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Breaking Boundaries

D’Addie D’Vine shares their drag journey.

D’Addie D’Vine (Photo courtesy)


OutSmart is proud to present this year’s winner of Favorite Nonbinary Drag Performer: D’Addie D’Vine. This is the first year for voting in this category.

“I’ve always been kind of a performer, whether it be theater, reading poetry or scripts, or singing at karaoke,” D’Vine says. “After businesses started opening up from COVID-19, I attended an H-town Kings show randomly on one of their newcomer nights and said, ‘Oh, this is something I have to try.’ About a month later, I made my debut and never looked back.”

To create the character, D’Vine lifted a college nickname of  “Daddy.”

“I picked the first name originally as a joke, but the more I thought about it, I realized it actually works,” D’Vine says. “‘D’Addie’ already feels like me. And then I added the ‘DVine’ to sort of make it an official sounding name.”

D’Vine is a storyteller not bound by any particular genre, but is instead free to express however they feel, rules be damned.

“I don’t like to bill myself as an alternative performer or anything like that. At the end of the day, whatever genre of music or style of performance or outfit that I’m using, I’m telling a story with whatever music I’m performing to,” they explain. “I like to have fun. I’ll wear skirts or I’ll do more masculine stuff. I use both male and female vocals when I perform . . . all different kinds of makeup styles. I mix it up a lot. But I really love using emotion in my performance to work with the music and lyrics.”

One unmistakable part of any D’Addie D’Vine appearance is their makeup. They can serve a mug worthy of a Vogue photo shoot or look as if they just emerged from a zombie movie.

“I was bad at makeup for a really long time. It took a lot of practice,” they admit. “I do makeup by myself in my bathroom. Late at night, when midnight hits, I feel the need to play with makeup. I’ve been doing this since high school. I play with looks, unafraid to be bad at something, because no one’s going to see if I mess up. I learned so much from my mistakes so that when I’m ready to put on an actual face and step out into the world, I’m ready to go.”

This OutSmart Gayest & Greatest Award isn’t D’Vine’s only brush with glory. In 2021, they won Game of Kings’ second season, hosted at Pearl Bar.

“I learned so much from going into that competition. I knew that I loved performing. I knew that I loved drag, and I knew that I wanted it to be a part of my life. But about halfway through that competition, I was in the bottom,” they recall. “About halfway through my lipsync to stay in the competition, I realized I can’t go home. I need this. I need to stay. I was ready to fight for it.”

D’Vine says that experience jump-started their motivation to bring out their A-game.

“Something switched in my brain, and I knew that I wanted to win. I wanted to win more than anything, not necessarily because I didn’t want to lose the competition, but the idea of not having drag, that steady performance in my life, was something that was terrifying to me. I knew I needed it, so I pumped up the gas and made it to the end and won.”

Now D’Addie hosts their own show, titled “Misfits,” on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. at Pearl Bar.

“It’s primarily a drag show, but it’s also designed to be a variety show, where all different types of entertainment styles are welcomed,” they add. “I’ve had burlesque entertainers, live singers, different types of drag style, pretty much anything. I tell my entertainers to bring what makes them happy and what may or may not be accepted on other stages, because all drag and all performances are valid and should be celebrated.”

Follow D’Addie D’Vine on Instagram @daddiedvine.

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Sam Byrd

Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to Outsmart who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture. Speaking of Houston, he's never heard a Whitney Houston song he didn't like.
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