Joshua Hughes just finished his 4th year in the York University Theatre program and is graduating in June. For this multifaceted performer, York University is a special place because it is where he started performing as STAR, the drag queen. Recently Hughes had his final performance as a York U student in the Devised Theatre Festival, where he performed a song about coming out that he wrote himself.
We spoke to STAR about the festival, and her experiences as a prominent drag queen on the York University Keele campus.
Joshua Hughes performing in the 2021 Devised Theatre Festival
AMPD: Tell us about your experience in the Devised Theatre Festival.
STAR: I actually wrote and performed my very own song called “G.A.Y.” in my show “Cotton County Musical” in the Devised Theatre Festival. My inspiration behind the song was mostly from personal experience, the movie “Love, Simon” as well as “Call me by your name”. Also I wanted to create a Gay anthem about coming out for my character Noah, myself, and for queer people everywhere.
AMPD: What do you like the most about the York Theatre community?
STAR: I love how accepting York Theatre has been for the LGBTQ+ community and making myself feel safe in my space. I really enjoy that queer people like myself feel comfortable to be authentic and truly myself. I also enjoy all of the opportunities that we as theatre creators have to share our art.
AMPD: What advice do you have for young artists who are thinking about coming out?
STAR: For any young artists that are thinking about coming out, always remember that you are loved and there are people who care so much about you. It is a very scary thing to come out, but all the weight will be lifted off your shoulders if you feel safe to share who you are with the world. Love is love and everyone deserves the opportunity to live authentically and love who they love. Find whoever you feel safe with telling and everything will be okay! 💛
AMPD: How would you describe your Drag to someone who hasn’t seen you perform?
STAR: My drag is very Pop Princess, bright colours, high energy and lots of smiling. I love to be funny and animated when I perform. I love to make people smile.
AMPD: Who are your Drag influences? And why
STAR: I’m very inspired by Ariana Grande since she is my pop icon. I’m also very inspired by queens like Symone, Gigi Goode, Alyssa Edwards, and a lot of drag race queens as well.
AMPD: What opportunities are there to perform Drag on York’s campus? What is your favourite venue for performing Drag at York?
STAR: I actually started performing in drag at York University in the Absinthe Pub and Coffee Shop. I have always loved performing at York and my favourite has been YFS Dirty Drag Bingo in the second student centre!
AMPD: Are there any Drag performers at York you want to shout out?
STAR: Always, I love my Drag Sisters so much! Aurora Matrix @auroramatrix and Aurelie Talented @aurelietalented are always so so amazing and talented. As well as one of my great drag friends Rosie @rosiethedq