At the start of the year, we named the thirteen freshest faces of drag in Denver, choosing from the latest lineup of drag stars giving their all on Denver's stages. Now that list will come to life with a special show starring all thirteen queens at Charlie’s on Saturday night.
To understand how Denver’s drag-performance scene is blossoming, picture a giant garden with a lot of tall, blooming flowers — the reigning queens — surrounded by colorful bursts of new buds. One of the most colorful buds is Jessica L’Whor, who took on the daunting task of gathering a bouquet of twelve more performers for a special spotlight show, Westword’s Thirteen Freshest Faces of Denver Drag, all while basking in the glory of her newfound status as Best New Queen on the Scene in the Best of Denver 2016.
The show will be a high-energy collection of the best and brightest new faces, showing why they're more than just pretty faces. In advance of the show, we pinned down Ms. L’Whor for a few quick questions about the production and her ever-brightening world.
Westword: First off, congratulations on being named our Best New Queen on the Scene! What does this accolade mean to you?
Jessica L’Whor: Thank you! I really appreciate that. This recognition has meant the world to me! Not only was it extremely surprising to read about, but it was and still continues to be so surreal. There is still a side of me that hasn't quite adjusted to people bringing it up. I find myself so critical of everything that I do that I still continue to doubt having this title. When I think of literally all of the new performers in Denver that are equally and/or more talented than myself, I can’t help but think someone else is more deserving. Then there is the side of me that feels proud, honored and humbled to receive a title for doing something you do…just because you love doing it.
So what does it mean to you to be part of the Thirteen Freshest Faces of Drag sisterhood? And how do you keep your face so fresh?
Being part of the thirteen freshest faces of drag sisterhood is a feeling like no other. When you look at all thirteen performers, there is so much uniqueness to every single person on that list. For me, these are individuals that I have watched perform, analyzed their makeup, and essentially looked up to in the drag world. Being one of the youngest in this group of performers that I looked up to while “growing up” in the drag world, it's a feeling of just pure excitement. Sharing this type of recognition with people you enjoy performing with and you’ve had a lot of positive interactions with makes being part of the thirteen faces even better. I’m sure for everyone — at least for me — it was one of the first signs where I felt I wasn’t wasting my time doing something I’ve grown to love.
I feel like one of my strengths is always keeping my face fresh! I’ve never been one to care if I look the “prettiest” or the “fiercest” or the “most polished.” I keep my face fresh by doing me, trying new things, taking risks, constantly critiquing myself, and changing at least one, if not multiple things, about my face every time that I go out in drag.
Was it hard to get the entire gang together for the upcoming show?
This show was a roller coaster to plan! Between getting a date that worked with the venue and all (or as many) of the girls was challenging. I had to cancel and reschedule and keep the girls in the loop back and forth and back and forth for weeks. I was very happy with their patience, and after hard work, persistence and event planning, which is my specialty, the show became an actual thing. I am so excited that all thirteen of the faces are able to perform at one of the best bars in town!
I picture you as Dolly Parton leading all of the gals of your Best Little L'Whorhouse in Denver in this adventure. Can you give me one word to describe each of the thirteen Freshest Faces?
I’ll take it! Dolly and my breasts are both pretty huge, plus L’WhorHouse is the name of my show in Fort Collins! There are so many words to think of to describe each of these performers.
Alyssa Love: Extremely high-energy, keeps your heart rate up!
Mile High Pinky Pie: Exudes emotion; she makes you feel the song with her.
Lala Shearz: Most on-point lip sync, NEVER misses a syllable.
Amber Shearz: Flawless face EVERY time, PAINTED.
Mona Liza England: Most conceptually unique and crazy confident.
Lacey Vanderpump: True Fish, can’t take your eyes off of her.
Menaje E’Toi: Sexy and Sassy…body-ody-ody.
Krystina Fatale: Constantly taking risks; she’s never afraid of a challenge.
Yvie Oddly: Brings performing to a whole new unmatchable level, UQ15.
Arial StaxXx: Like a StaxXx, owns and makes the stage her bitch.
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Daphne DeCoteau: Head-to-toe 100% intentional, detail-oriented and perfect execution.
Amya Kunt: The quadruple threat…gorgeous, hilarious, genuine and talented.
After the Thirteen Fresh Faces show, what's your next big move?
After this show, I want to continue to do “The Thirteen Show” throughout the year on the months where there are five weekends. Seeing the progression of the performers and getting all this talent together a couple times a year would be amazing…. I have some ideas to make the show even better moving forward! I also want to dabble more in the pageant world and Imperial Court of the Rocky Mountain Empire. I’m working to get more out-of-state gigs; I will be performing in L.A. next month, as well as some other places soon to come. I am also preparing for Denver Pride weekend: It is going to be jam-packed with all of the fun events/shows/etc. that I am honored and so freaking excited to be a part of! Finally, I am about to graduate from CSU, and with that comes a promise that I set about two years ago. I have always told myself that the year I graduate, if I felt ready, I was going to go for a huge opportunity one time and see what happens. I’m in the process of putting that opportunity into play!
Get down with the Thirteen Freshest Faces of Denver Drag at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Charlie’s, 900 East Colfax Avenue. The show is 21+ with a $5 cover; find more info at charliesdenver.com.