We had the good fortune of connecting with Penny Spectacular and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Penny, what is the most important factor behind your success?
What I prioritize more than anything is being a kind human backstage and in the audience. It’s so important to develop a community that is committed to lifting each other, having fun, and setting each other up for success. I aim to be kind and curious about my fellow performers, like getting to know people, watching each other performances, and creating art together. Being considerate of others while maintaining a sense of playfulness is the environment I always want to create.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am looking forward to the day people don’t ask me how I am a drag queen as someone who identifies as female. My performance art is a mix of drag and burlesque, called DRAGLESQUE, heavily influenced by Lady Gaga, Tim Burton, Nicktoons, and my grade school musical theatre memories. I have performed in drag shows, burlesque shows, circus shows, and Rocky Horror Picture Shows all around Denver for the past 10 years. In Fall 2012, I took Vivienne Vavoom’s starlet burlesque class and started to get involved in the Denver burlesque scene. After performing burlesque in Khloe Katz’s drag show YASS QUEEN for over 2 years, I started painting my face, lipsyncing and performing as a drag queen back in summer 2016. I was always told to paint MORE MORE MORE! Until my face became the Cirque Du Soleil doll that it is today. My paint has definitely been compared to Trixie Mattel because I cut my cheek contour and put white under my eyes, but I have also been told by many that my face is unique and memorable. Being female identifying and a drag queen wasn’t truly accepted by all at first. I would often get passive aggressive comments about how I don’t have to work as hard or paint as much since I am female. Sometimes I was treated as if I was too burlesque for the drag show or too drag for the burlesque show. I felt like my art could never be truly accepted or good enough because I wasn’t male, but I did it anyway because draglesque is what I love to create. However, thanks to all trans and non-binary individuals, the lines of gender and identity are blurring. People are becoming more open to accepting performers as performers rather than people trying to trick you by hiding their genitals. It’s all about the character that you create and the story you tell onstage for 3-5 min at a time. I’m personally just trying to use all of my electric energy to live out my cartoon Lady Gaga fantasy. Ever since I was little, live theatre always made me feel excited to be alive and made me feel connected to others on another level. I want the audience to experience that every time I am onstage! I am a rainbow shot of adrenaline straight to the veins, Penny Spectacular!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you’re coming to Denver, the first place I’m going to take you to eat is at the Vegan Van. They are a food truck with the most delicious tacobell dupes you’ve ever tasted. The vegan crunchwrap is my ride or die. A daily trip to Toasts and Roasts for coffee and breakfast is a must. This locally owned female coffee shop has the best little burritos and breakfast bowls that are all made in house, served with locally roasted Novo Coffee. If you’re hanging out with me, most likely we are going to hit up 1Up, the local barcade on Colfax that has my favorite collection of video games and pinball machines. They have happy hour prices all day on Sundays. On Wednesday nights, I love getting dressed in my gothic best to dance at Goth Night at Milk Bar on Broadway. There are lots of different rooms, dark dance music for dancing, and hot tacos outside near the alley entrance. We also have to hit up Lipsync Karaoke at Xbar on Thursday! Come in your best drag or your normie clothes, pick your favorite song, and perform your a*s off in front of everyone. You might even get tips! I hope you brought some costumes because we’ll probably be going to a themed party at Tracks Nightclub. This is my favorite place to go dance and see a drag show! I always bump into my fabulous friends at Tracks. If you want something where you can sit for the evening, let’s go to the Clocktower to see my friends perform in a high production value burlesque variety show. They have the most glittery aerialists and strippers in town! If you’re wanting to explore a random universe of art, we got to go to Meow Wolf Convergence Station. You can get lost in there for hours and hours…. It changes you forever! Last but certainly not least, I’m probably gonna drag you over to Cheeseman Park on a Sunday afternoon to see the talents of our circus community practicing their craft for all to see. This is where I’ve met some great friends and learned some great Poi tricks.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Khloe Katz has been a huge influence on who I am as a performer. She’s given me so many bookings and helped me to get to know a lot of the Denver drag community. She’s always encouraged me to work hard for my dreams. She is such a professional producer to work with and owns the rights to one of the longest running successful drag shows in Denver: YASS QUEEN! She’s my drag mother. She told me I was a drag queen when I was performing burlesque in her shows. I am so thankful for her support and love.

Instagram: @pennyspectacular

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pennyspectacular/

Other: Follow my makeup videos on TikTok: @pennyspectacular

Image Credits
Dave Wood Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.