This weekend’s Ocean Pride Drag Showcase brings talent that is truly delivering something for everyone who loves the art of drag. Five amazing performers, each with unique and diverse styles, are hitting the stage at Nola’s Bar & Lounge on Saturday April 9th at 3pm with larger than life performances, along with some surprises! We took a few minutes to peel back the curtain and get to know the ladies that will be joining us this weekend for our latest Ocean Pride Drag Showcase (supporting Garden State Equality).
Pattaya Hart defines the word “professional”. A National title holder, this New York City dolls spends her days teaching the masses how to dance, and her evenings showing Big Apple crowds what has made her one of the most in-demand queens in the business. Pattaya Hart defends professionalism, polish, and consistently spectacular and larger than life performances.
How did you get your start in the world of drag? 
PH: Started off as a dare from a group of dancing friends back in June 2012 to do the amateur night at Therapy bar in New York City.
What have been some of your career highlights so far? 
PH: A highlight of my drag career would be winning the biggest national pageant, Miss Gay America 2020 / 2021 on my very first attempt and got to reign for 2.5 years!! (COVID!) With this prestigious title and platform, I got to travel the country and meet so many new people and showcased my talent and inspire them about the art form of female impersonation.
Who is your own favorite LGBTQ icon and why? 
PH: Laverne Cox has always been visible and vocal about LGBTQ rights, especially for the trans community. I had the pleasure of working with her weekly at Lucky Cheng’s in New York City at the beginning of my drag career and she’s nothing but a sweetheart and someone who’s full of wisdom. Her hard work and her accomplishments inspire me to keep pushing through.
What is the biggest gamble you’ve taken in your career and how did it pay off? 
PH: When I decided to throw my hat into competing in a drag pageant for the very first time, it was in 2015, right here in Atlantic City, for Miss’d America. That year I placed 1st runner-up, but boy did I learn so much and gain so many connections to keep me working up until these days. I went back and competed again in 2017 and won the title Miss’d America 2018!
Advice for newcomers starting out in the business? 

PH: Don’t be lazy, and invest in your drag; that doesn’t have to always means spending lots of money)

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Stomping into New York City nightlife with stallion legs and razor sharp lip syncs, Lola Ceilings has made quite a prominent name for herself already. Whether she is doing a classic Broadway number or a pop culture favorite, expect Lola to leave it all on the floor when she hits the stage.

How did you get your start in the world of drag?
LC: I was actually first put into drag by none other than Tina Burner 10 years ago. Cut to about 8 years later, the giant woman resurfaced by the hands of the Assassins (Kimmi Moore & Boudoir LeFleur) and it finally stuck. I was dabbling and gigging just before the pandemic began, then when the shutdown happened I just kinda took the time to relax. My birthday, February 2021, I donned the drag once more, a face shield, and put on a show with my co host Lexington Banks amidst the complete chaos of pandemic restrictions. A year later, our show Through The Roof Thursday is still going! I think the art of drag is something you can’t really stomp out of your soul no matter how long it’s hiding.
What have been some of your career highlights so far?
LC: Performing in Atlantic City for my second time of course! As an NYC queen I actually love coming to Jersey for gigs, Paradise, Ocean Casino, drag brunch at Curtains in Avenel, etc. Honestly Jersey has treated me so well and anytime I go back is just a mini glamorous vacation! Also that one time I was a drag Edward Scissorhands and performed *Cut* To The Feeling by Carly Rae Jepson, I was reallyyyy feeling that number!
Who is your own favorite LGBTQ icon and why?
LC: I have so many! Peppermint is an absolute goddess. I’ve known her in NYC from every club back in the day, to then being on Drag Race, and then taking over the world. She is a professional and so inspiring with her never ending fight for trans rights. Seeing her grow over the years and still getting to work with her once in a while on a project is amazing. She’s hilarious, works hard, and is doing it all for the right reasons.
What is the biggest gamble you’ve taken in your career and how did it pay off?
LC: Doing a one off-birthday show after having not done drag for a year during the early chaos of the pandemic. I was so nervous, I was heavier than I wanted to be, I hadn’t put heels on in forever, hadn’t danced, barely painted my face in a long while, and was experiencing all the uncertainty of the pandemic. The owner of Hardware said, “C’mon, drag should be fun, just do a show.” And honestly? That’s advice I still hold on to. That encouragement and boost created this whole other vehicle that is our show on Thursdays at Hardware and we are still running over a year later!
Advice for newcomers starting out in the business?
LC: Clean your lace. Commit. Always level up on any way you can, better mixes, change your make up, add some new choreo, etc. Everybody looks to a drag queen to be a beacon of inspiration and multiple YAS’s, so be confident and be that glamorous thing you envision in your head and make the crowd EAT IT! Keep working hard and investing in quality drag. It’ll happen naturally as you get more and more outfits/pieces that you love, but you don’t wanna spend a bunch of random coins on things that you’ll end up trashing! And above all, sell them pure CONFIDENCE AND DELUSION!

