Dear readers, here on Dragadventures, we are always striving to ‘discover‘ new drag performers to feature; however, until today, there existed a part of the ’drag galaxy’ we hadn’t really ventured into! We realize that in doing so, we lost out on a huge part of drag and also were just like so many publications, promoters, and even fans, who all seem to ignore that particular drag style. However, today, we can happily tell you that we are taking the first of many steps beyond the ‚drag frontier‘ with a new ongoing series about Drag Kings! And, we got one hell of a king to start us off on our mission: he has not only voyaged through space, battled Voldemort and created spectacular Jack Skellington at Starbucks performances, he’s also a delight to interview and represents his hometown of Newcastle: Baron LaVey!
Dragadventures: Hi Baron! Welcome to Dragadventures, we’re very happy to have you here to kick off our drag king series! But, before we hit the ‘energize button’ on this interview, shall we start with a quick ‘captain’s log’, where you can introduce yourself to our readers and prepare them for the mission at hand?
Baron LaVey: Captains log Star-date 2021… Hi! I’m Baron LaVey, Newcastle’s premier Drag King since 2007 with a passion for all things nerdy AND glamdrogynous!
Dragadventures: What qualities does your drag character have that you would love to have in your off-drag life? And how would you describe Baron in three words?
BV: Baron is dominant, charming, and sensual, Sarah is none of those things, (laughing.) I’m not sure I’d want those qualities as Sarah, however, he’s a break from my norm and allows me to comfortably radiate confidence that doesn’t necessarily translate well into day-to-day life.
Dragadventures: What are some misconceptions about drag kings people have that you really wish went extinct rather sooner than later? What does being a drag king mean to you, personally?
BV: Drag Kings are seen as lesser art forms than Drag Queens, which is absolutely not the case. We put in as much effort as your local queens, and generally have to work harder to keep a RPDR-loving audience on our side. For a long time, Drag Kings were about male impersonation, which LOOKED less artistic than a Drag Queen’s representation of femininity, (even though it was no less work!) but now Drag Kings AND Queens have taken to gender exploration more. There are so many glamorous androgynous Kings out there, with big eye makeup AND facial hair that the wider audience won’t see because we’re not booked as often.
Dragadventures: An incredible event you’ve just recently been a part of was the Unofficial Pride event by Macho Man UK! How did it go and what was your favorite part of the event? Did you have to ‘adapt’ your own drag-style for the format and if yes, how so?
BV: Macho Man UK Unofficial King Pride was an AMAZING event to be part of. It was such a huge lineup of some of the best Kings in the world. I was able to be part of a lineup with people I’d idolized for years like Hugo Grrrl. My favorite part of the event was being part of something that big and important to the King community. Charlie (the organizer) did an incredible job rounding up so many fantastic and diverse kings for that lineup. As far as changing my performance style goes, for the past year during lockdown I’ve had to learn to perform for a screen rather than an audience, which was a STEEP learning curve, but I’m not completely comfortable with it. Whilst I’m looking forward to being back on stage, I’m pleased I’ve been able to develop these skills I didn’t have before so I can put them to use throughout my Drag Career.
Dragadventures: So, if you thought, hang on – these people seem to have spaced out – you would be correct; let’s just say we were very happy when we saw your cosplay for the sci-fi fantastical show ‘Space: The FinalFronQueer’. Can you tell us a little bit about the experience and about the preparation for the show itself? How did you go about collecting ideas for the outfit and performance? Also, do you consider yourself a trekkie and if you could go on a mission with any character from the series, who would it be and why?
BV: Oh interesting questions! Star Trek Voyager has always been my favourite season, and although I’m more comfortable in male drag I knew I HAD to portray Captain Janeway, as she was probably a pivotal character in my queer life, as a young person, suddenly seeing this attractive older woman very much in power, it was clear to me I wasn’t straight. I often perform boy-lesque style pieces, and for me, being on stage or screen, almost naked, is a form of controlling what people see of my body and how I control that.
As a cosplayer who has cosplayed Captain Janeway before, I already had the uniform, I did however make and fully rhinestone the Comm. Badge nipple pasties which were a labor of love! Getting into a bath full of coffee was an experience I’ve never had, and won’t necessarily want to repeat though! As far as being a Trekkie is concerned… as the wonderful Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) said in the documentary film ‘Trekkies’… “Trekkers are the ones who walk among us.” I think the term ‘Trekkie’ is generally used for those who are so into Star Trek that nothing else exists, so I’m definitely a ‘Trekker’ a fan who you wouldn’t necessarily know was a fan.
Dragadventures: Speaking of being on a stage, be it digital or not – how do you prepare for a show? Do you prefer having a fixed concept or do you rather ‘go with the flow?’ How long does the process take from the first idea to the moment you step onto the stage? What is your favorite kind of performance?
BV: That’s a loaded question (laughing!) For me, it completely depends on the performance and my mindset at the time. I have a Spotify playlist with all of the tracks I’d like to use in performances and I listen to it daily. Generally speaking, I’ll be listening to a track and a concept/character will come to me. On occasion, I’ll decide a character and then make a track work around that, but that suggests my concepts make sense… a lot of the time they don’t. I’ve always used an aspect of cosplay in my drag, I just love to perform as characters, and I really enjoy taking a character everyone recognizes and putting them in a situation they wouldn’t necessarily be in.
