Posted by: Necci – Jun 14, 2012
Ke$ha may call herself the queen of glitter, but the title’s true ruling sovereign is Richmond’s Sirena Sparkles. And sparkle she does. What GWAR does with fake blood, Sirena does with real glitter. The performer compliments her original ensembles with countless sequins, rhinestones, small mirrors, beads, costume jewelry and crystals. Her most notable feature, though, is her face’s thick coat of glitter. Or rather, glitters, since Sirena uses various textures and colors of glitter to achieve her perfectly flashy luminescent look.
Sirena defies strict expectations of a drag queen. Like most drag queens, she often performs at drag shows here and in D.C. Unlike many drag queens, Sirena actually sings, rather than lip-syncs, and has released two albums, Which Witch and Pleasant Valley Witch. Her partner sometimes describes her as “a female clown” to gawking passerby. Sirena is also a local cult figure who has marched in the Halloween parade for 6 years and even once danced for Prince at a private party. But perhaps Sirena is best defined by her creator as “a groovy party witch from beyond.”
How has Sirena developed and changed over time?
Bigger hair, more glitter, more mirrors, more in general!! Sirena was a special go go dancer here in Richmond at the club called Cafines here in Richmond during the Clinton years… After [that venue] closed Sirena went into singing. She has the exact vocal range of Roy Orbison.
The most surprising thing about you?
I'm still 28.
Glitter! What are your favorite types and where do you like to get it? Of course, one problem with glitter can be that it has a tendency to get everywhere. Have you discovered any tricks for getting it out/keeping it in control?
I like all types and blending my own colors. Ben Franklin [now A.C. Moore] is the glitter store I love, and NO, there is no way to keep it under control. Spray aerosol hair spray on top when you are finished with your make up and it will hold the glitter on longer. And it's always good to line your sink with a trash bag before you start. It makes for an easy cleanup.
For some, the love of glitter, sequins and all things sparkly is not so obvious. How would you explain it?
Every thing that catches light, shimmers, glimmers, and sparkles is magic. If you believe in magic then you live for glitter!
AMEN! Do you write your own music?
Not yet, but I am working on a bible.
How did you get started singing?
Watching the Monkees on TV.
When was your first performance? Were you nervous? Do you ever still get stage jitters?
Well, Serena's first appearance was on Bewitched in the 60's. This incarnation of Sirena first touched down in Richmond, VA for Shockoe Bottom Arts Center when she was channeled in for their Halloween Ball.
Who are your style inspirations?
Anyone with style.
Where are your favorite places to shop for your wardrobe, hair and makeup?
Halcyon, Premiere, Lex's.
Do you have any favorite colors or color combinations?
Purple and crazy patterns.
Do you ever make your own outfits or accessories?
Always!! They have more magic that way.
You've definitely got a set of gams on you, emphasized by rather tall shoes. Do you have any advice for walking and dancing in heels?
It's just ballet. Remember that and you will be fine.
Do you have any advice for drag queens who are just starting out?
Be yourself and be proud of it.
If you could perform live on stage with any celebrity living or dead, who would it be?
OK, that's a no brainer, but it's a 3 way tie: Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, & Johnny Cash.
By Melina B.