If you've never experienced the wonder that is a Diva Drag Brunch—or any drag brunch, really—then here are a few basics you should know. Try to come in an energetic mind state, because these shows are feisty and fun. But if you happen to come on a day you're feeling sluggish, then the brunch and show will likely turn that around.
- Courtesy Justin Buckles Productions
- Jayla Rose, who appears on "Watch Out for the Big Grrls," with Lizzo, has been a regular performer in Justin Buckles' productions since 2013.
Produced by Justin Buckles Productions, Diva Drag Brunch is a regular series that moves around to various places in the Northwest—now including Bend, where shows will happen monthly at the Campfire Hotel. The upcoming show on Sat., April 30 is already sold out—but with the monthly appearances, the next one will come around the corner soon enough, on May 28.
The Source Weekly chatted with producer Justin Buckles about Diva Drag Brunch.
Source Weekly: Describe Diva Drag Brunch for people not familiar.
Justin Buckles: Diva Drag Brunch is a non-stop, over-the-top, must-see event featuring the best drag performers in the Pacific Northwest and locally.
SW: What can guests expect when they attend?
JB: Guests can expect drag, burlesque, comedy, acrobatics, dance, and more!
SW: Your shows take place in numerous places in the Northwest. Why do you think your show has been so successful?
JB: I really go out of the way to work with performers that I consider to be at the top of their game. From their hosting abilities to their performance abilities to their outfits and music choices. This pertains to not only the performers that travel with my shows, but also the local performers I work with in each city I take the show to.
SW: Diva Drag Brunch is coming to Bend this week. What prompted you to add Bend to your roster?
JB: I started producing shows in Bend in 2013 and had brought over a previous drag brunch that I was producing, but then the pandemic rolled around and everything screeched to a halt. When I launched Diva Drag Brunch in Portland in June 2021, I also created a list of cities I wanted to take the show. Bringing it to Bend has been in the works for over a year.
SW: One of your performers, Jayla Rose, recently appeared on Lizzo's show, "Watch Out for the Big Grrls." How has that raised the profile of your shows, and of Jayla as a performer?
JB: First off, I am incredibly proud of Jayla. She really took the time during the pandemic to set goals for herself and her career and now everything is falling into place for her. She's more driven and focused now then I've ever seen her, and I've been working with her since 2013. Through her social media platform more eyes have definitely come across Diva Drag Brunch and what and where we are doing and going. We just traveled up to Fairbanks, Alaska, and produced four sold-out shows in 36 hours, and multiple times a day people would stop Jayla for photos and want to talk about Lizzo and the show. Her involvement with the show has definitely had a positive kickback on Diva Drag Brunch.
SW: What does it mean to you and to the community of drag performers to see so much interest in your shows?
JB: For me personally I am beyond grateful that Diva Drag Brunch has been accepted and welcomed as well as it has. I've been involved in film, TV, live shows for over 20 years, so knowing that what I love doing is welcomed with open arms just encourages me to keep moving forward and working just as hard as I have been. For my performers this is, for a majority of them, their full-time job so being to go on the road, especially up to Fairbanks, Alaska, and seeing how accepting and ready the communities are means the world to them.
Diva Drag Brunch
Monthly at the Campfire Hotel
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Find Diva Drag Brunch on Instagram