del Rio has become, being true to her rancid self! We all need to look Inside and see who the real enemy is.

Another local queen who always speaks her mind and often pokes fun at you: event producer and underwear party mogul, Daniel Nardicio! How do you know that troublemaker, lol?

Daniel is one of my oldest friends; we met through sweetie. When Daniel insults you, it’s because he loves you and knows you can take it. I truly adore that piece of human filth and smut purveyor.

You also had a long career on Fire Island, performing at Cherry’s on the Bay! Might you ever return as a show host there?

I am always open… literally and figuratively.

Lol! Well, we’re pleased to report that you’ll be back in New York City proper this coming Sunday… just in time for Lips’ reopening weekend! Are you gonna stop by there?

Yes! I am bringing two of my favorite girls (real girls, lol) from Pittsburgh, Daisy and Dakota, in for brunch! It’s Daisy’s first drag show!!

Wonderful! Annnnd… Gusty returns to the NYC stages herself on Sunday night, care of your very own Stonewall Invasion!

Last time I hosted, I think Jesus was in diapers! I am bringing a team of sisters to the show; we are kicking it old school! Destiny, Paulina and Melinda. Expect some fierceness and geri-antics! These are my ladies, so a good time is always assured. Maybe a cameo by Ari Kiki, if she is up for it.

Anything else to alert the children about?

I’m single and verse, lol.

The word is out! Thanks Gusty… we anxiously await your return!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Gusty Winds’ upcoming area appearances, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

On Point Archives

Wednesday (5.19.2021)

WEDNESDAY (5.19.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**For all live indoor venue events, occupancy is currently at 50% per lockdown regulations and social distancing is enforced. Contact venues or listed performers to confirm reservations if necessary.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Jupiter Gallaxxi

This young Quarantine Queen with a true Broadway pedigree is a rapidly rising star of New York drag, and this weekend she’ll make her solo show debut. Let’s keep it cosmic with Jupiter Gallaxxi!


Thotyssey: Hello Jupiter! How is mid-May treating you so far?

Jupiter Gallaxxi: Pretty well! We finally have nice weather here, so I’m enjoying being outdoors. And drag is finally starting to fully feel alive again in the city!

You’re part of a crew of queens who arrived on the scene during lockdown, making your own opportunities with socially distanced outdoor shows and some digital programming. You must have an entirely unique perspective on being a queen in NY these days!

Yes! After performing in Brooklyn on and off for a year and a half, my first real big breakthrough in the drag scene was online digital shows in quarantine. I feel really grateful that we were able to provide safe entertainment during that time, and when bars reopened with socially distanced performances. In this time, I have made so many incredible friends and sisters. I’m so glad that now things are becoming safer, and we’re seeing so many performers finally getting to perform again… and even new queens who found drag during quarantine and now are pursuing it!

Where are you from originally, and did you have any background or early interest in performing, the arts, etc?

I was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina! And I started dancing around age three, out of my parents desperation to find something to do with all my energy, lol! I became obsessed, and never stopped. Dance led into me doing musical theater and I’ve been doing both ever since! I made my Broadway debut when I was 12 in the Broadway revival of Godspell with the “Godspell cast of 2032.” And of course, as many other queens, I started drag when I played Angel in a community theater production of RENT when I was 14, lol.

You’re a true Broadway babe! What was that big Broadway Godspell experience like?

It was incredible, and really taught me how to be professional at a young age; it set me up and gave me a career! In the summer of 2018, I did a production of Newsies at the North Carolina Theater, and from 2019-2020 at the the White Plains Performing Arts Center. That was right before the pandemic, and obviously since the pandemic working in the theater industry has not been an option.

The theater shutdowns due to Covid were obviously quite devastating to Broadway, and recent protests against Actor Equity in Times Square have also made their mark. Will the industry rebound?

I do think it will rebound. We as artists refuse to let our livelihoods and passions be ruined or stopped by capitalism BS–and countless problems the theater industry has ingrained into it. But I don’t think it can ever be the same again; it can’t be, because the way it was wasn’t working for all of us.

So when did you become Jupiter?

Around spring 2019–I went to World Pride in drag, and that’s the day I officially got the name Jupiter!

