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Conversations with Minerva

Today we’d like to introduce you to Minerva.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I grew up in a generation where Drag had just started to become mainstream and was incredibly accessible like it never was before. When I was 13, I remember being on YouTube and finding season 6 of drag race kept coming up on my recommended videos and I kept getting annoyed so I just watched it to get it off my recommendation feed. But I very quickly felt immediately invested, especially when I had seen Adore Delano walk in the werk room of season 6. After the season had ended I remember thinking “If Adore can do it, so can I”, and I saved up all my money and went and bought an eyeshadow pallet and used a very old foundation my mother never used to start makeup.

I mainly did makeup for a while and eventually started dressing up, and when I went to work at my first job, all of the money I was making was going right to clothes so I could start doing drag.

I then did bedroom drag for Instagram until I turned 18, and from then I started performing at Tracks nightclub and since then, I’ve toured all over the US.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh absolutely not. Unfortunately like many queer kids, my parents didn’t understand, we were from a super super small town in Tennessee and my family was very, strictly religious.

When I first started I told my mom and she was rather upset about it, and actually threw all of the clothes I had away and took all of my makeup away. She and my dad wouldn’t even look at me some days. Being a young queer teen in a already smaller town and being the only out gay kid in school was really hard when I couldn’t feel safe at school already, but going home to feeling disgusting and like I had no one to talk too was incredibly crippling as a kid.

Eventually, my family opened up more and more over the years and we have a good relationship now and I’m very lucky to have that experience.

But in the drag scene in Denver, it’s very competitive and sometimes uncomfortably so. I don’t like drama, and that tends to happen a lot within the drag scene, in my opinion, because of the competitive nature to get the next booking or get the next “big moment”.

It’s hard because there are SO many incredibly talented drag artists in our city, so staying relevant is really difficult when there’s not as much opportunity because of all the artists we have here. In our industry staying relevant, staying at the front of people’s minds, always having a new look that’s better than the last, all of that is essential to staying booked and being able to pay your bills. Especially for those of us who do this as a full-time career like myself.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Well, I suppose I’m known for a lot of things. I’m one of the many alternative drag artists here in Denver, but I do a lot of stunts and dances in my performances. A lot of acrobatics and choreography and crowd interaction. I work really hard on all my looks myself and spend a lot of time crafting so I’m not pulling out the same look someone else might.

I call myself the “Pop Punk Princess Of Denver” because I LOVE the punky, dark, underground, intense side of drag art, but I also just love being able to switch up my style and aesthetics and do the more consumable performances to entertain the wider audiences. I can really do anything that’s from the Top 40 beauty styles to the gory bloody styles of drag. I like to do everything all at once sometimes, I tend to be a bit ambitious.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
The thing about drag is, you don’t necessarily need a mentor. I didn’t have one until I had been doing drag for 4 years. Sure it can help, but don’t pressure yourself into finding one because then it just won’t work and it’ll only hurt you down the road. It should be as easy as breathing. Comfortable, stable, and exciting.

But networking is one of the most essential things to doing this. Word of mouth, or having a following, or even being able to be recognized at a show can be what gets you booked literally anywhere. Thankfully we live in an age where we have a tool to help us literally at our fingertips. Social media plays a HUGE role in our industry.

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Image Credits
Instagram tags in order of photos: @maryv @taytheham @mike.bomberger @wyattsmedia @bdegenfelder @wyattsmedia @theminervaofficial @theminervaofficial

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