Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Queen of the Week - Sabel Scities

Name: Timothy Byars AKA Sabel Scities

Age: 22

Location: Portland, Or/Vancouver, Wa

Single or taken? Single

What is your drag style like? Eclectic, i guess haha. You never know what to expect, one minute I am dancing the house down, then I may come out in a Broadway number, switch to Country, and maybe a drag staple or torch song. I'm the kinda girl who likes to find a way to reach everyone present and make sure they at least have one moment of, "OMG, I LOVE this song!" My friend Vegas says, "Dancing diva riding on the fuzzy line between MGA and USofA"

How long does it take you to get ready in drag? It really depends, I try to always allow myself no less than an hour and a half, but we all have our days where a 20 min face has gotta do.

Do you have a favorite number you perform? Currently one of my faves is "When Love Takes Over" but I'm such a music fanatic that I couldn't really pick just one song. But any mix I make with Sweet Pussy Pauline makes me very happy, lol.

Where can we see you perform? I am currently performing Thurs-Sat at The Embers Ave here in Portland. I try to get out as often as possible to other events to mingle with different types of people and crowds. I'm a little bit addicted to the social aspect of what I do, haha.

How did you first get into drag? I have been on stage as long as I can remember. Any chance to sing, dance, or act draws me in . . . I began performing at Embers as a guy, which at the time was like a karaoke break between the queens, and one weekend I decided I wanted to give face a try. My first song was supposed to be "Take It Back" by Reba, to my horror, the wrong track played and I did "Poses" by Rufus Wainwright. Thank heavens it is my favorite song in the world so I pulled it off well enough for my experience at the time haha. The early memories are very tragic memories of Sabel. I owe so much to the queens here who have inspired me and drove me to never settle for 'good' or 'well done' . . . she was only here a short time, but Dakota St James was a huge part in my discovery of drag outside of Portland and into international pageantry.

Who have been your biggest inspirations? Locally: my drag mother Jersey, Vegas Platinum, Topaz Crawford, Poison Waters, and Bolivia Charmichaels. Around the country: Aurora Sexton, Catia Lee Love, Jackie Beat, Layla Larue, Nova Starr, Alyssa Edwards, India Ferrah, Porsche . . . the list goes on, but those are the first ones to mind.

What would be your three biggest tips for a new drag queen? 1) Open your mind!!! Find ways to constantly surprise everyone, including yourself. 2) Never forget, we do this because we LOVE it. When it becomes a pain or a thorn in your side instead of something you look forward to every time, take a break! 3) Never refuse advice. Take what you like and apply it and gently set the rest aside in case you need it later! . . . and if I may ad a 4th? 4) Remember who you are and where you come from. You may be more talented in one area, but you are "better" than no one. Stay grounded and show love to everyone everywhere you go. Be the life of the party and make sure you say hi to everyone in the room. You never know if you might be the one to make their night!

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be and why? I'm dying to move to New York. My plan is to go in April!

What is something that might surprise us all about you? Tim is very very shy, and hates going to gay bars lol. If I ever do go, I generally find a friend or hide in a corner with my drink and people watch. Anyone who has seen Sabel out, knows she is quite the opposite. She may not know anyone, but it won't stop her from meeting everyone she sees and making new friends. Tim just enjoys the natural flow.

What makeup items could you not live without? Lashes, clown white cream, pretty pink, my brushes, and black, white, and brown . . . maybe some pink or red lol . . . and yellow . . . and orange lol

Do you design any of your clothes, create any of your wigs, etc? Lately I've had some time to come to an understanding with my sewing machine and made a few things I'm very happy with. Wigs, i generally stay away from when it comes to styling. I have very talented friends who know exactly what to do. I have a lot of fun making the mixes I use. Still learning!

What has been your all time greatest moment in drag? So far I have to say winning the Portland version of RuPauls drag race and winning the trip to NY . . . if I hadn't won the contest and the trip, I wouldn't have the passion to up and move myself to the other side of the country and take on a new adventure! It was a huge blessing.

