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FOF #2799 A Review of Sasha Velours Smoke and Mirrors


When Sasha velour bled cascade of rose petals from her head during the final performance on season nine of Rupaul drag race you knew? She was going to sachet away with the crown since her win. And she's been touring and putting all her energy into her. One Queen show smoke and mirrors where she blends drag visual art projection. Impossible costume assumes and magic into an unstoppable tour to force today we take a look at Sasha velours new show smoke and mirrors and a look at victory over the sun the oddball Russian futurist opera with outrageous costumes. That caused a violent riot when it first I hit theaters in Saint Petersburg a hundred years ago plus a novelty heat sensor at a tourist attraction reveals that women's cancers breast tissue a young on boy dressed as mayor Lori lightfoot for Halloween gets pizza with the mayor and an all new cooking with drag queens is up featuring Camp WanNa Kiki's Qi's Murphy fish basket and chicken Kiev the dish not a drag queen. I'm Fausto Fairness Murphy and this is Feast of fun I guess why are you me. It was just one of those sting Duh Me Because I saw it. Let me your. You're GONNA love reading. No but his love me. Oh come shies Happy to get happy together. Da Fun COTY AW But I would you all with you. I'm GonNa Love You GonNa love. That is come rain or come shine. One of Judy Garland's iconic songs that she sang on television in her very famous TV. Special and now. Sasha velour is bringing back to life in her unstoppable tour the fours smoke and mirrors Yeah it was great to see a call to all those golden era divas earth. A Kit Judy Garland Shirley Bassey. Yeah this is Sasha Asha velours first major project come out after snatching the crown on ru Paul's drag race. I get so emotional bay EH. Every time ask the cram does she steal it or she earned it she earned it. She took it. Yes yeah I'll crowns. Crowns are always snatched especially when you're queer especially when you're gender non binary. Well you know for a lot of people to rooting for their favorite queen and Queen doesn't win the stolen. They were robbed. Yes gas because it was US her and Shea Chicago Queens shake way from cookie would drag queens who were battling it out of course we wanted Shay to win because we have cookie drag queens and we want to see the see our girls go far you know but you know Shay and and such of alert were very close. Friends are still close friends to this day and You know there was photos of them backstage hugging and kissing here in Chicago reunited so it feels so good. Yeah so smoke and mirrors twelve dazzling thing. Jon Rao busting lip synch performances. That will keep you on the edge of your seat. As Sasha explodes to rose pedals it vanishes and poof of smoke. Saw Ourselves in half conjures up a devastating rainstorm and and transforms itself into a tree in front of your eyes. That was that was a beautiful moment. Definitely for sure. I thought it was interesting. You know it it comes out in the. I didn't didn't quite know what to expect. I seen some of her stuff online and I knew that she was working a lot with projection and she explained. Because you know she's doing a show but she's also talking to the audience in many ways is it feels like a very intimate experience. You almost feel like Oh. She's talking directly to you although she never looked quite up to the box where we were sitting in said Mark and Faust Asta. But it didn't feel like you know she really was speaking to you and I thought it was really interesting. She talked about how much You know necessity is the mother of necessity necessite. Mother is the invention she said that basically all those three words could be changed Inter are interchangeable and still have basically the same idea basically and as artists your challenge. You're like I'm in this situation then or is any kind of person you are in this kind of situation. How do I make this situation serve my needs and as a performer? Shoes said she was performing at a straight club and they. It didn't have a spotlight. And she's one of those people like my husband here sues like if you're GonNa perform you spotlight when we used to do live shows we would spend two hundred dollars. I would go to the theater rental company throw a spotlight into my broken down Toyota Hall. Call that thing across town holid- up the stairs and be like go get a family member or friend. You're running the spotlight. And if that spotlight cuts gets off a me pay. It was a production but it was it was something it adds something to cause you see drag shows down. You see drag performers. There's is not a spotlight performing the doctor before we in the shadow. You're there to shine. You need to shine and I kind of fight against Fausto you know. We don't have that much of a budget you're spending ending one hundred dollars or maybe it was seventy five dollars rent a spotlight. He's just like we are going to have a spotlight and so she was in that situation and she noticed that she was like Whoa. Hey wait a second. Look at this this we have a projection system here because they're projecting shows football games on the weekends. Baseball Games those