Paris a La Venti, also known as Cameron Howard, is an up and coming bay area drag queen. Paris’s career in drag began when they were at an all time low of self-esteem and confidence as a result of a rough break up with their first true love. Paris faced their own fears of feeling not good enough and started to perform in local LGBTQ bars. A year later when Paris looks in the mirror they once again are happy and feel good with what looks back. I chatted with Paris about becoming drag queen and what goals they have for the future. Read the full interview below.
“I’m a gender fluid individual. I don’t believe in being locked down to just one gender or pronoun. I say bend the rules and be whatever you want to be.” – Paris a La Venti
What is the best part of what you do?
Putting on the wig, makeup and glitz and glamour is like putting on a layer of beauty and confidence, but for me the best part of being a drag queen is all the fun with the crowd and other queens. It puts a smile on my face. One of my favorite moments was at my first performance. My mom was there supporting me and the host took a moment to thank her for being supportive of me and the other queens. When the show was over, everyone was taking time to thank her for coming and showing her support. My mom didn’t think it was as important as it is to have a parent support. What she didn’t realize before that night was that most queens don’t get that parent support and is a great thing when do.
“Drag is an art form.”
Do you consider yourself an artist?
Yes I completely consider myself to be an artist. I’m constantly having to stay creatively open-minded so that I can continue to change my look for each show to be a little different with my painting, aka makeup application. I like to do try new ways of painting and stay fresh. Drag is an art form and its always interpreted differently by each individual. My personal style for Paris is more of a pretty girl. When I transform into Paris, I strive to look good and strut my stuff.
What are your short and long term goals?
My short term goals are to perform as much as possible in local bars and share my art with local drag fans. Long term I would love to be a part of a drag tour and be able to travel, share my art with others, and inspire others to be what they want to.
That’s beautiful! Who and what inspires you?
One of my biggest inspirations is London Adour. She is an extremely hard working queen and always staying new with looks. She is definitely a high energy performer like me. I would love to collaborate with Jeffree Star and make a video of him putting me into drag. He is such an artist. He has that I don’t care what people say about me kind of vibe which I draw a lot of inspiration from because that is the attitude I need to have with this line of work. I also like Kameron Michaels from RuPauls Drag Race Season 10 for the same reason. She’s a queen who doesn’t let anyone’s negativity bring her down. The type to laugh in a haters face and keep it pushing. Also from the same show and season, Eureka O’Hara. I love that she is a big girl which proves just because we are big doesn’t mean that we aren’t beautiful!
I know you’re just getting started and have so much more success ahead of you, but to close it out, what advice would you give to others?
The three things I always tell people when I’m asked for advice is:
1. NEVER GIVE UP!!!
2. You are your biggest fan make yourself happy.
3. Always be yourself in or out of drag. Stay true to you and what you stand for.
Book for a show, and keep up with all things Paris on Instagram.