When her friend Pissi Myles got a feature on Christopher Street Extension, fellow Philadelphia queen Bev asked jokingly, “Where’s mine?”
It was high time I met Bev anyway–she’s consistently popping up in my feeds in drag lineups, and I’ve heard nothing but good things. And that’s probably because she’s “Philly’s premiere Christian drag queen,” according to her Facebook fan page.
A dental office manager by day and a queen of comedy by night, Bev is one of the drag scene’s funny ladies, following in the footsteps of the many greats like Coco Peru, Jackie Beat, and Sherri Vine. Originally, Bev was going to take after Coco and wear one specific wig as part of her shtick. However, an addiction to styling wigs led to Bev’s bedroom becoming home to about three dozen wig heads, each with its own big head of hair.
A theatre graduate, Bev’s drag persona got her start during a ten-year stint in productions in Baltimore. Bev and her friend (who named her character “Carol”) created their “good Christian mother” characters in Hairspray. This led to Bev and Carol filming a number of YouTube videos on Bev’s channel, allowing them to goof around on camera.
After moving to Philly from Baltimore to support her boyfriend’s career, Bev decided to use the opportunity to make a break in the drag scene. She made an appearance at Philly’s annual OutFest (a LGBTQ* celebration coinciding with National Coming Out Day), where she befriended a few drag queens. She began making waves by competing in Circus of the Stars, a weekly competition where she won her week and came back to compete in the finale. Though she didn’t win the finale, Bev met other drag performers and established some connections.
But it wasn’t until she competed on Mimi Imfurst’s Drag Wars at Voyeur that Bev saw the most exposure. Bev placed second in cycle three in 2013 and came back in the All Stars cycle to snatch the crown which led to multiple bookings in the area. Since then, Bev has been a mentor for queens in the last two Drag Wars cycles and was a mentor for Pissi Myles’s winning season during cycle four.
Bev said she had to be self sufficient when she first started doing drag, so now being able help queens through Drag Wars is something she enjoys doing.
“I tend to be most hands on out of the mentors,” she explained. “I am the one to say ‘hey let’s all take a trip to the wig store together,’ or have the queens send me their mixes so I can give suggestions.”
Bev’s comedy pokes fun at current events, such as the infamous Kim Davis case, whose story was “the gift that keeps on giving” for her character. But just like any comedian, sometimes jokes and numbers won’t sit well with an audience. The first mixes for Bev highlighted the “God warrior” speech from “Trading Spouses” as well as Betty Bowers’ “America’s Best Christian.”
Bev said she’s performed a Bill Cosby number dozens of times to good reception, but at a recent gig, she could tell immediately the crowd was not enjoying it. Going home a little upset that the number bombed, Bev had to tackle some backlash from those offended by the material last Thursday.
The comedienne qualified for the Miss National Comedy Queen 2015 pageant after placing third in the Miss Northeastern Comedy Queen preliminaries.
She said normally the top two placing queens are invited to compete, but they were so impressed with all three that Bev was invited to come to the national competition. However, Bev originally didn’t want to go out of respect for Kitty Klottsalot and Mimi Imfurst, who were the top two. But Mimi had to drop out last minute, which led Bev to change her mind and compete as the new first alternate.
Being used to what Baltimore pageants were like, Bev said she didn’t realize she had to have two packages, a different gown and talent for each night. Despite this, she did well in the competition, placing fourth runner-up. Her hilarious performance (see above) was chock-full of pop culture references and funny quips.
But now that she knows what she needs to bring this time around, she’s ready to try again this year.
“Everyone was super nice and seemed super receptive to what I had to offer,” she said. “It was also great to get to know Kitty while we were in Orlando, since we didn’t really get a chance to talk during the preliminaries.”
The comedienne recently began filming her makeup process on live Facebook streams like her fellow Philly drag performers Satine Harlow and Iris Spectre. She decided to do this as a way to have fun interactions with her followers and make light of those who take the makeup process so seriously.
“I didn’t want it to be like ‘hey, who wants to paint like me?’ ’cause the answer is no one. No one does,” Bev joked. “No one gives a shit about what brush I use. No one gives a shit about what color contour I’m using.”
Bev’s “Bitchfest” show at Tabu in Philly recently celebrated its second anniversary in October. The show has had a number of guest performers, including Bob the Drag Queen and winners of New York’s “So You Think You Can Drag” competitions. On Saturday, Tabu will be home to a very talented lineup for “Bitchfest,” which will feature Mrs. Kasha Davis from Rupaul’s Drag Race season seven. Others slated to perform are Iris Spectre, Mora Love, Anita Manhattan, Brittany Marie, and Abowla Dix.
Doors open at 9 p.m. with the show starting at 10. VIP tickets are available both at the door and in advance for $20, which includes a free cocktail, guaranteed seat, and a meet and greet with Mrs. Kasha Davis. General admission tickets cost $10.
And if you want more Bev, you can catch her starring in the Haus of Ham’s dragified rendition of “Mean Girls,” renamed “Mean Gays,” on Feb. 6 and 7 at iCandy nightclub in Philly. She will play Miss Norbury and Regina George’s mom, which will surely be so “fetch.”
Tickets are available at $12 for general admission and $20 for VIP seating. Doors will open at 7 p.m and show time is at 8.
All photos used were given to us by Bev. YouTube videos are courtesy of her channel.