What else should we know about you? I am an open book. I love meeting new people and learning about different walks of life. I love living . . .not just existing, but LIVING. Making every day and every experience count for something. And you should also know, since I was 5 all I have wanted to be is famous . . . I've finished everything I have started to do, this will be no different!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Queen of the Week - Sweetie


Age: Stevie Nicks put it best in Gold Dust Woman....."Rock on Ancient Queen".......

Location: New York City

Single or taken? I wish I could answer that with a definitive answer. It's complicated.....

What is your drag style like? I fluctuate. I'm somewhere between Earth Mother and Red Hot Momma.

How long does it take you to get ready in drag? For a show or appearance 2 hours. Thats from getting into the shower to walking out the door.

Do you have a favorite number you perform? As old school as it sounds, I love Bette Midlers medley of The Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want" into Dylan's "I Shall Be Released". It's kind of my signature.

Where can we see you perform? I am thrilled to announce that I am part of a brand new drag theater company called Shim Mamsir Productions. It's with Bianca DelRio, Mimi Imfurst, Bianca Leigh, Lavinia Co-Op and Dallas Dubois. We will be doing monthly productions beginning in February. Really wild, wacky, imaginative stuff. I am not in the clubs as much as I used to be. I do a ton of special events and have been doing some travelling with a documentary film I am the subject of called Charmed Life.

How did you first get into drag? It was completely organic. I was probably just old enough to walk and I got into my mothers heels. Add a bath towel for long Cher hair and whatever make up was in the vanity cabinet and Sweetie was born.

Who have been your biggest inspirations? I get inspiration from so many people and things. I really couldn't give you a biggest. I am inspired by integrity, creativity, courage......and a killer look will always leave me inspired.

What would be your three biggest tips for a new drag queen? When you fist begin performing, choose a song that you LOVED when you were growing up. It's already in your soul. Just let it out for the audience to love as much as you do. I would also have to say being humble gets you alot further than being a bitch. Last but not least, ALWAYS wear perfume. It makes the drag experience more 3Dimensional.

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be and why? Wow, Great question. Probably Radio City Music Hall in the middle of that enormous stage all by myself. I have always LOVED that space. So lush.

What is something that might surprise us all about you? I have never taken a shit in drag. Honest to God.

What makeup items could you not live without? MAC pure pigments in Melon and Rose Gold. A fresh pair of lashes every time I get in drag is kind of a fetish of mine. Tom Ford's Black Orchid perfume. My biggest love is MAC Lady Danger lipstick. It's amazing.

Do you design any of your clothes, create any of your wigs, etc? I have a say in everything I put on my back. I work with great designers who can transpose with their hands what I have in my head. I also have very strong feelings about my hair and work with my hair dresser about concepts.

What has been your all time greatest moment in drag? Drag has afforded a truly amazing life. I don't have a greatest moment. I have had the chance to taste, touch and feels things all over the world that I could have never dreamed of.....all because of drag.

What else should we know about you?
I have no gag reflex and can breathe thru my ears.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Queen of the Week - Anna Conda

Name: Anna Conda


San Francisco Ca

Single or taken?
Partnered to Brett Helms for 4 and a half years. He's a staff scientist at the Berkley Lawrence National Labs Energy Department. He heads a lab that deals with nano technologies used both in cancer and solar capacities.

What is your drag style like?
I was taught drag in the 90's in NY. I guess my style is Hollywood meets 70's punk, however I have moved into my Cougar 70's swinger style and am loving it lately. I used to get mad that Boy Bar made me be the tween star because I was so pretty and petite. I always wanted to do Curve and Siouxsie and angry stuff. Learning the "Turkey Lurkey" song and dance steps almost killed me! But I still use that number in Thanksgiving shows today so the pain was worth it.

How long does it take you to get ready in drag?
Half an hour 45 minutes. If it takes longer I know I'm heading for disaster because i over thought the make up.

Do you have a favorite number you perform?
Stray- by Fetchin Bones. This number never fails but I eat Milk Bones in the number so my gums are always shredded for a few days.

