Queen Bees With Jodie Harsh
In our newest mini series, Queen Bees, we’ll be talking to five drag queens around the world about their how they got their start and what it’s like to be a performance-based artist. To start things off, we’re featuring London queen Jodie Harsh. She’s an iconic DJ and nightlife aficionado with big hair, big lips, and an equally larger-than-life personality.
How did you get started in drag?
It was all a big mistake really! I’ve always had a dressing up box, I remember running around doing impressions and wearing showbiz wigs when I was tiny, but never really went full drag as a kid until I moved to London to presume my dreams aged eighteen. The summer before I started college, I started to wear drag and work in nightclubs, and this paid my way though school and eventually became my career. It was always just going to be a one time thing, then a paying my way through school thing, then until I was 21 thing…it never ended!
Can you tell me about your beauty look in this photo?
I shot this in my living room on a Sunday afternoon! We put the backdrop up, and played about with some styling, and tried out the feathers on top of my head. It’s a bit of a different look for me, kind of bohemian movie star or something…
How does makeup contribute to your performance and expressing your identity?
I always DJ in drag so it’s a big part of my professional identity. I don’t feel or act different in makeup but it’s certainly how I express myself visually when I’m in the spacial context of a nightclub. It’s literally my warpaint – when the wig and makeup and heels are on I’m ready to werrrrk.
What’s the best part of a performance?
Seeing people dancing and responding to my music, more so than asking for pics because of the look. If I’ve got the room in the palm of my hands and there’s a great DJ/crowd connection, I’m really excited.
What do you want readers to know about you as a performer that they wouldn’t know from your social media?
I ain’t no lady….
What do you think is the most misunderstood part of drag and performance-based art? If you could explain one thing about drag to readers, what would it be?
That you have to change all the time. Not all queens are competing in Drag Race on a weekly basis—some like to find their one look and perfect it and own it. That’s how to start the journey to being visually iconic, after all.
How differently do you see your identity being interacted with in outside spaces vs in a performance space?
I think it’s always going to be a surprise to see a queen or a club kid IRL, outside of a performance space or a TV show. Whether that’s a nice surprise or an uncomfortable one depends on the viewer of course, but all we can do is keep pushing for a more colourful world, one queen at a time!
Images courtesy of Phillip Prokopiou
Stay tuned to Milk for more Queen Bees.