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Whether she’s hitting the stage as the newly crowned Miss Paradise or entertaining crowds in Florida, Crystal Envy is one of new brightest stars on the scene today. New Jersey fan favorite, Envy is known for slaying pop hits on-stage and drawing large crowds to her acrobatic stunts from the stage! 

How did you get your start in the world of drag?
CE:
I got my start in the drag world at the young age of 14! However I took a hiatus from 19-23 and revived Crystal in 2020 and now she’s back and better then ever.

What have been some of your career highlights so far?
CE:
Two MAJOR highlights of my drag career would be winning Miss Paradise 2022 and also winning The Queen Cycle 1 hosted by Ariel Versace! 

Who is your own favorite LGBTQ icon and why?
CE:
Hmmm… my favorite LGBTQ+ icon would have to be RuPaul. (I know, I know. cliché). However he did so much for drag queens and pushing them into mainstream media. Drag would not be what it is today without them. 

What is the biggest gamble you’ve taken in your career and how did it pay off?      
CE:
The biggest gamble in my drag career would have to have been reviving it in 2020, I didn’t know how I would be received or where my skillset stood. 

Advice for newcomers starting out in the business?
CE: Be unique. Stand out for something that only you can stand out for. Don’t compare yourselves to others because once you start doing that you won’t go anywhere. Focus on yourself and bettering your craft, learn & listen to other queens/entertainers who have been doing this for a while. They know what they’re talking about. Be open to constructive criticism! 

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Known as one of the most high-profile & sickeningly talented dolls on the East Coast, Jolina Jasmine is bringing a big dose of glamour to the Ocean Pride Drag Showcase on April 9th. A titleholder at nightlife spaces all over, Jasmine has expanded her career into opening for Danity Kane & headlining Pride campaigns. As she prepares to head to the Ocean Casino Resort, I touched base with Jolina on her career start and what she thinks her biggest gamble has been so far.

How did you get your start in the world of drag? 
Jolina Jasmine: I actually got started in drag on a dare on Halloween. I’ve always been fascinated with make up, performing, and designing outfits, so once I dabbled in the art of drag that Halloween, I realized I could express all my artistic creativity as a whole and it pretty much took off from there.
 
What have been some of your career highlights so far? 
 JJ: I have won numerous titles such as Miss Long Island Newcomer, Miss Ikon, NJ Entertainer of the year in 2016, and I was crowned Miss Paradise, twice!  I’ve opened for Danity Kane, and have been featured on the tv show Jersey Shore. In addition to that, I headlined Hornitos Pride campaign in NYC and have also headlined New Jersey Pride.
Who is your own favorite LGBTQ icon and why? 
 JJ: Although she’s not a member of the community, someone who I consider an icon in my eyes would be Princess Diana. She was a prominent figure in the fight against the stigma of people living with HIV/AIDS.
 What is the biggest gamble you’ve taken in your career and how did it pay off? 
JJ: One my  biggest gambles was canceling my plans to relocate to Florida in order to compete in the Miss Paradise pageant here in New Jersey. I won the title and continue to receive many opportunities to this day because of it.
Advice for newcomers starting out in the business? 
JJ: Always remain humble. The same people you see on the way up are the same people you’ll see on the way down.

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Direct from the Philadelphia area, Stefani Steel has been killing the game in the City of Brotherly Love for a while. Her unique performances (combined with larger than life looks) manage to bring this candy-colored dynamo to life each and every time she hits the stage.

How did you get your start in the world of drag?
SS: I actually started thinking about becoming a drag queen in college! My RA suggested I should do the drag show as a contestant at my college and I said why not? It became my passion and 3 years ago I started performing in Philly; now I am a full time queen!
What are some career highlights for you so far?
SS: My biggest career highlights happened in the past year and definitely one of my most important was probably being booked almost everyday of the month of June (Pride Month) last year, also headlining a Pride event with Roxxxy Andrews! Being a traveling queen has been crazy too and I’m hoping to travel a lot more and to more places this year.
Who is your favorite LGBTQ icon and why?
LADY GAGA! She has been someone who has been an inspiration to me since she started and that’s why I named myself Stefani, It comes from (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) Lady Gaga’s birth name.
What’s been the hardest gamble you’ve taken in your career and how did it pay off?
SS: That’s definitely a hard one to answer but I would say my biggest gambles come from staying true to myself and spacing myself from toxic situations. It’s so important to listen to yourself and follow your own path as a drag artist.
Any advice for newcomers starting out in the business?
SS: My best advice is to go full force! Do every competition you hear about! Do not be cocky! At least until you make a name for yourself (laughs) just don’t be cocky. And always introduce yourself.

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For more information and tickets to the Ocean Pride Drag Showcase, check out theoceanac.com