Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Philly Drag Wars winner and MUA extraordinaire Brooklyn Ford, has created a Facebook and Instagram campaign with her new hashtag #SupportLocalDrag that's becoming as big as her drag persona. This local diva has been making a splash on the Philly drag scene for several years, as a former host of Woody's S&M, and now as a judge for Drag Wars. 

PhillyGayCalendar dug up (literally) one of our original contributors, "Philly's hardest working drag queen" Brittany Lynn, to chat with Brooklyn and find out the dish on what #SupportLocalDrag is all about, and to tell us a little more about her persona, Brooklyn Ford.


Brittany Lynn: What's the sentiment behind #SupportLocalDrag? 

Brooklyn Ford: #SupportLocalDrag is all about really supporting your local queens! I created it mainly for Philadelphia but I encourage the entire country to use it!  It's a quick and easy way to help the public stay connected to the art form and to really bring a resurgence of LOVE within the community.  Shade is a thing of the past… Support is the future! With RuPaul's Drag Race we see an amazing assortment of queens that people are paying A LOT of money to see, but seeing a decline of attendance for local drag shows. I just don't want us to be forgotten!


BL: We won't be forgotten girl, at the end of the world it will be the drag queens and the cockroaches on this planet… Are there just too many shows vs. not enough supporters to hit every event?

BF: This has been brought up to me several times and I think the answer is NO. There, definitely, was a time when drag in this city was, literally, EVERYWHERE. Now the shows are more scattered and the interest in them seems to be even more scattered. Other cities have different shows every night of the week and show no lack of support.  


BL:What would you say to the people who do not have the coins to go to multiple shows a week? How do they choose?

BF: I say try to hit every show at least once a month. Lots of the shows are free to get into and even if it s $5 or $7 try to go to a few a month. All depends on what their schedule is like but definitely try to go to ALL! 


BL: Naturally… What is your advice to newcomers who want to quit their current jobs and explore a career of doing drag full time here in Philadelphia?

BF: I would say the old adage "Don't Quit Your Day Job." Philadelphia is still a very unacknowledged city when it comes to Drag, and having a day job always helps with a steady income. Especially, when you want to elevate your art form, it takes some coins.  


BL: It sure does girl. I spend more each month on drag than most people do paying back their student loans. (PS Don't tell my student loan people. I still owe… a lot…)

What do you think is the secret to becoming one of the queens who has been working here in Philly for over 5 years? 10 years? And the queens that have become community show staples that have 15 years or more under their belt? (Besides probably drinking the blood of the young and innocent…)

BF: I don't think there is a real secret. Its all about marketing, adaptability, and environment. You need to market yourself so the masses with fall in love with you. You need to be able to adapt to changes in basically, everything. This includes trends, venues, social media, etc.  Also knowing that there are ups and downs and being able to ride the wave and work SMARTER, not HARDER. It's a frame of mind to last and you either have it, or you don't.


BL: I remember you being at Shampoo during the glory days, shows were bigger than life, where was Brooklyn then? What triggered your first performance?

BF: HA! Brooklyn was in boy drag all the time at Shampoo! Mainly, tons of bronzer and brows for your nerves! Brooklyn has always been inside of my head, just never fully took form. Mainly, because I was too worried about what everyone would think, and all the stigma I faced in my own head about it. I had to kind of grow up and get older and say, "WHO CARES?!?!?" That's when Brooklyn, bloomed. My first performance was triggered by OPPORTUNITY. I was just showing up to The Dollhouse Revue in drag, not really knowing too many people, and was given my first chance to perform on the spot. Thanks MIMI!


BL: So everyone should start showing up in drag to the Dollhouse Review! Oh wait… (There is a reunion show coming up, though!) [Editor's note: The Dollhouse Revue Reunion is at Voyeur on May 28] Do you feel you will be living the drag lifestyle for the rest of your days? 

BF: I don't see Brooklyn going anywhere anytime soon. Just how I was given the opportunity to perform, I want to become that person in this community. I want my own show that will last forever, and will be able to give the new girls a place to blossom!


BL: Which is your bigger passion-drag performance or being a make up artist?

BF: I don't think one necessarily outweighs the other. I love drag and all that's involved but I also BREATHE makeup and creating. Thank god I was able to merge the two loves into one. They inspire each-other.


BL: What inspires you as a performer?

BF: An Audience!!!! I love to be in front of a ton of people and just seeing reactions to me and smiles and laughs and GAGS! It pumps me full of adrenaline.  


BL: How long does it take for you to transform into Brooklyn? What are three makeup items no queen should be without?

BF: Start to finish it takes around three hours. She's a big bitch and takes quite of lot of hairspray and gun oil. LOL!  And three makeup items – LASHES, BLUSH, and GLITTER!


BL: You read it here kids: Brooklyn Ford: Big Bitch! (But very much loved.) Also can we add Wawa to that list? It gets the girls through the night. If you were given the chance to appear in a show out of town, with a cast of girls, not including any of the Philly crew, what would be your dream venue and who would make up your dream team? 

BF: My dream venue… No clue! I love a huge space and tons of lights, effects, and luxury, but I also love homey bars where you're right there with the audience. My dream team NON-Philly…

Sasha Colby (look her up she's the T!!!!)

Asia O'Hara (performs like NO OTHER)

Wendy Ho (she is the queen of queens and has a V!)


Kristina Kelly (the funniest and most beautiful queen)

That show would be GAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!


BL: What makes a good show?

BF: Drive, determination, and TALENT! Promotion of the event. Right people, right place, right time. Remaining humble and APPRECIATING the audience each and every time! Passion, because if you don't love what you do, no one will either. Knowing your audience and making smart, adaptive decisions while still remaining true to your vision.


Special thanks to Brooklyn Ford for sitting down to talk about #SupportLocalDrag and the Philly drag scene!

Love and lashes,

Brittany Lynn 

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