top of page

Mirror Check Moments: Devery Bess' Drag Journey from Rituals to Rhinestones

A drag queen sits on a stool with arms outreached

We sat down with Devery Bess where they unveil their drag journey from rituals to rhinestones. Their drag persona, inspired by charisma and unshakable confidence, transcends the ordinary, reflecting an aspiration to embody their admired self. Influenced by a diverse array of drag figures, from James Dean to local Calgary luminaries, Devery's evolution as a performer is shaped by a rich tapestry of influences. This interview delves into their concise process, challenges, and the joyous themes defining their memorable performances on the dazzling drag stage.

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

In creating my drag persona, I aimed to transcend my ordinary self and embody the person I idolise – someone charismatic, confident, unshaken by anything or anyone. It's about being the person I've always aspired to be.

Is there a specific drag queen or performer who has influenced your style and performance? How have they impacted your drag journey?

Many individuals have inspired my drag journey, from every drag child I've had to amazing kings and even some queens in my local scene in Calgary. Names like James Dean, Duke Carson, the marvellous Mo, Visa Dklien, Karla Marx, and Lilith Fair inspire me to evolve and elevate my drag.

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?

To kickstart my drag journey, I begin with a shower to shift my focus to drag. After shaving and moisturising, I prime and glue down my brows, proceeding to the contouring and makeup routine. Before applying facial hair, a mirror check is a must. I then put on my binder or tape and head to the gig, saving costume packing for last unless it's a morning show.

What challenges have you faced during your drag transformation, and how have you overcome them?

Contouring as a king before it became mainstream was a mess, but over time, I learned makeup techniques from Instagram, friends, and my drag children. Each day presents an opportunity to try something new – some successes, some not so much.

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

Early in my drag career after moving to a new city, I spent considerable time rhinestoning a suit jacket for a performance about breaking free from societal molds. I wanted to establish myself as a flamboyant disco diva. The audience's reaction was profound, solidifying my connection to the persona.

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

Themes vary, touching on racism, isolation, and joy. However, an underlying theme of joy consistently permeates my performances.


bottom of page