After winning the makeover challenge, Venedita von Däsh was the first competitor on Drag Race España season two to guarantee her place in the historic grand finale, which was the first to have a top four on the Spanish series.
“I like to get naked, to play with sensuality, and chiefly I like to be paid,” Venedita proclaimed in the Meet the Queens. Her name comes from a pun between the name of the American vedette Dita Von Teese and the late Spanish trans icon, La Veneno. Her aesthetics are inspired by the cabaret, the 1940s and the pin-up classic style finished off with the beard.
Venedita is the first drag artist with a beard on Drag Race España, a detail that makes her stand out from other drag queens and also makes an interesting contrast to her ultra-feminine persona. It was exactly this hallmark that made it possible for Venedita to deliver a great performance through the contest, using it in her favour whenever it was suitable. However, it was her ability to give up her most characteristic feature that made the judges fall in love with her, as she did in Raffaella Carrà’s runway.
In this exclusive interview, Venedita shares how Drag Race has helped her overcome obstacles, brings to light her favourite runway and reveals if the beard has ever been a problem in her career.
Hi Venedita, congratulations on reaching the finals. How was this experience for you?
Thank you! When the 12 of us were there I thought, ‘The level is high,’ so yes, I was worried. I have done many things in all these years, but nothing like that. In a competition, you want to go as far as possible. When I saw all the competitors, I felt the pressure. But then I realised it was a great opportunity, and I had to enjoy it. When you’re in Drag Race, you’re in a bubble, disconnected from the world and from your family and friends. Sometimes, that really messes you up mentally, but the truth is that when I had to face a challenge or to walk the runway, I tried to have fun.
You are the first bearded drag of Drag Race España. Have you always had the beard, and did you have to remove it at some point?
I have always been bearded. I’ve been doing drag for almost 12 years and started with the beard. First, I wore one that was like the one I wear now, but with a moustache, then I changed it. It has always been my brand. There were moments I had to take it off, due to the script’s requirements. Once, I worked in a place substituting a drag, and they asked me to shave. It has never given me any problem, because it doesn’t cover half of my face. In Drag Race it was one of my brands. In fact, it does a bit of contouring, as sometimes it looks shadowed, so you don’t know if it’s shadow or a beard.
Did you have a plan or any strategy to reach the final?
Nothing at all. The really hard part is having everything done before the show, but once you have everything ready to go… I tried to be myself. At first I was more self-conscious, until I got used to the rhythm of the show and being with the people we were with. My strategy was to go a little crazy. Since we don’t have a phone, you can’t review anything. In the Snatch Game, for example, which turned out quite well, normally I would have done a review, watched videos, and I couldn’t do it. I don’t know if it’s the best advice, but in my case, going crazy hasn’t gone bad at all.
Is there something you have learned or discovered about your drag during your time in the contest?
Personally, I have realised that mentally, my head is in the right place. Because being there, you have to be mentally well because of the moments of ups and downs you can go through. When I had to lip-sync, for example, it was hard. As an artist, I have realised that I’m able to do more things than I’m normally used to. I usually do one type of show, although I’ve done a bit of everything, but people know me for a certain type of show. And being there, I realised that I can do more things such as comedy and acting. I’m terrible at singing, but if I have to do it, I’ll do it. Also, I’ve got over shame. Well, not shame, but there are things that I have overcome.
What is your favourite runway in the competition?
My favourite look is Almodóvar’s Leading Ladies runway, the first challenge I won. I was happy with all my looks. I trusted the person I worked with. The ideas were both the designer’s and mine. There are always things that can be improved, as in everything. But I prefer Almodóvar’s, because I like it more than the original. Without detracting from Jean Paul Gaultier at all, because he’s great.
Do you have a favourite moment from your time there?
I remember the day I won the maxi-challenge in the third episode. It was like a push to realise that I was doing well. Because there were moments when I thought, ‘I’m not doing so well.’ Winning this first challenge was like saying, ‘No, you’re doing well, don’t get discouraged.’
So, what’s next for Venedita?
My goal is to try to improve what I was already doing and focus on it 100 percent. I used to combine drag with my day job. I want to make shows that really fulfil me and that reach as many people as possible. Professionalise myself, and if I have to take dance classes, for example, I’ll do it. I would love to travel the world, perform in Europe. We have a great audience from Latin America. They are always sending us so much love. They write to us from Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina. I would love to go there, meet them, and show a little of what we do here.
All episodes of Drag Race España S2 are available to watch on Atres Premium in Spain and exclusively on WOW Presents Plus everywhere else. Subscribe via: https://uk.wowpresentsplus.com