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EDITORIAL Timeline

Tammie Brown: 20 Years Of Uncompromising Authenticity

EDITORIALS

20 Years Of Tammie Brown

sidewalkkilla

Tammie Brown has been in the hearts of RuPaul’s Drag Race fans for a decade, but her career started 20 years ago.

Tammie Brown is unarguably one of the most memorable characters that RuPaul’s Drag Race has produced over the past 10 years of its existence. Keith Glen Schubert (the “t” is silent) is behind the creation of the quirky tongue-in-cheek persona that is Tammie Brown, and he has been at it since high school.

Many viewers fell in love with Tammie Brown the moment she walked into the workroom on the very first season of Drag Race, where she went on to utter many of the show’s famous catchphrases like “Tootsie Lou,” “Ha! Ha! I’m acting!,” and the most famous one, “You both called me losers and I don’t see you out there walking children in nature” during a verbal spar with RuPaul at the first season reunion.

A self-proclaimed high-concept character, Tammie has always kept it real, while being an authentic self. This might just be the reason for the longevity of her career in the business that’s producing drag queens like bunnies.

The first time I met Tammie in person was at last year’s RuPauls’s DragCon. Her booth wasn’t even a booth – she was standing in the open, for anyone and everyone to see. Her attitude was friendly and approachable. She looked everyone in the eye, took her time with every single fan, and genuinely thanked everyone who stopped by to say hello.

After we mentioned her several times in Sidewalkkilla’s Instagram Stories, she invited me to Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach, CA, where she was kicking off the first show celebrating 20 years of Tammie Brown. In fact, that is exactly where she first took the stage as herself. I love full-circle moments, but unfortunately not being based on the West Coast, I told her that Sidewalkkilla couldn’t attend the event. “This is Brooklyn,” she wrote, sending me a flyer to her second show, “Come as my guest.”

I was 20 minutes late to the set that was supposed to start at 8 PM at 3 Dollar Bill in Brooklyn, but the minute I took my seat, Philadelphia-based indie-pop artist Pierce Rolli took to the stage as her opening act. He warmed up the audience with several of his songs, while sprightly dancing in his high-heeled booties, gyrating hips and shaking his ‘80s-inspired hairdo.

The moment Tammie walked onstage, everyone in the audience stood up and greeted her with roaring applause. During almost an hourlong set she performed several disco-inspired catchy tunes from her new album Schubert’, which was produced entirely in collaboration with Pierce Rolli himself. The performance was spruced up with some quips typical of Tammie’s character, like “Don’t worry darling, that’s not my hand, that’s toilet paper,” and “Don’t forget that Mexican is another white language – it actually comes from Spain.” The highlight of the night was her duet with Pierce, “Sexy Orangutan,” where Tammie used the fun tune as a means to talk about the environment. This wasn’t the first time Tammie used a song to draw attention to things that she deeply cares about. “The Whale Song,” off her EP A Little Bit of Tammie touches on the subject of conservation. In an interview with Billboard, Tammie mentioned her plans to donate a portion of the EP’s sales to a charity.

At the end of the night, fans who purchased VIP tickets lined up for a meet-and-greet, while Pierce stood shyly to the side, waiting for Tammie to introduce him to her fans.

Great job!” I exclaimed. “Oh thanks so much,” replied Pierce, seemingly taken by surprise. “You make some catchy tunes,” I continued. “Which one was your favorite?,” he asked. “Sexy Orangutan. Did it take you guys a while to write this album?” I inquired. “Just about a week this summer,” he answered. The next moment he was whisked away by Tammie for a group photo with fans.

The meet-and-greet was over and the artists were about to leave for the green room, but not before I stepped in Tammie’s way and thanked her for the invite. “Oh you are so welcome,” she said as she gave me a long, tight hug. “You guys have an amazing energy together onstage,” I said. “Oh thank you, his voice resonates well with mine.” Tammie answered, “The first time we met, we didn’t do vocals, we went back and forth on the ideas via Instagram.” She shared that she was happy with Pierce’s work and they both sounded very excited for the new album.

It’s always exciting to see artists who use their platform and artistic medium to speak on the things they care about and promote awareness. It’s no surprise to see that 20 years after Tammie’s birth in heels, she keeps her dedicated fanbase, while growing a new one with her music and personal projects like The Browns, an Instagram show that is also a comedic gem. Here’s to another 20 successful years of Tammie Brown and her quirky, lovely self!

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Festivals The Mixer Timeline

My First Time At Bushwig

THE MIXER | EVENTS


09-07-19

My First Time At Bushwig Festival

You are definitely in for a treat if this is your first time attending Buswhig. Read about Mark Minton’s experience.

The first time I even heard of Bushwig was just before it started last year. I had just moved to New York less than a month prior and was paying rent to sleep on a couch in a one-bedroom in the South Bronx. Trekking to Brooklyn usually took me longer than an hour, and at the time I was so rattled by the impulsive decision to quit my job in Kansas and move to NYC with minimal savings and no income that I decided to stay home and cry instead of going to what is arguably the best drag fest in New York City.

I now live a 30-minute walk and a seven-minute Uber ride from Knockdown Center, the event space that hosts Bushwig. So this year staying home really wasn’t an option. I had already secured a press pass after accosting Horrorchata at the Bushwig On Top takeover a few days prior at Le Bain, and I was ready to attend a festival dedicated entirely to the art of drag for the first time in my life. 

Molestia Child

The weird thing about Bushwig is that it starts early in the afternoon at around 1 p.m. So when I got out of my Uber five hours later at the corner of Flushing and 55th St., wearing Puma sneakers, a short golden dress I got at a thrift store down the street for eight bucks, no makeup, and the signature patent leather tufted beret I rescued from a stock room at Bloomingdale’s in Soho, I felt strange. There was a draft between my legs. The evening light had not yet waned. Shadowy drivers catcalled as they passed me in their cars. Pedestrians whistled at me from across Flushing Ave. I didn’t want to wear pants to a drag fest, so I wore a dress, but to me that was the bare minimum. I thought I would get out of my Uber, disappear into a swarm of drag queens and kings and in-betweens, and reemerge into the comfort of a moonlit darkness where social norms seem to disappear, or at least sleep. 

It took a moment before I even saw Knockdown Center. I started walking the wrong way, and then I turned around. As people waved and whistled I smiled bashfully and wrapped my arms around my waist to hug myself in reassurance as I crossed the street. The smile said, “I’m in on the joke,” but the body language said, “Holy fuck why does this shit start at 1 p.m.?” But just as soon as I was lost, I found myself in that magical crowd of people in full face and look in the day’s last, gloaming light — wigs down to the ankles, lips overdrawn to the cheek, pads and bodysuits and choruses of “Hey sis!” I had found safety, but now the embarrassment was less that I stood out too much and more that I didn’t measure up to the legions of drag artists who had all shown up with something to show.

Charity Kase

Bimini

Georgia Tasda

After I feverishly gulped down a pair of diminutive $15 tequila sunrises, I lingered by the stage and watched from the back of the crowd as the “London Takeover” segment of the festival got underway. The first artist I watched was Georgia Tasda, who walked the stage with a giant white flag graffiti’d “Fuck Brexit.” My favorite picture of the performance only got the “Fuck” part of the message. The silhouette of the crowd obscured the rest. But “Fuck” to me said it all perfectly enough. “Fuck.” It felt right. Other queens in the act such as Bimini and Charity Kase gave some of my favorite performances of the night and got me thinking about a trip to the UK (feel free to book me for any big upcoming events, London ladies). It was a reminder that drag is like a universal language, bringing people together from all over the planet.

Most of what I do is photograph parties and, more specifically, the attendees of parties. The performances at Bushwig were nonstop, back to back, and after standing stageside for what must have been at least two hours, I felt sated by some of the amazing numbers by artists such as Blake Deadly, God Complex, Violencia Exclamation Point, and Tammie Brown.

Violencia Exclamation Point

I decided it was time to get some food, so I followed some friends to the food trucks in the outdoor commons. The lines were long, the turnaround times were long, and I’d been drinking for about 30 hours straight and had neglected to feed myself. So I left Knockdown with Willie Page and found a cluster of bodegas a few blocks away. On the way we passed a big white clown face built into a white wooden wall. Bushwig felt like it extended beyond Knockdown Center. It somehow seemed like all of Brooklyn, maybe even all of New York City, was eclipsed by the happening of Bushwig. Cashiers asked if there was a party going on. Somehow it was a hard question to answer.

When we got back, I milled through the crowd and found a few friends. Luka Ghost wore his quintessential white Deer Goddess regalia and crouched in a creepy nook I couldn’t divine the purpose of. Basit Shittu and Kylie Smith from the first fully queer season eight cast of Are You The One? just so happened to be wearing neon-green spaghetti-strapped garments that perfectly matched a neon-green spaghetti strap dress that West Dakota wore. They posed for a photo together and talked like old friends, but I think it was truly a coincidence that they were all wearing neon-green outfits with green spaghetti straps. It might have been planned though. I might have been drunk(er) by then. 

Candy Sterling looked hot. Her dancers looked hot. They all posed against a wall with their asses out. It was hot. Serena Tea was dressed like cocktail fish and I snapped a photo of her on the metal stairs of a storage (barn?) unit. She didn’t know and I didn’t know and nobody else knew (I don’t think) that the next night she would be crowned Miss Bushwig 2019. I didn’t know anyone was going to be crowned Miss Bushwig, though. I’m learning more every day.

