Welcome back, you spooky ghouls, to RoyalTea: the only drag interview segment that is slowly transforming into an alien chat show. This week, we got a chance to sit down with Nitrix Oxide, a performer who is here to christen you in mouthfuls of blood. Nitrix is a Gore Queen, with a penchant for the ooky, kooky, icky, and sticky who has been terrorizing San Francisco for close to a year.
Queeries: People’ve described you as everything from a club kid to a monster queen; why do you think your drag is labeled so many different ways?
Nitrix Oxide: I think it’s probably because I try to do all different things with [my drag] and I’m always experimenting. When I first started a year ago, I found out about drag through [RuPaul’s] Drag Race but I started doing drag because of Dragula. I started watching Dragula, where I’d see the more alternative side. That gave me the hint that “Oh, there’s more to drag than the typical pageants or what you see on Drag Race.” There’s definitely a darker side to drag.
I started experimenting and doing more alternative, more punk drag. I’ve always been inspired by Leigh Bowry, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, people like that. That all lead to my club kid drag. I’ve had people call me one of ‘the’ club kids of San Francisco, which is very flattering. I love going out, experimenting with different looks, building head pieces, all that. I’m really trying to push the envelope.
Q: She’s quite the crafty queen, too! Could you walk us through the basic steps of making one of your headpieces?
Q: About how long do they take?
NO: It depends on what it is! If I have a Saturday, it takes maybe one to two hours? Doesn’t take that long! Of course, I’ve had some that’ve taken me three or four. What I do is I get a regular headband and I take an embroidery hoop. That goes on top with some cardboard, glue it all together, wrap tape around it: that all goes on as my base. Once I have the base done, I build something off of that.
Q: You’ve performed all over the Bay Area; ever wanted to travel to perform?
NO: Yeah, I’ve thought about it. Recently, I started going to Oakland more which has been great; I’ve wanted to go there for a while. I love the drag scene there.
One of my favorite places to go to is Club BnB: they have a really good happy hour show on Wednesdays. sometimes they ask me to do two or three numbers. Three numbers sounds like a lot but it gives me a chance to experiment, do some songs I might not normally do. They had me do an R&B tribute; I had never done a Whitney Houston or Aretha Franklin song in a Leatherface mask but- Now I have!
As far as traveling outside the Bay Area, I’d love to go to San Jose and perform. I’ve seen shows at Splash, the Renegades’ Bar– there’s a queen called WooWoo Monroe who has The Circus Show.
I love San Jose; it’s a smaller town that has a really great drag scene.
Q: Is it more comparable to Oakland or San Francisco in size? Or even smaller?
NO: It’s just a little bigger than Oakland. However, I think Oakland has more small bars. I’ve seen a lot more variety in drag shows there. But, then again, I haven’t worked San Jose too much, so there might be stuff I haven’t seen yet!
I would also love to go to Los Angeles and perform. I was there for Drag Con(vention) in May and got to meet a lot of Dragula girls- I’m very grateful to have met them and know some of them a little more personally now. There are bars there like Precinct, Eagle, Red Line– there are so many great bars there and I would love to perform in some of their shows.
Q: Are you thinking about going to DragCon this year?
NO: I won’t be going to New York but I know, next year, I’ll probably go back to Los Angeles Drag Con. I would love, in the future, to go to New York Drag Con-!
Q: You’ve been performing for nearing a year now; is there anything about the performance world that’s different than you thought it would be?
NO: I’ve been going out to shows in looks for about a year but I started performing in May; I did a talent show for my first performance.
I also do a lot of stunts in my numbers: wings, fake blood, all kinds of stuff. If you’re adding a prop into your number, it’s probably gonna go wrong and you have to plan for that. I’ve had reveals get stuck, zippers get stuck, forgotten which pocket props are in- you have to be prepared to switch up your number.
So, I had planned out this whole number but once you get up there, it’s all different. You don’t factor in the rehearsal room that there’s actually an audience, there’ll be people giving you tips, all that. There’ll be a lot of things you can’t predict once you’re actually in the space.
Q: Anything you wanna leave with the kiddies before we go?
NO: Huh- the kiddies. That’s interesting!
Q: Yeah, our little Kiddie Kats-
NO: Well, I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately: “How do I get started? I really want to do drag-! How do you do your makeup? Where can I perform?”
One: If you’re a new performer, before you message a producer, asking to be in a show, think “When was the last time I went to their show supporting? Did I buy drinks? Did I tip performers?” Don’t expect to get into a show if you have not gone in support of that show. (If you can’t go, put it on your social media!)
Two: Anyone can do drag. “I could never do drag-” yes, you can. My makeup took me two and a half, three years to improve. I practice by sitting at home in front of the mirror and doing my face. There’s even still things I need to fix and performances I have where things don’t work out well or I could have pushed them even further. You’re always growing, evolving, and changing.
You can find out more about Laughing Gas herself from her website and can find her turning l e w k s most Sundays at Big Top at Beaux. With a lot to say and a loud voice to yell it in, you’re going to be hearing a lot more from Nitrix very soon-
As always, if you know or are a performer who would like to be profiled, feel free to reach out (@madsleighfaire on all platforms). Until next time, this has been Mads interviewing Nitrix Oxide for RoyalTea! Y’all stay outta trouble now, alright?
Mads Leigh-Faire (he/him) is a freelance theatrical dramaturg, literary assistant, and drag performer. Mads hopes to use Queeries as a platform to educate and engage not only himself but the LGBTQIA+ community with a productive and empathetic dialogue surrounding our hopes, needs, dreams, fears, and accomplishments. They also have a lot of feelings about the sentience of droids in the Star Wars canon.