In Diva Watch, we'll profile the passionate, diverse and fascinating performers who light up Denver's drag community. We're expanding on our Diva Dozen list from earlier this year by asking a series of questions to get a peek underneath the make-up.
Last Monday, Tracks Ultimate Queen contest successfully whittled down twentysome beautiful drag contestants to a final three, and after seventeen weeks of costumes, choreography, derring-do and lip syncing for their lives, after the last round one victress stood at the top of the finely manicured and polished heap: Yvie Oddly (“Like EE-VEE not IVY or WHY-VEE”). Oddly has only been working out her drag for “3.472 years” but her attention to detail and ability to get an audience riled up — along with her long, bend-y arms and legs – were paramount to putting that crown on her head. As her name implies, Oddly is not your run-of-the-mill drag queen, often eschewing pure beauty makeup for something much wilder and more primal; she walks the thin line between glamour and WTF. Denver’s drag scene needs something wicked every so often to shake things up — and we think Denver’s newest queen will send quite a few aftershocks our way.
Westword: You’re also known as…?
Yvie Oddly: My boy name is Jovan, like the cheap Walmart musk. I'm only $5.99 before taxes.
I'm 21, buy me a shot!
I'm (mostly) a VIP server at Tracks Denver.
Congratulations on being named Tracks Ultimate Queen for 2015! Was there ever any doubt you were going to make it to the Top 3? And what's the biggest lesson that you learned from this year's competition?
I have to admit that I came into this competition with the image of winning it all — no ifs, ands or asses. But as we got down to the final few girls, I realized it could really go any way; it was just a matter of what the people wanted to see and I was up against some crazy fierce queens. The biggest lesson I learned from the competition is that you should regularly practice going outside of your comfort zone once a day...it keeps the basics away!
Tell us about the first time that you ever performed in drag.
Venus D'lite from RuPaul's Drag Race was hosting a workshop on my college campus for Valentine's Day and I figured I could go, learn some tips, and slay so much that she'd have to tell RuPaul about me (hahahahahahahahaha). I attempted some drag (or ghost) makeup, put on a super-cheap red wig and dress, and backflipped my way through “Scheibe” by Lady Gaga.
What is the origin of your drag name?
I was trying to find a way to make a pun out of being even odder than anybody else and the best I could come up with was Evie Oddly. So I messed up the spelling because I wanted to doom myself to a future where nobody can get my name right. I felt like it fit me in AND out of drag, which I find important.
What cultural icon do you admire the most and why?
I don't really do the whole cultural iconography/Hollywood worship deal, but if I did it would probably be like Lady Gaga for being a genuine weirdo. I relate to that.
Explain what it feels like to get into all of your drag and hit a stage.
Well, first and foremost it's painful, but it's also immensely exhilarating. I was the kid with no teeth and a bunch of scars because I was always doing flips off of things to impress my classmates, and it worked. Strangely enough, that's exactly how I feel when I do drag. I feel like that little kid again just looking to make some friends and feel that adrenaline rush along the way.
Who/what inspires you to keep pulling out the makeup brushes every day?
I feel inspired by music and art and the endless possibility that the future holds. I pick up the brushes and put on the makeup because I want to perform, and ultimately I don't know where it could take me and I like that.
Favorite brand/item of makeup?
I'm not much of a brand whore but I have to admit that investing in some Ben Nye foundations and powders has upped the quality of my drag times like over 9000.
Name three very important items in your purse/drag bag you can’t leave home without.
Honestly, I probably left my house without the purse (I'm so scatterbrained) which means for one night I'm living without 1) my phone 2) my weed or 3) gum wrappers. Never the gum, just the wrapper.
When you’re out in drag, what one thing does everyone want to talk to you about? What do you WISH they would actually talk to you about?
Whenever I'm out in drag people like to talk about my outfit/beauty/tuck, but I wish more people would just sit and talk to me about random crazy BS. I like being surprised and shocked: Tell me about your toe jam fetish or something interesting!!!
If your drag persona had a theme song, what would it be?
Is the Shaft theme song taken? If so, then it's probably “Creator” by Santogold. I feel like that encompasses me pretty well.
They’re casting the movie about your life; what actor and actress would be perfect to play both sides of your coin?
For the boy life I'd say Will Smith, since he used to be gangly and funny, and for the girl maybe like Zoe Saldana? I feel like I could see her getting nasty with some McDonald's at 3 a.m.
Which is harder, given your drag profession: tucking (the legendary act of hiding a man's "candy" while performing) or having a relationship?
A relationship is definitely harder because it involves so many sacrifices, which is difficult because so does being a drag queen. Plus my dick goes numb for a while after I tuck so it's not even comparable.
What does the word “family” mean to you?
I work really hard to impress a lot of people, but I feel like my family is made up of people for whom that is not the case. My family will love me every bit as much when I'm down and out as when I am triumphant, you know?
There’s a bank error in your favor, giving you $15,000. What’s the first thing that you buy?
CHIPOTLE!!! You get a burrito, and you get a burrito, guac for everyone!!!!!
When we check back on you in three years (2018), what do you think you will be up to in your drag career?
I'd like to dream big and say, "touring as the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race!" but I don't want to limit myself, so at least performing across the country.
You can find Yvie performing as the newest cast member of Drag Nation this summer as well as opening for pop star Mya on the Main Stage for PrideFest on Sunday, June 21. She'll also be a part of Bohemia's The Prohibition of Lust at Casselman's on July 18. Plus “like a billion other things that aren't all finalized yet.”