When WILLAM called me from Sin City to chat I told him that I wanted to do up an interview introduction and asked if there were any high-points that he wanted me to mention. Now I had to be honest with her and said, “No I did not” when he hit me with this:
“Marlayna did you know that I’m the only drag queen ever disqualified from RuPaul’s Drag Race?” I told WILLAM I was surprised to hear that and we would touch on it in the interview!
Then he mentioned that on his must-visit website www.willambelli.com you will see that WILLAM has guest starred or co-starred on 50+ television shows (meaning speaking parts). Needless to say since I have a SAG card and know the hoops I was totally frikking impressed!
Always on the hi-heeled go-go WILLAM will be appearing in the feature film “The Watch” and recently released an album that will include her Billboard Top 50 Dance Chart hit “Trouble”. Look for the video on You Tube! You will LUV it!!!
Always garnering national press and PR WILLAM was embraced by Wilson Phillips and denounced by Chick-fil-A for her off-beat anti-hate song, “Chow Down (at Chick-fil-A)”, which now has over two million views on YouTube.
To see her on stage now one would never know that at one point in time the svelte and sexy WILLAM was weighing in over two-hundred pah, pah, pah pounds!!! As you can see from the photos we are featuring she now is almost sample size with the help of her longtime friend the world famous guru of the slim Richard Simmons.
Here we go into the no holds barred mind of NewNowNext Awards Most Addictive Reality Star nominee the one and only WILLAM BELLI!!!
Right off I want you to tell us why you were booted off the RuPaul Drag Race show?
The official reason is sex with my husband…but producers didn’t know about that until after I was gone. There were lots of rules I broke but I always admitted it. My modus operandi was always that it was easier to say “sorry” than ask “may I.” But not all stories need to be told.
Where were you born and were you raised in a liberal or conservative household?
Moderately liberal. My parents both have gay siblings and family members and we were always encouraged to be individuals. For instance, my mom took away my tweezers not for plucking my eyebrows like a girl but because I was doing them like a blonde chola and she knew that was NOT the look.
What was it like for you growing up and where did that happen?
I grew up in Philly, Jersey and Florida with a very Italian-type of family. We had lots of get togethers and church and fights and identity theft and, I just love my family.
At what age did you realize that you were not like most of your peers and were attracted to femininity and the feminine image?
In 6th grade, I bought a thrift store wig and pretended to be Barbara Walters for a project. It was all downhill/uphill from there. I always thought women could get away with so much more in comedy too so I gravitated towards female roles or drag stuff for that reason too.
In high school did you date boys, girls and or the gym coach?
Getting guys since ’96. (Junior high)
Tell us about the first time that you put on a wig, hose and heels and got dolled up?
Rocky Horror Picture Show is a gateway drug for many people and it was mine also. My dad took me to it when I was 13 (one of his coworkers at NASA ran it) and everyone thought I was a girl, albeit a really slutty one.
When you were growing up did you look in the mirror and sometimes feel that there was a different or even the wrong person was looking back at you?
I have body dysmorphia. I always see a fat kid in the mirror to this day. I tend to avoid mirrors unless necessary. I’m not very vain at all. I know my angles and I stick to them. But I see myself as a guy with slightly feminine features.
When you were growing up who was your inspiration? Who did you look up to?
My inspirations ‘groaning up’ were RuPaul, Charles Nelson Reilly and Leigh Bowery. I loved drag and the whole variety of paths that it could translate into- being a writer, a host, a personality, an actor, a singer. It was my catch-all career choice.
Was it hard on you growing up or did you lead a so called ‘normal childhood’?
I wasn’t picked on much but I knew I didn’t belong. I got out of high school early at 16, got emancipated and moved myself to the big city and got my SAG card on my first job at 16 in NYC.
OK enough of the kid stuff. When did you start doing drag on stage?
I started performing in drag on stage with a band called Club Makeup, which was around in the early 00’s and counted Adam Lambert, some Pussycat Dolls and a different guest artist each month from Linda Perry to Richard O’Brien. I would sing backup normally and sometimes they’d throw me a solo song. It’s kinda morphed into TranzKuntinental, my current band.
What made you decide to make the bug jump and become a stage diva?
I say yes to every offer. If you’ve got a check, I’ve got a talent. That’s my motto. Someone asked, it sounded intriguing and I was good at it so I keep doing it.
Did you have a mentor or Drag Mother to help you and show you the way?
My drag has definitely had stages. I used to do the genderfuck thing with Momma as my drag mom. She was Bob Mackie’s rental studio manager and let me borrow gorgeous things I had no business wearing. Then some girls in Texas helped me find a different more polished look when I filmed Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives there. Finally, Detox, my drag sister out here has really helped me to the point I’m at now. Mainly because I was forced to paint so much harder when I stood next to her. She’s fierce as overused as that word is.
Read more of this interview in Transformation 81