Lucia Fuchsia is your drag mom. How did that come about?

While I was doing shows with her when bars first reopened, we became good friends. She helped me refine my drag, and navigate the scene.

And you were a finalist in the first cycle of the “Fabulous Mx. Metal” drag competition, which Lucia co-hosts with Chase Runaway at Now & Then.

That was definitely a fun experience! I loved having to push myself to create a totally different concept and look. Each week was a challenge, but I feel like I grew and surprised myself. I also got to do things in drag that I hadn’t gotten to show people before, such as singing and dancing on pointe.

How might you describe your drag aesthetic and performing style now, for the uninitiated?

I’d consider my aesthetic to be a little goth, a little pop, and a little high fashion. Basically, if The Craft met Thierry Mugler, sprinkled with inspiration from 90s Britney Spears–that’s what Jupiter looks like in my head, lol! And I’d say my performance style is high energy, full of theatrics and dancing. I like to leave it all on the floor for the audience!

Love that! So, this Sunday we can see you give a special “Unhinged” performance at the City Reliquary in Brooklyn. Tell us more!

Yes! I’m so excited to be hosting my own show for the first time! When I came up with “Unhinged,” I wanted it to be a show where people could go see creative, unexpected, high energy performances. And that’s exactly what they will get with this incredible cast! This Sunday with me, we have Tank and The Taurex, along with several special guests!

Anything else coming up for you?

Yes, I’m also a part of the Drag Divas Brunch cast at 3 Dollar Bill, every Saturday!

OMG, fun!

We’re in for a great weekend of shows! Last question: what’s your favorite makeup product right now?

I love the Sugarpill liquid lipstick in Sub-Zero–it’s this shimmery blue, and I’m obsessed!

Thanks, Jupiter!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Jupiter Gallaxxi’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.

On Point Archives

Tuesday (5.18.2021)

TUESDAY (5.18.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

  • REBAR: Drink & Draw (7pm)

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Sabel Scities

Some drag performers are stars of their own cities… but longtime comedy and pageant slayer Sabel Scities (aka Timothy Byars) is a true Queen of America! These days she’s making important things happen as lockdown wanes in Hawaii, and this summer she’ll once again hold residence at the vacation destination where she’s treasured: Fire Island!


Thotyssey: Hello Sabel! You’re currently in Hawaii, where you moved to about a year ago… how have you been enjoying your time there so far?

Sabel Scities: Hello! Yes, I went Covid Crazy and turned my life upside-down (again) and move to Kona, Hawaii after this last Fire Island season!

What is the Hawaiian drag scene like?

There’s a lot of eager talent here, but there hasn’t been a “show director” at My Bar yet. [Bar owner] Rocco and I have talked about working together for years; I was super excited when we saw the opportunity to work together, and he invited me to help build entertainment as Covid restrictions slowly lifted up!

You also spent a lot of time in your native Texas this past year, where the conflict between business owners, patrons and the state government regarding mask wearing and lockdown has been widely reported on.

Texas rules on opening and closing were exhausting and really stressful; the nightlife we had fallen in love with no longer existed, as y’all felt in NYC I’m sure. I know business owners and service industry workers have been tested in ways we never imagined; I was so proud to watch friends at the places I worked upholding safety regulations. I was sad to see how shitty people treated bar staff enforcing rules, because they were just tired of being policed and just wanted it to be over. I hope everyone considers getting vaccinated and stops giving hard workers the ugly diva attitude.

Have you had any experiences performing with digital drag this year?

Digital drag tested us! I’m lucky my fans will watch me drink a half a bottle of tequila on Facebook Live and let me call it a show! I was so surprised how much I relied on the audience as a lightening rod for exchanging energy. Performing for a screen still helped us connect and even raise some money for charity while in lockdown, but I was zapped of all my energy for a full day after every online show.

[Photo: Sarah Bork]

I love an interview you did with I’m From Driftwood where you discuss being from Wichita Falls, Texas and raised in a Church-going family who did not approve of you being gay, and were then particularly displeased that you became a drag queen. But over time they grew to love and accept you for who you were, and are literally the heads of your fan club today! It’s such a great story.

Thanks, I couldn’t believe the reach that article had! I’m grateful I’m from Driftwood helped our family tell our story.

