Interview by Charlie Price
Edited by Tiaja Pierre
You are a West Hollywood Drag Star – a wonderful singer (no lip-syncing for you!) and a gifted wig maker. What other hidden talents should we know about?
Well after that generous question I do not think humility will be on the list. Lol!
I was a professional ballet dancer for 15 years before becoming a wig stylist. One of the highlights of my career was getting to dance as a soloist with the Le Opera National de Paris (The Paris Opera). One of the most memorable experiences was going up to the wig department where I was fitted for a full lace wig. The master wig makers there made hand knotted full lace wigs for all of the productions there. The wigs ranged from natural hairstyles to extravagant period designs. It was a magical place for me. I really did not want to leave!
The type of feminine archetype you seem to gravitate toward as a performer are decidedly mid-century – very girly, sexy and definitely voluptuous. What drew you to that style and how do you bring these different vivid and familiar characters to life?
I used to do both gender bender, punk rock drag and the Glamazon voluptuous kind of drag that I do now. I noticed that when I was dressing more androgynously people responded to me with a lot of attitude and an edge because that is a more confrontational kind of style. When I dressed up as the Glamazon I noticed that people were more joyful and playful around me. I realized that we all have a subconscious Freudian attraction to the abundance of love and fertility that emanates from the image of a voluptuous Goddess Mother Venus archetype. I created Billy L’Amour to be a Goddess of Love, playfulness, magic and seduction because I decided that is what I want to put out into the world.
Also, I am personally very inspired by the fabulous singing and dancing divas from Hollywood of the 50’s and 60’s.
You have posted a few times recently about Jackie Beat – I am a huge fan of hers! Is she a mentor of yours?
I am a huge fan too! I wish she had time to mentor me! She is too busy being an icon. Lol.
Jackie has the work ethic of Joan Rivers. She is always hustling. Always writing new SHElarious material. Constantly evolving. That is how she has been able to stay an International Drag Star for three decades now. Now that’s inspiring!
With the proliferation of successful drag queens in the USA and the drag sensibility permeating our culture – how do you keep your act fresh – is it constant work to stay part of the zeitgeist?
Yes, but for me it is a labor of love. I get bored quickly so I always want to be working on something new. It could be new song, a new show or a new wig style for my clients. The most important thing for me is not to get wrapped up in what I see everybody else doing but to stay true to what tickles and inspires me.
What is your favorite “number” to perform and why?
My favorite number to perform is I’m Not A Real Girl which is my parody of I Am A Good Girl from the movie Burlesque. It has cheeky sexual innuendo, glamorous burlesque striptease and lots of high kicks. All the things I hold near and dear to my heart. Lol!
What does it mean to you to be a citizen of The West?
For me being a citizen of The West means having more opportunities to pursue my dreams and the space to be able to breathe and take it all in.