RoyalTea: Andramada & Show Ponii

Welcome back to Queeries, the only interview segment guaranteed to give any reader severe second hand embarassment.  Strap in and strap on folx, we’ve got a doosy for you!  Two bodies, one kindred alien spirit here to lay glitter eggs in your chest, only for them to burst forth five to seven business days later.  Today, we burrow deep into the minds of Show Ponii and Andramada, find out what makes them tick.  Besides the alarm clock Show Ponii swallowed in pursuit of a certain pirate captain-

   Andro-  Andramo- Miss “I actually can not spell my name” Andramada is a Hudson Valley-based drag queen whose performances dazzle and amaze, all while encourage body positivity and representation.

Show Ponii hits hard and fast, like a punch to the gut.  He has a lot to say and has too much to do to let heteronormative drag representation get in his way.

 

Queeries: You both are still relatively new to the drag performance scene, right?  Could you tell us a bit about your journey breaking onto the stage?

Show Ponii:  Well, my first performance was back in March up at The Dollhouse for Straws’ and Medulla’s birthday.  They came up to me and said “You’re weird as shit; you can do whatever you want.”

I’ve only performed twice so far so I guess I’ve only been doing it for a few months.  Now, all of a sudden, I have an influx of performances happening so I’m very excited for that.  I started mostly with going to shows being completely entranced by drag itself and meeting these people, becoming friends with everyone. Because I showed such an interest, people picked up on that and helped show me what to do, how to do it, very “whatever you need”.

Andramada:  I think I’ve been doing this for- a month and a half? The first time I performed was the Bacchus show at New Paltz Pride on accident, as everything in my life is.  Someone couldn’t show up- not going to name any names- and they said “You’re in geish; do you wanna do something?” I was like, Oh my god, yes!

“Good, you go on in twenty minutes!”

God Bless this day, let me go into a corner and whip through my drag playlist.  What the fuck do I do, do I do Selena or do I do something well-known and popular?  I did Bjork ‘Oh So Silent’; it was perfect.  My wig almost came off but it did not. My heel almost fell off but it. Did. Not!  Completely-

SP: Professional~!

A: Exactly, real professional.  It’s about the almost; I made it work.  Nobody knew my heel almost came off until I told them.  I did a kick and it slid off my foot but I *bap* did one of those and popped it back in.  It was honestly the best time I’ve ever had. I lucked out, got possessed by Bjork, and did my thing.  Ever since then, I’ve been getting gigs from the girls and booking my own. Just making shit happen, getting connections and meeting all these cool people-  I feel at home.

 

 

Q: Well, speaking of your feelings, when do you feel at your peak persona (the most Show Ponii, or the absolute Andramada)?

SP: For me, when I feel the most Show Ponii is when I’m the most androgynous because my drag is never inherently masculine.  Honestly, I mean, it sounds a little pretentious- put that in!

Q: Maybe Show Ponii’s a little pretentious, too!

SP: Well, Medulla is my aunt!  I like making fun of the drag king culture where you have to be strictly masculine. I’ve always found masculinity boring. Masculine to me is someone who plays around with gender and stereotypes.  Basically, a man who’s in high heels and a short skirt and is face beat for the gods- to me, that’s masculine. That’s what my drag is; it’s usually when I’ll have a beat face and my dumb little Gomez Addams moustache, or sometimes it’ll be Freddie Mercury (she likes to change), and whatever outfit makes me feel good.  Sometimes it’ll be a skirt with a nice heel and tasteful tights or corset, bodysuit, completely snatched everything, where people look at me like “I don’t know what you are. It kinda turns me on-” That’s when I’m feeling my full fantasy: androgynous everything.

Q: When you’re attracted to yourself?

SP: And I can be stupid as hell.  I love looking great and then I pull some dumb shit, completely ruin that image they have of me.

A: See, I feel the complete opposite.  I feel completely Andramada when I am performing because that’s when I can show my full character.  Andramada is this ethereal, otherworldly being that crash landed onto Earth and lives in the woods and is a fucking witch; she’s just this gorgeous enigma. When I’m not performing, I’m an idiot!  I’m a giant goofball! You see me go on, like “Who’s this beautiful being?” then I pop out like Hello! Hi, it is me: Andramada!  I like to think of myself if Valentina and Meatball had a baby-.

Performance is when I come to life.  See, I’m a dancer but I’m not one of those Top 40 pop dancers who’s gonna go the whole nine yards.  I’m- a big girl, I don’t have the stamina. I’m wearing a corset, I can not breathe- so I have to kinda pace myself.  With my performance, I like to tell a story and go into it slow, have these very fluid, (almost like Katara from The Last Airbender waterbending- ) techniques and do it that way.

That’s my whole schtick.

 

So, I know you haven’t been performing for long but we all run into creative blocks- Where do you turn to inspiration when your well runs dry?

