Archive for the Drag Category

Under the Wig a Q&A with Candy Pantzzz

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Drag, Uncategorized on September 23, 2009 by ericrvaphotoguy

CandyPantzzzEric: Who is Candy Pantzzz? Where did she come from and how did she get her name?

Candy: Candy has evolved over many years. I started making my own clothes before going to college to earn a BFA in Fashion Design. Along with fun clothes, wild hair has been a huge part of my life. I’ve done everything from colorful mohawks, braids and hair extensions to short bleached-blonde styles. I wish there were photos of my hair styles over the years, there would certainly be a thick “coffee table” book of wildness! I’m currently enjoying my shaved head which allows me to wear glue-on hair pieces, which I also make. With all the years of craziness, true drag didn’t come into the picture until about four years ago. The name “Candy Pantzzz” was given to me by my dear friend, Dayna Cleveland-Cobb, makeup artist and owner of Vamps and Vixens Makeup Studio. I added the Z’s on the end of Pantzzz, 2 of them are “silent” and are there just for effect!

Eric: What DIVA inspires you the most and why?

Candy: If I had to pick one inspirational Diva, it would have to be Esta Bunny. She is a dear friend and we work closely together on projects, shows and just plain fun! However, with most queens, there are many inspirational Divas’ that we look to for talent, music and style. Some of my personal favorites include Nina Flowers, Acid Betty, Jackie Beat, Lady Bunny and the list goes on!

Eric: You competed in the first season of ESTA’s DRAG RACE, what did you learn from that experience about competitions?

Candy: That was the first competition I’ve ever participated in. I learned that I am not a “pageant queen” and I am only in it for fun! I don’t enjoy being in competition with others, I prefer to be in competition ONLY with myself! I did figure out that I enjoy trying new things and pushing my personal envelope in new directions.

Eric: What made you decide to run for the Second season?

Candy: I thought about it long and hard. Figured if I was going to be there every week, I may as well jump on in again!

Eric: You perform regularly with the TRAILER COURT, what do you like about ensemble performances?

Candy: First of all, it’s really a gift to have such a wonderful “drag family” to work with. We are always available to help each other, bounce ideas around with and most of all, and have a grand old time with!

Eric: You make some of the most amazing outfits and wigs the Purina bag dress was amazing, what inspires you to create such wild looks?

Candy: Glad you liked the Purina dress! I saved dog food bags for well over a year, just waiting on the right opportunity to compose the costume. When Stormie moved on to the “Go Green” week, I knew she NEEDED to have the dog food dress! I enjoy designing and making my own costumes and hair. I find inspiration all over, a song, a piece of fabric or even a piece of art. Most people that know me will tell you that I have a strange sense of design. Why be normal cuz normal (what ever that is) surely can’t be FUN!! Also, I’m somewhat of a pack rat, saving and buying odd things for future projects. Ya’ll would flip over all the drag and such I’ve collected over the last few of years! For me, drag is not serious and is meant to be fun!

Eric: What are three things we don’t know about Candy’s alter ego Jonathan Bennett?

Candy: Jonathan isn’t nearly as much fun as Candy! Jonathan loves to watch Food Network and Project Runway. I have been with my partner, Kevin (aka Enya Pantzzz) for four years. We have 3 dogs, Zoe, Scooter and Bart, as well as 2 cockatiels Big Johnson and Diva. See, I told you Jonathan wasn’t as entertaining as Candy!


Beneath the Wig: A Q&A with Natasha Carrington

Posted in Drag with tags , on August 31, 2009 by ericrvaphotoguy

Natasha CarringtonWe wanted to check in with one of Richmond’s divas and find out more about the person beneath the fabulous wigs who swirls around the floor while performing on heels that would topple a runway model. So I did what any other modern journalist would do. I hit them up on Facebook.

And here is what I learned about Natasha Carrington.

Eric: Who is Natasha Carrington? Where did she come from and how did she get her name?

Natasha: Natasha started out as a way for me to let my hair down and have a good time. She has evolved from a club going diva in DC to a performing queen here in Richmond. The name has evolved several times, starting as Natasha Fatale, and then becoming Natasha Suede and finally I was adopted by Miss Beverly Carrington and assumed the family name to carry on the Carrington legacy. Personally I feel Natasha is a show queen, she strives to give the audience a little bit of everything; drama, comedy, a love affair of sorts.

Natasha Carrington

Eric: What diva inspires you the most and why?
Natasha: I’m a girl that loves Broadway, so show tunes and show DIVAS really hit home for me. But it’s really all about the performance; my favorite (cliché as it may be) is Liza Minnelli. I am however fond of most types of music and try to venture out when performing to not just one type of song or style of music.

Eric: You recently competed in Esta’s Drag Race, what did you learn from that experience about competitions?
Natasha: Well I learned mostly that not every competition and competitor is only out for themselves. While there are those that are, some times people are truly good and work together to just enjoy what they are doing and help each other.

Eric: You perform regularly with the Trailer Court and you have done a few shows with Variatease, what do you like about ensemble performances?
Natasha: Ensemble performing gives you a chance to work off of each other, the audience doesn’t always understand all of your inside jokes but it doesn’t make it any less funny. (Ham Biscuit!)Sometimes the real excitement in the show is backstage; the stuff the audience doesn’t get to see. It’s crazy back there when you’ve got 7-8 people all trying to get ready at once, you have to work together and sometimes you can’t help but laugh.

Eric: What are three things we don’t know about Natasha alter ego John Jessie?
Natasha: Well Natasha is John’s adventurous/creative outlet; I’m actually a home body at heart and love nothing more than curling up with a good book and a glass of wine. I also love spending my Saturday and Sunday’s people watching in Carytown. (It boggles my mind what some people wear out of the house!)

So I hope that sheds some light on some of the questions you ever had about the “Sex Kitten” of the Trailer Court.

Interview & Photos by Eric Russell

Miss Capital City Gay Pride Pageant August 29

Posted in Drag with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by GayRVA

Miss Capital City Gay PrideIt’s time for another queen to be crowned.  The area’s top drag performers compete Saturday, August 29 at Godfrey’s for the title of “Miss Capital City Gay Pride.”

The evening includes Q&A, evening gowns, and a talent competition.  Special guests for the night include Tiffany Devereaux, Alvion Davenport, Chonda Taylor, Chantennah Spaulding, Satin P. Spaulding, Victoria Snow, and Malachi.  Miss Angelica Spaulding, 2008’s title holder, will also be honored.

Doors open at 9 p.m. with the pageant starting at 10 p.m.  The event is a fundraiser for Gay Pride Virginia and is $8 as the door.  Godfrey’s is at 308 East Grace Street.

On the Scene at Esta’s Reunion Show

Posted in Drag with tags , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by ericrvaphotoguy

From left to right, Magnolia, Stormie Saunders, Reann Ballslee, Michelle D. Levigne

From left to right, Magnolia, Stormie Saunders, Reann Ballslee, Monica Duvall, and Michelle D. Livigne

The reunion shows are the best part of any series and Esta’s Drag Race is no exception.  Last Thursday’s show was hot, hot, hot! As the second part of a two-week show, this one was full of all the excitement and Dragtastic showman ship we have come to expect from Esta and crew.

Zakia and Millenium gave us high energy ballads in stunning gowns that only those two fierce divas can wear. Stormie Saunders put Judge Sissy on all fours when she collared him in her “Cruella DeVille” number and then had us laughing to her Old Lady “Ain’t Nuthin Free” skit. Monica Duvall and Michelle Devereaux Livinge showed us how limber these two dynamo divas are with drop to the floor splits that make us all go ouch but both claim “It don’t hurt.”

Special guest Reann Ballslee, Miss Mason “09,” swiveled hips like the King and showed why she was GMU’s choice of Homecoming Queen. She was definitely a crowd favorite at Nations.  Hope she comes back next season.

The true show stopper was during Miss Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside’s sleep alone number when judges Sissy, Mary Ann and their “Frat Pack” brought her a Happy Meal from McDonalds – a burger, fries, a coke and she got to keep the toy. What more could a southern lady want?

The end of the evening was Esta’s as she dedraged onstage and ended the show as Charles letting us know its okay to be who you are.  This Thursday’s show at Nations will be all comedy featuring Esta and crew show starts at 9:00 p.m.  The next Drag Race begins September 17.

Words and photo by Eric Russell.

Guest Post on Drag Race at OMGWTFRVA.NET

Posted in Drag with tags , , , , on July 30, 2009 by GayRVA

OMGWTFRVAWe caught up with our friends at at last week’s Social Media Club event at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  They kindly asked us to write a review of Esta’s Drag Race.  Here’s a snippet of what we had to say:

Keeping with her burlesque roots during the finale, the southern belle dawned golden wings and a rendition of “Mama” from Chicago that lead to a final reveal of sparkling ruby pasties.   All this left straight-dude friend once more confused and the audience asking, “are those real?”

We still don’t know the answer to that question.  What we do know is the OMGWTFRVA kids stay hip to the bar scene, so check out what’s going on.  Read our guest post here.

Benefit Drag Party This Saturday

Posted in Drag with tags , on July 30, 2009 by GayRVA


What a busy week at the Gay Community Center!  Round two of their drag fundraising extravaganza takes place this Saturday, August 1.  Details below:

Performers include the incomparable Tiffany Devereaux, Millenium C. Snow, Monica Duvall, Zoe Vuitton, Bleu Devereaux, and Natasha Carrington. Rumor has it some special guest appearances may be in the cards, too!

Through the wonderful generosity of all the performers, this event is a benefit for GCCR. Proceeds will be used to fund the programs and facilities that serve our community and its groups – groups like ROSMY, Richmond Triangle Players, Equality Virginia and Gay Pride Virginia.

Doors open at 9:00 pm and showtime is at 10:00 pm. There is a $5.00 admission charge and a full cash bar will be available. This is a 21 and up show. No one under 21 will be admitted.

Finale of Esta’s Drag Race Tonight

Posted in Drag on July 23, 2009 by GayRVA

The top three contestants race towards the finish line tonight at Nations.

The top three contestants race towards the finish line tonight at Nations.

By Esta Bunny

Stormie Saunders

Stormie Saunders

It’s been Richmond’s most talked about drag competition!

After seven weeks, eight contestants eliminated, country week, rock and roll week, beachwear, impersonations, go green runway, national anthems, and even suicide drag, three incredibly talented contestants will race one last time in hopes of being crowned the winner of Esta’s Drag Race!

The judges, Sissy, Mary Ann & myself, are be prepared for the ride of our lives!  Who will put the base in their walk, cross that finish line with their pumps and wig still intact, and their painted & powdered up face held high?

Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside

Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside

Will it be?

Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside
Millenium C. Snow
Stormie Saunders

Millenium C. Snow

Millenium C. Snow

The blowout finale includes special guests the incomparable Victoria C. Snow and direct from Atlanta, Miss Gigi Monroe.

Ladies and Gentlemen, get ready to start your engine one last time….and may the best woman win!

Show Time at 9:00 p.m. Nations.  2729 W. Broad St, Richmond, VA 232330.  (804) 257-9891.  No Cover. 21 and up.

GayRVA will be tweeting live with all the mayham and results.  Follow us on Twitter.