After Scouring the Courtyard of Her Majesty’s Palace…
Or in this case -her apartment complex- for what seemed like half a day- we eventually got to sit down and meet with the first guest of The Greggo Show, Miss Louisianna Purchase!
Some paraphrased bits of the conversation are below, and as always the full episode is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. If neither of those are your jam- check out all of our podcast links.
WARNING: DRAGULA SEASON 3 SPOILERS INBOUND. IF YOU HAVEN’T STARTED WATCHING IT ON NETFLIX PLEASE GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER AND MEET US BACK HERE– SKIP THIS EPISODE IF YOU NEED TO SIS!
Touting a freshly dyed neon-green haircut and paired with two other bowls of greenery, we sat down on the eve of her flight to the Dragula European Tour with the Mother of Darkness herself and discuss some of her most memorable moments on Dragula, her 2020 projects (a Hard Candy Presents Tour and a musical project with Mr.Kitty) Satanism, and coping with existential pressures.
G: So where’s the first place you’re heading to for the tour in Europe?
L: “The first place is London. I’ve been there before for DragWorld UK last August and I did a burlesque number in Kent and that was a lot of fun! I’m not looking forward to the long ass flight though but Evah and I are flying there together tomorrow, so I’m excited for that.”
G: That’s amazing! How is it working with Evah now?
L: “I love having Evah in Austin, it’s nice not only having her in closer proximity, but we have her in Die Felicia now and it’s so much fun. I enjoy having her in town and it’s nice to have all your Judy’s that you hang out with, but it’s also nice to have someone that I can hang out and talk Dragula shop with. “
G: I got really great video of her [at Die Felicia] doing that crazy F*@king Duckwalking that I call “The Clown Car” (Sidenote: Instagram destroyed it by corrupting the file memory, redemption is necessary!)
L: “It’s insane, I’m like oh god girl, your knees are very strong, ’cause I’m like, no …I can’t do that.”
G: How was it having Yovska stay with you while she was in Austin for Die Felicia?
L: Oh it was awesome, I enjoyed Yovska and loved having her around on the show, her mind and imagination is insane. I always thought it was cute when she’d say cunty things- I’d be like
G: So a lot of what I guess you could say is “your brand” is like spooky and dark stuff, but what else would you say is very *Louisiana Purchase*?
L: As much as I love Dark and Spooky stuff, I also love stereotypically feminine things. I really like the balance of softness and darkness and that’s what makes it interesting to me. I’m not interested in just like one side not being balanced by the other- I kind of like the balance of light and darkness..that’s what I enjoy myself.”
G: Like that pink fairy/vampire look you did on the show.
L: “Yeah, that’s what I love- balancing Macabre and sweetness. That’s why a lot of some of my favorite movies like The Love Witch are my favorite- it takes that macabre/witchcraft element and wraps it up in this soft pastel world that’s really ultra-feminine and I just think that’s so smart and so interesting. In a lot of my favorite older vampire films, all of the female protagonists are very glamorous and very soft and I like that horror wrapped-in-beauty.
G: So what inspired that Pink Scythe look then?
L: “That whole look was inspired specifically by a vampire film called Fascination, it’s by one of my favorite directors, Jean Rollin- he was a french director that directed lots of horror/vampire films where the vampire protaganists were women and it’s all kind of like verging on sexploitation – a lot of lesbian scenes and things like that, it’s all very soft and feminine but a horror film.”
G: Is that when you knew you were a lesbian?
L: “Exactly, that’s when I knew I was a lesbian, I’ve been a lesbian forever. *laughs* But, the movie poster and the cover of the DVD of Fascination has a female vampire but she’s in a black cape and she’s holding a scythe- so I took the pastel world of soft and feminine pinks and married it with the imagery of fascination. I was nervous to bring it, because it’s a gamble no matter what you do, you never know what the judges will like and not like but I’m happy I stuck to my guns, and I actually made top 3 in that episode, I was very excited to share that with Hollow and Landon. “
G: So when you said that looks can be ia bit of a gamble- in relation to the other contestants on the show, they’re very horror and you’re very glamour with horror elements- did you feel like your style was a potential liability going into the show?
