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BARE with Shea Brand: Ruby

May 12, 2020 | Faye Lessler

Ruby, who grew up in Alaska as their “own best friend” is still young, but has the wisdom of an old soul. They’re now an up and coming performance and visual artist based in New York City, who has developed an impressive array of performative skills including dancing, fire breathing, and black flips in heels. 


Their story is an ode to what can be accomplished with good character and hard work, but can also teach all of us about leadership, the importance of dance and individualism and what makes a good skincare routine.


SHEABRAND: Tell me a little bit about everything you do/the scope of your work and how you got into it?


RUBY: I’m a drag queen but I like to push it further and think of myself as a performance and visual artistSo I do not just drag but also a lot of visual art in terms of transforming myself into different characters. 


I get to be the spectacle or kind of the person that everybody is going to look at at the party, you know? I’m working but what I’m doing is really keeping everybody happy.

So what I do in terms of nightlife I host parties and if you see someone at a table with a bottle that’s probably me, I’m kind of like the leader of the festivities. 


I do a lot of different performance art and I was a trained dancer for about 10 years. I dance Latin ballroom, tap, jazz, ballet…a lot of my performance ability comes from that dance background and I started to push it further as I’ve gotten older. So I started adding a little bit of fire breathing, and knife throwing…yeah I’m kind of crazy. It’s kind of like changing into a carnie I guess, haha.


I’ve gotten to travel around the country and do a bunch of different things. Between nightlife and my performance lifestyle, with all of that mixed together I’ve gotten the name “queen of clubs.”


SB: What is it about performing that you love? 


R: You get to showcase your artistry in how you interpret different things in the world. I think dance is very interesting because everyone’s bodies move a certain way and everyone thinks a certain way and only you can interpret the music the way you interpret it. And that’s what the artistry of it is, like everyone gets to watch how you interpret the world around you.


SB: Living in New York, especially as an artist, have you embraced the culture of eat, sleep, and work while pushing yourself to experience new things?


R: Haha, yeah it literally is a city of artists performing for other artists. You have to be on the top of your game and just experience as much as you can because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to push out as much as you can.


SB: What is your skincare routine?


R: For my skin care routine, I wake up every morning, throw on a Shea Brand teafruit natural astringent, rub it on my face, then I put the regenerative serum on my face and that’s like what I would do for day to day. I put on a little bit of lip balm…and maybe once a week I’ll do a little exfoliant, but I think that’s kind of it. I’m pretty much just a wash my face kind of person…I’m pretty easy. 


Being in nightlife and as a performer, for what I do, literally, the athlete roller has saved my life. Because I walk around all night for probably about 10:00 hours or so in heels and such and you know, I’m doing back flips in heels a lot of the times or I’m in like point shoes, so that athlete roller ball I don’t know if you understand, but that little thing has changed my life.


“I am so crazy, yea, I’m like an acrobat or like a circus performer. I told you! I’m kind of like a carnie.”


Follow Ruby on instagram here.

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