kinds of things. So why I don't I just Make a film basically with the spotlight in it and I'll just stand in that spotlight and so I guess. She must have choreographed her. Her performance in the spotlight would have followed are so imagine. It's projecting a black screen but with the spotlight on it with some light right there and so you're showcasing yourself on there and you'll see see this you know come through the performances in so many different ways. It's really intriguing one. Sasha Vellore studied animation and went to arts school. So it's not an unusual thing that I've seen artists using projection. It was a huge deal in the nineties. When the technology I started to come to to be accessible to people because back in the day you spend thousands of dollars to get a video projector and now you can you know they sell video? Projectors that work with your phone I mean people used to use slide projectors and there is a few sites projectiles performance that I used to do is I was completely naked and I would make the costumes uh-huh and stand in front of the projection of my self Yes with my Dick Hanging out there. That was that we could do that in those days I don't know you'd have like a lot of these venues now that that's because they serve alcohol. It's it's it's frowned upon or it can no Pol- Pol- no hold all but You know Sasha Lors I think major magic act is the way her allusions her ideas her visual visual language. Unmasks these stories. These truths these analysis on her gender on fame and her family and the importance awesome dreaming big and it was really important to see her. Have a rupaul drag race flag. You know the racing checkered Flag Martin. As a Cape that she's that's holding her back and she shakes off looks away at the very beginning and takes off and the rest of the show. So is this adventure. In the last. Couple of years of of Sasha's life where she's gone through personal and career and financial problems. Imagine having like you know money stolen from you and having after winning one hundred thousand dollars you work so hard as your dreams aims come true. And here's some jerk. You know figure out a way to weasel you out of of your hard earned cash that management you know. She's not the first artist to fall victim to a an unscrupulous manager. And so yeah it's it's unfortunate and it's one of those things that you really have to take the reins of your own career and figure that stuff without you know I feel bad. She trusted the wrong people. And maybe the people I don't know if they had bad intent or if they just just mismanaged the money. I'm not sure what the situation I'm not privy to that but you know what we've had a bad management ourselves you know and and and to me it's like you're you're spending you know Matt when you have have a manager you're basically a customer for them they're selling you a service and you're buying that service to help them assist you in managing urging your career. It's just like if you bought a paid someone to an style roof tiles on your home or to wash your car or to walk your dog or it's a service they're giving you and and too many artists in some ways feel like it's it's like they're they're their own or their subserve really weird subservient way you know like people will be so outraged if they spend a thousand dollars on electronic traffic device. That doesn't work but if somebody spends thousand dollars on a manager that doesn't do their job effectively they don't care they're just just like oh well that's that's the nature of the business like you can get out of that deal you you don't have to stick with it you know and I think a lot of the rue girls are sort of waking up to that fact it's like look over your contracts if your contract says do not speak to Feast of fun you should probably speak to you. Most definitely should talk activists to find where so punk where so radical where so progressive. Yes folks there are contracts that are written up for drag Queens assigned that specifically prohibit them per talking to us. I'M NOT GONNA say names because I'm not that kind of call queen but I'm just going to say that that is refreshing to be invited and welcomed and embrace by Sasha velour at the show and even if I wasn't reviewing it I I still would give it an amazing view because I think this is actually where I wanna see a lot of the queer artists who get on repulsed drag race and Drag Ula and Camp WanNa Kiki and cooking drag queens. I want them to make theatrical experiences. I wanted to make our. I want them to take us to a magical world And I think Sasha Velour we haven't seen Trixie MATTEL's show we haven't seen a lot of these artists who've who've sort of taken over the the entire space and usually when they take space. It's IT'S A it's a quick Gabbara Queer bar and to me it's like it's the Nice thing about performing in a theater is that you have more control more availability about what the audience experiences and you know. Hey went in my day. We started dressing up in drag and going to art galleries. We've performed an art galleries because we couldn't get into theaters or you were that bad the art but since my first name Fausto Fart. But you're right. It's like when you're in a theater it's kind