L: “Definitely. I knew that I would have to adapt my style to some point and I was actually really excited about that challenge and I think that’s why I did as well as I did. I knew that the way to succeed in a competition is to give them exactly what they ask for. For example, the Dungeons and Drag Queen episode, I think Drac said that he wanted a bigger silhouette, and he kept motioning towards his shoulders, so I knew that for the next challenge for Trash Queen that I’d produce a big silhouette, a silhouette that I’ve never done before. ”
G: Whenever we mentioned the Dungeons and Drag Queens Episode, that was an extremely different look for you.
L: “Yeah it was the only time I was blonde on the show, I rarely wear blonde wigs. I also didn’t know SHIT about Dungeons and Dragons but I was like ‘it’s like Lord of The Rings but you play it!’ My inspiration really came from Galadriel. “
G: Well, you looked amazing! You looked like you could do a fuckin’ backflip!
L:Well I did a roundhouse kick during in the video, but I think they edited it out because you could see my vagina!
G: Your Trash Queen look kind of reminded me of like Mad Max Faggotry…
L: “Yeah it really was like a mix of Lana Del Rey- that’s who inspired the hair- but the black root into the dirty silver, that was inspired Divine and of course the kind of look was inspired by Divine. It really was like if Divine fucked Lana Del Rey. “
G: Divine is my favorite, I’ve been jamming so hard to Love Reaction by her lately. Have you seen “You think You’re a Man.” when she comes in on that Lowrider?!
L: ” It’s so good. Kids who only know her from the John Waters films should look her up, she has great music . I love “Shake it Up”, I’ve performed it quite a few times. “
L: “It was for my troupe PooPooPlatter, we do a lot of tribute shows and we did a Divine vs Rupaul night , our guest was Violencia! We both did a Divine and Rupaul number. but for Shake it Up I was in a super tight asymmetrical, sequined, tiger print dress. I had two of my drag daughters who are my GoGo Boys for Die Felicia Canaan and Chasen as my backup dancers and they were fantastic and I ate a piece of fake shit out of Canaan’s ass. “
G: What is it that you said that you ate?
L: “It was a piece of- it was a Larabar that we molded into a turd., and we stuck it in his ass crack, and at the end of his number i just pull his G-string aside and eat it out of his butt. I was going to seriously go to town and just eat it out with my mouth but I was like “no you have another number girl , you don’t wanna fuck up your makeup'”
G: So I know of Die Felicia, but what shows do you do here in Austin?
L: “I do Die Felicia every month- that’s with Zane Zena, and I’m a member of PooPooPlatter, that’s where I got my start in drag. We do both of those shows at Elysium. I also do a show with Ruby Knight called Sad Girls only and I do a monthly Bingo gig at St.Elmo Brewery every third Wednesday of the month. Those are my monthly local gigs here in town.
I have an idea for a new show that’s brewing- I’m talking to some people about it so hopefully we’ll see it at the end of the year- that’s what I’m hoping for anyways. “
G: So you mentioned you got your start in PooPooPlatter earlier, how did that come about?
L: “October 18th was my very first performance and it was their halloween show. I didn’t become a member until years later, Zane Zena and I became a member at the same time. “
G: It’s essentially a drag troupe, right?
“Yeah it’s a drag troupe. We have 6 members. Right now It’s the mother of the house Bulimianne Rhapsody...”
G: You’re good friends with her right? (/s)
L: “We’re married! Yeah! We had started dating February 2013 “
G: Where is it that you guys got married, it was like Sci-fi themed, right?
L: “Yeah we got married last July, July 6th in Las Vegas, it was Mars Attacks!-themed. “
But yeah I met Bulimianne, and then slowly my friends became drag queens and I was like ‘I wanna do what my friends are doing!’ So I bugged and bugged and bugged, I was like ‘let me be in the Halloween show, let me be in the Halloween show!’ and he just told me no, then eventually he said yes and that was October 13th- that was my first performance, but that’s how I got my start with PooPoo Platter.”
G: How many times did you have to ask before you got a damn show?
L: “I think I like three or four, I was like I promise I won’t embarrass you, I promise. ”
G: So persistence is key?
L: ” Persistence is key. Lots of blowjobs.
But yeah I performed that October, then again in December and then after that performance I never stopped. The only month I’ve taken off for drag was when I filmed for Dragula, and that wasn’t really a break from drag, I just wasn’t publicly performing. “
G: What month was that?