For example, a few years back I did Jack Skellington working in Starbucks, and of course, I did Voldemort in love with Harry Potter. For those, the tracks came later, costuming usually takes the most time, but as I don’t necessarily create performances with a specific show in mind. I create them when the concepts come to me that eases the stress a little and I can take as much time as I want. My favorite kind of performance is one where I take a simple joke and pull it out to its farthest so it stops being funny but then becomes funny again because it’s still going.
Dragadventures: We know that 2020 was kind of a sh*t show, but thankfully, digital channels kept audiences and entertainers drizzled in drag regardless and with 2021 appearing brighter with more things opening, is digital drag something you’d like to carry on doing, do you find it fulfilling? What are you most excited to do once venues are open? If you could put on anything you wanted, time and money were of no issue, what would it be and why?
BV: I’ve loved honing my digital drag skills over the past year. We all had to learn to essentially be music video producers, which for some people (myself included) was a terrifying concept, (I’m not great with technology as a whole) but it’s been a lot of fun and allowed us to perform on the same digital stages as people you’d never thought you’d share a line up with. I will continue to create digital content, whether that’s an online Drag Show, or the cosplay content I create for TikTok and my Patreon.
I’m super excited to be back on a stage with an audience in front of me. Nothing quite compares to see an audience react to your performance. I’m also super excited to launch the third year of ‘Vamp As Tits’ which is a horror-based Drag competition I run with my close friend Jack Plastiq. I’d really love to put on an entirely nerd-driven drag show for a 16+ audience, honestly. Taking what I know of cosplay and drag and combining them with a super diverse cast of Drag Performers of all types who also appreciate the nerdier side of life!
Dragadventures: You hail from Newcastle, which thankfully gets more and more recognition on drag tours going up and down the UK, although kings are still very much underrepresented in the UK as a whole. How would you describe the drag scene in Newcastle? Where can people see some fabulous drag king performers in the city and its surroundings?
BV: Newcastle has an AMAZING drag scene. We have a bit of everything, from your traditional ‘camp queens’ to horror and alternative drag, drag things/creatures/cryptids, surreal drag, comedy, and trained dancers. Every single bar in Newcastle Gay Scene has a Drag Family to offer and there won’t be a night you could venture to Newcastle and not find a super talented Drag Artist or five. We’re very welcoming and supportive of all Drag, very charitable and the artistry is *chefs kiss*. We have a few incredibly talented Drag Kings in Newcastle, stand-outs for me include my brother Faux King Dik who is an amazing theatrical king with incredible makeup skills. Rex Uranus is what I would consider a ‘lad’, hilarious, tiny boy with an attitude, and King Kitt who is an artistic performance artist who does a lot of amazing political pieces.
Dragadventures: Alongside performing and cosplaying, your Instagram is chock full of such creative diverse looks – is there anyone in particular who inspires you when you come up with new concepts? What’s your favorite style? If Baron had to pack a suitcase in 20 minutes to go on vacation, what would he bring and why?
BV: My biggest DRAG inspirations are Hugo Grrrl, Ethan Sword, and Landon Cider, but honestly there are so many talented inspirational kings in the world, that inspire me to be a better king. I honestly take my inspiration from everywhere. I enjoy a lot of different types of media; horror, sci-fi, fantasy, anime, true-crime… and I think I take inspiration from all of these places too, as well as incredible cosplayers like Shinorisu, Amanda Costigan, and Cosplay DeVille.
Baron would pack lots of underwear, heels, his chest piece, and as many black and red items as he could fit into his suitcase.
Dragadventures: Another super interesting project we all can follow you in is the Drag Malfoy podcast which you host alongside the wonderful artist That Queen Ivy. What made you delve into podcasting and what made you choose Draco Malfoy?
BV: (Laughing) We haven’t actually recorded the podcast in a long while due to JK Rowling continually damaging the community. The fandom is separate from JK, and it’s been difficult to separate the art from the artist when she’s been so vicious towards our own community. We were known as The Drag Malfoy’s on TikTok as we cosplayed a very nice drag style Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy.
Dragadventures: With all the film references what would be your ideal movie night, and if someone were to play you in a movie, who would you want it to be?
BV: My ideal movie night would be Gothic Horror; Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dorian Gray, Van Helsing, etc. I have three choices for who could play me in a dream world movie haha, Eva Green, Michelle Gomez, or Elliot Page.
Dragadventures: While we are on the topic of movies and magic – let’s do a Quick Fire Question round – Harry Potter Edition!
If you were going to live inside a Harry Potter film would you rather:
DA: Would you rather Dolores Umbridge was your mum or that Bellatrix Lestrange was your mum?
BV: Bellatrix Lestrange.
Would you rather have an invisibility cloak or have a lifelong supply of Felix Felicis?
BV: Invisibility cloak.
Would you rather… have a Dementor for a best friend or have Voldemort as your head teacher?
BV: Voldemort as Head Teacher.
Would you rather spend a week with the Dursleys or in Azkaban?
Would you rather punch Mr. Malfoy or Bellatrix Lestrange?
BV: Lucius Malfoy.
Dragadventures: And last but not least – do you have any exciting upcoming projects for 2021 you could give us a sneak peak into?
BV: I’m currently working on a few things! Last week, I filmed for Northern Pride Online with a powerful piece on battling against Transphobia, so keep your eyes peeled for Northern Pride Online this year! I’m also currently working on my first performance for a live audience next month too. Again, hopefully, should everything continue the way it is, Vamp As Tits competition hopefully in October too!
Hail Satan, Hail Yourself.
Be sure to follow Baron LaVey on all social media: