Monday, October 3, 2016

Life's a Drag with...Avant Garbage

Drag name: Avant Garbage

Real name: Jesse Hicks

Education: I've graduated D.A.R.E.

Credits: Opening or closing?

What is the origin of your drag name?: This is a long one... when I was a young boy my dream in life was to become April O'Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At one point they made a crossover action figure series with each character dressed like the Universal Studios Monsters. I became obsessed with Frankenstein, Dracula, The Bride, etc. ever since. I used to make action figures and dolls and recently when the Monster High Doll line (Universal Monsters children in high school) came out I was altering some of the dolls. A friend asked me if I could invent a new type of monster, who would i make? I came up with this concept of "The Trash Queen". I was cosplay and costuming a lot and thought, "Why don't I just become the trash queen?". Avant Garbage was born and I never looked back.

What is your drag aesthetic?: Equal parts Courtney Love, Strawberry Shortcake, and a bag of yeah thrown into a blender. Hit puree.

Why drag?: I love dressing in costume and playing pretend. I make all of my wigs out of mops or yarn. I just recently completed a brillo pad wig. I make all my close from trash or heavily altered garments. Avant Garbage was a way for me to utilize all of my talents and people really seem to love her!

How did you get involved in the drag community?: I just dove in head first. I never had a drag mom or family and I'm totally self-taught. RuPaul's Drag Race has obviously had a huge impact the gay community and is making drag more mainstream and acceptable. So I figured I would just start dressing as Avant while still being an artist. The drag community has been getting involved in me!

What or who inspires you as an artist?: Everything! My eyes are constantly open to see what new things people are producing. But I'm also looking at Garbage on the street! "Ooh! Those 6 ring soda can duck killer things would make amazing fishnet stockings!"

You're given a microphone and a stage, describe your ideal show: I would love to have a 4 queen panel, similar to "The View," where we discuss current events and different topics. Well each get a number after and during our maybe we'll do commentary during a movie ala Mystery Science Theater 3K.

What is your go-to lip sync song?: "Celebrity Skin" by Hole

If you had to pick a character for Snatch Game, who would it be?: Come on Laganja Estranja! Okkkkuuuur Mama! C'mon mawmaw! I'M FEELING VERY ATTACKED!

If you could work with any Drag Queen you've yet to work with, who would it be?: Willam, Alaska, Tammie Brown, Tara Sofia, Discord Addams, Madelyn Hatter, and everyone I forgot to name... c'mon Miss Congeniality!

What is the most embarrassing moment you've had in a performance?: Losing to Judy Darling *wink*

What do you like to do when you're in not in drag?: I play a lot of Smash Bros and other video games. Watch a lot of movies. Read comics. Create elaborate costumes. I feel like this is a dating ad. I'm versatile and my ideal relationship is: Whoever wins at Mario Kart chooses the position...

What was it like to compete in (and WIN!) Miss Liberty?: Winning was incredible! I beat over 60 queens in a completion! I was on cloud 9 for weeks! But it was right back to being busy and performing. There is very little sleep in this career. I just recently won my way into the finale of the 2017 Look Queen competition hosted by Bob The Drag Queen!

What will you do with the prize money?: Well, since it took me so long to respond I've already spent my prize money on rent. I got some sweet looking shoes, clothes and wig from The House of La Rue!

Why is drag important for the LGBTQ community?: For many in the community it is a way to express yourself freely and creatively a safe space. It's a way to find community within a community. And for the masc bros/HK gym queens, drag is important for them to be able to bottom shame and preach hetero-normative discrimination!

What's up next?: I'm performing on October 3rd at Rockbar, and I just won season 10 of Ru Paul's Drag Race!