DRELLA is everyones favorite hostess. In 2015 DRELLA hosted over 15 parties and events, offering her one-of-a-kind humor, delight, and of course her singing. Do you want DRELLA at your next event: Book her!
T H E S T O R Y O F D R E L L A...
Who am I, and who do I want to become are the questions I ask myself everyday.
When I was a child, I sat in front of the television, as close as I could and turned it on Lifetime, TMC, and if it was the weekend, HBO or SHOWTIME. As the scenes played out in front of me I would repeat them back.
“You’re a fraud, Helen and I can see right through you”
“You’re a fraud, Helen and I can see right through you.”
“If you kill him, you’ll have to kill me too”
“If you kill him, you’ll have to kill me too.”
“We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans”
“We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans.”
Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Kevin Spacey, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Lopez, and Elizabeth Taylor were my idols. . . I looked in that black box trying to find myself, who I was, who I was going to be.
As I got older, movies became books, and books music. I changed who I was and what I did based on what I was listening to and who I was reading. I did this for years. I am not quite certain that I have stopped. Now I can be a piece of a book, a cover of a magazine, a part of a movie and a living embodiment of a song lyric.
Is it the same for everyone else around me?
Whether we know it or not, our self values are often measured by how closely connected or aligned we are with popular culture, how we engage in pop culture as individuals and members of a society, producers and consumers, celebrities and fans. In my multimedia performance work I celebrate, challenge, and chastise pop culture to examine issues such as exploitation, violence, power, and privilege. I dissect pop-culture ideas drawn from photographs and music and transform them into performance in a way that subverts or overturns taken-for-granted ideas. Recently, my choreography has grown from of the ideas of Andy Warhol, drag culture, and post-modern performance practice, attempts to make visible the ideas about race, class, and gender that masquerade as authoritative and fixed and torepresent transgressive ideas and identities.
ihe feath3r theory Presents: Andy Warhol’s: DRELLA (I love you Faye Driscoll) started after I saw Faye Driscoll’s ‘You’re Me’. When I saw this production, I was immediately inspired. I felt that Faye was was a prophet of some sort. I wanted to pay homage to her some how. For me, Faye became a celebrity at that moment; everything that I wanted to be, everything i could never be; an example of fan to celebrity. I felt enraged with confusion about who I was as a person, an artist and an evolving human being. I had feelings without names for them and in that performance they were realized. I am cartoon-king from Raplh Bakshi’s ‘Cool World’, Re-Co-directed by David Lynch and Richard Linklater. I am a mash up of everything and everyone I have come into contact with in hopes to find myself or the next best me.
When I saw portraits of Andy Warhol in Drag, I immediately felt that the picture represented a truer part of Warhol, and a Muse that I could use to exploit a more truer part of myself. A more controversial and glamorized version of me resembling the most celebrated ideaand ideal of both the history and current SUPERSTAR.
T H E A E S T H E T I C
I immediately went to long time collaborator and friend, Photographer Andy Toad and make up artist Tinna Empera and said, “Make me, DRELLA”— a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella, envisioned by Warhol Superstar Ondine. ’ I wanted to know what it would take to make me, a black guy, a replica of a white man attempting to replicate a white woman. Later, I would wonder what it would take for 9 dancers of different backgrounds to replicate a black guy, replicating a white guy attempting to replicate a white woman; the idea of the superstar. My research laid itself in front of me: addressing concerns with identity, sexuality and self-worth in response to today’s consumer culture, and celebrity worship.
T H E P R O C E S S
Laura Faure, Director of the Bates Dance Festival invited me to be a resident artist at festival the summer of 2013. and it was there that I realized the movement vocabulary for DRELLA. Taking literally the idea of DRELLA— a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella and assigning the movement styles of Vouging and Ballet (respectfully) I mashed them together creating a Surreal World; A Gender-Bending, Race-Shifting, Multi-Medium “Artsploitation”.