Where can we see you perform?
Anywhere that asks me I will pretty much go to perform except bachelorette parties.... I am a freak but not in a side show for others. I'm a sucker for friends requests to perform so I always try and make it. I was Miss Trannyshack 2004 and had a punk club for 5 years called Charlie Horse. I like Travel so I go out of town every chance I get. Like Blow Pony in Portland and even Charlie Horse Fresno. For a moment to see how others live and what their lives and nightlife is like I find really enlightening. Taking oneself out of a comfort zone and into the world always brings useful lessons.

How did you first get into drag?
I went to Wigstock in like 1993. I was in drag for my first time, pink chiffon and flat white shoulder length hair. Oh yeah a tab of acid as well. That day I said " I wanna do that!" So my drag mother Winona Juggs and I set out to get gigs. I got one at Boy Bar but just barely. They told me cute boys don't make good drag queens. I was so insecure I just didn't think I was a cute boy. Now I look back and wonder what I was thinking because everyones cute in their 20's. I think I'm better looking now but it's mostly because I have confidence in myself. I think I'm a prettier queen as well.

Who have been your biggest inspirations?
Katherine Hepburn is my ideal beauty and the far out crazy queens always make me jealous I just seem to be too glamour prone too let myself go and be the ultimate freak. Any punk or anarchist woman usually hold fascination for me and I also love Barbara Stanwyck. People like the Kardashian's or almost anyone who would be on a reality show or in US magazine are so bland that I don't want anything in me to reflect that mainstream America. I just find it really boring and uninspired.

What would be your three biggest tips for a new drag queen?
Drag personalities are born and grow so don't be afraid of mistakes! Mistakes are the best learning experiences. I showed up to work at Boy Bar once in Red bobbed hair, red dress, red make up. They asked if I was wind burn. I learned a lot that day! LOL. Also if you have a heavy beard like me put red where the blue of the beard shows under your derma blend. It keeps the beard covered for longer, it's the best trick I ever learned.

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
Anywhere in the world? Hell I'd go any where as I said before. Travel is awesome.

What is something that might surprise us all about you?
I wanted to be a minister when I was growing up. I felt a real calling to help people. Now I'm running for District 6 Supervisor in Sf with my drag persona in tact. Drag is where I learned to use my voice and found a family so I would never just ditch it to achieve a goal. What goal is worth that? I also consider myself two spirited. I think if at 15 I had the chance to become a woman I would have but I am really pleased to have Anna represent that side of me today.

What makeup items could you not live without?
Derma Blend base is great and lashes. I know its a good night if I like my makeup before lashes.

Do you design any of your clothes, create any of your wigs, etc?
I bought a sewing machine so I have made some clothes but pattern making is hard for me so I just keep working on something till it fits better. Keep adding triangles to the shirt till the lumps are gone kinda sewing. I do all my wigs. I went to beauty school here in SF. I lived in an SRO on California street and put myself through school. My room was haunted and had no where to cook but the toilet kept the beer cold so it wasn't all a loss. Plus I was only a few blocks from the Cinch, (where Charlie Horse was), so I had a place to go while being dirt poor. I've been in SF for 14 years and have really come a long way and I'm proud that I didn't let myself down when it could have been an easy excuse to do nothing to help myself.

What has been your all time greatest moment in drag?
My first performance ever at Boy Bar I was recognized by the crowd, Debbie Harry, DJ Johnny Dynell and Patrica Fields bought me a drink. That was quite a big coming out I have to say. However since I was fresh from Pittsburgh I didn't know anything about club royalty so meeting Patricia Fields was kinda lost on me at that time. She later sponsored me in the gay games as a swimmer. Two other great moments were Wigstock when I performed "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips with Sweetie and Faux Pas and we stole the show, and winning Miss Trannyshack as the dark horse. They were such highs I will never forget those moments on stage. However I think I felt like I might win Trannyshack. It's weird I feel that way about the Supervisor race as well. Being a dark hors really suites me. I get a thrill from coming from behind and proving I can go the distance. I think it's my best quality... other than my eyes. Getting Sainted by the Sister in 2009 to become Saint Annaconditional Love and Rockets, protector of the Polk and purveyor of the apunkalypse was really awesome. It was a surprise at Charlie Horse one night before Easter on Water Sports night. Brett help arrange it with Sister Mary Ralph. I cried, but only after I got home.

