With the wave of a checkered flag RuPaul’s Drag Race just burnt rubber from the starting line speeding off into season five. The popular Logo Channel show spotlights fourteen drag contestants competing for 100,000 dollars while being crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar. The queens this season run the gamut from last season’s winner Sharon Needles’ boyfriend Alaska to a narcoleptic Jinkx Monsoon to three Puerto Ricans, including Monica. Although not technically billed as being from Chicago, Monica Beverly Hillz has been performing in the Windy City for years.
EXTRA: Are you originally from Kentucky?
Monica: No, I was born and raised here in Chicago with my Puerto Rican family but I left three and a half years ago to Kentucky.
Is that where you began a life of a drag?
I started in a bar in Evansville, Indiana called the Brick House. They decided to open a bar in Owensboro, Kentucky where I currently live.
Did you start performing in drag fairly young?
Yeah, I started when I was really young. I was 17 going on 18.
Your real name is Juan DeJesus Anaya. Where did the name Monica Beverly Hillz originate from?
Monica came from an Indian movie that I saw with a goddess and her name was Monica. I fell in love with her. The Beverly Hillz came from where I have always wanted to be. I wanted to be in California or Beverly Hills. I’m always pushing for that type of girl.
It’s ironic that the show this season has a goddess theme. What was your journey to being on Drag Race?
I tried out for season one, season three and after that I pretty much gave up. I just thought it would never happen. I then went off the radar for a few years. I still lived in Kentucky and worked at bars there. I followed season four and saw people from Chicago on it like Phi Phi O’Hara. I realized I had to put my all into it and get on the show. Two of my best friends and I got together one day, I came to Chicago and recorded my audition tape. Literally, we did it over the weekend and I went back to Kentucky. Ever since that the Logo people were hitting me up. It happened really fast.
What is one thing you have taken away from being on the show?
Once you put your mind to something and your focus on something then you can’t let anyone come in the way of your hopes and your dreams. They really do come true as long as you work your ass off to get it. It is possible.
You are performing often in Chicago?
Yes, many venues like Spin, Berlin, even The Dragon Lady Lounge sometimes.
You have to represent Chicago even though you are billed as being a Kentucky native?
Chicago is my home and will always be my home.
Are you going to give us a good “face?”
Monica Beverly Hillz is always good at giving face so there is lots of face to be given!
By: Jerry Nunn
This post is also available in: Spanish
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