Willam Belli is no stranger to performing, as he has been the embodiment of glitz and glamour since he was a teenager.
“I first started drag at 13 with Rocky Horror Picture Show. Before that, I’d always just put on as many loud colors and shiny things as possible. Not much has changed,” Belli tells the Weekly. “I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up other than hopefully in a tabloid with big hair.”
From that point forward, Willam has been serving nothing but grade A fierceness with a side of realness. He went on to move from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles.
“[I] don’t remember much because I was drunk, but I had fun. Never looked back. Except I stopped drinking. Now I just do drugs,” Willam says reflecting on when he dived into the drag scene.
This weekend, the new House of Blues will host the World Fabulous Drag Brunch featuring the former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant and author known simply as WILLAM on stage. You can catch these performances the first Saturday of each month starting this Saturday, June 3.
Let’s be real – anything we can do, drag queens can do better, especially makeup. Drag is an art. And like art, it takes time to perfect before showing the entire world the finished product. Willam’s go-to look? He prefers to stick to big hair and bright colors and typically avoids black. He gathers his inspiration from Versace era supermodel looks and takes between 35 minutes to two hours to get ready depending on how many shits he chooses to give.
There’s no denying the camera loves the queen of extravaganza eleganza. She has blessed our television screens since the early 2000s and has starred on Nip/Tuck and pretty much every crime show you can think of. Once the blonde bombshell got tired waiting around for her big break, she started up a YouTube account in 2007. She kicked off her channel by posting comedy short film “Tranny McGuyver” and musical performances, those of which gained a lot of exposure on the internet.
Willam’s motto is “if you’ve got a check, I’ve got a talent.” And there’s no denying the natural talent she possesses, even if she jokes about pursuing drag because she wasn’t good at anything else and didn’t get into colleges. She’s done it all.
Most know Belli because of her rise to stardom on season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Once viewers got a taste of her wit, sense of humor and sass, she immediately became a fan-favorite on the show. It was then that the beloved drag queen gained a massive following.
“[RuPaul’s Drag Race] made me gaymous and gave me a platform to further antagonize people who hate me,” Willam says.
Willam was always known to put on a great goddamn show, which is why many fans were stunned when their favorite hunty got sashay away’d. She is the only queen to get kicked off of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and it remains one of the most controversial topics of the show. Talk about making herstory!
Following her RuPaul’s Drag Race disqualification, Willam reached a new tier of fame. Her parody music group with fellow drag queen friends, DWV, released a few songs that went viral including “Boy Is A Bottom”, “Chow Down (at Chick-Fil-A)” and “Blurred Bynes”, together accumulating over 35 million views. In addition to his music fame, many big-time YouTubers including Joey Graceffa, James Charles, Shane Dawson, Issa, and SUPERFRUIT have collaborated with her on makeovers. It would be a sin not to mention how her YouTube series BEATDOWN and PMB (Paint Me Bitch) have helped her gain a lot of recognition as well. People just cannot get enough of Willam’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.
On top of releasing fresh content on her social media, Willam’s schedule is packed. She tours more than half the year on average. Her success has led her to be featured on Sephora, American Apparel and ABC’s new mini-series called When We Rise. She even has her own shirts at Hot Topic.
As if she didn’t sound busy enough, she somehow found time to write a book called “Suck Less: When There’s A Willam, There’s A Way” and released it October 2016. The book includes a foreword by Neil Patrick Harris, makeup tips, dispels of drag myths, a drag dictionary, and tips on how to throw shade and fake a black eye A.K.A. the must-knows in life.
When asked about his experience writing “Suck Less”, she responded, “I recorded most of it into my phone and transcribed it. I wish it was some glamorous Carrie Bradshaw story, but I don’t type very well.”
So what’s next for the star? Well, making it to brunch on time in Anaheim!
World Fabulous Drag Brunch attendees can expect Willam and her girls to keep you entertained for the entirety of the show with their music, moves and comedy. Not only will there be great entertainment, but great food as well. Prepare your appetite for a Southern-inspired all-you-can-eat buffet. Take your pick between jambalaya, jalapeno-cheese cornbread, collard greens, homemade pastries, and seasonal fruit…all with one complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary! This is a show you definitely don’t want to miss.
The World Fabulous Drag Brunch takes place at the House of Blues Anaheim, 400 West Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; Show is the first Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. All-ages, $44. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
Yvonne Villasenor is often in a sleep deprived daze daydreaming about ’90s heartthrobs, dogs, upcoming album releases, and what she’s going to eat for dinner. When she snaps back to reality, she writes about OC’s latest music and artists.