of there's a certain amount of respectability there's an AH essence. The there is a a positively there. You're going you're having that experience you're sitting down and when you're seeing one person create a show it's one vision Asian you like that whereas you see a lot of drag queen girls from Paul's drag race. It's you know it's a bill of them. They might be performing in a bar. It's one number after another. You know you're standing there Aritz. People are drinking it can be messy. It's crowded it's not always the best and it can be fun it can don't get me wrong. It can be a blast of but I like different kinds of experiences experiences to. Let's talk about the song list. Then Sasha velour had because I really appreciated that. She brought in a lot of the songs that are my I phone and a lot of songs that I enjoy Lip synching to that. A lot of modern queens. Don't want to touch because they're they're not top forty songs from the past twenty years and and you know some of these songs like fame by ring. Kara actually sounded really alive and relevant and meaningful Through lip sync through Sasha Laura's body and costumes yeah it's because it's part of that storytelling is when you're up there and you're doing that kind of thing when you do the same thing. It's God that's almost forty years old right and the movie. Fresh sounded fresher sounded like a justin release and maybe that was just like the audio engineering. The sound system made the song so so powerful but I absolutely loved it We have the whole playlist on our website. fees to fund DOT COM. So you can plug that into your music music APPs and sort of relive the experience. If you haven't seen Sasha's show yet I would hold off on listening to some of these songs longs because it's nice to be reintroduced them in her performance because it's a little bit of a surprise like Oh. I love this song. Oh I love this song. What did you think about I? He didn't wasn't. I knew that. Sasha velour shaving her head was a tribute to her mother who had passed and because of her fight with cancer right but I didn't unrealized that. Her mother was so involved in her vision as a drag queen and as a queer person. Well she said she gave her some notes outside her performance. Why like this about your about your this? You might consider Reexamining but yeah well she. She said her parents are educated. Or Dad's the professor. Her mother her mother was a editor of a magazine. You know I so. I think that they're very intellectual. Sasha herself and I I think they recognize that a young age that their son was extraordinary and wanted to uplift them. And say listen. Do your thing be smart. The educated alive. Yeah I think you know. Of course Sasha is and you know the the casting people Paul's drag race to an extraordinary job at finding finding people with great personalities and great drag talent It's not just enough to be amazing on stage. It's also the ability to to do those quips. Those asides the and and and it's nice to see both Sasha velour we just saw Madonna as Madame X. Is Tour these these artists that normally don't really spend a lot of time talking to the audience going back to this kind of nineties performance art style where they spend and you know a good half of the show telling their life story and making powerful relevant and meaningful and that was actually. I never cry. I never get moved by drag show but this actually really spoke to me as somebody who has my own personal fights with cancer and UH having lost my father to cancer as well as my poor mother's ongoing struggle with cancer and and A stroke so it really was really a a beautiful experience and I urge people to go see it and so much different. You know. There's a lot of people listening to this show. That are fans of repulsed draggers laid do will enjoy the drag queens. A do these kinds of you know different performances lip synching kind of things This is this is different. Would you say it's more like esoteric. Is that the word I'm using for. If you not familiar with futurist Russian opera take a look because it is. It's interesting. What Sasha velours during with our show and I'm not sure that very few people understand what she's getting inspiration nation from her father is a professor of Russian studies right in his mother was a reviews? Russian was was an editor of a Slavic magazine she herself. Sasha spent a year Fulbright scholarship. I believe in Moscow which she talked about many times in saying it was very very hard to be a queer person there. You never knew what was going to happen. You could be murdered at anything can happen so when you look at her drag aesthetic it really does have you can see that that kind of a Russian influence. Not The Russian influence the Caccia has hers is more campy. I would say well is based on James Bond like a Western view of of Russians not actual Russian Culture Wisconsin. I'm sorry with Sasha's actually is it's more like a theatrical article kind of look definitely like the old like Russian costuming kind of influence the influence of the Russian church. Absolutely absolutely warmers. One of my favorite designers of all time as Kasimir Malevich he was a cubist painter designer. Minor futurist theorist and futurist