Luka Ghost

Kylie Smith, Basit Shittu & West Dakota

Candy Sterling and dancers

J Rosa

When we got back, I milled through the crowd and found a few friends. Luka Ghost wore his quintessential white Deer Goddess regalia and crouched in a creepy nook I couldn’t divine the purpose of. Basit Shittu and Kylie Smith from the first fully queer season eight cast of Are You The One? just so happened to be wearing neon-green spaghetti-strapped garments that perfectly matched a neon-green spaghetti strap dress that West Dakota wore. They posed for a photo together and talked like old friends, but I think it was truly a coincidence that they were all wearing neon-green outfits with green spaghetti straps. It might have been planned though. I might have been drunk(er) by then. 

Candy Sterling looked hot. Her dancers looked hot. They all posed against a wall with their asses out. It was hot. Serena Tea was dressed like cocktail fish and I snapped a photo of her on the metal stairs of a storage (barn?) unit. She didn’t know and I didn’t know and nobody else knew (I don’t think) that the next night she would be crowned Miss Bushwig 2019. I didn’t know anyone was going to be crowned Miss Bushwig, though. I’m learning more every day.

MTHR TRSA

Overall, the first night of Bushwig was a night I’ll never forget. As I left, MTHR TRSA (pronounced “Mother Theresa”) was lying in the parking lot eating pretzels with her mouth full, the sharp signature contour of her cheeks dancing to the motions of her insatiable masticating maw. We left Knockdown and J Rosa posed next to corrugated sheet metal and a graffiti’d rape van in a long-sleeved black Calvin Klein shirt and a clown beat. All the way home, Bushwig kept going and going. 

I didn’t make it to the final night of Bushwig because I foolishly decided to stay in Manhattan, and I also didn’t know a Miss Bushwig 2019 crowning was a thing, but throughout the weekend I was amazed by the talent and bravery I witnessed both online and in person at that festival. It was such an amazing space for so many drag artists to come together and show how wide-ranging, diverse, and intrepid the art of drag really is. Let’s just say it’s the actual NYC DragCon.

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Categories
Events Festivals The Mixer Timeline

Bushwig 2019: Portraits And Performances With Slayyyter, Aja, Florida Maniac And More

THE MIXER | EVENTS


Bushwig 2019: Portraits And Performances

Bushwig festival has celebrated eight years! This was only our second year even knowing about it. Kind of sucks, because we’ve missed so many years of awesomeness. 

It was first started in 2012 by two local drag queens- Horrorchata and Babe Trust. Now, it has gone international. Berlin is the other hosting city at the moment. We are sure it will only keep growing.

There were many incredible performers this year. Lady BunnySlayyyter, Nina West, Scarlet Envy and Tammie Brown– just to name a few. One of the best things that happened this year was Serena Tea’s performance. She transformed into a human from a car on stage. An amazing homage to Bumblebee from the “Transformers” movie franchise.

Another notable moment of the night was Serena Tea’s crowning as the new Mx. Bushwig. Two previously reigning queens Charlene and Juku oversaw the ceremony. To sum it up, we can’t wait for the next year’s Bushwig festival already. Furthermore, we can’t wait to attend it in Berlin.

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Categories
Events Festivals Timeline

Throwback: RuPaul’s DragCon 2018 with RuPaul, Aquaria, Alyssa Edwards And More

EVENTS | FESTIVALS


Throwback: RuPaul’s DragCon 2018 With RuPaul, Alyssa Edwards, Aquaria & More

Ornacia was the first thing I saw once I got to RuPauls DragCon 2018. She was comfortably propped up on top of Vivacious’ head. Vivacious was moving about the floor with her signature strut.

At one point I’ve noticed a sudden commotion. RuPaul was walking through the crowd and everyone went bananas. Mama Ru got on stage and was shortly joined by Alyssa Edwards. Alyssa sashayed on stage to enlist RuPaul to help promote her then upcoming Netflix show “Dancing Queen.

The rest happened in a blur. Aquaria is in front of us. She is blinded by her white-out contacts. Marti Gould Cummings is prompting her with lines. The famous drag queen is adorably not able to keep up.

Next thing you know, Monét X Change’s manager is telling us not to take photos while she is chewing gum, even though I all admit its hilarious. Then Vanessa Vanjie Mateo reads us for filth for taking her pictures from below. Which is totally awesome.

After that, Alyssa Edwards is done shooting for press for the day. Which I totally ignore and just do it from the distance anyway. Swear she knew she was being photographed though, just look at her pics.

Our favorite moment of the day though, was when Abhora was walking around on her stilts and scaring the crap out of everyone. Then all of a sudden Nicole Paige Brooks calls her over. The stilted scary drag queen transformed into a puppy in a matter of seconds. In other words, it was one of the most touching moments I’ve ever witnessed.

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Alexey Kim

Founder