For years there have been individuals that I’ve seen around town who captured my imagination. This project, Drawn From the City, became an excuse to find out about their lives through interviews, documenting the cultural life-blood of the city.
Dulce de Leche
How did you get started performing in San Francisco? Love, love brought me [to San Francisco], but 2 months later I was going through a breakup with this man who will remain nameless. I’ve always enjoyed performing and I thought drag was a great focus to get my mind off of the breakup. A friend gave me the stage and that was it. I hit the ground running!
Who is your drag inspiration? Growing up as a child I loved Bette Midler. She was a stocky, portly woman with so much fire and sass ... and that was me. I would watch how she would walk, how she would talk, I see her a lot in Dulce.
The vision for my drag persona is a '50s/'60s blues singer and that’s just the essence of it all. I love Nina Simone, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, the hair, the heels, and everything that was good about that time, but I also like to be a lil dirty too and give the boys a little peek a boo of my panties.
How long does it take to get ready for a show? It depends on how much time I have. I can do an hour special, it’s not the prettiest, but the face is there. Usually I like to take from two and a half to three and a half hours.
Where do you get your costumes? I collaborate with local designers and have most of my outfits custom made. Mr. David and Daffney Deluxe have been my top go-to-gals and we have made some beautiful things. As for wigs, I have a lot of wigs! I have 10 that are completely styled right now and a graveyard of 5 or 10 that need to be refreshed and redone.
Where do you keep all of it? I have a drag den, wigs all around the room on shelves, a rack of boxes and bins of shoes and clothes, the dresses are in the closet. And a little rack of boy’s clothes – at this point I have more girl clothes than boy clothes.
What are your favorite drag nights? I feel like the best drag here in the city is at Club Some Thing, which happens every Friday at the Stud. You can see almost every walk of drag and performance art and it's good. I also really like Bulge (Powerhouse), Beat Pig (PowerHouse), and Booty Call Wednesdays (Qbar).
What do you do for work? I work for a non-profit tech company in eligibility; it's just a job, a 9-5, and has great benefits.
Who in the city inspires you? I would have to say of course my drag family. I am part of The House of More which consist of Glamamore (Grandmother), Juanita More (Drag mother), Gina La Divina (Auntie), VivvyAnne Forevermore (Auntie), and so many other incredible SF and NY performers. But my drag mother (Juanita More) is amazing. She inspires me and has been an amazing mentor. I am a very lucky gal to have her as my mother.
What neighborhood do you live in? I live right across from the LGBTQ center. It's right in the heart of the city, walking distance to the Castro, Mission, SOMA, and so many other cool neighborhoods.
What is your favorite neighborhood? I have always loved the Mission, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing because I am Hispanic but it just has that old San Francisco charm to it. It’s slowly gentrifying but it hasn’t completely turned over yet. If you go to 24th/25th you can still get that nice Mission vibe and good burritos.
What are your favorite events in the city? The summer street fairs – Folsom, Castro, Dore Alley, I think all of those are so San Francisco. I remember my first one, I was just shocked by everything that was going on, my mouth was open, it was amazing and wonderful all at the same time, so sex positive.
What has moving to San Francisco done for you? It has given me my artistic freedom back. I have always loved dabbling and playing but this is real. A lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of thought has gone into everything that I have done here. It’s a wild ride but you just have to keep riding it.
Check back in next Tuesday for more Drawn from the City.
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