The Brighton drag scene is brimming with talent, the seaside town is fast catching up with outshining London. The UK truly does have some incredible drag acts being slept on, well no fear we bring to you a magical queen who is hear to sing and guide you to the land of Disney.
Miss Disney is all the things we love; sparkly, enchanting and incredibly talented. Putting on shows such as we had to grab a chat and talk about her drag, Brighton and our beloved interest in Disney.
Dragadventures: We absolutely love your drag name ‘Miss Disney’! We are of course assuming you are a huge Disney fan. How did you choose to use Disney as your drag name?
Miss Disney: Aww thank you! Oh my god, I am one of the biggest! I get emotional when I see the Disney castle intro in every Disney film… it’s so magical it sets me off! And of course, going to Disneyland is a very therapeutic experience (laughs)
Well.. my drag name came through an intervention actually! I was primarily a singer, doing session vocals for a couple of bands but not really doing anything that would warrant a career which was what I really wanted to achieve, and I didn’t know much about drag at this point. But I sat down with a couple of good friends, both successful in the burlesque and cabaret scene, and everyone knows how obsessed I was with Disney, and it was like a lightbulb moment happened between us, where one of my friends thought “Maria, why don’t you do Disney? No-one is doing this for adults!” And that is how Miss Disney was born!
DA: How would you sum up Miss Disney’s persona in a sentence?
MD: Camp as tits, lesbian and proud, sassy ginaholic boobalicious Disney obsessed princess whose number one goal is to make others happy and live for the Disney magic 24/7!
DA: What got you inspired into pursuing drag and combining it with Disney?
MD: This may sound cliché but I didn’t know much about drag until I realised Miss Disney was a drag queen! I had watched RuPaul’s Drag Race and fell in love with it because of how expressive and passionate the queens were about their drag and art, but it was actually the local queens on the Brighton scene that have inspired me the most, and I guess when I realised that Miss Disney was a drag queen, I researched bio queens and I just wanted to create looks that were inspired by different characters from the movies, but with a Miss Disney twist on them! And of course, who doesn’t love drag and Disney? Together it’s just an explosion of glittertastic amazingness!
DA: You have to choose just three Disney movies to either base your drag off of or to watch forever. Which three do you choose?
MD: Ooooh! I have a top 5, but if I have to whittle it down (laughing- This is a very cruel question to ask me) it will be Hercules because I am OBSESSED with the Musers, they are ridiculously sassy. Tangled because it is very close to my heart and such a beautiful film and I love every character! Also, have the sun tattoo, and Sleeping Beauty as it has been my favourite since I was a little girl. Merryweather makes me howl and the music is phenomenal. My recent PRIDE dress was inspired by Aurora’s ‘make it pink, make it blue’ dress at the end of the film.. but to be honest I love all Disney films SO SO much! It’s so hard to choose!
DA: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
MD: Oh wow! Well, Miss Disney has been around for just one year! She turned one on the 9 July 2018! There have been a few highlights but I guess the main highlight that really had me going was at The Golden Handbag Awards where I came 3rd in my category of Best Entertainment (Singer), even though I’m a Drag Princess I was thrilled to bits to even place in the top four in my first year of being known! I cried!
If you don’t know the Golden Handbags, it is basically Brighton & Hove’s very own Gay Oscars where everyone from the LGBTQ+ scene glams up, gets together and celebrates each other’s achievements and awards local talent who impact on the community! It’s a really inspiring and fabulous event, and I’m just so chuffed to have come 3rd!
DA: You’ve told us you also work a 9 to 5 job. How do you reconcile your drag life with it? Any tips for people in the same situation?
MD: It’s been hard to find the balance I will admit. As I am becoming increasingly busy, I have been actively thinking about reducing my hours at work potentially so I can focus more on opportunities and my drag. I have recently been made redundant from my full-time employment, however, this isn’t until 2020, and for me it is a positive and I think the universe is saying “Now’s your time baby, go get it!” so I have been working my ass off and am constantly thinking of new ideas to make Miss Disney even more fun, fabulous and sparkly!