L: ” That was in March, so we’re coming up on a year that we filmed. It’s gone by so fast…it’s been a whirlwind for sure. “
G: So you said that you do Die Felicia with Zane Zena, I know that you guys are like really great friends, how did that friendship come about?
L: ” “I met Zane the night that I met Bulimianne- I had went to a PooPoo Platter, I think it was the third [event] they ever had and Zane was a guest, and so a lot of the friends I have today I met that night and when I found out she was really into horror movies and the music she was into we became super super close friends really fast.
And then we started Die Felicia I wanna say like four years ago, ’cause we were like ‘there’s no spooky shows!’ We would look forward to October every year ’cause we would get to pull out all the spooky numbers we wanted to do throughout the year and we were like ‘why not just have a show where it’s Halloween every month?’ and people were really responsive to it. I remember the very first one Christeene came out and we were so excited, we were like ‘We did it, we did it Diva!!” But yeah I co-produce Die Felicia with Zane, and Sad Girls I produce with Ruby Knight. “
G: I love Ruby too, she’s so beautiful. Every time- I’m just infuriated.
L: “Yeah Ruby is an amazing queen, I think she started like a year before I did and I remember when I started I was so fucking busted looking and I’d be like ‘oh my god you’re so pretty!’ and she still is- she’s still gorgeous, a great performer, I love her on a mic, she’s fun, she’s relevant, she’s fashionable, she’s like everything you want in a queen, you know you’re gonna get a great look, you know you’re gonna get a good performance. She’s super sweet and she’s one of my closest friends.
I love that in Austin we actively hang out with each other outside of drag. Just in my complex alone you have Bulimianne and I, then upstairs you have my daughters Sticky Gold and ChiqueFillatio, then PapiChurro lives here, LizDexia lives here so just in my complex and in my day to day life I see a lot of my drag community and my friends everyday, and I actively hang out with Noodles and Tatianna Cholula, Ruby…”
G: It’s a very interesting generation of Drag that we’ve got going on right now.
L: ” It is! I think Austin has had a couple of golden moments of drag. I think the heyday of Castro’s Warehouse on 4th ; that place gave birth to so many queens, kings, performers, that was a really golden moment of Austin drag and if you were around during that time, you were very lucky. I got my start at PooPoo Platter. but I was at Castro’s every single weekend.
How I went about my whole first year of drag was I walked around with a mix CD in my purse and anywhere I went I’d just show up in drag and ask if there was a spot, and they’d be like ‘it’s for tips, it’s for no pay’ and I did a loooot of that. The way to get better is by performing, and I just wanted to be on stage as much as possible because I did suffer from stagefright at the beginning and I knew that was something that I wanted to get over because I love doing drag so much, and oh I eventually did.”
G: Was she still Louisianna Purchase back then?
L: ” I have always and only been Louisianna Purchase. There’s no secret drag names or anything out there.”
G: Have you done stuff with P1nkstar and them [Y2K]?
L: ” I’ve done shows with them and they’ve booked me for a lot of their events, I enjoy them a lot, they’re so much fun. “
G: So when you were doing Dragula, as it came to the end..how do you think your life would be different if you had won?
L: ” I’m sure to some extent it would be different for anyone who would have won because it means you won a reality drag show competition, but I’m very pleased with my Top 4 position. I feel I got to showcase a lot of different sides of my drag and I got to compete in every episode- I got to compete in every challenge and I’m in episode except for the last one, I’m the closest queen to top 3 so Fuck Yeah that’s awesome!”
G: *Laughing* “So suck a d!&%, I’m in it!”
I was just gonna follow that up too because whenever I said different, that was assuming that there is a difference- just because you win doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is going to change and suddenly be full of meaning, and all that- y’know?
L: ” Yeah same thing with being in the show, it’s all what you make of it. Going into and leaving, I knew that the show wasn’t going to be the end-all be-all. It’s not like you do the show and the gigs are gonna start pouring in Diva. No, you still have to work, hone your craft, create content, just like I’ve done prior to the show. I’m very fortunate that I’ve gotten to perform all over the United States prior to Dragula, and have had a taste of what that lifestyle post-Dragula has become which is a lot of traveling, a lot of traveling, touring, and performing all around- that’s what I wanted, that’s why I went on the show, to showcase my drag and to have the opportunity to perform everywhere being a working, performing drag queen is my initial goal.
That’s my initial goal, I have a lot of surprises happening in 2020 actually, there’s a lot that I’d like to chat about but don’t have the greenlight to chat about yet, but I will say that as great as 2019 was and it really was great year for me- I’m really excited for this year and the things I’ve got coming up- especially one thing in particular, oh y’all are gonna gag when you see it! I don’t know if it will be out by the time this airs, because I have no idea when it’s gonna air. But yeah everyone’s gonna gag when it’s out because I sure as hell gagged while we were making it. But that’s all I can say about it until it’s out…hopefully soon
G: I think I know what that thing is, and I also can’t fucking wait.
L: ” I think it will be able to show me to a different audience that might not know me through Dragula or drag shows, which is an exciting prospect. “
G: So earlier when you mentioned you’ve already been working as a drag queen for a while, Dragula was kind of a vehicle for taking it a step further, I think one of the things a lot of people think about whenever we see- I mean everyone on the show in a way becomes a queer icon because we’re so heavily influenced by the media we consume.
I mean love it or hate it, there’s a reason why every Rupaul’s Drag Race Winner becomes idolized in a certain way, and I think one interesting thing about you is that you’ve already kind of been that, and it’s weird because the show in the way that it highlighted those wonderful attributes of yours the genorisity, the empathy and everything- have you seen that transformation online in your fan mail too in how people reach out to you?
L: “Oh definitely. I’m very fortunate to have a really amazing local fanbase and support system, I feel completely taken care of by my community-but post Dragula, post Meet our Monsters especially, that’s when the floodgates opened.
It was exciting and it still is, once it got dropped from Amazon Prime and Netflix picked it up it was like the whirlwinds started all over again and a whole new group of people were exposed to it through Netflix. I only got like two hateful comments that I happened to catch and honey it’s like block and delete, like where’s your show diva? I try to take the good and the bad with a grain of salt. The way I look at it is everything is temporary, and this too will be temporary. It’s my privilege and my joy to have the platform to work it, to morph it to change it over time. To keep it relevant, to keep it interesting to me and for audiences. Now the fun really begins, it’s in my ballpark now. It’s only limitited to what I want to do and bring and thankfully the well hasn’t run dry and I have a lot of ideas. There’s still a lot of things I want to do in my own community as well as the rest of the world.
Y’know I work really hard, all drag performers work really hard no matter what scale you’re at, but it’s important to connect to that source of inspiration and to me that’s watching TV, listening to music, anything to sort of stimulate my imagination. It’s also important to take care of yourself physically, mentally and inspire yourself and I’m very lucky to that that’s been going very strong. “
G: One of the things that I think about daily – I consider myself pretty existenialist- so like being in a situation where like a lot of people give a shit about you seems overwhelming but it must be really awesome though because whenever people do fall in love with you and what you’re putting out there…to know that you’re an inspiration to people…that’s pretty fucking cool.
L: “Yeah it’s very humbling. Those types of messages really started coming in after my moment with Yovska, and that’s when it really, really, really started And it’s very humbling. I had people send me very very personal lengthy messages and I read everything, it’s hard to respond to everything but I most certainly read it all. It’s humbling that you touch people and that you move people. I’ve definitely been that person too, I’ve definitely written people that inspire me. I think it’s good, I think it’s healthy to have a guiding star to like shine the way. We all need that in moments of our lives and hopefully the end result is you lift your own sail at the end of it, which I’m very lucky that I’m at the point in my drag where the character of Louisianna Purchase really inspires me, she’s like a living art project. “
G: How many Tattoos have you seen yourself on? Because I imagine that’d be awesome
L: ” Well there’s four that I know of, there’s one in particular that I screencapped because I was like that is really fucking awesome. This great illustrator their Instagram handle is NikiniKill, did a group illustration of us and St.Lucia has it tattoed on her ribs and that’s amazing. I love my cast, but I don’t know if I’m getting all of them tattooed on me. “
G: Yeah I couldn’t believe when Yovska got tattooed, that was insane.
L: “That was pretty funny, I love for her that it’s a tramp stamp, at least she doesn’t have to look at it.
G: Except for on video…
L: ” Except for on the video, it’ll live forever on video!”