SP: If I can’t come up with something, whether it be a look or whether it be a performance in general, sometimes I’ll be driving along in my car and I’ll put on whatever song will bring me out of that mood or I have a good memory to and I’ll try to think of something for that.  I’ll look at my own past artwork or an artist that I admire and try to draw from them. It’s mostly me trying to get the motivation to come up with ideas. I haven’t found myself in a spot yet, just because I am very new, where I haven’t been able to come up with ideas because my well has run dry, it’s mostly the lack of motivation.

The more I watch drag and drag performances and kings or queens that I admire, anyone in general who’s a performer that I draw inspiration from, I binge them- go into a YouTube cave hole, all of their performances and everything else.  I really try to draw from that, taking little snippets until I can cut and paste a performance, get inspired again.

A: Ummm, well, I’ve never- Ha, oh god no!  Whenever I get into an artist’s fucking block, it’s usually when my depression is at its peak, at its height, so I’ll just turn into a fucking potato and melt into my bed.  I find Instagram honestly and wholeheartedly is such a place to get inspiration from and, don’t judge me but- Kim Kardashian. Just aesthetically, whenever I look at her, God! I wish my skin glowed like that!  But then I’m like Oh wait-  it kinda does sometimes! Then I get reinspired by everything that I find beautiful- Instagram drag queens, my friends who are drag queens, and you said music- If I do have to do a performance I’m not feeling, I’ll envision it in my head, whatever that’s making me feel, and I’ll translate that onto my face.  Or I turn to my paintings. I like to think of my face as my paintings- just on my face. The way I draw my characters is the way I paint my face.

Since we’re so new, we have so many ideas and I think the thing that’s hardest is editing down the ideas.  You have these ideas for fucking years and have to funnel them down.

SP:  You have a gig and can basically reach into your hat- this one? No. How about this one? No. Or maybe this one but that’s too long-.  It’s more watering down an idea to fit a theme or an era or a time limit or to, ya know, not overshadow anyone because we’re so good-

A: I dunno about Show Ponii but I have been dreaming about this for years-

SP: Oh no, same.

A: And not even drag, just performing in general, so whenever I am listening to music, and that’s literally 24/7, I’ll just be playing a movie in my head

SP: Same with me-

A: We are literally the same person; it’s disgusting.

Q: This is a one person interview?

SP: Actually.

Q:  So, you guys have talked about makeup a lot.  You both are very crafty when it comes to props and costumes-

A: We’re just gifted.

SP: Natural talent.

Q: Well, besides natural talent and poise, do you have any tip, tricks, or recs for the baby performers out there?

A: Oh.  You know my trick, bitch? Okay, the key to gluing down your eyebrows the best way is using a flea comb.

Q: For dogs.

A: For dogs.

Q: Really?

SP: They are flat.

A: The story behind that is my mom was going through shit and she just gave me a bunch of her makeup stuff.  I saw this little comb thing, thought it was an eyebrow comb, so I’d been using it on my eyebrows. I’m like Mami, this looks so fucking good; this works so well and she said “That’s literally a flea comb.”

SP: She works!

A So I think everyone should invest in a flea comb.

SP: Maybe sterilize it if you have one-

A: Or just… buy a new one?  What the fuck-? Yeah, if you don’t wanna shave your eyebrows, buy a fucking flea comb.  What else is a good tip? A fun tip?

SP: Well, for makign props and everything, don’t buy a thin headband and melt it when you glue the shit out of it.

A: …………… Okay-  Read. Yeah, no, but I think we’re headpiece girls.  Invest in thick headbands.

SP: You don’t have to be artistically inclined but just getting your ideas onto paper first and drawing it out, even if you draw like a three-year-old, it doesn’t matter as long as you get the idea down so you can visualize it instead of going in blind.  I know for me and a lot of people, if you’re drawing your makeup, your ideas, your props- a lot of people have a journal of ideas a drag where they keep all their ideas for performances, dialogue inserts, just random ideas, all their makeup ideas they have in a journal strictly for drag.

A: I wish I could do that-

SP: See? Unprofessional, so-  I think just having your thoughts organized, especially when you are going in new and have so many ideas, it’s nice to have something you can flip through, almost like a file cabinet of drag ideas.  I think that definitely is a big tip for everyone.

A: Hmmm.  Yeah, I don’t do that.  But yeah, write things down.  That’s the tea. Learn how to write-

SP: Learn how to write, learn how to read-

Q: Basic arithmetic, how to drive a car-

A: Country queers gotta know how to drive, they’ve gotta get to their dick appointments.

SP: Country boy, I love you… But another drag tip is don’t be afraid to fuck up-

A: Yeah!  And don’t be afraid to be original!  You can practice with drag tutorials but don’t be afraid to add your own flair to it, your own personality to it, because at the end of the day, this is your face.  You wanna go out and represent yourself. Also have a friend who’s very blunt with you. I see some of the bitches come out like I love the courage it took you to come out- but mama.

SP: Someone to say “I hate that”.

Q: “We respectfully hate that.”

SP: “Respectfully; we tell you because we love you.”

A: Tough love.

