Meet Astala Vista, the self-proclaimed ‘crazy cat lady of drag’

Joe Cassise is a 28-year-old from Berlin, N.J. — by day. By night, Cassise goes by Astala Vista, AKA the “crazy cat lady of drag” and the Eat Clean Drag Queen

Cassise serves up a hearty helping of clean eating, camp and community-centered drag.

“I am the self-proclaimed crazy cat lady of drag because I have acquired six cats over the last six years and there’s no going back once you’re up to six,” Cassise told In The Know.

But it wasn’t always laughs growing up, Cassise always knew he was gay, but felt like he had to hide it as a kid.

“I always knew I was gay and it was one of those things that you almost knew you had to hide because society just kind of told you it was wrong,” Cassise said.

Fortunately, his father sent him a very different message. 

“I have been able to be so confident and be the person that I am today because my dad let me sort of take the reins for myself. When I came out to him and I said I’m gay, his exact words were, ‘I know, I’ve known since you were 2 years old,'” Cassise said. 

Cassise and his dad are best friends so when his father experienced two heart attacks, Cassise decided to make healthy living a part of his lifestyle and Astala Vista’s brand. 

Eat Clean Drag Queen is a food blog right now,” Cassise said. “It was just a little hobby to do on the side and then slowly but surely, it turned into something I wanted to post on the internet. I just wanted to show people that eating clean can be really, really simple and fun.”

Astala Vista isn’t only about vegan paleo pumpkin truffles. Cassise brings ’90s nostalgia, glamour and camp to the more rural areas of New Jersey where drag culture was once sparse. 

“One of the biggest reasons that me and my boyfriend have stayed around here is because we have created drag shows over the last five years in these rural areas,” Cassise said. “I don’t have to go to Philly or New York. I want you to be able to feel like that in your hometown.” 

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If you enjoyed this story, watch this drag first-timer live out her sparkly glam fantasy.

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