www.ambiente.us DECEMBER | DICIEMBRE 2010
JAMIE KALMAN | SPIKEY VAN DYKEY
One-on-One with the King of the Drag Kings
by Herb Sosa
DRAG KING: An individual who performs masculinity, by
means of dress and mannerism, typically for public
performance and entertainment. -Urban Dictionary
Ambiente recently chatted with Jamie Kalman, who developed the persona
Spykey Van Dykey and is enjoying much success and notoriety in the club & arts
scene...and the answers will surprise you.
- Spikey Van Dykey debuted in 2000 at The Quest Club in Birmingham
Alabama. Was this your first time in character? How was Spikey Van Dykey
born? Friends? Inner voice? Alcohol?
Yes. Spikey Van D was a comic character I used to draw when I was a teenager.
He was a mixture of everything I wanted to be if I were a boy, but without the
name. The name came later inspired by High School taunts, an amazing drag
Queen named Chivonne Street, and Dick Van Dyke (whom I looked up to when I
WORDS & IMAGES
Gay & Lesbian Alliance
- Are there other Drag Kings that inspired you? Who & how?
I didn't know of other kings at that time, I was actually inspired by the
Drag Queens that had been performing at the Quest Club. Chivonne
Street, Jordan Kennedy, and Raven of Atlanta. They were so passionate
and artistically driven though their performance, I believe seeing that is
when I realised I had the artistic ability and love for music thus needed to
learn the art of performance.
- What is the difference between gender bending and being
Genderbending is taking the line between female and male and
intertwining it around both. You can still
partially tell the entertainer is a female
or male beneath the drag, but the
line is so twisted you begin to
question what it is that you are truly
seeing. Kind of like the Magic Eye
Book. A Transgender is a Female to
Male/Male to Female physical
transition to become the opposite
sex of which you were born.
I considered the transition for quite
some time, but found that my
Drag/Entertainer persona became
the perfect therapy to fill the void for my entrapment and gender issue.
- Tell me about Spikey and The After Midnites, and Thee VaudeVillains
– What are they?
Spikey and The After Midnites is a group I created in 2006, to help other
Kings, Burlesque girls, and Gender Benders, get their name out in the
scene. It cosists of comedy acts, theatrical skits, group choreographed
numbers, themed shows, a touch of burlesque, and
some fetish. It is a nice variety of entertainers I hand picked to create a show
that appeals to Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, and Strait people. We perform
at events like Pensacola Pride and travel out of state to perform as well. Thee
Vaudevillains is a well known Burlesque group created 6 years ago by the
lovely Miss Vita DeVoid. I am currently performing boylesque with them on a
regular basis. The show consists of classy 1940 striptease, theatrical skits,
boys, gals, and everything in between! You can find them on Facebook and
Spikey and the After Midnites on Myspace (soon to be on Facebook).
- What is your home life like? Partner? Pets? Hobbies?
I have a Min Pin, and 3 cats who are all
rescues. I spend a lot of time writing show
material, making flyers and promo
ads, or writing poetry when the
mood hits. I love music more than
spicy tuna rolls, it's the glue of my
world! Surfing is one of my favorite
hobbies thus far, along side with
playing drums with my band SKM,
- What does it take to be a Drag King –
physically & psych?
Anyone can put on a stache, wear a
package, and tape their boobs under their arms, but to be a performer you
must have a passion for the art and a drive within you to be so. There are a lot
of misinterpretations of the words Drag King. I think it takes a mind like a mad
scientist and a lot of courage to get on a stage and be a character of you
creation. Which I think is also important in becoming a Drag King, coming up
with a character and finding your music that best fits your persona. I consider
myself an entertainer. If you can add those two together, I believe that would be
the best answer.
- What response have you had from friends, family?
My Mom loves it, my brothers look up to me, and my friends support me
100%. To say the least I am extremely lucky to have such a supportive
group of people around me embracing what I do.
- What advice would you give to a “mini Spykey
wanna-be’ out there?
You are only as good as your last show, keep your head up
and let your passion take the wheel!
- Love your ink - which is permanent & which is Spikey?
The tribal design is something I came up with about 8 years ago to further
my illusion, the rest is all permanent.
- Boxers or briefs?
Boxer Briefs :)
TO THE KING!
CONTACT | facebook.com/
Photo |Vita DeVoid
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Being Spikey Van D
has been extremely
therapeutic to me in many
ways. It's been my outlet
to self expression,
creativity, my gender
issues, and my lust for
music. It's the perfect
combination. Ive gotten to
travel to various places
and experience meeting
amazing people from all
over the US. My
conclusion, there is no
place warmer than under