Q: “I want you to be the best you-”

A: Exactly, “we know you can do more.”  Also, don’t say “Change that” and then not give them a fucking idea.

SP:  Learning to take critiques, knowing that these people don’t hate you-

A: Yes- critiques!

SP: I have such a hard time taking critiques; I welcome them and I’m welcoming improvement into my life but also, because I take so many things to heart-

A: Because you’re a Cancer, right?

SP: Yes because I’m a Cancer-  It’s learning to take that and run with it.  It’s not that it’s bad but I can do better and I’ll move on from here.  Then you’ll look back on your Instagram Memories and realize “Wow, I looked like horse shit.”

Q: “Who the fuck let that happen?”

A: Don’t ever think you’re done growing.

SP: I was really afraid to start doing my face extreme and then I saw kings like Mystery Meat and Andro Gin who are two of my biggest inspirations who did artsy fartsy, crazy makeup and I realized I can do that.  Before, I was trying to go for the Puerto Rican tío who drank too much, just full masculine fantasy and I got so bored with that; it actually made me dysphoric and I hated it.  I started experimenting and not every face has been my favorite btu because I’ve been able to make it my own and make it unique for this area, it’s been so much more fun. I’ve really been able to startle a few people.

A: Especially, being Latino, we need that representation.  Being a bigger person, having a beard, I feel like I’m making it alright for bigger gays who are afraid to shave their beards off-  A lot of people come up to me saying “You know, you would look better without the beard-” I just love the beard because it’s Andramada, androgyny.  Respresentation matters and I’m brigning that to the table.

SP: I always get very excited whenever I see baby performers bringing their own flair and discovering themselves.

A: It’s so liberating.

SP: I don’t see performers like me around here.  I know there are trans men performing in Brooklyn, in Georgia, in London, but here, now, people don’t see that.  A lot of trans men are terrified of playing with their femme side. They’ll go out with their hats and vests and do a Magic Mike number.  There’s nothing wrong with that; Spikey was the first drag king I ever saw but it didn’t feel right for me. It was slowing becoming my own representation. People love what I’m doing then they realize I’m a trans man in makeup, they see they can do it too.

Before, I was scared to start bringing political messages.  I didn’t want to be too trans, too Latin, where as now I’m planning a Santería number, I’m planning two numbers about my journey as a trans person- there are all these things I want to bring representation and awareness to.  Do not be afraid to put statements into your drag that you feel need to be heard (unless it’s white supremacy, then you can die-?).

A: Oh my god, bless.

SP: I’ve had people come up and tell me about my influence but then I’ll also have people living for until they find out I’m trans then they start using ‘she’ like No, it’s ‘he’ 24/7.

A: But because you’re a drag king, you have to be a lesbian-

SP: Exactly or you have to be a woman.  I castrated myself in my first act; I have no fear.

 

 

 

Q: And to wrap it up, if your persona was a candy, which would they be and why?

A: Hmmm, let’s see-

SP: Andramada always reminds me of cotton candy.

A: I’m cotton candy dropped in a vat of edible glitter but in the middle of the cotton candy there’s a corndog.  Spicy little corndog. And that’s me. Little bit of mustard.

SP: I feel like Show Ponii is a decadent, beautiful piece of chocolate that you see in a storefront but a little kid takes it off the display and bites into it and it’s wax then the kid starts choking on it and he kinda dies?  That or one of those candy bars you find in some fair-trade coffee shop that’s like ‘Dominican Spice’-

A: You pay twelve dollars for it-

SP: Exactly, you pay twelve dollars for it, bite it it and *gags*.  Some people are like “It’s too spicy for me” but others are “Oh, it’s perfect for me.”  You’re either gonna like me or you’re gonna hate me.

Q: Show Ponii’s an acquired taste.

SP: Exactly, that’s exactly what it is.  Too spicy-

A: I dunno what the fuck my taste is.

SP: It’s an acquired taste of chocolate dropped in some glitter and dust bunnies somewhere in the corner of the pantry like “I forgot I had this-”

Q: Show Ponii is the five second rule.

SP: Literally, Show Ponii is the five second rule-!

Q: Welp, that’s what I’ve got for you; thank you both so much for coming by!

SP: Of course!

A: Of course; I love talking about myself!

SP: I know, I’m a narcissistic bitch.

A: We are… we really are!

 

 

You heard ’em: jump in head first!  Drag is for you!  If you have half an inkling of a feeling about wanting to maybe to drag, check out a show.  If it’s not for you, it’s not for you.  But-

Community can be found anywhere; you never know who you might meet!  Focus on lifting up those around you.  When you find a support network, love respect and openly communicate!  We’re all in this together– after all.

 

 

Be good, stay outta trouble; as always, if you have an artist you feel should be profiled or are one yourself, feel free to reach out to me, @madsleighfaire (all held social media platforms). Until next time, this has been RoyalTea with Mads Leigh-Faire, interviewing Andramada and Show Ponii for Queeries blog.

 

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