Victoria Secret really isn’t a secret, she’s a hilariously talented Irish queen with a lot to show. Touring as host for Dragged up and the popular Holy Trannity this is one busy queen, we managed to grab her for a chat about her upcoming shows, life on the road and why the name Victoria Secret is a “pain in the padded arse.”
DragAdventures: How did you get started in drag?
Victoria Secret: I was the shyest teenager around… I mean I literally hated reading out loud in class *not that type of reading (laughing.)But by the time I was ready to go to college I had decided I needed to push myself out there and work on my confidence. Joining the college LGBT society did just that. I made a lifelong best friend and gained confidence that I never even knew I had.
I got involved organizing events and one year we were booking drag queens to perform in the college so I decided that I would do it too for fun. Terrified I took to the stage to perform Britney Spears ‘Toxic’ and it was so bad I think I might have been caused her 2006 meltdown. Never the less I had a ball and so continued to perform whenever I could.
Not sure where the time has gone because I am performing 14 years this year. Back then you got into drag because you loved it and had so much fun, there was no grand plan to make a career out of it or the need to have perfect makeup etc which is something I really feel the new generation of drag queens are really missing out on. Those first few years were so much fun because I was doing something I loved without having any expectations.
DA: The name Victoria Secret is of course connotated with the popular glamour models brand, what made you choose such a well-known name?
VS: Honestly… I had no idea what to call myself. Around that time most people had drag names that were a play on words and I remember sitting in the dressing room trying to decide between a few names. Fast forward 14 years… it’s a bit of a pain in the padded ass. With social media playing such an important role for drag queens being able to communicate with audiences – it’s not ideal to have a name based on a brand if you want to be found easily enough online. I’ve thought about changing my surname a few times… but haven’t taken the jump yet.
DA: What upcoming shows are you most looking forward to this year?
VS: ANYTHING IN GLASGOW… Heels of Hells Glasgow last year was LIT as the kids say. Every time I get to perform in Glasgow I remember that they are one of the few crowds that can drink me under the table and that the audiences are amazing.
I’m on 4 UK & Ireland tours this year… Sharon Needles Battle Axe Tour, 10’s Across the Board, Heels of Hell and more one MAJOR tour still to be announced. I can’t wait to work with new some new girls and see what they have in store for all of us, as well as catch up with some of my favorite performers who are coming back.
DA: While preparing for a gig have you had a “fangirl” moment with any other queens who were booked alongside you?
VS: Not a fangirl moment as such but when Alaska reached out and asked me to perform with for her then-new song ‘Anus’ at #DXP two years ago that was pretty exciting. The girl’s platforms are pretty huge and so many of them are great at using that platform to highlight non Drag Race queens. I’ve so much respect for any sister who uses their spotlight to showcase their sisters. Lots of the girls use their music, upcoming events, social media or YouTube to make their audiences more aware of amazing talent all around the world.
DA: If the UK was to have a RuPaul’s Drag Race would you consider contending? What kind of challenge do you think you’d win?
VS: Well I am a business lady… so without a doubt. Television helps your reach huge audiences and create new opportunities for yourself. Every year the race gets more difficult with challenges and expectations – it is no joke so it’s daunting but I love a challenge. I think I’d win any challenge that I got to be team captain – I like organizing, running and working with a team. I like to dream big and identify people’s strengths so that we work well together. The only challenge that would terrify me is the singing one… I try to even mime Happy Birthday to my friends because there isn’t a note in my head.
DA: Do you think Drag Race has allowed you more opportunities to work with a wide range of drag queens or hindered the chance for UK queens to shine on there own? Is it a case of taking the good with the bad?
VS: I think everyone makes their own opportunities, if you’re not working I don’t think it’s because of somebody else. You can be as driven in drag as any entrepreneur would be and you can see why some girls achieve great things because of their commitment. Working with queens who have competed in drag race has gone on to bring awareness to my character and give me lots of new opportunities so, in my opinion, it’s all positive.
DA: What’s the hardest part of doing drag for you?
VS: I love to work… but the weeks that you end up working 5 nights can really wipe you out – it’s at these times you lose the motivation to go meet your family or catch up with friends because it’s long nights and you really need to hibernate and give your body a break on your day off. I think most drag queens will feel the same about this. It’s also unsociable hours so if you’re friends are organizing something fun then you can miss out.
DA: What is the drag scene like in Ireland, is it as mainstream as it is in the UK?
VS: Drag in Ireland has always been huge… way before Drag Race we had Shirley Temple Bar on the biggest Irish TV channel presenting the National Lottery game of Bingo every week. In addition to that drag legend, Mr. Pussy had her own business with U2’s Bono while Panti Bliss has toured internationally with her theatre shows. We have a wide variety of queens and some of the best drag I have seen worldwide. Because of how fab they are the girls I get to work with continue to inspire me to work harder all the time and I feel really lucky to have found myself in a creative drag scene here. There are definitely some gaps such as Drag Kings or Hyper Queens… there was way more 10-15 years ago so I would love to see more types of performers getting started and making their mark.
DA: For fans looking for new local talent to support what Irish Queens should we keep an eye out for?
VS: If you’re in the UK you can catch some of the girls on tour with us for Heels of Hell… I work with Paul Ryder, Pixie Woo, and Regina George as part of our Dragged Up shows each month and we had so much fun touring with Heels of Heel last year so I can’t wait for us all to be out with the show again this year. But there’s so many more to watch out for and support such as Shirley Temple Bar, Davina Devine, Veda Lady, Dolly Grip, Bunny and Panti Bliss.
We’ve been privileged to see Victoria host Holy Trannity events (we agree about Glasgow, it really was ‘lit’ at HOH.) Catch her on the upcoming Sharon Needles Battleaxe tour in April.
Follow her social media below alongside Holy T Europe for the latest in UK tours.