What lesson do you think both young queer kids and their conservative families might learn from the story of the Byars?

I’d say growing up, I had such a lack of confidence to be myself the way I wanted to be. And my parents had just chosen to believe what they were taught and thought they were raising me like they were supposed to, the best they knew how; when you come from those parts of Texas it’s a very common story. So, the main takeaway I hope families see is how much it was worth the effort it’s taken to get where we are. My whole family had to take a long time to learn from each other. We had to learn for ourselves what we actually thought, rather than just believing what we were told. We had to reexamine ourselves, and not be afraid to admit when we were wrong. It’s still an evolving relationship. We still have to be okay being the first apologize sometimes, lol!

[Photo: Sarah Bork]

Tell us a bit about your drag mom from Portland, Jersey Scities.

We are disconnected at the moment, but at the time she helped me discover my young gay self; the sassy was always there, she just help me channel it. I learned about gay history, and being active in the community. She ran a fierce house for a nice chapter of queer Portland; we were all holding titles and hosting shows and representing all over the city, and mama was always a proud mama. Those are some of the gayest, best times of my life, and there are lessons I still pass on to kids 15 years later as they continue to pop up… which makes me feel so young.

How did that wacky spelling of your family name come to be, by the way?

The creative spelling was a drunk night with a local legend, Tiara Desmond. She isn’t with us anymore, but she left you a fun, confusing way to find me us on social media.

And how might you describe yourself as a queen today? What have been the big influences on your drag, and what’s your aesthetic and performing style like?

Today I am shooting for that cool aunt, sensually stunning 30-something, jack-of-all-trades entertainer. One of my strengths is how much I’ve soaked up from traveling the country for gigs and pageants and experiencing clubs / bars / shows of all kinds. I like being a chameleon, relatable, and good at dropping into any situation and having fun with it!

There are pageant gals who still slay me to this day, Drag Race girls whose work they put into their brand I’m constantly inspired by, and kids that shock and teach me new things, too. With the variety of entertainers constantly emerging I’m sure I will never get bored with drag!

Do you think that the very bawdy, edgy and occasionally button-pushing drag humor from even just a few years ago is on the “cancel culture” chopping block these days? Should that brand of comedy change and evolve with the times?

I think we are constantly challenged to make sure we are conscious of how much people actually listen to us and what we say. Movies and jokes from 10, 20, 30 years ago are based heavily on outdated stereotypes that weren’t okay then–we are just done accepting them as okay now. I don’t think outrageous humor is out the window, but be more clever about it! Learn to play and have fun without trying to hurt anyone. That being said… I’m still checking what I say, and why I’d think some things are funny in the first place. So much is just low hanging fruit and tacky–not in a cute drag tacky way, just in a gross “I don’t want hang with that person” way. We could stand to write a few new jokes, and reexamine what’s actually funny.

As we’ve already alluded to, you are one of those queens that have lived and worked in so many cities across the country! Where are all the places you’ve been exactly, and what has prompted all those moves?

I am a vagabond; I just tell people I have commitment issues. I started drag at an all-ages nightclub in Portland in 2005, and in 2009 won a local Drag Race / Absolut sponsored competition mirroring the first season of Drag Race. I got a trip for two to Ascension 2009, and needless to say the minute I saw the island from the ferry it was instant love. Dallas DuBois invited me to live with her for a month in 2010, so I went home, packed a bag, and nine months later made that move! For five years, NYC let me have it! I learned limits and tried new things, worked with amazing people and saw insane parties, adopted better business mentality, and had to grow up really, really fast.

Somehow I missed Texas where I grew up, and I’d been told Austin had a quickly-evolving community. So it was time to start all over again and get some Texas pageant experience, and refine my skills in a whole other way. I’d never imagined I’d become the face of a club like Rain–it was the peak of my career so far. We built 9 seasons of “Drag Class,” releasing over 40 new entertainers into the city to create their own careers. I took over weekly shows, raised money for queer youth, and worked harder than I ever have in my life.

I lost quite a bit of balance between boy / drag life, but didn’t realize it until March 2020 when Covid brought our lives to a screeching halt. I started to see the imbalance, and feel that I was just living to work. The Hawaii move was more about a break for mental health and getting the chance to explore what I want for my life, away from the responsibilities I’d taken on at the time.

[Photo: Sarah Bork]

Tell us a bit about your long tenure as a New York queen!

When I showed up I was young, hot, flexible, and you couldn’t tell me a thing! I won ‘Cattle Call” with Peppermint at Therapy my first night out, and was hungry to meet everyone and perform everywhere. I got to run around with such a fun group–we were all ready to take over and willing to work every night to maybe win some rent money–we were lucky to get in and have a couple of drink tickets. We did each others shows for free constantly, just to support each other (while getting to show off).

When I was peaking and won Miss’d America 2012 and suddenly had to have ACL reconstruction on my knee, it dropped my confidence down quite a bit. I head to learn to be funny and stand in one place to perform–no more tricks and acrobatics. And then as I get ready for a comeback, *BAM* a year later, I had surgery on my other knee. Rather than doing drag every night, I started to rely on bartending to pay the bills and gave up my dream of being a NYC icon. Funny enough to me, after I moved to Texas I started to feel more like people wanted to see me in New York. Maybe because I left hardly doing any drag? Maybe because they didn’t have to see me every week? But it has always been a second home to me, and I love, love, love coming back!

What queens are your best Judys in New York?

Without a doubt, Lauren Ordair and Chandilier; if they call I will be there, and they are the first faces I always want to see when I land. And every season at Cherry’s [on the Bay on Fire Island], I have fallen in with the girls I get to bust my ass with. Those queens work harder than most can imagine, and we are real quick to be there for each other.

The historic Barracuda Bar in Chelsea is about to turn 25! You’ve had shows there, back in the day. Might you be in the City in time for its big anniversary?

I was super lucky to host a few shows there, compete in Star Search many, many, many times, and see my favorite queens command that stage. If they invite me, I would be there in a heartbeat! If I’m not invited, I will wait in line to see what show they’re putting together!

[From left: Chandilier, Sabel Scities & Lauren Ordair, 2015]

We mentioned RuPaul’s Drag Race briefly above… are you a fan? Has the popularity of the show had a positive or negative impact on the art of drag? And have you ever been interested in doing it yourself?

Again, if they call, I will say yes! I have auditioned six times. I think the experience of being on the show: world tours, growth that happens there, doors it opens, and people you reach are all enormous reasons to be a RuGirl. I was lucky to learn three years of drag before the first season aired–I’ve had a unique look at before, during, and after. Some gorgeous trends have come out of it, and brand new platforms for designers and creators have benefitted just as much as the queens.

But I think the show is crazy for not allowing trans women to compete [editor’s note: although trans women and men have appeared on various incarnations of the show, it’s still a rarity to see them]. I think some of the fans don’t know the difference between drag and reality TV, and that’s the part that scares me. The hate, death threats, ugly comments– the dark side of the “fandom” are enough to make me never ever want on the show.

Speaking of Drag Race fandom negativity, you did a show at My Bar with Elliott with 2 Ts recently! There’s a RuGirl who maybe didn’t get the “best edit” on her recent season. But I understand she’s actually sweet and entertaining in person, right?

Oh Lord, lol! Going back to this being reality TV, there is always the possibility you can be “edited” to appear as the character they wrote for you that season. We all need to be careful what we say, and care this much about how we treat each other. I wanted to give her the same courtesy I give all the entertainers I work with, a chance to prove me wrong. Everyone I work with gets my full confidence until I have reasons not to trust them. We can listen to rumors and feed into hearsay, but until we sit down and get to know someone we are just trusting sight unseen what someone else says from their interaction. From the minute she landed, I did not witness any uncomfortable moments, offensive comments, or feel anything but a lovely queen with a warm spirit.

What do you think is so special about working out on Fire Island? Do you have any particularly fond memories of your time there?

I’ve been performing on Fire Island since 2009–I got bit by the ticks, and feel attached to it now. Its my gay Never Never Land. I go there to escape this reality we live in, and submerge myself into how I wish the world was: complete freedom to love who we are, and find people who share common energies. I’ll never remember every night, but I’ve had some of my most unforgettable moments in my life there. We all appreciate how rare it is to have a place like that, miss each other during the winter, and live our best gay lives when we get to go back. You can feel how much people want to keep it alive.

You’re also a Fire Island pageant title holder!

Yes! My first summer working at Cherry’s, I won Miss Fire Island 2010! Then I won Miss Cherry’s in 2013; if they have the contest this year, maybe I’ll give Entertainer of the Year a shot? Definitely watch out for me at Miss Cherrys All Stars!

You’ll be returning to Cherry’s for Sunday Bubbly Brunch, which runs May 23rd through September 12th. Tell us more!

I love that [Cherry’s managing owner] Jacque gave me brunch this season! Every week at 1pm, come eat up and drink up all the craziness you’ve come to expect from me: country, throwbacks, sing-alongs, old school drag and silly stupid fun songs. And I booked a different guest every week this season! Some gals I ran around with back in the day, some I’ve gotten to know since visiting, and a few I haven’t even met yet!

May 23rd, I get to kick it off with Kizha Carr! I have been a fan since day one; we both come from a similar area of the country, started drag about the same time, and love to laugh. This last summer we got really close, and she isn’t afraid to be absolutely foolish and stunning and captivating at the same time.

Then buckle up Darlin, the following week I have Tammy Lynn Spanx! Follow me on IG for updates on guests dates. We take reservations up to two weeks ahead of time by emailing info@cherrysonthebay.com!

What else might be in store for you, either while you’re in New York or beyond?

While I’m in New York, I really hope I get to just have a killer summer in Cherry Grove with some fun collaborations and fabulous memories… and lots of beach time. In September, I’ll come back to Kona in time for our Pride, then stick around to continue helping produce Ladies of the Lot, Church Brunch, and Dragtastic Bingo. You may see me on TV, on stage, on a corner–I’m open to whatever 2021 has for me! Maybe I should get a passport…

And finally… what’s your best advice for a new baby queen who wants to make her mark on whatever city she’s in?

Best advice I’ve been given: do what you do, let other people do what they do; both can exist at the same time. Be kind, everyone is going through things you know nothing about; say something nice or don’t say anything at all. Get the booking fee before you leave the club. And like Dolly says, “find out who you are and do it on purpose!”

Thank you, Sabel! Have a great Fire Island summer!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Sabel Scities’ upcoming appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

On Point Archives

Monday (5.17.2021)

MONDAY (5.17.2021) Your daily guide to online nightlife-based programming and socially distanced live events during the coronavirus quarantine. (EST)


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

HELL’S KITCHEN

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

  • CLUB CUMMING: “Broadway Video Jukebox” feat. Austin Ruffer (6pm)

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

On Point With: Majenta with a J

During a strict lockdown immediately following the loss of several queer venues, Boston queens went to the front lines of digital drag with some of the most popular and elaborate virtual shows to emerge from the genre. This musical queen was one of those trailblazers, and will likely be a force to be reckoned with when lockdown ends: Majenta with a J!


Thotyssey: Hello Majenta! So you’ve certainly been one of digital drag’s most visible performers and producers during this lockdown. Have you gotten any chances to do live shows at all this past year?

Majenta with a J: I have been all-digital since April 2020. Boston, as far as I can tell, has been the most locked-down major city in the US this whole time… and it seems like only in the past few weeks that there have been any notable live drag opportunities. I’ve started getting a couple inquiries though, so I imagine it’ll be pretty soon that I do something live again–which is both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking, it’s been so long!

I bet! There’s a lot of excitement and anxiety happening here as well. It looks like Bostonians have largely been behaving, though!

I’m curious to see how our scene acclimates back to in-person events. We have lost multiple queer venues during Covid that have left us with very few gay nightlife options once stuff reopens. We really need new venues soon.

What do you attribute that loss to? Is it just a coincidence that all these spots closed at once, or has the Boston queer population been receding from nightlife over the years?

Queer venues have been closing for a couple decades (at least) now. I think the primary issue is around really severe licensing restrictions that make it insanely difficult to open a new venue. It’s almost impossible to get a liquor license, and there’s even licensing around whether people are allowed to dance; I’ve been at bars in the past where they’ve actually asked people to stop bopping to the music because they didn’t have a license for it. It can feel like a combination of prohibition-era thinking and Footloose. My biggest hope is that there is a post-lockdown movement to relax licensing and invest in more venues. We have a queer population that wants to socialize, they just have nowhere to go.