What else should we know about you?
I'm not so controlling but I never hold back my opinion. Life happens and I'm not afraid to challenge myself so I always try the hardest path first. I think people need to realize that easy and convenience are NOT healthy things. Its good to work hard to achieve something and it usually comes with less excess. I hate excess unless at a party. I really like messy people because they break all the rules. Yes its kinda sad but its also kinda great. Morals are over rated. Lastly I am an All American swimmer.

To find out more about Anna Conda check out her facebook page HERE!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Under the Knife

This past weeks "Queen of the Week", Candi Shell sent me this hilarious video from her band She-Dick. Check it out!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

My Anniversary!

Thursday was my 3 year anniversary with my wonderful man! It's hard to believe that it's already been 3 years. Time flies by so fast!

We went out to an incredible meal at Paley's Place here in Portland. If you are looking for fine dining in this city you should definitely give them a try! I have eaten at restaurants of some of the best chefs in the world, Thomas Keller, David Boulay, Todd English, Traci Des Jardins, just to name a few. But the meal I had at Paley's Place seriously rivaled the best I've ever had! I had heard wonderful things about the Portland food scene, but I had no idea there were places that good! Chef Vitaly Paley is dedicated to serving the most fresh, local, sustainable foods he can procure and the ever changing menu reflects that. He definitely has a love and an incredible understanding of food and it comes through on your plate!

After dinner, my honey whisked me off to a rooftop garden spa suite at the Hotel Vintage Plaza! Once again Portland exceeded my expectations! Who knew there were gems like this here? We had a fabulous terrace overlooking downtown Portland complete with hot tub and the room was gorgeous! And my man had taken the time to make sure everything was perfect as well! Rose petals on the bed, champagne chilled and waiting with strawberries. And he managed to pull all this off without me having a clue he was setting it up.

It was the most fabulous anniversary of my life and I really realized how blessed I am to have someone as wonderful as my man! I truly am one of the luckiest people in the world!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Queen of the Week - Candi Shell

Age: 32

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Single or taken? Still looking for my Prince Charming.

What is your drag style like? Sort of like Dolly Parton meets Jem and the Holograms. I write my own songs, along with my band SHE-DICK (myspace.com/shedickband). SHE-DICK is composed of another drag queen (Carrie Cash) and an actual biological female (Teresa Nasty)! Sometimes we do parodies of other people's songs, but, for the most part, it's all original material. We're a gender-bending, glam-pop girl group, and honey we are taking over the air waves!

How long does it take you to get ready in drag? Apart from the shaving process (cause ooh! I shave everything), about an hour.

Do you have a favorite number you perform? Performing with the group, I really love the song "SheDickulous". As a solo number, I adore singing "Under the Knife". It's all about plastic surgery and set to the tune of "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. I often start the number in bandages and a hospital gown, and Carrie and Teresa play my surgeons.

Where can we see you perform? SHE-DICK is being featured in the BAM Showcase, happening this year on February 6 at Sputnik in Brooklyn.

How did you first get into drag? I've been trying to get my butt into a dress since I was very young, but it wasn't until college that the bug really bit me. My roommate Jessie (a girl) and I were asked to perform in this charity drag show. We wrote these funny songs and called ourselves Portia and Jolene (I was Jolene), and we won!

Who have been your biggest inspirations? My Mama and my Granny. Mariah Carey and Madonna. And of course RuPaul! Who could forget her??

What would be your three biggest tips for a new drag queen? Be yourself. With drag queendom changing constantly, the one thing you can rely on is the originality of your own personality. Also, if you've never seen it done before, try it! You never know what people are going to respond to. Lastly, be nice. Bitchy queens are so 10 years ago. We are the modern geishas, and we should behave as such, oozing grace and the feminine wiles of times gone by.

