Friday, September 5, 2008

DragShowcase Interview - Yesenia E. St James

DragShowcase presents the current Miss Gay Houston USofA at Large Yesenia E. St. James...

Can you to tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
Well, I’m originally from Dallas, I was born April 27, 1980 to 2 loving parents with the given name of Patrick Pearson. Can you imagine how I was teased with the initials of (PP) lol . I have one sister who is 5 years older than I am, she’s been married for 5 years and has 2 beautiful and loving children. So I live me straight life vicariously through her.(lol) I’m, the show director @ Club Bartinis where we have a show every Friday @ 12:15 sharp…

Who helped you or inspired you the most when you first started your career as an entertainer?
I would have to say that , I first saw Tommie Ross at the Forum a club in Austin, Texas. I found her to be so elegant, poised and sophisticated and she caught and peeked my interest. But, my drag mother Victoria Necole St. James of Austin, Texas, my drag Grandmother Vega Marie St. James of Dallas, Texas and the late Tracey M. aka Julia St. James (the original triple threat, for hair, makeup and sewing) mostly inspire me the most.

How did you first become involved in the art of female impersonation?
I believe it was the idea that, in female impersonation there’s a sense of illusion. A male can transform into a beautiful woman, and that captivated me. So I got my start at a local talent night my Junior year at an HBCU in Austin, Texas (Historically Black College or University).

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
I feel my greatest accomplishment, is when I accepted who I was and really began to love myself. At a point I really was very uncomfortable with myself, I felt I was too large, too dark not living to my full potential. Yet, one day I woke up and said, you got to love u regardless of what minor imperfections you have, and when I did that I really had achieved my greatest achievement.
What pageant systems have you competed in and what titles have you held?
For the past few years I’ve primarily focused on the USofA Pageantry system: Last October I made the top 12 @ Miss USofA@Large 2008, when Mahogany Knight won. I’ve placed in the top 12, since first competing at Miss Texas USofA@Large. 3rd r/u Miss Texas USofA @ Large 04-05, 2nd r/u05-06, 1st r/u 06-07, and back to 2nd r/u 07-08. I’ve placed 1st r/u to Miss Texas Continental Plus 2006 and 2007, also 1st r/u to Miss Texas FFI 2007 to Kelexis Davenport. I’m the current reigning Miss Houston USofA@Large 08-09, Miss D.O.I. 08-09,. I’m a former Miss Dallas USofA @ Large 2007-2008, Miss Houston International USofA@Large 2006-2007, Miss Inergy’s USofA @ Large 2005-2006, Miss Club Bartinis 2006-2007, Miss Club Vivianas just to name a few

What was your first pageant and how was that experience?
My first pageant was a local bar pageant, which was Miss Club Metro Newcomer, and the experience taught me in the heat of competition you really learn who your true friends are.

Do you have a Drag Mother or any Drag Daughters ? If so can you tell us about them?
Yes, my drag mother is Victoria Necole St. James of Austin Texas.. She’s a member of the show cast at Charlie’s nightclub in Austin, Texas.. No , I don’t have any drag daughters, but I have for sons, Tre C, Travis, Terrez and Boo Boo. I found that having sons are easier..

How did you get your drag name ?
I got my drag name from my drag Grandmother, Vega Marie St. James of Dallas, Texas.. She performs around the city of Dallas, Texas.

Are you a full time entertainer or do you have a second career?
At the time I have a full time job where I’m a manager for a high end Boutique. I perform part time around the city of Houston and throughout the country. But, I would love to switch, the two roles and allow my craft to be my full time career.

Where would someone be able to see you perform?
I can be seen @ Club Bartinins every Friday, for Yesenias Fabulous Fridays @ 12:15a.m. sharp @ 1318 Westheimer As well as through out the State of Texas.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as an entertainer?
Normally, the advice I give someone who’s inquiring about performing, is be sure this is what you really want to do. Because once you begin to perform your stereotyped and as negative as it sounds you are marked a s a drag queen. But be strong and believe in your self and find your own niche. Granted we all can learn from such greats as Donna Day, Tommie Ross, Erica Andrews, Chevelle Brooks, Kelexis Davenport, Danielle Hunter, and Whitney Paige, just to name a few, however in order to be successful and taken serious you have to be your own person.

What is your best quality or feature ?
My best quality is the I’m very approachable and I hope that people still find that I’m as friendly as I was from when I first began my career in the art of female impersonation.. As I gain notoriety and my name gets out and people recognize me, I want to remain as grounded, and loving as I am now. As a freebie, I’ll throw in that my smile is my best feature..

What famous person, dead or alive, would you most like to meet and why ?
Honestly, I would love to meet my deceased Grandfather, granted he is not a known celebrity beyond my family. However, I’ve heard such great things about him and have never had the pleasure to be in his presence.

If you were on a desert island, what would be your most have item ?
A hunky male, to carry my coconuts (lol)

What is something that most people do not know about you?
That I am very afraid to do makeup for someone else. I believe I found the technique to make me look really nice, but I might not be able to do that for someone else.

What is your motto ?
My motto is in all things be happy with yourself and the choices you make, that in turn will allow you to think openly thus allowing you to be successful in what ever you strive to do and be..

If you could change anything about drag or the pageantry systems, what would it be and why ?
If I could change anything about drag , I would change the level of respect our performers receive from our very own community, its odd to me that we are just as educated, well spoken and intelligent as the next person. We are lawyers, doctors, educators and vital images of our community just as anyone else. I don’t believe many people understand, the level of dedication it takes for female impersonators and male leads to do this, with all of the odd stares and whispers about who they think we are.

What are some of your favorite cities either to perform in or just visit?
Of course, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Nashville and many others..

Favorite Movie(s) ? Favorite Singer(s) / Favorite Song(s)?
Jazzmine Sullivan, Who you don’t know who she is, GOGGLE her she has an amazing voice. I love R&B, Neo Soul, Oldies and Jazz. But I listen to all types of music

Favorite Television show(s) past or present?
Different World

In closing, what would you like to say to your fans?
In closing I would like to say for those of you that have supported me and helped to develop Yesenia thank you and I love you. To my Supporters(fans) thank you most of all, your kinds words, and criticism helps me to develop and mature as an entertainer. Hope to see you guys in San Antonio for Miss Texas USofA@Large, October 08,09,10 2008 @ The Saint…

Hugs and Kisses YES


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