Are you Massachusetts native?

I’m from Maine, just outside Portland, but I came to the Boston area for college and stayed here ever since.

What were your early interests as far as performance, fashion, etc. go?

Well, I grew up loving music; my faves were Madonna and Björk. I was always drawn to artists (typically women) who could find ways to take exciting, fresh, weird ideas and expose them to a wider audience. Also, movies like The Fifth Element really stuck with me — it felt like such an insane mix of styles with Gaultier’s fashion contrasted with an action movie star like Bruce Willis.

You actually have recorded some original music as Majenta, right?

Yes! My album Before Me is on all the big streaming services [linked to at the end of the article]. I started doing music long before drag, and this is basically a compilation of all my best songs.

And how did you get into drag, exactly?

In terms of drag, I was a fan of it for a long time before I started doing it as Majenta. I would wear Halloween costumes, but I didn’t try drag seriously until I was 36 and quit a high-stress corporate job, and finally had some time to be creative on my own. I decided to try it out and had so much fun that I just kept doing it. And even though I ended up getting another full time job soon after, I found something far less intense so that I would have more time / energy for drag.

Did you call yourself ‘Majenta with a J” to distinguish yourself from other drag Magentas (we have one here in NYC!), or just because it looks / sounds cool?

Ha! Well, the story behind that starts with Halloween 2016, where some friends and I went to P-town and dressed as different colors of the rainbow, with one friend as Rainbow Brite. We actually ran out of regular rainbow colors so I picked magenta. Later when I tried drag “for real,” I came back to that color as a cool name; it reminded me of “Alaska” being used as a name. My friend Erika said that I had to mix it up somehow, and suggested a different spelling. And then after I’d been doing drag a few months, Neon Calypso introduced me on stage as “Majenta with a J” and I thought it sounded so good, plus it’s already how I was introducing myself to people. I felt like it made it stand out even more.

Yazzz! What have been your favorite or signature gigs as a Boston queen?

Well, I really enjoyed “All Star Mondays” at Machine, but that club is now gone. Specific performances that stand out for me include one of my last numbers pre-lockdown, where I got to perform in front of a giant movie screen projection at the Coolidge Corner Theatre for a number inspired by The Cell. I had an outfit that unfurled into 40+ feet of purple fabric that spread to each end of the theater; it felt like a really special big moment.

And I’m also proud of the number I did to win the Boston Drag Gauntlet, where I dressed as one of the horsewomen of the apocalypse, Famine, and did a number that mixed Fergie and Florence Welch with biblical verses, rat skeletons, and a duck walk.

Probably my most “signature” number is my Krampus “All I Want For Christmas is Du Hast” Mariah Carey / Rammstein mashup, which I performed multiple times… and made into a digital number as well!

During lockdown, Boston queens like Violencia Exclamation Point, Neon, Coleslaw, Just JP and yourself really stepped up quickly and profoundly as digital content makers and producers. Did you all just kind of purposefully come together and pool resources to do this, or did it happen naturally?

Violencia really spearheaded [Twitch digital drag “channel”] the Serve Network. While I was a supporter, I wasn’t actually involved until recently when she and I started the “Now Serving” competition. She was already sort of the “leader” of a big chunk of Boston nightlife, and she really stepped up to make digital drag work for folks.

I started Full Spin on my own in May 2020 because I had a cool idea for an album-based show, and I’d been doing video work for awhile pre-Covid with my show “Face Down Queens,” with Georgia Flu and Missy Steak. So, for me it came from a bit of a different place than the rest of the folks in Boston. I’d never produced a show of any kind before, and just really enjoyed pursuing my own vision. After my third show, it became clear that Full Spin actually had real potential, and I kept growing it from there–eventually bringing on Just JP to help as well.

I wanted to set a really high bar for great digital productions, and also make sure I was paying everyone fairly too. I’m really proud of Full Spin: we’ve paid folks a minimum of $50 each time–sometimes over $100–and have raised a total of nearly $40k over two dozen shows, with a big portion going to social justice nonprofits as well.

