Her name is Veronica Lush , Miss Charm City Triple Threat 2015. She goes by V-Ron if you’re nice…but whatever you call her, this gorgeous queen was the indisputable hit of Equality Fest in York. She took to the street when the stage wasn’t big enough to hold all that fierce walk. From Black teenagers walking past to Hispanic shoppers to female community volunteers, the entire street stopped, stared then danced and smiled and generally loved life for the entire time Veronica was performing. I just had to meet the performer behind that kind of power!
Of course, I needed to ask the obligatory question of “How did this performance journey start?”
When I had just started practicing and experimenting with makeup and drag, my mother went to a farewell party for my cousin at the Rowan Tree in Baltimore, Maryland. The owners explained that there was gonna be a drag show there, and then Shawnna Alexander walked in. They got to talking and my mom said how I was interested in drag. She grabbed her phone and showed off some of my photos! Shawnna was so happy to see that my mom was into the fact I wanted to start doing drag that she invited me down to perform with her the following month! Shawnna told me about another venue and performers I should talk to, Ada and Vegas Buffet. At that time they were putting together a pageant, Miss Trailer Trash. I was up for any chance I could get to perform, so I signed up for the pageant and actually placed 3rd out of 7 contestants. I met a lot of other girls some of whom offered advice and help. Anita Minnet and Heather Marie Tatersalad Thomas. They later invited me to perform with them at other venues because they said I had impressed them with my performance.
I started playing with makeup when I was living in York, and I didn’t really know of any venues or how to start performing. I was mostly just a basement queen trying to learn how to be pretty as can be! After my mom had met Shawnna, I knew that I could actually perform in Baltimore and started planning to move there. The drag community here accepted me as a queen fairly quickly. I think it’s because I actually listened and payed attention whenever I asked for advice. You’d be surprised, but that is not the norm.
Now, as a casual lady, the highly stylized world of drag is a whole new energy for me. I asked the fabulous Ms. Lush what she really goes through to transform into a full on stage diva.
When I’m choosing what I want to do for an event, I think about what I’ve done at the venue before, what kind of event it is (Usually just so I can find out exactly how vulgar I can be), and who I think will be in the audience. When planning out my outfits, I’ll look at the music videos of the songs, and the live performances and get some ideas from there, or just listening to the music to see if I can come up with any outrageous costume of my own. Since the last competition I was in, Baltimore Drag Wars, I’ve really honed in on making my mixes. They’re more cohesive with smooth transitions. I make my own costumes too. For a while I was kind of an oddball that people didn’t really understand. Now people think they know what to expect when they see me perform; something crazy, vulgar, probably offensive in some way……and most of my audiences seem to really live for it.
The night of a show, I usually just roll around in a makeup pallet for an hour and what you get is what you get. No, I kid! After I’m all fresh and shaven, I sit down for anywhere from an hour and a half to about 3 hours just putting my face on. It depends on if I’m rushed or experimenting with something new or if I’m taking breaks and such. Generally I like to take 2 hours. That includes gluing down the biggest eyelashes I can find, and super gluing on some nails so long I can barely text. Body used to be difficult, but I’ve made myself a few different sized hips and booty pads to give me the perfect figure. I kind of overkill it with wearing tights. I wear like 5-8 pairs of dance tights on top of everything to make sure its all smoothed. They cinch in my waist a little and of course, no tucks are popping out. Lately I’ve been really into utilizing my bald head with different wig styles. It’s pretty easy and different from a lot of queens. I just take my wig, spray it with adhesive and slap it onto the middle of my head!
So basically are talking professional work here. Wigs, body padding and modification pieces, full stage make-up, custom wigs able to stay in place through flips and dance moves…it’s the best of Broadway meeting Vegas showgirl. Drag is definitely a labor of love along with a calling of special inspiration!
For me, seeing people smile or laugh while I’m up there doing my thing is the best. It’s a huge part of why I wanted to start doing drag. Sometimes when I’m performin and I can hear people getting really into it and singing along with the music…I can’t really explain it, it’s just a very poweful energy, the cheering, clapping and the YAAASSing. It’s amazing.
Check out Veronica on Instagram @VeronicaLush or look up Veronica Lush on Facebook! And make sure to tune in for part 2.