unfortunately we're tied to fascist parties. I mean you're you're the historian are here on the show. What was the world like well as Eastern Europe and Germany and Russia in the nineteen tense? Well the nineteenth century was really really rough because you had world war one had been taking place but before that you know. There's extreme poverty to Bolshevik revolution happened especially in Russia. There was a lot of poverty early but there was also you know Russia's late to the industrialization game so you did have people coming to the big cities and the yen. It was just when you have these big cities lots of people there lots of poverty and and a lot of people just being taken advantage of and then of course you have the revolution because you see this opulence and wealth everywhere. But you can't participate estimate in it and another thing that happened is technology started becoming commonplace in everybody's lives and these these magic machines that took photographs and video video started making us challenge start challenge. Judging the world on what vision and image was and uh painters throughout the most of western art. History have always been expected to very figurative very realistic photo realistic and and here came the camera. And you know people started seeing it. Sounds blows people's minds but a blurry photo seems to be something the thing that will blow your mind and zooming in and seeing that an image is created by pixels by bill dots on a piece of paper is something something made. Artists want to analyze it. So you think Pablo Picasso's woman where he's look he's trying to represent a woman from the front and the side and creates this kind of monstrous appearance on there was also cubis who were analyzing the human body as it moved down a staircase and created that wonderful drawing slash painting? And then you know Kazimir Malevich. He was really interested in in. This idea of sounds kind of like spock a logic which was more about embracing a wild decadent modern modern urban sensibility in rejection of the past. And so he created these impossible costumes that resemble Zampbell a lot of what velours doing her show that there are just like fashion. That's meant to sort of like fight against the human body and with lots of ruffles in boxes and shapes that you know where does arm go in now. Why is that shape like that where I said a box wise a gui is that an accordion? And so in October of nineteen thirteen Kazimir Malevich along with Mikhail Matsui she and and forgive me for mispronouncing it and Vladimir Clinic vase off. I think that's a word put together this opera. Br called victory over the Sun. The Sun representing the sun in the sky but also formalism western the ideas of logic and tradition. And they're like this is on the bourgeoisie needs to be taken down and in who. So we're GONNA take it all the way and tear down the sun and the crowds went wild and and threatened to set the theater on fire fire and riots broke out in the street because they were just aren't used to the visuals and also because they created a whole new language called zome for people chaos even think of like Russian opera Russian ballet and you think like the nutcracker girl and so imagine that someone who's used to watching the nutcracker cracker goes to pay to see the opera and sees this chaotic. Let me just play a little bit of this music. So you guys get a sense of what that sounded sounded like for them to L. Chatan. Ah That's enough. I WANNA start a riot but it was wild and something like that was coming out because you know when you went to an opera. 'cause I expected some classical music that kind of thing you know I think from from what I've read is that and please correct me if I'm wrong is that audiences dances felt that this was a challenge to their way of life to their society to their values and this opera was going to undo to the world in many ways the way that rock and roll was seen when I started exploding with African American artists and this was like the sex pistols. This is anarchy this as this is hard-core rejection of traditional Russian values in in in this idea of of conquering the sun and so more years later they had the revolution Dan and they worked. Well and now you can argue. Did it work or not. You know if you look at Russian politics today but certainly treat me in Belgium. btcu people and their desire to be involved in our politics here and they're embracing of oligarchy and mobsters and wealth inequality nonetheless that you know there was there was. Was this beautiful idea of creating these weird costumes that it kind of reminds me a boo bomb. If you're familiar with that kids TV show or Barbara Papa or the teletubbies. These just weird costumes were the costume becomes a character in of itself And so a victory over the sun on stage just looked like it looked like machines that look like Nineteen fifties SCI FI film robots. You know but if you compare. I'm posting some images side by side of Sasha velours costumes and Kazimir Malevich is costumes and you. You can see the the relationship the influence that's happening there so definitely if you get a chance before you go see. Sasha velour smoke and mirrors go check check out go on Youtube and just