The Showstopping Seamstress

Franky Fraud measures up on the Houston drag scene.

Franky Fraud (Photography by Alex Rosa)

Franky Fraud isn’t your run-of-the-mill performer. She has a stylized, comic-book style look and a gender-bending flirtation between their feminine and masculine side. Franky isn’t afraid to show off those dangerous curves in costumes they make from scratch. A little bit comedy and a dash of live singing, Franky is a show all unto itself. Read more about this sewing drag maven.

They/Them, but I accept them all respectfully.

Inner avatar?
Doodle Bob or Erica Andrews.

Lufkin, Texas, but I claim all the Piney Woods.

Drag birthday?
I can’t recall the first date I actually went out, but I first posted myself in drag in late 2015.

What got you interested in drag?
Manilla Luzon’s pineapple dress, specifically. I saw how crazy and fun she looked, and I wanted to try it out.

Describe your performing persona.
Franky is best with a mix in her hand. She sings, wears some of the most unique getups in town, and will absolutely take your man.

Thoughts about legislation regarding drag performances?
I think that what we do as drag performers is important for queer culture and our community. I think that people are so willing to blur the lines of what is and is not appropriate for certain audiences based on their own moral and religious compass, and that’s okay, but I don’t think that they should be telling me what to do unless they would like to pay my bills. I’ve found love for myself in this art form I can’t get anywhere else, and I love sharing my talents and creativity with others. It would be a shame to lose such a special outlet for me and others.

What are your favorite hangout spots?
I love Ripcord, Poison Girl, and my home bar Michael’s Outpost.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Making costumes that I don’t have to pad or wear tights for. I love showing off my legs and chest.

Describe your aesthetic.
I make everything I wear, and that’s a huge part of what I do. I love experimenting with a mix of cartoon-style animation and high-contrast makeup, and I’ve never been afraid to try something even if it doesn’t go 100% how I planned. I’m always looking for a way to make people keep looking to find details in my garments, like the style lines, texture, or jewelry choices. But I mostly run around in really cute cocktail dresses after my karaoke show on Thursdays at Michael’s outpost.

#SongsFromMovieSoundtracks or #SongsFromMusicals?
Musicals. I can never finish a movie in one sitting without sleeping, but Broadway or musicals have so much of the performance written into the music already. It’s so much fun to tell the stories in those songs.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
She. Sings. LIVE! I love a little Britney Spears moment or anything from Scott Bradley.

Who is your celebrity crush?
Chris Pratt with some duct tape over his mouth.

Marry, Shag, Kill: Will Smith, Sam Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith? Why?
Marry Jada cause she’s a baddy for sure. Shag Sam because the voice and the non-binary energy are undeniable. And kill Will to make more room for Willow to shine. She’s doing great.

Any advice for up-and-coming performers?
Learn a skill you can make money from without being on stage. I don’t have a daughter of my own because new girls always worry too much about being fierce and not enough about being useful. There are only so many shows to work at, but there’s always someone who needs a wig styled or a look made.

Where/When do you normally perform?
I host karaoke at Michael’s Outpost every Thursday at 9 p.m.

What have you learned from drag that you use in your everyday life?
Show. Up. On. Time. I’ve had so many good things happen just by being around a little before call time or having a costume done early.

What’s your life’s mantra?
Take the risk.

Have you ever had a defining moment in your life? If so, share more.
My sister outed me to my parents about 10 years ago, and I lost everything I owned. That experience taught me a lot about myself and how resilient I actually am in times of crisis. It also showed me what chosen family is and how important they are for queer people.

What else might be worth mentioning?
My website, houseoffraud.com, is live! I’m changing the way I take commissions. From this point forward, all of my bookings will be done online where you can book your own appointment. We’re going to set appointments, take deposits and payments online, and there’s a lot more to come.

Follow Franky Fraud on Instagram @frankythefraud and on TikTok @houseofraud.




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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