For anyone else in this situation, just make sure you find a balance because you don’t want to wear yourself out, then you can’t do your job or your drag. But absolutely take opportunities as much as you can, because when you’re first starting out, saying YES is important! Take gigs that will give you exposure and experience and an opportunity to network, not just financial gain. And never underestimate your own abilities. Believe in yourself and your talent because honey you are worth it, and before you know it you may have to reduce your hours like me!
DA: You recently attended Brighton Pride, where you looked fab and we loved the sign ‘It’s Disney Bitch.’ What makes Brighton so popular and full of such creative individuals?
MD: Aww thank you so much! Honestly, I had THE BEST time! Pride means so much to me and what it stands for should not be forgotten. (laughing) Oh I loved that sign too! It took me FOREVER to make it but so worth it!! I think Brighton is just a very open city, everyone’s creativity, art, passion etc has a place and that’s quite hard to find in the rest of the UK. I’m not from Brighton originally but I moved here because I knew I needed to be surrounded by people like me who all want to give so much to their passions, and of course, the LGBTQ+ scene is booming here and the talent is just infectious! Every day I just feel so lucky to be successful within the scene surrounded by such babes.
DA: Brighton is home to what we think is some of the best drag in the south. Are there any drag artists you feel readers should keep an eye out for?
MD: I agree, the drag scene is so full of unique people here, from traditional drag to modern drag.. there’s drag for any taste in Brighton! Yes! I have a number (laughs) I’m very lucky to call these lovely people my friends but here is who you should definitely check out!
– Arran Shurvinton
– Sally Vate
DA: You’ve created some incredibly creative shows such as Disney Mania. Can you see more shows being staged? Perhaps take it across the country?
MD: Aww thank you! Disney Mania was created alongside me by a fabulous Brighton Queen called Patti D’Ors as I did a special event at her pub/bar she owns! Was a lot of fun. I had a show at Brighton Fringe this year, my first ever Fringe show called ‘Miss Disney’s Magic Songbook’ – a very queer fairytale based on my own experiences, set to a soundtrack of inspirational Disney songs. It was a great turnout and I will be bringing it back to Fringe next year and hopefully in the future Edinburgh Fringe Festival and beyond!
I would absolutely love to take this show on the road, it is a huge dream of mine, so you never know!
DA: Where can readers find you performing?
MD: I am always at Bar Broadway, Brighton. This is Miss Disney’s home! You can also find me at Queens Arms, The Brunswick, Bar Revenge, and I feature at different events around Brighton. I have recently secured a booking with the fabulous bar Eden, Birmingham but I have yet to confirm a date! If readers would love to know what I’m up to, the best way of knowing is through my Instagram @missdiisney where I let everyone know where I am next performing at!
My next one queen show is at Bar Broadway September 23rd from 8:30pm, but I am involved in other shows before then with other Queens! Best to check out my Instagram for more!
DA: What would you love to happen in the future and for future projects as Miss Disney?
MD: I would love to be able to make Miss Disney my full time, and become international with her. I know that sounds like a big dream but I’ve always dreamed big, I won’t be put inside a box! My journey has just begun and already it has been insanely exciting! I have got a project which is being launched soon called Miss Disney Drives – a Youtube show where I drive my drag family to their gigs, chat to them, have singalongs and just an amazing time really! This is going to start from September and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it pans out!
My goal in the next 5 years is to have the opportunity to bring Miss Disney to Gay Cruise Lines as I think this would be such an incredible experience, and the idea I could travel and perform is just the best thing that could happen to me and my career! But also to be involved in feminist projects/animal and environment projects and make a difference to the world. If I have a platform I will use my voice to speak up for things that effect all of us. Doing this is something I’m really passionate about. I don’t want to just be known for singing Disney songs in drag, I want to be someone who uses their platform to help others, inspire and create too!
Keep up to date with all things Miss Disney on the Social media below: