The Making Of Vivica Colada

When did you begin to perform in drag? What (or who) inspired you to start?Well, my first official performance as a literal queen was during my (unofficial) fourth year at UMD, which was in the fall of 2012! But, I mean, being a music major and being involved with Vocal Jazz, I've had some more or less unofficial performances in past cabaret shows, dating back all the way to my freshman year Cabaret: Dance Dance Evolution (spring 2010), when we did "The Time Warp" as our drag number! But as far as doing an actual show, it was the fall of 2012 and Logan Halliday (Fantina Delux), Zach Meier and I kind of made a pact to each other that we were all going to do it together and support one another — that officially made the three of us become drag sisters! But also, watching Ru Paul over the years has been a huge inspiration in learning more about the incredible art form and helping me become more confident and ferocious as I become another being, or I guess, as I embrace a different part of my essence that brings forth more sass and more attitude than I knew was possible!

How did you choose your drag name? To be honest, when I did the first show, I had an entirely different name! I kind of liked it ... It was EeMona Vile ... And people were like ... ew, why? I couldn't really explain why. I was googling names and putting things together and I found ‘Mona Vile’ and I was like, I want to add an ‘ee’ onto there, so I did. And it was fun but I guess it didn't really scream “me.” But then one night, after my first show, I came home late from school to a party that my roommates were having and some friends of ours had a visiting friend from St. Cloud and he happened to be a queen himself who went by the name of ‘Tawnya Tootiseroll.’ Tawnya and I immediately hit it off and she found out that I just broke into the art form so she immediately asked to do my makeup and I replied ‘Of course, mama!’ From that moment on, Tawnya has been my ‘drag mother’ and she gave me my new name of ‘Vivica Colada,’ which I was absolutely obsessed from the first time I heard that name leave her lips.

How long does it take to get ready for a performance? If we're talking just the day of, it takes at least a good three hours to get full face on with a little bit of wiggle room for messing up and having to do something over. Then there's getting into pads and making sure you have all of your accessories, outfit essentials and all of your wigs done up, so I like to give myself five hours minimum to do all of the above. But to get ready for the entire shebang of a performance, I like to choreograph my routines and know the lyrics without even thinking about them. A week is pushing it, if I practice every single day and keep the muscle memory active. But sometimes I start thinking of performance songs, choreography, outfits and everything an entire month in advance. I usually start with six pieces that I could do and narrow it down to three or so, but keep the others in mind for upcoming shows.

Have you performed anywhere other than UMD? You know, I am just about to do my first Flame performance this Saturday at the Duluth Flame! I am so excited I don’t even know what to do with myself!

What is your favorite thing to wear in drag? I'm obsessed with shoes. I just love having the best and cutest shoes, and shoes that make the audience be like ‘Dang girl. Where did you get those beauties?’ But, I also love wearing high quality wigs and just twerking them out!

What is your favorite part about performing? I have two favorite parts about performing. One is that I love seeing the way the crowd reacts and then using that energy to help me stay energized during a performance. I am all about crowd reactions and turning that into performance inspiration. The second thing I love about performing is honestly how pretty it makes me feel inside and out! I mean, this is something that I don't get to showcase on a day-to-day basis, so when I do a show and my face is all done up and I am in a fierce ensemble and everyone is so supportive about everything, it is such a beautiful feeling and it's just so great and nothing can take that away. No one can even try to break me down because it's not just outer beauty at that point — it's beauty that stems from deep within. I love it.

What would you tell someone who wants to start doing drag? If you're just starting in drag, the first thing you have to know is that you need to stay true to yourself. Don't let any outer influences try to change what you love the most and what you feel most comfortable with. Every queen is wearing 6-inch, tiny pumps and you come wearing 3-inch wedges? Do not freak out, just work those wedges and be proud of yourself for being the one that is different! Also, another piece of advice is to do the research before just jumping in and doing your first show.

Who is your favorite drag queen? Favorite queens: Raja, Latrice Royale, Carmen Carrera (fully transitioned at this point and I obviously just love her as a person), Bianca Del Rio and (Logan is going to hate me for this one) Phi Phi O'Hara!

What is your number one beauty tip? Contour, contour, contour, contour, contour! Also, contour for your facial structure! Don't look at your bestie and be like ‘oh, she put her’s here, here and here, so I will too!’ No. Everyone has different face shapes, so we all have to shuffle some makeup around in different places to accommodate to those different shapes.

If you could have anyone's wardrobe, whose would it be? Oh, I love this question! I would honestly fuse the wardrobe selections between Rihanna and Prince and have the sexiest and sassiest and most colorful wardrobe on this planet.

What song would you love to perform to that you haven't already? ‘Superstar Perfect Exceeder’ by Mason vs. Princess. It's amazing and totally screams Vivica Colada!

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