There is New York City drag, and there is the force of nature that is known as Epiphany. With a combination of dedication work ethic and unparalleled professionalism, this bombshell has gone from local queen to worldwide superstar. She is back with a weekly show in New York City, and sat down to catch up with me about globe trotting performances, how she got her start during an ultra competitive time for drag in New York City, and when she thinks we finally may see this stunner walk through the doors of the RuPaul's Drag Race workroom
For those that have never seen Epiphany on stage, how would you describe your performance style and “drag” as a whole?
Well I’m very tall and very pretty. It’s sort of a classic Americana old Hollywood look, combined with intelligent wit and sarcasm. I also sing and I enjoy the live performance aspect. I think the combination of how I look and what I do is both disarming and terrifying, but I like it that way!
You are known to perform some legendary performances and some uber sensual ones! How do you choose your material? Any favorites that really stand out?
Well, there is a sexuality to the way I do drag, I’m actually told that a lot. I do a lot of Broadway, because most of those songs tell a story. I guess I choose that because it’s more interesting than pop music which can be a little repetitive to perform. And I try to be a the sexiest horse I can be.
How did Epiphany get her start in the extremely competitive New York City drag scene?
I started here in NYC in the queer/rock scene with Formika and the rest of the gays that were in the East Village back in 2004. It was really just to make some extra money because I was a broke kid. Epiphany sort of took shape and grew into into her own character over time. I’ve worked at literally every gay bar in this city, because I’m really able to adapt to any room and audience and I’m able to read them and see what their expectations are. I can perform at dark smoky rock clubs, or at the Plaza Hotel in a gown looking like a princess. Being adaptable is a huge asset in a city like this.
You are a New York queen who literally travels the globe performing for the masses. What made you first want to spread your wings? Any favorite places you gone to that you absolutely loved? I hear Greece has a special place in your heart…
I come from a family of people who like to travel. I've always been curious about different cultures and languages, and the opportunity to see the world and get paid for it just seemed too perfect to pass up. I really learned a lot about drag and traveling from Sherry Vine and Shequida. When I first started, they were bouncing back and forth to Europe and I thought it looked so glamorous. I just got back from performing in Sri Lanka. Next week I’ll be high in the Swiss Alps. I mean who wouldn't love the chance to have those gigs? I feel really fortunate and blessed to be given the opportunities I have. And yes, Greece has a special place in my heart, I’ve been working there every summer for six years. It’s surreal to live in Mýkonos half your life. It’s such a multi layered and intense island. I wake up some days there and laugh at my life because it’s so unbelievably fierce. The chance to get to know Greece and it’s people will be something I’ll never forget.
What are some of your career highlights so far?
I have worked a lot of parties for very famous people and the biggest gigs I’ve ever had, I can’t talk about. Performing for royalty is something I really enjoy, I also love working in the Middle East. Highlights I can talk about are things like sharing a stage with Dita Von Tease, Mosh, Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton, or Lindsay Lohan. That’s when it really hits you; Drag queens are a big deal these days.
What is left that you want to achieve as Epiphany? Any aspirations to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race perhaps? You are one of the queens most rumored to be cast literally every year!
Woof; Yeah! People ask me daily about Drag Race. I would do it and I should do it. Up till now, I’ve been traveling/working and trying to just keep my head on straight. This is the first year I feel prepared. Drag Race is a life altering experience and maybe up intil now, I’ve just been intimidated by it. I also needed time to mentally prepare myself because when I do get on the show, I want to make sure I portray the most vivid and honest version of myself on television. I think I’d be a good jewel in Ru Paul’s crown, I just needed a little polish before I place myself there.
Speaking of Drag Race several NYC girls have won. How do you think the show as a whole has been for the drag community?
I think for the most part it’s been great for the community. Look, this is the first time in history that drag queens are being paid attention to in a legitimate way; Ru Paul did that. There is a lot of possibility with a platform that large and I think it’s almost a duty we have to the gay community to get on that show and tell the rest of the world that we’re here and we’re not to be fucked with. Queens in general are the fighters of the gay community. Were the ass kickers who are unafraid of the options, comments, or physical violence that is inherently a part of being an outcast. So to wrap up what should be a very much larger conversation, I’ll just say I think Drag Race is great, it gives people a voice who didn’t have one before and that’s undeniably lovely.
You are part of a group of ladies who have raised the bar for drag in New York City and beyond and bring a ton of polish and professionalism. What advice do you have for ladies just starting out?
Clean your lace, wash your tights, brush your teeth, wear deodorant, show up on time, know your words.
The gay community has had a very trying year and politically things are very dark. What do you think are the biggest issues facing our community and what do you see as your part in helping to address them?
Let me emphasize this, things are not dark-yet. Be vigilant and do your fucking homework. Things can turn so fast for our marginalized community as history has shown time and time again. Being obsessed and offended about online posts is behavior that can lead us down a path of weakness. We need to prepare for the worst because there are a lot of assholes in the world who would like to harm our beautiful, colorful brothers and sisters and are often in a political position to do so. Stay awake, pay attention, look at the past and how our daily decisions will have an impact on our futures. Never stop the love that we share as a community, that is our most powerful asset.
It’s the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall this year; What does “pride” mean to you?
Being the first one to throw a brick at the police.
Most importantly’-where can people see you perform?!
Well I’ve only been back for seventy two hours. Weekly you can find me at Industry with Pissi Myles Wednesday’s!
Also the Port Authority men’s room, the Rambles, Washington Sqare Park bathrooms, the Meat Rack in Fire Island, the old church in Mýkonos, the rocks at Elia Beach, Balboa Park, Blacks Beach, the Tiergarten in Berlin, the urinals at Therapy, the list is endless!