I am an artist, performer, choreographer and writer. I made herstory as the first cis-woman to win a major drag queen pageant and subsequently my solo performance works have toured nationally and internationally in wide-ranging contexts from nightclubs to theaters to museums — from Joe’s Pub, New Museum and the historic Stonewall in New York City, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, ODC Theater, The Stud, CounterPulse and de Young Museum in San Francisco, and in Seattle, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Provincetown, London, Edinburgh, Berlin, Zürich, Paris, Reykjavik, Rome, Catania and Cork.
I have created space for kids to dress drag queens at a major museum and created college curricula. I played the DIRT (originated by Justin Vivian Bond) in Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge and Eurydike in Anne Carson’s ANTIGONICK. I engaged in public conversation with Gender Studies luminary Judith Butler and RuPaul bestie Michelle Visage within days of each other. My memoir Faux Queen: A Life in Drag is available January 25, 2022 from Amble Press/Bywater Books
Honors include residencies at Headlands Center for the Arts, Tanzhaus Zürich and Atlantic Center for the Arts, an Irvine Fellowship and residency at the de Young Museum, GOLDIE and BESTIE awards and 7X7 Magazine’s Hot 20. I have been nominated for the Theater Bay Area, Isadora Duncan Dance (IZZIE) and Herb Alpert Foundation awards and have received support from San Francisco Arts Commission, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, CHIME, Center for Cultural Innovation and the Kenneth Rainin and Zellerbach Family foundations.
My work exists at the crossroads of Cabaret and Contemporary Dance and considers the performance of femininity as a powerful, vulnerable and subversive act. I emerged out of a feminist, postmodern, improvisational dance and choreographic lineage, and grew toward a tradition of radical queer performance that uses decadence and drag both to entertain and transcend. My practice of feminism celebrates glamour as masterful artifice, and my intimacy with both the oppressive and empowering effects of feminine tropes allows me to create a zone of play from which I make my particular critique.
Since 2003 I have been deeply engaged in an ongoing performance project, my drag queen persona Fauxnique. As a lens through which I magnify my artistic concerns, Fauxnique typifies and expands the evolution of drag-based performance and furthers the feminist line of inquiry in my work. As Fauxnique, I approach the established tradition of the drag lip-sync as a dance in its own right, and bring to it the rigor of my dance training. I am on the vanguard of what is now a common practice: museums and larger institutions embracing nightclub culture as queer history and contemporary art practice.