Monday, March 08, 2010

Queen of the Week - Artemis Chase

A couple weeks ago I had someone come up to me and ask why I had never taken the time to sit down and answer my "Queen of the Week" questions about myself.  To be honest, I had never even thought about it. So I decided that I would sit down this week and give you all the dish on myself that I have never shared before and hopefully give you all a little more insight into who I am!  So here goes...

Name: Artemis Chase            

Age: One thing according to my birth certificate, Another according to my plastic surgeon.

Location: Portland, Oregon or anywhere else people want to pay me to go!

Single or taken? Taken by the man of my dreams!

What is your drag style like? Ever changing and evolving, but always comedic in some form.  I take on whatever look fits best for the numbers I perform.  I like to think of myself as a blank canvas to be taken over by an assortment of characters.

How long does it take you to get ready in drag? I like to give myself 2 hours, because then I can take my time, relax, get into character, take a nap in the middle if I feel like it.  But my all time record for doing my face, hair, and getting dressed is 23 minutes. 

Do you have a favorite number you perform?  I have a whole list of favorites!  “Addicted” by Kelly Clarkson where I struggle with my food addictions.  “It’s Not Right, But It’s Ok” by Whitney Houston, where I struggle with my cocaine addictions.  “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Bjork where I struggle with my love addictions.  Wait a minute…..I’m beginning to sense a pattern in my life…

Where can we see you perform?  Currently you can see me regularly the 1st Wednesday of every month at Success @ The Red Cap Garage, the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Miss Thing @ The Fezz Ballroom, and the 4th Saturday of every month at Blow Pony @ Rotture!  I also try to make guest appearances at a variety of other shows whenever my schedule permits and am working on a number of out of town tour dates with Blow Pony this year!

How did you first get into drag? When I was 18 I used to go to the little underage club here in Portland and all the queens there told me what a pretty girl I would make.  So I gave it a try and absolutely loved the treatment I got at the club when I would go out in drag!  But it wasn’t until a few years later, after moving to New York City, that I began performing on stage.  And that is when Artemis was truly born and the journey that has led me to this point began.

Who have been your biggest inspirations? Lypsinka is my biggest drag idol!  Sweetie and Linda Simpson from NYC were the most influential in helping me when I was a young new performer.  Heklina of Trannyshack fame in San Francisco was a big inspiration in a business sense.  Other queens that have provided great inspiration to me over the years have been Hedda Lettuce, Varla Jean Merman, Jackie Beat, Justin Bond, Charles Busch, Sherry Vine, Peaches Christ, and my most recent inspiration, Pandora Boxx.  And anyone who treats drag as pure comedic entertainment can be added to this list for me! 

What would be your three biggest tips for a new drag queen? 
1. Don’t take yourself too seriously!  We are men in women’s clothing.  Lighten up a bit and laugh at yourself.  
2. Work HARD!  If you want to succeed as a professional drag queen it takes a lot of hard work and practice practice practice!  You don’t become a truly fabulous entertainer overnight.  
3. Remember that it takes far more than a gorgeous look to be a true queen!  Make sure you develop a fun personality, practice your hosting skills, learn how to successfully promote and organize events, and most importantly in my book…make sure you can entertain a crowd all by yourself, whatever it is that you do!

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be and why?  I have a nightclub that I have built in my mind.  It has a massive stage with every lighting effect I could ever want, trap doors in the stage floor, swings that descend from the ceiling, and an audience so enraptured by the show that nobody wants to move.   Basically every little thing I need for every fantastic over the top number I’ve conjured up in my head over the years.  Building and performing on THAT stage would be the ultimate dream of a lifetime!

What is something that might surprise us all about you?  When I am not out tearing up stages around Portland, I am actually a totally domestic housewife.  I kid you not.  I cook dinner almost every night and am a goddess of baking!  If you ever get the chance to come by and try a slice of one of my pies you will experience a little piece of heaven.

What makeup items could you not live without?  Kryolan TV Paint Stick (there is no better foundation in my opinion), MAC eyeshadow in “electric eel” and “black tide”, and Loreal true match color blush.  But even more important than any of my makeup items are my makeup remover pads, so that I can get my face off before driving home after a show!

Do you design any of your clothes, create any of your wigs, etc? About a year ago I set out on a mission to become a fully self sufficient queen.  I bought a sewing maching and have begun learning to sew and I have started styling some of my own wigs.  I still have many things to learn, but I am headed in the right direction.  I also mix all of my own music tracks when I want things changed and edit all of my own video footage.

What has been your all time greatest moment in drag?  Oh wow…that’s a really hard question I’ve been making all these queens answer.  I’ve had so many amazing moments over the years it’s nearly impossible to pick just one.  But I am going to say the one and only time that I won Starsearch @ Barracuda in NYC by cutting all my real hair off on stage.  It was not my greatest performance by any means, nor was it a fabulous look.  To be honest, at that point I was still a pretty tragic little queen.  But it was the defining moment for me that my ideas as an entertainer had some validity.  I truly realized at that moment, that if I worked hard enough, I could become someone amazing!  I had so many hopes and dreams back then and it is an absolutely incredible feeling to look back now and realize how many of them have come true!  I can guarantee that nobody in that bar that night would have guessed I would go on to become the queen that I am today.  So it just goes to show that if you believe in yourself enough and are willing to put in the time, energy, and hard work, you can become whoever you want to be!

What else should we know about you? Aside from all the fun parties and fabulous events I get to be a part of, I have a genuine wish to use the influence I have gained as an entertainer to help others!  I have a passion for working with organizations that help disadvantaged youth/runaways/street kids as well as a variety of HIV/AIDS related charities.  I plan on volunteering with Camp Starlight beginning this year, which is an incredible summer camp for children infected and affected by HIV.  I believe that when you have been blessed in life that it is incredibly important to give back to others in whatever way you can!  


  1. What a great interview from boy Artemis! It is nice to get some more backstory and some of your intrests.

  2. Anonymous3:51 AM

    That picture of you always reminds me of the Edvard Munch painting.

    -Darth Nostral