Victoria Chase aka Kdon Wade, one of the funniest and most talented queens to hit New York nightlife, has been a friend for many years. I’ve watched her evolve into the successful person she is and was elated to be able to have a conversation with her recently just to see what she’s been up to.
When did you start doing drag?
Oh, God. Its 24 1/2 years. I started in 1990.
So you’re at Boots & Saddle and…
I’m at Boots & Saddle four nights a week, and then I work at Club Evolution in Queens on Fridays. They’re gonna celebrate my seventh anniversary next month at Boots & Saddle.
I heard that you were doing karaoke as well.
Yeah, Victoria hosts karaoke two nights, and then I have another show on Saturday night.
Do you still do your Christmas cocaine number that I love?
Actually, somebody talked me into doing it this Christmas. I stopped doing it because it makes a really big mess.
So where were you originally from?
Originally from San Antonio, Texas.
Where’s your accent?
Over in South Texas there is no accent, unless you go further west and further north.
When did you come to New York?
I started coming to Fire Island in 1996, and then I moved permanently to New York in 2000. I used to do the summer thing. In 2000 I decided, “I’m not going home, I’m staying here.” I had no job. What am I going to do?
Well, now you’re pretty successful. Who would you say out of all the queens inspired you the most?
Wow, I’d have to say a couple of the girls from Texas. I didn’t start doing drag until I moved to Florida. But there was a couple of girls: Jessica Wells, Nikoma Shay. She was the first girl I ever heard sing live.
So what shows are you doing where and when?
I host karaoke at Boots & Saddle on Sunday and Wednesday nights from 8 till 4. We started out doing it for four hours, then it grew and grew and grew. It’s very, very successful. Then I’m at Club Evolution on Fridays from 6 till midnight. Then on Thursdays I DJ at Boots.
You’re a DJ as well?
Yeah, I DJ as well. Then on Saturday I have my Saturday night show, which is from midnight till 2:30.
Do you sing?
I stopped lip-syncing years ago. I sing live.
I’ve never heard you sing live.
The first few years I was at Fire Island I didn’t sing live. It was, I wanna say 1999. You remember Robin Murray?
Robin Murray heard me singing in the shower one day. She said, “You should really try to sing live.” I said, “I’ll never do that, absolutely never do that!” One thing led to another and it just…now I sing live.
Who taught you how to paint?
Years ago, no one would help me paint. Around Christmas 1993 I needed to go out for Christmas and spend all my money making my friends and my family happy. Well, that Christmas I spent more money than I could afford and had no money to pay rent. La Cage Aux Folles was opening up at the Holiday Inn in Crowne Plaza. They needed a drag queen cocktail waitress. I said “I’ll never do that.” They came back every day for two weeks. I said, “I’m so broke, I’m gonna have to do something.” I did not know how to do my own makeup. The first day I was there, I was actually much heavier then, and the cast came out, and they thought I was Aretha Franklin, cause Aretha Franklin had left the show. The producers of the show begged me to audition. One by one, the cast took a hand in teaching me how to paint.
That’s a nice story. So who would you take on a date to outer space?
They couldn’t say no, right?
Let me think. Lou Diamond Phillips.
I’d say since he’s gotten older and hot.
If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I’d have to say, I’d like to do a Broadway show. I would love to star in a Broadway show.
I think you should audition for one.
I’d have to get my nerves out of the way – but… I didn’t much care for Broadway, but when I moved to New York I started seeing a couple of shows, and I said, “Wow, that just seems like an amazing thing.”
If you were on “American Idol” and you could sing any song, what would you pick to sing?
“Alone” by Heart.
It just makes me feel good.
What is the color of money to you?
It’s bills. Whatever color bills are…paying the bills.
Do you have a favorite color?
I have two, but I don’t look good in either one of them. Red and purple.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Well, I’d like to be married by then, but that involves dating, which I’m not good at. I’d love to settle down with somebody.
So are you saying you’re available?
Unfortunately. Completely available.
I’ll just put it out there.
I found that in my life I seem to be attracted to people without jobs.
Anything else that you’d like to say?
We’re getting ready to move. We’re trying for the beginning of April. Robert asked me if I wanted to do my seventh anniversary in the new place, but I said no. Seven years is a long time, and this is where I wanna celebrate.
Well, I will definitely get to see you soon, I hope, at Boots & Saddle.
Welcome! When we’re having our closing, it’s just gonna be party, party, party all week.
And where are you moving to—that is, where is Boots moving?
It’s the Actors Playhouse on 7th Ave. It’s a block and a half away.
Good luck to you and to Boots.
Catch Victoria Chase performing every Wednesday & Sunday at boots & saddle (76 Christopher Street ) and fridays at club evolution
(76-19 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights)