Meet Alexis Michelle, the native New Yorker whose drag performances are inspired by her love of Broadway

Alexis Michelle is a drag performer based in New York City who sings, dances, and brings her love of Broadway theatre to every single performance. 

Alexis Michelle (@alexislives) describes her drag persona as “a bawdy, glamorous Broadway dame.” Draped in glittering fabrics and wearing colorful makeup and over-the-top wigs, Alexis has a joyful, larger-than-life stage presence. In fact, Alexis told In The Know she was “born to entertain.”

As a child, growing up in New York City, Alexis was bitten by the theater bug early on. “Growing up in New York City was awesome,” she told In The Know. “I had exposure to museums and live music and the theater, which is what really was the bug that stung me.”

Alexis loves that theater has the power to transport audiences, immersing them completely in a story. “It can kind of take you anywhere. At its heart, what the theater is about is storytelling,” Alexis explained. “That’s what I’ve been doing all along is telling stories and getting in my happiest place, which is on stage.”

Looking back on the early days of her drag career, Alexis feels she was overly focused on looking as much like a woman as possible. “When I started doing drag, there was a time when being convincing as a woman was the goal, and so that’s what I tried to do,” she told In The Know. “I tried to present something that was as female as possible.”

Now, Alexis’ focus has shifted. While her drag still draws on female illusion, her creative goals have expanded. Her drag is about self-expression and creativity; about experimenting with new aesthetics and finding looks that work for her. “Now, there’s much larger, more colorful, more vibrant, and expressive aesthetics within drag,” she explained. “I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything, but sometimes it happens.”

For Alexis, drag is about having fun and expressing herself, but it’s also about the connection she has with her audience. Alexis wants her performances to inspire her audiences and have a positive impact on their lives. 

She told In The Know, “My goals in life are about creating a quality of life that is lovely, pleasurable, comfortable, and to continue to get in my most authentic happy place on stage, and hopefully have an impact on other people’s lives.”

Ultimately, Alexis hopes her performances will affect her audience the way being introduced to the theater as a child affected her. 

“I remember how theater touched me as a child,” she told In The Know. “If I can provide that kind of inspiration to even one young person, that’s worth it.”

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If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s other stories from Behind the Drag here.

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