Let’s Traverse the Uncharted Expanses of Alternative Drag

Let’s Traverse the Uncharted Expanses of Alternative Drag


Tales from the Crypt of Slaytina featuring Maxi Monyeka, Jaja Collins, and Icy Faux 

Alternative drag artists exist as another venue to explore fashion, beauty, and performance in the context of drag outside of the more popular forms. RuPaul’s Drag Race put the conventional drag on the map. Conversely, the Boulet Brothers launched Dragula to give a rightful space for alternative drag artists to thrive. It’s worth noting that on the 4th season of RPDR, an alternative drag artist snatched the crown. Sharon Needles’s spooky aesthetic disrupted the standards and allowed more artists of similar self-expression to embrace the grotesque and macabre within. 

RELATED: Venturing Into the Creative Landscape of Alternative Drag

Here, we have the Crypt of Slaytina as a platform to make statements about the darker side of human nature through the lens of drag artistry. Let’s probe more into the thoughts of some of its participants.

icy faux

“Alternative drag is your inner saboteur turning into your passion.”

Icy Faux

Tell us about how you got started in drag

Maxi Monyeka: As cliché as it sounds, drag saved my sanity over the pandemic. I have always been drawn to performance art, acting, singing, and dancing. As a dentist, this was a difficult time when dental practice was restricted or not allowed, resulting in the closure of one of my practices. This brought me to depression because I was unsure of my future in my chosen profession. This was the same time I stumbled into Drag Race Philippines Season 1. Seeing the girls prosper fabulously despite all the challenges and hearing their stories of triumph inspired me to try and discover what else I could do with my creativity and talent.

Icy Faux: I started doing drag in June at Drag Cartel in Nectar.

Jaja Collins: Jaja Collins was once a hair and makeup artist who loved dolling herself up in her room late at night when no one was watching. Jaja Collins really started as a bedroom drag artist during the pandemic, and it really honed her creativity and self-expression as she battled the challenges the pandemic yielded her.

maxi monyeka

“Alternative drag, for me, is an idea, a limitless possibility of constant change in art and expression.”

Maxi Monyeka

Describe your drag. What influenced your approach to your drag?

Jaja Collins: I can say that my drag persona, Jaja Collins, is drag-fluid or could be a shapeshifter; they can be a lot of things according to what they want or what they want to portray cohesive to what event or category she joins. I am influenced by the movies I grew up watching, like Alice In Wonderland. Melanie Martinez’s visuals also inspired me.

Maxi Monyeka: Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls has always been my hero and the inspiration for some of my drag looks when I was starting. I would describe Maxi Monyeka’s look as classy, sophisticated, expensive, and polished. 

Icy Faux: I can say that my drag is serving glam and horror. I want to sustain the beauty of alternative drag by making it more fashionable in the best possible way. 

What is alternative drag?

Icy Faux: It is your inner saboteur turning into your passion.

Jaja Collins: Alternative drag, for me, is very diverse. It is breaking boundaries and stereotypes in the drag scene all over the world. It pushes people to reach their full extent and potential. These artists are a force to be reckoned with.

Maxi Monyeka: Alternative drag, for me, is an idea, a limitless possibility of constant change in art and expression. I think all drag artists are alternative drag artists because we are not limited to a certain song, category, artist, or act. We are limitless, and drag is limitless. What Ms. Slaytina is doing to highlight this is quite remarkable: giving a platform for the creative, the dark, the gory and showing everyone that there is beauty in it.

alt drag

“Alternative drag is breaking boundaries and stereotypes in the drag scene all over the world.”

Jaja Collins

Tell us about the inspiration or the story behind your performance at Crypt of Slaytina

Maxi Monyeka: My piece was a spoken poetry by Forest Blakk entitled Breathe. This was about death, suicide, trauma, self-harm, and how witnessing it can create a ripple effect on the people around you. Though spoken and not sung, it is deep and heavy and speaks to me of the time I was going through a dark place in my head. I think loss does that to you. I think pain can create a version of you that’s sharper and builds grit that’s reliable and worthy of the experience. 

Icy Faux: My performance was about being a Kabitenyo way back when I was still studying. After school, we would drink gin mixed with pineapple juice to ease the stress and to have fun. 

Jaja Collins: Joining the Crypt of Slaytina was an honor to showcase what I had in store. I’d like to convey my message to the vulnerable, depressed, and the abused. I used “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo as my song because it helped me sort through lots of regret, anger, and heartache growing up. The song could mean different things to everyone, but to me, it’s like a vampire sucking the blood completely and leaving nothing but sadness, trauma, and agony. 


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