Marta Beatchu is based in Los Angeles, but her heart is in Peru. Her name is a play on one of the wonders of the world that is located there, Machu Picchu. With the world on pause and everyone unable to perform live on stage, she decided to take her act online, and to bring her Peruvian sisters along with her for the ride.
Queerty: What inspired you to produce “Mis Hermanas Peruanas” (My Peruvian Sisters)?
My inspiration came from always wanting to travel back to Peru! It’s been 25 years since I last visited and in recent years I’ve seen many of the Ru Girls travel and have the experience to work there. I’ve always wanted to take MY DRAG to PERU! And since no one can really travel at the moment, what better time than now to do so virtually! I also wanted to put together a different type of virtual show, and I hadn’t seen anyone HIGHLIGHT SOUTH AMERICA, so I figured this is the perfect type of show for me to produce! Something new yet very ME!
Queerty: How did you put together this amazing line up of performers?
This is truly an amazing lineup, I couldn’t have picked a much diverse cast! It was put together by word of mouth tbh! Right before the lockdown I had hosted my once a month show “BEAT” At Redline DTLA and amongst the crowd were two visitors. When I asked where they were from they said Peru. I said, “I’m Peruvian,” and one of them said, “Are you “Marta BeatChu?” I said yes and he was in total shock, because he knew of me, happened to be visiting, and happened to go to Redline that night! It was FATE! So as this pandemic continued, when the idea for this show came, I remembered meeting my friend MATIAS MEDINA and reached out to him on Instagram. He sent me profiles of the queens in Peru, I reached out, and it was a done deal. Now… I also wanted to showcase the beauty that is ENVY PERU. She is known in PERU and the world, but I had no contact! So a Good Judy of mine, MORPHINE LOVE, who is in the MUA world & a sickening drag artist, got me in contact with MISS ENVY PERU. She pulled some magic, ENVY PERU and I chatted, I explained what I was doing, and she was happy to be a part of it! And the rest is history!
WATCH: “Mis Hermanas Peruanas”
Queerty: How would you describe the Peruvian drag scene?
On a personal level, I can’t truly describe it. I haven’t been able to visit PERU and truly experience it, but from the queens in this show, I can very much state that they are all uniquely different. We have our dancing divas, our beauty queens, our comedy queens and they truly aren’t confined into one category! Now on my end in L.A., I haven’t met many PERUVIAN DRAG QUEENS. In fact, I think amongst my circle I’m the only PERUVIAN! I know a few more Peruvian queens who live in SF and NYC. And after the premier of “MIS HERMANAS PERUANAS,” I’ve gotten many new sisters who have reached out to me and are very grateful that I was able to SHOWCASE PERÚ! What I think happens is that when you think of LATINX DRAG, the only ones showcased are Mexico or Puerto Rico and there are so many more cultures that should be highlighted!
Queerty: How do you think the drag community is coping with our current situation?
Everyone has become a “BEDROOM QUEEN”! It’s funny because that’s what queens would call the “newer queens” who would perform in their bedroom or living room because they were either starting out or they weren’t of age to work at a bar. And now here we are, ALL PERFORMING from home! It’s also humbled many queens that you would normally not get a response from. And it’s opened that door that when reached out to queer artists pretty much are willing to help and be part of what we call this era of “digital drag” ! Also, this is the perfect time for those “newer” queer artists to become a STAR, there’s no excuse!