You would be hard pressed to find another queen who has had such an interesting path to success like the one that Nebraska Thunderfuck has had. From being part of the makeover challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Five, to now headlining her own shows in drag meccas like Las Vegas, this statuesque dynamo has more than paved her own way to success, landing on everything from magazine covers to Marco Marco runways. I caught up with Thunderfuck to talk about her path to success, her wonderfully unique relationship with an innovative artist and another Drag Race alum, and why “Big Tit Energy” is one of the secrets to her success!
For those that have never seen Nebraska Thunderfuck on stage, how would you describe your performance style and “drag” as a whole?
I am a Glamazon. I stand as tall as a billboard, love tequila and am full of Big Tit Energy. I served my country as a Fleet Marine Corpsman and now I am still serving my country… just with a more fabulous uniform. Nebraska Thunderfuck, reporting for duty!
How did Nebraska Thunderfuck get her start in the always burgeoning Las Vegas/Los Angeles drag scene?
Well my start was actually on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 5 during the makeover episode. That cracked the door open, and then i kicked it down and entered guns blazing. Las Vegas is a cutthroat drag scene. You need a thick skin and sharp claws to make it in this city. In June, I completed a residency on the Vegas Strip at Bally’s Hotel and Casino and have been touring the globe since. My new residency in Las Vegas launches this Summer!
It’s so hard to stand out in the sometimes scene and in drag; how have you carved out your own niche?
I am 6’5 tall out of drag, so i have never really had an issue standing out. In drag I am over severn foot tall with double D tits full of goals and bombshell hair for the gods! It was important to me to cultivate a drag persona based off of my own experiences. My military and modeling background, Vegas life, personal vices, struggles and affinities. For her look, I wanted a wild Las Vegas fantasy brought to life. All of these things make Nebraska Thunderfuck a badass bitch who knows exactly what she wants and how to get it.
What are some of your career highlights so far? I hear you have started releasing some pretty incredible music…
Yes I have! I recently released two songs in collaboration with Velo and Derrick Barry. Bitch Please is a song you can smoke a blunt too and Sexy is a song to throw back tequila shots too. I have written lyrics and poetry my entire life so creating these songs was not only a lot of fun, but extremely therapeutic. I put hidden messages in both songs. Anyhow, because of the overwhelming response to the music, Velo, Derrick and I have already written three more songs. They will be out later this year for our Bitch Please EP. I vibe with Velo’s creativity and Derrick can do anything, so for me it is the perfect team.
Last year I became the first signed Drag Queen to a Las Vegas modeling agency. I signed a deal with Envy Models to be represented as both a male model and as Nebraska. Since then, I booked my first two magazine covers in drag. Another highlight for me is connecting with so many different people from around the world. I love positive energy, engaging with people, hearing their stories, sharing creative together. I met a beautiful girl named Janina from Finland who has a tattoo of me as Nebraska on her leg, and another fabulous girl named Kaylea in the UK also with a Nebraska tattoo. There is also this incredible girl named Olivia that recreated one of my looks head to toe and wore it to my show in Nottingham. People like that inspire me. Those moments push me to work even harder, take even bigger risks.
The wildest highlight so far was meeting my lifelong hero Janet Jackson. It was after her performance at the Billboard Awards in Vegas. She was everything I always imagined she would be and so much more. I got to share with her how her music has impacted me throughout my life and we even got a photo together. That moment was affirmation to me that not only am I on my right path, but that anything in this life is possible.
Your modeling career is just as, or almost as successful as your career in drag. How did you get a start in front of the camera? What are some of your favorite highlights in front of the camera?
I always wanted to be a model, but coming from foster care I just didn’t think it was practical. So I enlisted in the military instead. After six years of serving my country in the armed forces, I felt a need to do something for myself. So I packed all of the belongings I could fit into my car and moved to Los Angeles. I would drive around to open calls around the city with my 4×6 photos hoping to get signed by an agency. Instead I kept hitting dead-ends, my savings account balance was getting close to zero and I started to feel like maybe I had made the wrong decision. I had a friend in Las Vegas that encouraged me to come out there and try my luck. I entered a runway modeling competition hosted by Fashion Week Las Vegas where the prize included getting signed to a Las Vegas modeling agency-I fucking won! Fast forward to now and I have ten magazine covers, two billboard campaigns and have walked LA Fashion Week for fashion designers like Marco Marco and Perry Meek. The road to our dreams isn’t an easy one and sometimes when things aren’t going our way, we have to blaze our own trail.
What is left that you want to achieve as ? Any aspirations to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race perhaps? Talk about a full circle moment!
More music, more magazine covers and World Domination. One day I would love to make history as the first makeover recipient to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. That would be a full circle moment for my journey. Until then however, I am enjoying evolving as an artist, building connections around the world and living out my wildest dreams.
You are in a polyamorous relationship with Derrick Barry and Nick San Pedro. You all are very open about your relationship and it can serve as an example to others. What is it like being in a relationship with such strong personalities?
Thank you for recognizing our relationship. I am very proud of the life the three of us have cultivated together. We do all have strong personalties, but they compliment each other. We push each other out of our comfort zones, lift one another up if we are down and celebrate each other’s successes. I am extremely inspired by both Derrick and Nick for different reasons. I love the artwork Nick creates on canvas and his beautiful vision of the world. I love Derrick’s Britney and attention to details, the way he moves his body on stage commands a crowd. They make me a very happy man and Queen.
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?
Look, I respect both Democrats and Republicans. Part of what makes our country so great is that people have the freedom to believe and support whatever they feel passionate about. However, when politicians start threatening or taking away our rights it is important that we unify to take a stand. Our Trans brothers and sisters have a right to serve our country in the Armed Forces and that right needs to be protected. It is also our constitutional right to be able to marry whomever we love and have that unity protected. We also have the right to walk into any establishment and be served, just as anyone else would, regardless of that business owners personal beliefs or practices. Our community will not accept these injustices brought brought on by the Trump/Pence administration and our spirit WILL NOT be compromised.
Five years from now, where do you want to your career?
I envision both my male modeling and drag career completely merged. RuPaul has shifted my paradigm of what it means to be a model. That shift in thinking has opened me up to new possibilities. I am now empowered to convey any mood, look, pose or concept in front of the camera regardless of gender restrictions. I am a new breed of supermodel, a model that can do it all and I intend to.
What does “pride” mean to you? Being proud of who you are and living out loud.
I have pride in my relationship, in my queendom and in our diverse and powerful LGBT community.
Most importantly-where can people see you perform?!
I just recently wrapped residencies in both Las Vegas and Seattle. I am now currently on tour and we are always adding new dates. My social media has upcoming cities and dates!