The Brooklyn 100: Matty “Horrorchata” Mendoza, Co-Founder of Bushwig

img_11Photo by Blake Leigh
Best know for by their drag name, Horrorchata is the co-founder of Brooklyn’s drag extravaganza, Bushwig, in 2012. Exploding in huge popularity, Bushwig has grown year by year, boasting thousands that make the trek to Bushwick to celebrate drag. Horrorchata has helped keep Bushwig special by ensuring a place for all types of queens, ranging from a classic dance routine to macabre performance art.
You are one of the forces behind Bushwig, Brooklyn’s biggest drag extravaganza! Tell me a bit about why you decided to start Bushwig, and what you hoped it would bring to Brooklyn.
You know, when I started Bushwig it was just the right timing, and at the moment Brooklyn was experiencing a Drag Explosion as Linda Simpsons says…Five years ago there was so much art and drag that could not escape it. Drag was everywhere. Hell, it still is! Bushwig came to me as I was shopping for a wig and right there it SNAPPED. I carried my secret [idea] for about a year until i met Babes Trust, the other half of Bushwig, and that’s when the magic began. Bushwig is about community and bringing everyone together through the art of drag. Bushwig is more than a festival – it almost a family reunion – a flower I can’t wait to see grow .
Drag has gone through a renaissance of sorts since it’s growing popularity. With traditional lip sync routines all over TV, it’s awesome to see drag in Brooklyn take on a weirder niche. Can you speak to the changes you’ve seen in drag as of late, and how that impacts the scene here in BK?
You know when we use to get little toys in the cereal box and you never knew what you would get and the heart beats of excitement… that’s how Brooklyn Drag is. [laughs]
The community around drag in Brooklyn seems bigger than ever. What are spaces and performers that you are watching locally?
There are so many spaces, but I would say a new space that is popping off right now would be Happy Fun Hideaway, where I work every friday night. Same owners of Secret Project Robot, where we first started Bushwig. But drag queens that I love watching is of course Thorgy Thor, Tyler Ashly, Patti Spliff, Charlene, Scarlet, Untitled Queen, Aja and Momo Shade and that’s just a few! Brooklyn has so many fabulous Queens, that’s just a taste.
There are tons ways to experience “culture” in Brooklyn, how do you think drag fits into to that larger picture? Is there a space for everyone to watch and enjoy drag, or where does is become voyeuristic?
Drag happens in its own queer places and also in places just about anybody can watch and have a good time. For example, two years ago I did a showcase at the Brooklyn Museum’s Pride event which was open to families and children of all ages and from all over Brooklyn.
What is next for Horrorchata? Any new plans for Bushwig 2016?
Bushwig 2016 is going to be our 5th year throwing the festival–so we are going bigger then ever, so many surprises.
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