Full Spin takes on a different full album each time, with unique casts of drag performers (from Boston and beyond) each session covering all the songs via videos. It must be a lot of work putting these shows together: besides all the editing and serving as emcee, you have to choose the album, recruit the casts and assign the songs.

It is a ton of work. And unlike most shows where if someone can’t deliver it’s no big deal, if someone drops out of a Full Spin I really have to scramble or else we won’t have a full album. So I’ve found ways to cast and set deadlines to avoid those issues, and we’ve really had a great streak in 2021 of having incredible casts that are great to work with.

I bet queens in the casts battle for the rights to do certain songs!

The biggest thing I learned early on is that I can’t just have it be a free-for-all of [casted queens] “calling” songs, so I do a mix of asking folks to pick several favorites and sometimes going to performers with a specific song request in mind. Basically I don’t promise anything until I’ve got at least 90%+ of the album figured out! I also love how people pitch album ideas constantly, but I think folks forget that there’s only so much time in a year… so I can only do a small handful of albums.

It’s an interesting show for you to produce, because conceptual albums aren’t as much of a thing as the used to be in this singles and streaming driven era of the music biz. There’s of course countless classic albums to explore, but younger viewers might not be interested in those.

I try to mix in more classic albums with newer ones. Like, we did Plastic Hearts right after it came out, but we also just did Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love from 1985 — which became our second most watched show ever! That was truly epic.

What other shows have you done that really stand out for you as favorites?

I think often of the Florence + the Machine show; we had several amazing numbers for that one. The Björk Post show was also one of my faves.

[Photo: Anthony Fusco]

The next two Full Spins you have scheduled will definitely be crowd pleasers, as they are tributes to the discography of our Mother Monster, Lady Gaga! First up is Chromatica on May 25th, then ArtPop on June 8! Each show has its own incredible cast taking on all the songs. Of course, both albums have been in the public eye / ear this past year: Chromatica is basically everyone’s pop favorite release of 2020, and 2013’s ArtPop has been recently rediscovered and vindicated! What are your own thoughts on each album?

Chromatica really feels like the album that brought some rays of joy into a really bad year for everyone. I think it’s fantastic, and one of those rare albums that you really can listen to end to end without any skips. Also, I’m just really glad to see Gaga doing electronic pop again!

Artpop really has had quite the journey as an album; I think it was kind of unfairly criticized when it came out. It’s the kind of album that is unabashedly weird, and sometimes society takes a little while to appreciate that. In some ways, it’s the exact opposite of Chromatica. Chromatica is highly polished, tightly edited, and very cohesive. Artpop is all over the place and experimental. Both are great, though; I’d love the next Gaga album to feel like a synthesis of the two approaches.

I’m also positive Artpop will end up our biggest show ever. I had nearly 300 performers apply to be in the show–by far the most of any album–so I know it’s a favorite for so many!

Very exciting! Meanwhile over on the Serve Network, you’ve been co-hosting the digital drag competition “Now Serving” with Violencia every other Tuesday. Next round: May 18th!

It is really fun to be doing something live like that! The contestants are super talented, and it’s also been a thrill to work with so many amazing guest judges–and of course with Violencia! I’ve thought about hosting a competition for a long time, and it’s been a really interesting challenge to take on. I’m still learning a lot from it, and trying to make it something that feels supportive rather than cutthroat.

What else might be in store for you?

I am trying to figure out how to bring Full Spin to a live venue in the Fall, hopefully. I think this summer is going to be a really interesting time of transition. I am curious to see what the world of digital drag looks like as more venues reopen, so I am kinda trying not to plan too far in advance. I have other big ideas, but I’m not quite ready to dive into them just yet. This last year has been so much work; I’m looking forward to taking some time to relax a bit during the summer. I’d also love to record some music again. I’ve had ideas kicking around for years that I finally want to work on!

Any plans to come to New York–for a visit or otherwise–in the near future? There are a bunch of Boston queens that have recently relocated here like Neon, Yune Neptune, Robyn Edges and Poise’N Envy!

Oh, I would looooove to go to NY again soon! I’ve been holding off on any drag travel. But since we are doing so well with vaccinations and gradual easing of restrictions, I’d love to go to NYC again in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully this fall!