search victory over the sun since then a Lotta theater companies have restaged this for Art Satan and and people go. Wow crazy time. What must sue just bit? It's one of those things where it just must have been so new and is like this future is also kind of influenced like Bauhaus to write I think of Dada as a future ISM. Cubism I think of pointillism expressionism. Abstract expressionism to all be the same thing. Like we wanted to fuck with things in France Marcel trump. He was like dressing up in drag. And saying I am arrows savvy which means that love that is life and and what about the future is that the future of fought comes from the future as it was an Helvetica and typography. was this idea that like mm Sarah like if you think of times. New Roman Roman then the typewriter font. The font that most newspapers are printed in was corrupt. Because does it had flourishes to end and they wanted a font that was easier to be recreated and more efficient use less ink and so my father came of age typing on an IBM typewriter that typed and Futura so every time I see something written future I think of my dad on this very gary and his sons of he was an architect in Puerto Rico. He had a very futurist very modern very playful but also rejection of western notions approach to towards his his designs. You know so. His father designed things with Corinthian thin columns and lots of ornamental. And you know you think of that. Spanish ironwork on balconies. My father's designs was very block. Ish with concrete. Concrete holds big pillars. To make you feel small and society is what matters not the individual in some ways you know. Progressive's is our sort of end and trump supporters n n regressive to have this kind of feeling right now that we've lost our way as a society and that our our government in a lot of ways is is not of our making and is not in our best interests and I'm hoping that in terms of ours ability to speak to people people that artists like Sasha Lor can inspire people to think about getting engaged in their world and getting politically active and talk about Pete Booty judge I think he would be amazing manager where I work he would be a great co worker. I I love a lot of people. Judge says I don't want him as president only because he's just not progressive enough for me no I think he it would be a great president compared to trump. But you know I think Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders would be a much better president than Pete Booty judge and to Z.. CNN or these. You know what's considered a more progressive news media celebrating. Pete Budi judges certain lift EFT. I think it's a little disingenuous and I think part of it is that they're very Threatened by the populist push that's is coming from the two major candidates which is warranted and sanders. I don't really feel like a Joe Biden is going to stick it out. I don't I don't think he's cereal. I like him. I think he's just up there because he's just like what I'm trying to get the old people involved kind of thing or something but you know for me really it's Medicare for all and Pete is like Talking about like oh the long term goal and now even more is just like long term goal about like Medicare for all whereas Bernie Sanders is. We're getting Medicare for all and that people boy I'm saying how you'RE GONNA pay for it. How do you pay for any fucking thing? You know with cash with cash money. We have a lot of these billionaires and their offshore not pay. Hey they're not paying the taxes and whatnot we can pay for it and it's like every other industrialized country has it. You know what I mean. Yes there are some problems with it but you know what but we can work through it and it's one of those things it's like it's the quality of life. Do you know how many friends I've had. How many artists that we've known here in Chicago who've died because they don't the have the proper medical care because they can't afford it and imagine a world where those people still existed in the art that they could make That we weren't scared all the time that we weren't anxious all the time in Victoria. Lamar would still be alive today if we had universal health care and think about L.. I mean people love cooking drag Queens people but don't realize that that came from our friendship and our collaborations with Victoria Lamar and you know her are forced feminization video that we did with her half a million views of his day. It's almost as popular as some of our top watched cooking with drag queens videos. Yeah it's that and that has no ru girls in it. Says just you me and Victoria and our way words at four feminization. Try it out girl. I WANNA do a shot. Uh Cindy Wolf. Who is an as she was in the production of Carrie the musical and she was driving home and she was all Belotti? A Lotta from the final scene and she hit a deer and she called emergency services as she's just like just see you now I'm dressed like Kerry and I have fake blood on me but then the emergency services go are you okay. She's like trust me. It's just a costume and like are you sure she's like you need to come down now eh. Oh that's so interesting. So her face was all slathered in blood That that must be happening a lot during Halloween. Oh