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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I AM YOUR QUEEN: Holotta Tymes

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Holotta Tymes

Welcome to I AM YOUR QUEEN, a Pride Month series on the Exhibitionist that endears itself to the power-fems who secretly orchestrate global affairs from a bunker deep beneath Aunt Charlie's.

When Holotta Tymes first went to Finocchio's to work, even though she had already made her living in drag, she knew she had made it.

"Finocchio's, world-famous for the finest of female impersonators for 63 years, closed in 1999. It was a show that many strived to be cast in," Tymes told SF Weekly. "I remember how excited I was. The showroom was dated but under the darkness of the candlelit tables, it was magical. The first time I worked there, it still had a live band, and the show was both live and lip-synch. So many famous female impersonators/drag artists had worked there and now so was I!"
The dressing rooms were technically in another building, "through an alley way, up a flight of stairs, in what was a Old Victorian apartment."

"Many of the rooms were turned into the dressing rooms, some divided, including what had been the kitchen at one time," Tymes said. "I remember being nervous and getting unpacked and set up for my debut, doing my makeup, getting dressed, and coiffed. Just before curtain, as I stood in an evening gown dressed to the nines, covered in rhinestones and jewels, I realized I had to pee."

She'd already had a tour of the entire dressing area, but still no idea where the bathroom was.

"I ran back through the alley, up the stairs and ran around looking for the facilities," she said. "There was one door I had not been through, but I had no idea where it went. I opened it to find an old porch, with a bunch of discarded items on the end, and used doors screwed together to make walls around a slab of cement with a old toilet in the center, and a single light bulb hanging with a pull string. I ran in, slammed the door, and I stood on the filthy, urine-stained floor almost in the dark, realizing I had made it! I was using the official 'outhouse for the performing arts.' I stood peeing where the likes of Charles Pierce had!"

click to enlarge HOLOTTA TYMES
  • Holotta Tymes
What name(s) do you perform under?

My name is Holotta Tymes.

Where do you perform?

I work or have worked at the world-famous Finocchio, the Starlight Room (for Sunday's a Drag), Club 1220 walnut creek, Oasis, the Lookout, the Stud, and across the country.

How long have you done drag?

I have been performing for well over 20 years. I started when I was 7 [guttural laugh].

Does your Holotta Tymes have a back story?

I don't really have a back story, but have created a whole Tymes family tree. My sister Hobuncha Yymes, brother Justin Tyme, mother Anyo Tymes, grandma Grand Ol' Tyme, grandpa Outta Tyme, etc. 

Do you have a theater/performance background?

I grew up doing theater as well touring shows, so I have a history on the stage. 

Is realness important to you? Genderfuck? Something else?

I'll do what ever I need to for whatever character, so sometimes it's about being real, others it's about a character, or ridiculousness to get a laugh. 

click to enlarge HOLOTTA TYMES
  • Holotta Tymes
When you were starting out, what was the biggest hurdle?

My biggest hurdle starting out was being so tiny compared to the rest of the cast in many of the professional shows. I'm only 5'2", so most shows would have to be careful putting me near other girls in the shows, so that they didn't look humongous. Being short in that situation was not an asset.
What do you love most about drag?

I'm shy. Being in drag allows me to do something I might not do while out of drag. I'm a natural comedian, so I'll do just about anything to get a laugh. I impersonate celebrities, so the when you hit the stage and you hear the reaction when they get the character, it's a great feeling. 

Have you had any trouble with Facebook's "real" names policy?

My name was an issue with Facebook at one point. After the rally and start of the protests, I was able to get it back with the help of Sister Roma. It was so frustrating and many are still having the issue. 

What's your day job?

I make my living as a female impersonator.

Does your mother know?

My mom does know. My family is very supportive and has come to many shows over the years. 

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.

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