G: So a little backstory on this podcast that I started. I basically wanted it for like three years and [in my first episode] on this last new years eve, I talked about finally getting over that creative anxiety, so I’m wondering- what’s your relationship like in terms of your insecurity in relation to your art?
L: “Oh I was extremely fearful going into Dragula, I was a complete and utter mess leading up to leaving for it, like a bundle of panic and nerves and insecurities. I’m the kind of person that mulls things over in my mind over and over again until I get there, and then I’m like ‘well now I just have to do it, and if you don’t know how you’ll fake it ’till you make it.’ It was weird for me, Dragula felt like a bootcamp. I knew we were competing, but I mostly felt in competition with myself about how far I was willing to go and compromise on my own ideals about drag. It really felt like going through drag queen bootcamp. I really didn’t want to staple gun my leg too I was afraid to do that.
G: There was one part that really resonated with me and it’s basically the only time we ever really see you shaken and it’s when you’re in the bottom and mention not wanting to be a ‘fucking failure’ or another part of ‘what they would say’ when you came back.
L: “Yeah I really went into Dragula wanting to prove that Austin Drag is amazing, and it was not imposed on me by anybody, it was totally self-imposed pressure but but I felt the weight of the Austin Drag community on my shoulders and I wanted to prove that we’re amazing, that what we have is very special and unlike any other drag scene in the world. I knew I wanted to win, and that if not, I wanted to at least get top 3 and in the last supper I talked about how dissapointed I was with what happened but now I’ve made peace with it and see the pros of my placement for sure.
G: And how do you cope with the relationship with those anxieties, like how do you take them on?
L: ” Girl 4-4-7, that’s all I could do on set. It’s that breathing exercise where you breathe in for four, you hold it for four and release for seven seconds. It’s just a way to recenter yourself and recenter your mind to pull you out of that panic-attack like state. But like one lesson that I learned and it’s not the most fun lesson to learn but I definitely feel like it’s a necessary lesson to learn is that for as much support that I have had in my life …
….At the the end of the day I’m not gonna have my community there holding my hand while I’m getting staple-gunned, you’re left to your own devices and at the end of the day it’s up to you to do this. I guess how I handle fear is half being gentle with myself physically and focusing on breathing and the other half ‘you’ve got to do this, you’re gonna fucking do this’.– Louisianna Purchase
Nothing like that first sensation of being stapled, to be like ‘oh that’s how it feels, now we’ve gotta keep going.”
G: “Is that up there with like the craziest shit you think you’ve ever done? Like physcially?”
L” Definitely as far as pain leve…actually there was something that hurt worse on the show, and you didn’t really get to see it on the show. For the monsters of Rock challenge I got my entire thumb lanced completely through with a 16-inch needle and let me tell you…your thumb will make a popping sound. I almost puked.”
G: “You didn’t pass out from that?! “
L: ” No, thankfully. I think the adrenaline kept me going”
G: ” So I’ m just gonna start pushing the conspiracy theories now that you didn’t actually faint during the staple gun, you said it was like a 16-inch needle?!”
L: “Yeah, it literally was..and also with the passing out there were a lot of other factors besides the staple gun. I was in a 24-inch corset for like 12 hours, I didn’t eat I had no water, my blood sugar completely plummeted. They had to give me water and candy to bring me back. The needle thing was unexpected and I had to perform and get back there on stage so my body went into override.
I will tell you this, when we were done filming, my body literally convulsed in the green room, like I just had the shakes and couldn’t stop.”
G: “Anything for art.”
L: ” Yeah reality TV is not for the weak spirited, you’ve got to be strong hunny.”
G: ” So I’ve always wondered, back to darkness kind of being an overarching thing- Are you a satanist? Like for real for real?”
L: ” Yeah, Maxi and I talked about it on the show a little bit but it didn’t get aired, we talked about it briefly. But yeah, practicing satanist. To which, a lot of people are like ‘ookaay…’ but like you have satanists that are like atheists y’know they don’t actually believe in God or Satan. A lot of satanists just view Satan as an image, an icon, an ideal. You know because quite honestly just even aesthetic-wise it’s fun to be ‘blasphemous’ it’s fun to be naughty. I grew up and was raised catholic, but no longer. I broke away in my late teens or twenties, I was rebellious and was like ‘oh no, you don’t respect me, I can’t respect you.”
“Satanisn to me is like your divinity is within, like power to the people.”– Louisianna Purchase