Yeah I'm sure lots of people that just have some kind of crazy costume on. And then they got taken to the hospital. Oh there you go or how about like there's been dead bodies out people outside of people's homes and they're just. It's just a crazy halloween decoration. Halloween is a holiday. Where all the slobs and your neighborhoods homes look normal and all those cowsheds of suddenly decorations decorations? There's a woman. Her name is Bob Gig and she went to camera obscure and the world of illusions and borough Scotland and they had one of those heat sensor our cameras. And so have you ever been thank God. It's kind of like embarrassing and you can see like how hot your crutches and there's a lot of heat there. There's there's a lot of heat in the Museum of Science Industry with my sisters and we're all like giggling in front of it and my older sister's pussy was on five. Ah It was white hot. It was like everything else was like you know shades of green to yellow Red Blue uh-huh and then there was like like what the Hell is in your pants and I dunno. It wasn't cell phone and so anyway she looked and she's got a picture taken in whatever and she came home and she's looking at it and she's like what are these hot spots on my breasts you know and so the thermal imaging should some some hot spots and so she wet and she had like mammogram or they looked at her stuff in there. Just like oh my gosh. Yeah you have those lumps and let's take a look and it was early detection for for breast cancer now. Now scientists out there are saying this is not a medical procedure that kind of thing but I have heard alternative people saying that heat sensors do work. So I don't do your own investigation. And but you know you check for lumps men women everybody just check all around touch. Jeff's out yourself just all of this can ask. You can't handle this can honey. Yeah you know it's like God you know so many people that I know of have detected cancer because they were just looking at their bodies touching them. That's how we found that. I had that cancer on my shoulder was just like there was photos of me and drag in November or at the Austin International Drag Festival and then in January I was had this giant cigar. Burn and in my mind I was like well. Somebody must have burnt me with a cigarette at that festival. You know I had a couple of drinks when I was in dragon one night and I was like maybe we just had too much fun. Somebody you know cigarette actually hit me or something but I remember it so it was like I was really really worried about it. I think we told I told us. I think we'd told the store on the podcast through your mother actually told it right. Yeah she was just like a because she had breast cancer to like. Well how did you discover. She's like well. I was masturbating. I was fondling my breast. Just just started laughing. And she's just like well. I'm glad that you think we've estimating so funny of like you know very few people want to talk to them about masturbate Mr Rate. Well I think that's you know how awesome my mom is and I think Sasha velour and had amazing parents. I'm lucky to have that as well and Dan you know. Blessed are people who have really sex positive an gender positive parents who give their kids a lot of space to explore who they are and I wanted to shout Idris. Lock it to one Halloween for dressing up for your old. The boy who dressed up as mayor Lori eight lightfoot. For Halloween to meet the mayor they had pizza together and it was sweet he really looked like Lori totally Woodley and now I'm like Lori lightfoot looks like a ten year old boy mattress Brag Lori. lightfoot it's kind of like the Prince and the Pauper. The Laura doesn't like feel like showing up for work she just gets you are Al Teachers get everything they want The public schools are saved Lori. Lightfoot was like so pain in the ass with the Chicago taster Pictures Union. Jesus Christ. I don't play finally resolved finally resolved. Hey Listen Coulda gone just gone from day. One be like this is the solution. I should've done what you need. What is what is? Why does this stuff happen? All these police lawsuits. That's what it is. It's really like trigger. It's you know it's are police. State is just. We don't have proper vetting and and ways to fight racism and when you don't this is it's like injustice injustice is expensive You're paying for that when there's racism in your society. It's coming out of your pocket so racism Dammit all new cookie. Would drag Queens is up Murphy. Fish baskets chicken Kiev of not the drag queens the death of the Kiev and making s'mores cocktails. All those recipes are on a Patriot on paid dot com slash fees to fund. And check that out. And tomorrow you're talking to Louisiana purchase. Yes Dracula she's the people described as the heart of the season and I think many ways she certainly was. She's it's been really amazing person that we've gotten to know from the Austin drag scene and she was very Apprehensive about being on Rupaul. Absurd Paul's drag race dragged through Paul's Dracula Array. And I was just like girl. You GotTa do it. You know this is this is going to open up so many doors for you and

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