We’d love to have you! So, to close… are there any artists in music history that you know will never get the Full Spin treatment?

There are albums that I love, but when I’ve listed them as options or teased ideas with folks, it’s become clear they are just too niche for this particular audience. So, some of my personal faves that probably won’t become shows include Portishead, Garbage, PJ Harvey, Everything But the Girl, Massive Attack and Royksopp. I know a small handful of people might love those, but they just don’t have quite enough fans to justify a full show.

And I know people will message me saying they love some of those artists, but I wouldn’t feel confident I could get enough of a paying audience to meet the minimum pay guarantee for the performers.

What I would love–and I think this would be a genius idea if a record label jumped on it–was for a recording artist to connect with me and commission a Full Spin show as part of an album rollout. I think this would be such a good way for artists who support the queer community to show some love for us drag performers who don’t have a TV show under our belts!

That’s an incredible idea. And also you should totes come down to Brooklyn and do a live PJ Harvey Full Spin–it’ll slap! Thanks, Majenta!


Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Majenta with a J’s upcoming area or digital appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch. Stream her music on Amazon, Apple and Spotify.

On Point Archives

Sunday (5.16.2021)

SUNDAY (5.16.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**Venues may require patrons to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination via vaccination card or Excelsior Pass app for admittance, or for full use of the venue. Patrons without proof of vaccination can be denied entry, or instructed to wear a mask indoors per policy of the specific venue.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

MEATPACKING

WEST VILLAGE

NOLITA / LITTLE ITALY

LOWER MANHATTAN

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

LONG ISLAND

FIRE ISLAND

WESTCHESTER

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar

Bar Babe of the Month: Valerie at Cherry’s

Cherry’s maître d, bingo hostess, and Mrs. DJ Stacy, Valerie Perez, prepares for another amazing season on Fire Island.


Bar that I work at: Cherry’s on the Bay, Cherry Grove, Fire Island.

How long I’ve worked there: 3 years

What are my shifts: All summer long every day! [Valerie also hosts Wednesday Bingo at Cherry’s this summer]

What makes this bar great: Located on the water, knowing you are surrounded by people wanting to just have a good time.

Best drink I make: I am the hostess and maître d, I don’t make the drinks… but the best drink there is the Rocket Fuel!

I love it when customers: Come in with a great fun attitude, ready for anything!

I hate it when customers: Feel they’re entitled and aren’t patient, especially during this past year.

Craziest thing I’ve seen here: A boat of Trump supporters pulled up to the bar last summer, and the entire bar booed them out until they took down their Trump flags and left.

Other places I’ve worked: The Edison Ballroom, the OG Julie’s Bar and Martinos

My hometown: Manhattan

Stuff I do when I’m not bartending: Walks to Sunken Forest and all over Fire Island

Single or Taken: Married

Who/what turns me on: Confidence , strength and determination

Favorite music: Disco

Favorite movie or TV show: The Twilight series, definitely!

Favorite drag queen: Davida Jones 

My drag name would be: Yonata On The List

Favorite DJ: DJ Stacy

Other stuff you need to know about me: I have a lot of amazing friends and family, and of course my amazing wife …we come in HOT and we ride or die for each other. Our family is tight! Being in the nightlife business has brought me more joy than I could have every expected. EVERY NIGHT IS A PARTY!

Follow me on: Facebook

Tip me at: Venmo @ValP50


Bar Babe Archives

Saturday (5.15.2021)

SATURDAY (5.15.2021) Your daily guide to New York and New Jersey nightlife programming, plus online nightlife-based programming (EST).


**For all live indoor venue events, occupancy is currently at 50% per lockdown regulations and social distancing is enforced. Contact venues or listed performers to confirm reservations if necessary.**

UPTOWN / BRONX

HELL’S KITCHEN

MIDTOWN EAST

CHELSEA

WEST VILLAGE

EAST VILLAGE

BROOKLYN

QUEENS

FIRE ISLAND

NEW JERSEY

Listed below are livestreamed and pre-recorded digital / virtual nightlife-centric content, broadcasted online.

ONLINE CONTENT (see all)

Save the Date | Full Calendar