At Lincoln Center, Miss Vanjie Among the Headliners at a Halloween Ball for the Ages

L to R: Aquaria, Shangela, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (aka Miss Vanjie). | Photo via

BY VICTOR LUNA | All the freaks come out at night, and nothing draws them out like Halloween—but where can you find the best of them, all under the same tent? Look no further than Lincoln Center, as Voss events is primed and ready for the follow-up to last year’s monstrously entertaining mashup of circus and drag artistry, which paired members of the Big Apple Circus with RuPaul’s Drag Race sensations Bianca Del Rio, Violet Chachki, and Kameron Michaels.

This year’s equally formidable roster of talent sees Drag Race luminaries Shangela, Aquaria, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (from the House of Vanjie) with drop-dead amazing Big Apple Circus performers, along with music by Ty Sunderland. Halloween Ball: Circus Freak Show House Production takes place Thurs., Oct 31, 8pm at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (60 Lincoln Center). For tickets and info on other Voss Events offerings, visit

Of Oct. 31’s Halloween Ball: Circus Freak Show House Production, Voss Events Founder and CEO Brandon Voss said, “Due to the success of last year’s Halloween: Under The Big Top, Voss Events is going for Round 2 in the circus ring. Expect even more death-defying acts, with a frightening dose of spooky and kooky!”

Chelsea Community News reporter Victor Luna, our indisputable in-house expert on Drag Race, filed this exclusive interview with Miss Vanjie, who is currently appearing throughout North America as part of RuPaul’s Drag Race Werq the World Tour—the largest drag show in the world.

VICTOR: What does it mean to be spending Halloween at iconic Lincoln Center, and what will you bring, to make this a worthy successor to last year’s over-the-top affair?

MISS VANJIE: Well I’m in it, it’s already better! Child, they want to lift me up in the air!! I’m screaming, and also excited.

VICTOR: Can you tell us anything about possible interactions and/or collaborations with others on the bill (Shangela, Aquaria, Big Apple Circus performers)?

MISS VANJIE: No I’m sworn to government secrecy by Voss Events! I swear they have eyes and ears everywhere. Gotta keep my mouth shut!

VICTOR: Halloween is a way for many young people to express themselves through drag, for the first time. What is your advice to them?

MISS VANJIE: I say get your whole life for Halloween gurl, take the mask off! Pull it off! Be a reveal, hahah.

VICTOR: Regarding RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race in 2020: How did you come to be involved, and what are your feelings about being a part of this uniquely themed spin-off?

MISS VANJIE: Oh you pushing it with all these questions. I can’t say because mama RuPaul will have me on the phone with lawyers! She be like. “Hello sashay I sue!” Haha, I’m just playing. It’s crazy though, to still be here, I guess. When I first went home, I was like, “That’s it!” Then to be brought back and end that first-eliminated curse? Child, I’m just grateful.

VICTOR: Besides Europe, are there any other parts of the world you plan to visit for future tours?

MISS VANJIE: I really want to go to Asia! Or bring Miss Vanjie down under.

VICTOR: Music, theater, movies, books, TV: What are your planned or dream projects in these areas, and might we see you in any of these mediums, outside the realm of your drag identity?

MISS VANJIE: Well I was in miss Iggy Azalea’s [Started] video, amongst other things, but I suppose you could see me elsewhere. Uhhh. I’m so bad at secrets, I be the worst.

VICTOR: How is it, being part of the Mateo family, aka House of Mateo? What’s your contemporary relationship with your drag mom, Alexis Mateo, like?

MISS VANJIE: Ohhh, we still real close. She’s a proud mom! I hope I’m making her proud.

VICTOR: How was the change from being part of the RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10, then coming back right away for Season 11? Did you audition like Shangela, or get invited back?

MISS VANJIE: I felt more confidence in myself and was so gooped to get a second chance. My face crack from being eliminated—Season 10 was still smeared on me! So I was like, okay now!

VICTOR: What are your firm plans, and fondest dreams, for 2020?

MISS VANJIE: Keep getting these cookies baby. ;]


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