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be and why? Ooh.. That's tough. Madison Square Gardens? Tokyo? So many of my dreams have already come true with SHE-DICK. Last week we opened for Joan Rivers at the Gramercy Theater, and that was positively surreal. I'm just taking it one day at a time and doing my best to stay true to myself in the process. The process being becoming a big star!

What is something that might surprise us all about you? As a boy, I released a self-titled solo pop album. It's available now on iTunes. Just go to http://itunes.com/danpaul to find out more!

What makeup items could you not live without? My MAC liquid foundation and powder fix. Liquid liner and a good lip pencil. Oh--and glitter.

Do you design any of your clothes, create any of your wigs, etc? Having monthly themed parties keeps the Ladies of SHE-DICK on our toes. We're constantly traveling to the dollar store, fabric outlets and costume warehouses to come up with new creations. Fortunately, Teresa knows how to sew. Also I love sticking two wigs together to create a GIANT wig, and I'm a big fan of spraying all my hair pink. ;)

What has been your all time greatest moment in drag? It was really exciting when SHE-DICK played the Peaches' after party, and Peaches gave me a signed copy of her new single. She is a huge inspiration for us, with her non-traditional take on pop music and her crazycool style.

What else should we know about you? As well as being a singing/dancing tranny, I am also an illustrator! I've drawn caricatures at parties, just had my first New York art show, AND I'm putting the finishing touches on a 40 page, full-color SHE-DICK comic book entitled Galactic Tranny (Available on Lulu.com August 2009).

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

Ok, ok, I know I'm a few days late posting my happy new year blog. But literally the very first thing my ever so graceful self did at about 10am new years morning was to spill a glass of water all over my computer keyboard. That left me with the inability to type o, p, l, space, delete, return, and almost all punctuation. I spent about 10 minutes attempting to get something somewhat legible typed up by cutting and pasting letters and punctuation from other documents, but finally gave up when I only had a sentence done and it looked like something from a 6th grade typing class. Needless to say, all liquid is now banned from my office! So if anyone knows where to get about a 4 foot long straw that will stretch from my computer chair to right outside my office door that would be fabulous! A girl needs her martini to accompany late night blogging sometimes. And I am shameless enough to drink one through a straw!

Other than starting off the year as a total klutz it has been a truly fabulous new year so far! I did the unthinkable this year and stayed in for a mellow new years eve at home with a few friends. We even watched the ball drop (which is sooo lame when you live on the west coast and it's not even live). But it was actually very nice to just hang out with the people I love for the evening and reflect on the past 10 years and what I hope to achieve in the next 10.

I am incredibly excited about what this year is going to bring! I spent most of 2009 really adjusting myself to living in Oregon again, figuring out how to survive in the suburbs, learning to drive, and attempting to immerse myself in the ever so strange world of Portland's marathon drag shows (although I still think 3 and 4 hour shows are RIDICULOUS!). But now I'm settled and I'm ready to rock this city in 2010!

I am starting the venue hunt for my own weekly show and am hoping to have something going by the beginning of March. I will of course still be hosting Blow Pony every month, which has become the biggest joy of my drag career! And then you will see me doing guest spots for all the fabulous queens I have grown to love like Bolivia, Honey, and Ginger @ The Superstar Divas Show, Adrienne Alexander and Poison Waters @ The Red Cap, and of course Vegas Platinum @ Embers.

My biggest goal this year however is to focus on bringing as much entertainment as I can to all of you online! There will obviously be all my usual blogging, covering Rupaul's Drag Race as it airs, and the reinstitution of my "Queen of the Week" series. But I also am going to be bringing you funny, entertaining, and sometimes downright ridiculous videos of performances, interviews, sketch comedy and so much more! There are going to be sides of me you never knew existed, so watch out!

All in all I am incredibly excited about everything to come in 2010! But I never forget that without all of you, my readers, fans, and friends, none of this would be possible! So thank you for all the support and love you continue to send my way! It truly means the world to me and it is for all of you that I continue! So please keep sending me emails, posting comments, and letting me know what you like (and dislike), what you want to see more of, and anything else I can do to keep you all entertained and coming back for more!

Happy new year everyone! It's going to be a fabulous one!