To watch drag artist Miss Toto cavort around the stage dressed as the Hormone Monstress from Netflix's Big Mouth is to transcend time and space. Even veteran drag queens watching the Miami performer, bodybuilder, and personal trainer command the club, have to ask themselves, "How did we get here?"
It's both a celebratory and emotionally fraught time for the world of drag, as RuPaul Charles' beloved brand of "glamazon" pageant-friendly drag starts to blend with a constellation of contemporary influences. Younger performers like Miss Toto, who's relatively new to the drag scene, draw less inspiration than their predecessors did from figures like John Waters and Judy Garland — both showcased in themed episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race. They find more energy in the pop culture they actually grew up with, channeling it into experimental drag shows like Miss Toto's drag wrestling stunts.
The sea change is clear no matter what drag club you're in, as more and more entertainers create shows around their favorite references. The pop culture toys in Miss Toto's toy box include Big Mouth, Stranger Things, Bring It On, the Goosebumps novels, Steven Universe, Pokémon, and an extremely catch 2006 track by Miss Peachez.
Miss Toto told SYFY WIRE via email about her burgeoning drag career, her unique perspective on performance, and the value of taking up as much space as possible.
Describe the first time you performed in drag. How did you know you'd have a career in the art form?
The first time I performed was to "Fry That Chicken" by Miss Peachez and I force-fed my friend fried chicken while giving him a lap dance. To be honest, I am still not convinced that I have a career in this but I am sure that I'm having fun and creating content and experiences that other people can enjoy.
How would you describe your drag aesthetic?
I consider myself to be a bodybuilding, drag goddess.
I pull references from pop culture, as well as art deco. I try to take up as much space in a location as possible so that I cannot be missed!
How long have you been performing, and how long have you been a drag artist?
I have been performing since a young age, probably three or four. I have been doing drag now for three and a half years.
What geeky TV shows and pop culture were you into as a kid?
I loved Harry Potter and still do! I was the first person in line to get the books and would stay up for two days to read them.
What are some of the funniest or best interactions you've had with fans at your shows?
I love after the show and they've seen me perform and tell me how much they loved the show. The best reaction is someone telling me that they quit their 9-5 to pursue their passion after I mentioned that following your passion is more important than money.
Do you think drag and geek culture intersect enough? Are there a lot of people who are into drag and stuff like Stranger Things?
Definitely! There are so many events that are more geek focused to allow the queens to express their geeky sides and cater to the geeks who love drag too!