This lady has everything we love in a drag queen; she’s fierce, funny, intelligent, and incredibly talented. The stunning Orlando queen works a full-time job by day, and by night slays the stage at her local clubs. We encourage our readers to branch out and embrace all drag and from all areas around the world. So we bring to you the incredibly talented Venus Envy, we chat local queens, multi juggling jobs, and being strong kickass women.
Dragadventures: The name Venus Envy to us conjures up a strong feminine identity- ie people envious of women. Would we be right in thinking this is what Venus’s drag persona is all about?
Venus Envy: Venus Envy is actually a pun for Penis Envy, Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual theory stating that young girls experience anxiety when they realize that they don’t have a penis. I chose this name for a couple reasons, but the primary one is because I felt it was a perfect reference to the fact that I’m a woman in a role that is typically thought of as being only for men. I do have a very strong feminine identity though, and I would agree that Venus does too!
DA: What makes Venus so different to other local queens, what aesthetic do you love to convey?
VE: Orlando’s drag scene is very diverse, so I feel like I fit right in, but the pretty queens who do top 40s songs and dance the house down are definitely the ones who have the most success. My aesthetic is a bit more campy and my performances are based more in concept and comedy, so I feel that helps me stand out.
DA: What first made you want to become a drag queen and how did you get into performing?
VE: I have always loved the art of drag. I don’t remember my first exposure to it, but I remember being 16 and obsessed with Party Monster and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I started going out to drag shows when I was 18 and I always wanted to be a drag queen myself, but at that time, I didn’t think women could do it. I started performing when I was 23 (about three years ago) in the Twisted Tuesday talent show at Pulse. It’s how most drag queens get their start in Orlando, but it’s open to all talents, so the fact that I was a woman didn’t make a difference.
DA: How do you balance a full-time 9-5 job alongside doing drag?
VE: Barely. Working as a school counselor during the day and a drag queen at night is difficult, and I’ve definitely had to sacrifice a lot of sleep and my social life in order to pull it off. When I first started drag, I was a student, and I would go out 7 nights a week whether I was working at the clubs or just having fun. Now, I go out once or twice a week and I really only do drag when I’m booked. I wish I had more time to devote to it.
DA: Has there been a moment where you’ve found juggling both jobs incredibly tricky and what is the best advice to beginners who want to go into the drag industry?
VE: When I first started my 9-5, I had to take a bit of a break from drag. I was spending way too much time at work and turning down opportunities in drag because I felt like I didn’t have time for them. I’ve since gotten better about making time for drag, even if that means losing sleep or taking a personal day. The best advice I have for beginners going into the drag industry is to do drag because you love it. It’s expensive, it’s painful, and it isn’t a fast track to fame, but it is fun, and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
DA: Who are your drag inspirations be it through style, wisdom or attitude to drag?
VE: I have so many drag inspirations. Lady Gaga has been a huge influence on my drag and performance style, especially since I originally started as a Lady Gaga impersonator. Axel Andrews is a local drag entertainer whose persona is an exaggeration of his own gender, and he has inspired me a lot in that regard.
Danielle Hunter is another local queen and a legend in the pageant industry, and she has given me a lot of wisdom pertaining to being a woman and a drag queen. Pierretta Viktori was one of the first non-male drag queens I was ever exposed to, and her drag and aesthetic has greatly influenced mine. Crème Fatale, Amber Cadaverous, and Rosie Faux are just a few amazing female drag queens who have shown me that yes, women can do drag, and we can be successful at it.
DA: What do you wish audience members accepted more than anything?
VE: I wish audience members would go into drag shows with an open mind, ready to be entertained. With the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race, I feel like audiences often go into drag shows with high expectations and preconceived notions about what drag is and isn’t. At its core, drag is an art form, and art is meant to be enjoyed, not critiqued.
DA: Do you feel more people are supporting local talent since drag race has become more popular or a hindrance to local queens?
VE: A bit of both. With the mainstream popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race, more people are being exposed to drag and falling in love with it. The drag industry is booming, and that’s a great thing! However, with drag gaining so much popularity, drag scenes are starting to become oversaturated with new performers.
Again, this is not a bad thing, but it creates a very competitive environment where lots of local queens are competing for a limited number of spots. This competition is further complicated by the fact that audiences want to see RuPaul Girls, and clubs are willing to pay them 100 times more than they are a local queen for the same spot. Overall, I would say the commercial success of Drag Race has been a good thing, but it’s definitely changed the industry forever.
DA: We encourage fans to indulge in all aspects of drag, what advice would you give people who feel there is no local drag in their nearby town/city?
VE: Drag exists outside of nightclubs. Explore other venues, like drag shows at restaurants, college campuses, and private parties. If you know of drag queens locally but there are no outlets for them to perform, look into creating your own! If there is no drag near you at all, explore drag online. There are TONS of drag groups on Facebook, videos of drag shows on YouTube, and queens to follow on Twitter and Instagram
DA: What’s the Orlando drag scene like, is there anyone, in particular, you’d recommend for readers looking for new queens to support?
VE: The Orlando drag scene is extremely diverse. We have a huge pageant scene, club kids, alternative queens, and entertainers at all experience levels. There are so many queens I’d like to name because I think all of Orlando’s queens deserve support, but here are a few in particular who I feel represent the diversity of our drag scene:
Axel Andrews, Addison Taylor, Cara Cavalli, Homely Pop, Darcel Stevens, Shantell D’Marco, Kai’Ja Adonis, Kitana Gemini, Victoria Elizabeth Black, Roxxxy Andrews, Jazell Barbie Royale, MRMS Adrien, Natalie Nayles, Draggedy Anne, Dollya Black, and Waka Shame.
Be sure to follow Venus and keep up to date with her shows and looks on all her social media’s below! Remember even if you have no local drag near yours, follow on social media and support!
Venus Envy Social Media’s: