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Izzy Limpwrist: Unveiling the Layers of Drag Artistry, Resilience, and Personal Triumph

A drag queen sits on a stool with arms outreached

Venture into the world of drag with Izzy Limpwrist—a creation inspired by a passion for performing arts and a commitment to defying artistic norms. In this interview, Izzy unveils the origins of her dark and sexy persona, shares insights into her fashion choices and pre-show rituals, and recounts a powerful performance merging artistry with activism. Izzy reflects on the transformative impact of her participation in Drag Heals Season 4, revealing newfound confidence and a deeper understanding of both her art and herself.

What inspired the creation of your drag persona, and how does it reflect your personal identity or artistic vision?

Izzy Limpwrist was created from my love of performing arts, as an homage to queer nightlife and the club kid scene of the 1990s, and a wish to subvert audience expectations of art. I knew I wanted my drag persona to be beautifully dark and sexy - attributes that at the time I didn't think I could have outside of drag living my day-to-day life. Through drag, I was able to take all of these characteristics that I had always admired in other people and learn to apply them to my art and to myself. Izzy doesn't care what other people think - she's a diva, she's the moment, and she knows that every eye in the room will be on her when she steps on stage.

Take us through your transformation process. How do you choose your looks, costumes, and makeup? Are there any rituals or routines you follow before hitting the stage?

A lot of my fashion choices are made in reference to fetish and alternative trends from the last twenty years or so. I take a lot of inspiration from club kid culture, from the way I paint my face to the way I create outfit pieces. Any time I see a garment that makes me gasp a little, I know it'll be perfect for Izzy. I spend a lot of time sketching outfit designs out and finalizing my vision before I start to source out all of the little pieces that will make it all come to life.

As for makeup choices, I'm very inspired by 90's and early 2000's runway trends and current drag culture. One thing drag has taught me is how to keep up on current trends and how to use them to market your brand as a performer and entertainer. I'm always trying out something new for my looks, always trying to keep myself current in an always-evolving world such a drag.

My favourite pre-show ritual is to pour myself half of a canned vodka soda and half of an energy drink, put on "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer and other songs from the house music era of the 70's, 80's and 90's, and paint my face with my drag family. Painting has always felt like it's done best as a community - we all need someone to tell us when something either looks great, or isn't working at all. Plus, it makes the whole process feel more special when you get to do it with people you love.

Share with us one of your most memorable performances. What made it special, and how did the audience react?

I competed in a local pageant in July 2023, and as soon as I signed up I knew I wanted to tell a personal story through my talent performance. I spray painted the word ART all over a long black catsuit, and performed "Rainbow" by Kesha, a beautiful song about growing from your past and finding the beauty and the light in life again. Towards the end of the performance, I grabbed a box, also covered with the word ART, and upon bringing it with me up on stage I tilted the box to the side to reveal that the ART that had been plastered everywhere throughout the number actually stood for Anti-Retroviral Therapy (the medication an HIV+ person takes once a day to maintain their undetectable viral load). I opened the box up, took my daily pill on stage, and then revealed a gorgeous red rhinestoned bodysuit from underneath my catsuit while transitioning to the end of the song "Stronger" by Britney Spears. I wanted to tell a story of working through my diagnoses and coming out on the other side "stronger than yesterday". I've never been more proud of a performance than I was with that one because of its impact on my audience and knowing that I was able to both entertain and educate.

Are there any particular themes or messages you like to convey through your performances?

When I perform, I like to convey themes of darkness, otherworld-ness, and play with sexuality and sensuality. I love how the diversity of the drag that I bring to the table allows me to be able to structure certain performances or numbers to the audience that I'll be performing for. I can be dumping a litre of fake blood on myself for a number on a Friday night, host a 90's night dance party on Saturday night, and then performing ballads and musical theatre for Sunday brunch - my drag is versatile and proves that you don't have to confine yourself to one particular box or niche.

Through my drag, I want to be able to showcase the strength and resilience I've found within myself, especially throughout my HIV journey. I try to show my audience that even when hard times hit, you can find a way to come out of the other side stronger than you thought you could be.

What motivated you to join Drag Heals, and how has the experience impacted your growth as a drag performer and as an individual?

I was motivated to join Drag Heals in part by my desire to share my art with the world, and to prove to people that a story about HIV can have a happy ending. While Season 4 was casting, I was really struggling with not being able to find any movies or tv shows that featured people living with HIV and showing them in a positive light - I was tired of only seeing stories about death and mourning and sadness. As soon as I heard about the Drag Heals process, I knew I needed to be a part of it. If I couldn't find anything positive that I could relate to, I decided that I would just have to tell my own story, and hopefully be for other people what I had needed so badly especially after my initial diagnoses.

I'm so proud of the work that I showed on Drag Heals, and I can't begin to express how much I have grown as a drag performer, a storyteller, and as a person because of it. I feel like I have a much better grasp of who I am, and who Izzy is. I've also learned that there isn't as big of a difference between myself as a person and the character I portray on the stage as I thought there was.

After Drag Heals, I'm more confident in my abilities as an artist. Before I would often second-guess myself, and now I know that I don't have to do that. My art is beautiful and good and enough, and I'm so thankful that because of Drag Heals, now I've realized this.


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