The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
There have been some big changes talking place in the Big Apple even though you might not have even realized it. With Bianca Del Rio winning the most recent season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she’s clearly not going to be around nearly as much, that leaves a larger than life and an obnoxious void in the city’s drag scene. Mimi Imfurst has moved on to greener pastures and a fresh start in the City of Brotherly Love. Dallas DuBois retired from drag and moved to LA, presumably after the Rockettes refused to hire her. Epiphany is spending large chunks of the year overseas and I can’t blame her even slightly for that. But even with the outgoing talent there is still a lot of established talent in the city as well. Drag Race villainess extraordinaire, Phi Phi O’Hara made the move from the Windy City to New York. Legends like Lady Bunny, Sherry Vine, Hedda Lettuce and others are still killing it. The cupboard is clearly not bare.
But now, more than ever, there is a ton of young, hungry (by hungry I mean ambitious…and, well…hungry. Most of these skinny bitches need a sandwich or three) crop of young drag talent ready to burst into stardom. As a part of this series, NewYorkNowNext, we’re going to be taking a look at some of this talent that is blooming all around the Big Apple. Our next spotlight is shining on the very talented Fifi DuBois!
Chiffon Dior: Hi Fifi! How are you doing this evening?
Fifi DuBois: Just dandy, sitting at home enjoying a meal courtesy of seamless.com. I just finished a happy hour show at Boots and Saddle.
CD: How is the Sunday happy hour crowd? Is it mostly people who are still day drinking after brunch?
FD: It depends on the day. During the summer, it’s more of a post-brunch crowd, during fall and winter, it’s more faithful day drinkers.
CD: Bless those day drinkers hearts! So we’re here to talk about how the drag scene in NYC is in a state of flux. How do you feel the scene has changed in the time you’ve been around?
FD: That’s the question of the decade, isn’t it? Well in my five plus years in the drag scene, I’ve worked in both Florida and New York City, which are two very different animals; pageant queens vs. showgirls. The problem I’ve noticed with the drag scene is whatI like to call the “Drag Race Baby Boom”. Ever since Rupaul’s Drag Race began, there has been an influx of young queens willing to work more often for less and less. I like to support these girls but at the same time, those of us who have worked hard for our place in the community deserve equal respect of those so lucky enough to be inducted into the elite group of “RuGirls.”
CD: You said you’ve worked in both NYC and in Florida. How did you get your start in the drag business? How do you feel each locale has influenced your development as performer?
FD: My first ever drag performance was in college as a part my school’s (SUNY Purchase) annual drag competition ,”Fall Ball”. I entered because I grew up in the competitive dance scene and I always loved a challenge. I was confident I could win, but unfortunately, I did not. I ended up honing my drag both through joining a Rocky Horror Shadow cast (the Cheap Little Punks) in Tampa, as well by as competing in amateur talent contests at the now defunct Valentines show bar. Through both experiences, I learned about both individuality and originality as well as gained more polish and poise, all while being able to dance the house down thanks to my BFA from Purchase College.
CD: With some of the bigger queens in the city moving on, there is the beginning of a vacuum. Who do you think is poised to fill the void?
FD: I definitely see Bob the Drag queen going places! Also there’s a need for a token Asian queen so I nominate Yuhua Hamasakie, Digna Shei, and Tara Miso Rice to battle it out. There is also the obvious void of Miss Dallas Dubois (NO RELATION!), but I humbly nominate myself to take her place.
CD: I didn’t realize the DuBois name was like Highlander, in the end there can be only one!
FD: Exactly! Now I gotta take out all those New Orleans Dubois’!
CD: What do you think you bring the scene that is unique?
FD: I like to think i don’t bring just strong dance technique and entertainment, but also comedy and quick mic skills. I believe I posess everything that is sought after in the ideal drag queen these days. I dance, I sing (okay, at best), I tell jokes, I can do the splits, plus I can drink you out of house and home, all before 4am.
CD: You mentioned earlier that Florida was more pageant queens. Since I know you’re involved in pageants yourself, including the fabulous Miss’d America pageant in Atlantic City, did you develop the pageant bug while you were down in the Sunshine State?
FD: I’m the Susan Lucci of NYC drag! I’ve competed in Miss Stonewall, Miss Hell’s Kitchen, Miss Boots and Saddle, as well as So You Think You Can Drag and I’m always a finalist or runner up. To me, that means I’ve got what it takes, but my time will come.
I actually caught the bug officially at last years Miss’d America (in Atlantic City). I intend on competing with ten times as much gusto since I felt like last year was just “testing the waters” for me. I also hope to compete in the first Miss New York EOY (Entertainer of the Year), as well as Miss Gay America among others within the upcoming pageant season. Of course, that’s not forgetting all of the aforementioned local NYC pageants as well!
CD: What does the future hold for you Fifi? What’s on your drag bucket list of goals?
FD: My ultimate drag goals include headlining my own show in Las Vegas, dstarting my own Drag/dance production show/company. Much like Goddess in “Showgirls” meets the Radio city Rockettes , only I’m Crystal/Nomi and the Rockettes are Drag Starlets! Like the world gayest cruise line production show and I’ve done some pretty gay cruise production shows in my day!
CD: Thank you much for your time Fifi. I wish you the best of luck as you go forward in the future. For our readers here in the NYC area, where can they see you werk?
FD: I werk all over the city so for constant updates, they can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. I work at Bartini on Friday and Saturday nights from 11 to close, Saturday Happy Hour at Fairytail Lounge from 6 to 10 pm, and at Boots and Saddle from 3 to 5:30 for happy hour plus I do guest gigs anywhere and everywhere!