There are a few things you already know about the unmistakable Tammie Brown. Like her overdrawn lips, video bytes of her clapping back at RuPaul, and quizzical one liners – “C'mon Teletubby, teleport us to Mars”! You may not know that this RuPaul’s Drag Race (RPDR) All-Stars Season One queen is a small-town Texas born boy named Keith Glen Schubert (the T is silent but more on that later). He is a fluent Spanish speaker and a Buddhist with a Wikipedia-like knowledge of cinema and Native American culture. While Tammie would snarl her iconic, Mommie Dearest-like lips at all those labels, she would like Fresno’s drag fans to know she will be bringing her own brand of weirdness to Fresno this Friday, May 17 to FAB nightclub and is ready to entertain the masses.
Having a chat with Tammie feels like a playlist on shuffle: First you're having a light chat with a friend then you're listening to a queer theory podcast with a guest professor, next song is all Faye Dunaway film quotes, then a few hits referencing lesser known artists and somehow relating those back to the trans-community found in indigenous cultures of the past. It's clear that Tammie is not only well-versed in many topics, she is curious and over-the-top and a one-of-a-kind artist and a gay man.
Wearing more than one identity at a time is a familiar tune for Brown. At 12-years-old, he was mesmerized by indigenous cultures that were being taught while enrolled in Mexico public schools. It was the stories about the “two-spirited” people, who were the shamans and respected wisdom keepers in their respective cultures, who would be referred to today as trans-women and trans-men, that struck a chord for young Brown. For Brown, this was an awakening moment. He gained confidence and empowerment to face some dark episodes of depression, self-acceptance, his eventual coming out, and going on to march to his own rhythm. It was that new confidence that led to the wry-witted Tammie that audiences got to know when she launched her career from a handful of incredibly memorable and shocking RPDR moments.
Today, the line between Keith and Tammie is blurred. She often stays in drag after performances and during some days. If you’re looking to recreate her signature curled lip look, Tammie’s current obsessions are the “Russian Red” lip color by Mac Cosmetics and her own custom, self-made lashes. Those are the same custom lashes that Tammie has made for the Linda Evangelista eyes of fellow RPDR star, Valentina.
The final aesthetic of Tammie’s look can be described as a palette of Joan Crawford, Charles Busch, Amy Sedaris, and Tootsie. If you are Millennial and need to Google those names (yes, that’s shade), the references don’t stop there. The list of known and unknown artists only gets longer when you begin to look at the inspiration and collaborators behind Tammie’s electro art-pop music. Inspired by Amanda Lear, you may have heard “Porta Potty Prostitute” from the “Little Bit about Tammie” album. If you were a Millennial and Emo, your skinny jeans may implode (shade again) when you find Tammie Brown featured in the Senses Fail’s music video for “Elevator to the Gallows”. Brown looks again to Lear in his upcoming album “Schubert” (remember the T is silent). Fresno audiences can expect to hear hits like “Porta Potty Prostitute” and “Lipsync Suicide” and may even hear debut songs from the Schubert album at Fab on Friday, May 17.
So get ready to “Shaka Buku” with Tammie at Fab this Friday. And don’t be ashamed to Google that reference either. You can find Tammie Brown’s music on all media platforms.