By Frankie Kujawa
Honey, let's get one thing clear: Charm City's iconic Queen of Drag - Brooklyn Heights - is a legend! As both a fierce performer and host, Brooklyn dazzles audiences each week throughout the Baltimore area. We recently chatted with Brooklyn regarding the upcoming final drag brunch of the 2022 season at Power Plant Live!, her biggest accomplishment, and what makes for the best drag experience!
Frankie Kujawa: Sunday, August 14th will be the last drag brunch of the 2022 season at Power Plant Live! What can audiences expect from this performance?
Brooklyn Heights: The drag brunches at Power Plant Live! are a wild journey! It’s one of the only places that has an outdoor brunch set no matter rain or shine because of the awnings and coverings. It’s definitely a full-on production. I think people see ‘Power Plant Live!’ and they think of concerts or bars, but when they get there and it’s a drag show they see it’s a completely different vibe and atmosphere. It’s a comedy/dance show produced by drag queens, put on by drag queens and worked by drag queens! So, it’s a blast every single time we have it!
Frankie Kujawa: Describe how you started as an entertainer?
Brooklyn Heights: I started back when The Hippo was open, and I was 21 years old. I’m 31 years old now. So, ten years ago this started as a dare. My partner started doing drag before me. I used to work as a makeup artist, and they were like, ‘Well you wear enough makeup, and you do makeup, why don’t you just perform?’ And (laughing) I really didn’t want to, but it was a dare. So, I did it and I never turned back!
Frankie Kujawa: In your opinion, what makes for the best drag experience?
Brooklyn Heights: I think there are a few factors that go into the best drag experience depending on the show. The host needs to be professional, on time and absolutely hilarious. The entertainers need to do that, as well. But they also need to make sure that everyone is there to have a good time. At my drag shows, and I can speak for a lot of the ones in Baltimore, we just really want people from all walks of life to walk into the show, sit down and have a good time. We want you to walk into the door and whatever problems you had before you walk in - forget them while you’re with us.
Frankie Kujawa: From where do you find your inspiration?
Brooklyn Heights: Oh, goodness! Most of my inspiration comes from strong female leaders - whether it be from Michelle Obama to P!nk. That’s because they have a powerful voice that they use on all platforms and for all walks of life and communities with different views. So, I think that’s extremely important in today’s society.
"When you’re planning on coming to a drag show - have an open mind! Everyone is a different person, and everyone has different opinions and views, as well as different outlooks on life. I think the most important thing in today’s society is that everyone needs to be kind and respectful. Get to know one another, love one another and respect one another as much as possible!" ~ Brooklyn Heights
Frankie Kujawa: What does the term ‘community’ mean to you, especially in the drag community?
Brooklyn Heights: I think the drag community is a giant group of people that have come from all walks of life. They have different views that have created this bond where we all love this art form. We want to do so well, not only for ourselves but for each other. That’s one of the reasons that the drag awards were created. It’s just one big group of people who love drag, and we help each other out as much as we can.
Frankie Kujawa: As an entertainer, what has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Brooklyn Heights: I think there are a lot of things that I’ve accomplished that make me very proud. Things like being able to do drag full time, being a father and a husband. But I think the biggest thing, especially regarding the Baltimore drag community, would be the Baltimore Drag Awards. It’s literally like the Oscars for our community. It’s one night where every single entertainer, or anyone involved with the drag lifestyle and nightclub community, all get together. We all dress up and follow a theme. We go all out to make sure that, one, we look the best but also that we are representing ourselves as a group of individuals.
Frankie Kujawa: Could you share one of your craziest stories from performing?
Brooklyn Heights: I think the craziest story would have to be doing The Manor drag brunch, which happens every single Saturday at Mt. Vernon. That brunch has become a powerhouse on its own. We have a lot of women who come in, and obviously there is alcohol involved, but there are times when they’re standing on the table and ‘acting a fool.’ Sometimes, it gets to the point where I have to physically stop the show to tell them to get off the seats. My famous line is, “We are not IKEA – get the hell off our furniture!”
Link to Power Plant Live! Drag Brunch Event Page: https://www.powerplantlive.com/events/20220814_drag_brunch
Link to Purchase Tickets to Power Plant Live! Drag Brunch: https://www.axs.com/events/441417/drag-brunch-tickets?cid=website
Brooklyn's Instagram: @iambrooklynheights