A Proud Queen Spills The T
Okay Willow, drag names come in all shapes and sizes, so how did you come up with your name?
I actually got my name because me and my friends love to roast each other and when I was a wee lad dabbling in makeup and drag one of my friends called me shady. I replied by saying “Yep, just call me Willow”. Like a Willow tree. Right then and there though a bell went off and I knew I had something. A lot of the greats go by a first name only (Beyonce, Madonna, Aaliyah, Rihanna) and so I followed suit!
There can only be one Willow! It’s you girl. Okay so what would you consider the best part of being a drag queen?
Oh man, there really are a LOT of pros to doing drag- the creative outlet, the creative freedom, the tips. I would say my absolute favorite part about doing drag is being able to entertain people. The audience reactions to my performance of a ballad, or getting the gay “finger wave” of approval to my Nicki Minaj lip sync- it’s all so amazing. I love evoking emotions. It’s like theatre. You really can’t get that feeling elsewhere.
So true. What did the road to becoming a drag queen look like?
Long nights in the mirror and a lot of ill-fitting body suits. One time I bought this denim jumpsuit in a large and ripped the butt and pits thinking I could squeeze into a women’s large because I didn’t realize they aren’t the same as Men sizes. One time during a drag competition, one of my competitors mentioned all of her competitors in her “Mean Girls” inspired performance. She referred to me as a Sasquatch in a wig and honestly, fact.
Learning curve! So you figured out the clothes but how did you learn to do drag makeup and hair?
Well, it started with a lot of terrible eyebrows and grey foundation. It was a rough process at first and many nights sitting in my bathroom or living room mirror just practicing new eye shapes and finding the right angle to cut my cheeks at. I watched a lot of tutorials from well-knowns queens that had similar complexions to mine and once I had the foundation laid, pun intended, I would just play around to find what I loved! I’m still learning how to style my own hair so I’m thankful to have some great drag connections (@styledbychamilla is one of my favorites) who are honestly amazing at bringing some of my ideas to life!
So lay it on me, what’s the latest T in the drag world?
Drag is so constant and fast paced there’s always something! I mean most notably, now that Covid restrictions are lifting and everyone is getting vaccinated we can perform in person now without those clear face shields that ruined any sort of nose contouring you may have done! So that’s awesome.
What are your future goals for your drag?
I’d love to put out some really dope music as Willow. I’ve put out verses and have a couple of unfinished songs written but getting recognized for having amazing music and not “Drag Music” would be awesome. I’d also love to make a TV/Movie cameo as Willow. Singing and Acting has always been my passion whether I’m James or Willow so the goals are pretty similar, just a different vehicle!
If you had to lipsync for your life, what would be your go-to song?
This is a hard one. I would say a go-to for me would be something Nicki Minaj like “The Boys”- I love a fast rap with wit and attitude. If it was a ballad or emotional song though I would say “I Care” by Beyonce or “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson.
Any tips for someone who might want to become a drag queen?
Practice practice practice. I spent about a year actively practicing my makeup, and finding outfits, and figuring out who Willow is and I still am to this day! Don’t rush into it, take your time to perfect your craft. Marinate in the learning process. Also- take pictures/videos of yourself whenever you do a look or perform even if it’s bad. Not to post them, but this way, you can study it and learn from your mistakes! I mean if it’s good then definitely post it but you know what I mean. Don’t rush the process.
Where can people find you?
You can find me on all social platforms but I mainly use instagram the most! It’s @willow_thequeen on IG and Twitter- take out the underscore for my facebook, and Willow The Queen on Youtube! I sing, I put out rap verses, and I’m gorgeous, duh! You can also snag your own #WillowSZN merch at www.willowthequeen.bigcartel.com!