If you’re a fan of a good local drag show or theater performance, Los Angeles is as good as it gets. Reality television aside, being up close and personal with a drag performer, be it in a lip sync moment or a good comedy routine, will really make you appreciate the talent that exists in the drag community. Because of the hyper-sensationalized drag ‘experience’ that exists in the media, we forget that the art of drag has no boundaries and behind every painted face lays a dancer, singer, comedian, and utterly talented individual who possesses many creative skills.
For L.A.-based drag performer, Roz Drezfalez (a play on everyone’s favorite bargain bin ROSS Dress for Less), being a drag queen is more than just a lip sync. I mean, she’ll still take your dollars, but she has built her brief career as a drag queen on her start as a stand-up comedian and love of acting. Roz was recently in the Peaches Christ production of Mean Gays where she played the goth art geek, and voice of reason, Janice Ian.
But now, Roz Drezfalez, has joined the army of modern personalities that are conquering the podcast audio waves. Her new podcast, Ghosted!, is a slumber party pillow talk where guests share scary stories from personal experience and sometimes we get to hear stories submitted by the listeners. Ghosted guests already include Selene Luna, Peaches Christ, Sam Pancake, Meg Molloy, David Oman, Kyle Ayers, Debra Wilson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Kim Chi.
I had a chat with Roz to learn a little more about the drag comedian with a love for the supernatural and paranormal:
INSTINCT: Where are you from?
Grand Rapids, Michigan, but I’ve been here [L.A.] for ten years.
INSTINCT: How long have you been doing drag?
I started dabbling in 2010, but I was kind of a stay-at-home drag queen for a while. I would say that I’ve been full-time at it for about three and a half years.
INSTINCT: What made you want to be a drag performer?
I was doing stand-up comedy as a boy and I’ve always been such a huge fan of drag and getting to see so many drag performers always inspired me. So I thought—I’ll give it a shot. And I noticed there weren’t many drag queens doing stand-up in comedy clubs and shows. I said, “Oh, I guess that’s a position that needs to be filled!” So I started doing it that way, but then I completely fell in love with playing around with gender and being able to express myself in a different way while still being myself. Who doesn’t love dress up? So I did more comedy, drag shows, acting stuff, and then podcasting—podcasting is the way to do drag because—you know—you can wear whatever you want and it’s very comfortable.
INSTINCT: What do you like most about drag culture?
I love having a job where people just hand you dollar bills. I mean, that’s the best. It’s just an incredible community of people. Of outsiders, weirdos. I don’t believe there are rules to being a drag queen—or what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t do—we’re sort of allowed to express ourselves the way we want to. It’s an accepting community.
INSTINCT: So tell me about Ghosted!
It’s a ghost story podcast. I am in LOVE with hearing ghost stories! I had the idea one day, wouldn’t it be fun to have all kinds of people on–friends of mine, famous people, everyday people, all kinds of people—who have these kinds of experiences with paranormal or unexplained events. It’s just a safe space for us to talk about it. It’s spooky at times, it is sentimental at times, but for the most part we keep it funny the whole time. If you like things that are spooky and you like to laugh and even if you don’t believe in ghosts–it’s fun to listen to people who believe what they’re saying—it’s like watching a horror movie but through your ears!
INSTINCT: What have been some of your favorite stories so far?
Oh my gosh! I had someone that visited a cemetery that is known as the ‘Gateway to Hell’—which was REALLY scary! I recently had someone who was awoken by a ghost—which is my nightmare—to be awoken by a ghost! I’ve had so many good ones! Ghosts floating over people’s beds while they’re sleeping—I definitely don’t have a favorite—there’s too many to choose from. But definitely some spooks!
INSTINCT: Do you have any ghost stories of your own?
Yes—you should listen to the first episode! With a Quija board that I purchased at a thrift store.
INSTINCT: What else in store for the podcast?
Well, my #1 icon of the horror world is going to be a guest on the show. I’ll be interviewing them this week. If people know me and they like my sense of humor and my all around personality—I’m really inspired by this person. I’m not naming names, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that. We’re also working on getting a professional psychic up in here to get answer some questions for me. I’m also hoping to do more ghost hunting. I’m getting so many ghost stories from listeners and I’m so excited to share them because it’s showing all the different kinds of experiences people have had.
INSTINCT: How was it playing Janice Ian in Mean Gays?
It was so AMAAAAAAZING! I love Peaches [Christ]—we’ve been friends for a couple of years now. I got to do this show called SHEETLE-JUICE with Bianca Del Rio and was so fortunate to work with Peaches. I’ve been a fan of hers for so long. When it worked out for me to play Janice, I was so honored. I got to do the whole tour—we actually have more dates coming up. It was just so much fun. It really brought out the angsty teen that’s not too deep within me and the cast was so fun! I love Kim Chi, Laganja, and Willam! We had a good time!
INSTINCT: What’s next for Roz Drezfalez?
I did a feature film called Moon Manor which should be out soon. I am really working a lot on the podcast and focusing on acting and stand-up. I have my show at the Hollywood Improv called “The Once-Over” which has been really fun developing.
INSTINCT: As your career progresses, do you think you will ever leave the Roz character behind?
I don’t know! I don’t even know who I am—it’s so the same person. I don’t even go by my boy name—unless I’m in bed or it’s on a paycheck. But whatever I do I am Roz and everything I do will be Roz in one way or another. That’s just who I am.
Keep up with Roz Drezfalez and go check out Ghosted! If you’re into things that go bump in the night! Available wherever podcasts are streaming! New episodes out every Thursday! Today’s episode features Sharon Houston and Jackie Johnson!