Katana Rei is very well known on Youtube through the channel Boy with Brushes.
Robert, the guy behind Katana Rei, is a skilled makeup artist who has uploaded some great lookalike looks for queens and celebrities. He also recently became a WOW Presents Youtube partner.
I had a few questions, and Katana had some interesting replies.
You’re quite popular on Youtube. How has Youtube helped you in your drag career so far?
I kind of put my drag career and my Youtube work hand in hand. Since Youtube came first, then Katana was born after, and then for my first year, most of my drag was only shown on Youtube because i didn’t perform in clubs yet.
So for those who have been watching me since 2011, they’ve seen my drag begin and progress, which was sort of the main reason of starting the channel in the first place. Only I was intending to do regular makeup videos and not drag, but life happens and this is how I ended up. I’m glad it turned out this way.
You’ve done a lot of inspired by looks – which has been your favourite to recreate?
I can’t really think of a favourite look to be honest. I have favourite queens of course – *cough*raven*cough* – but they’re always challenging. When I first started I would get really discouraged if I didn’t look JUST like the queen I was trying to recreate. But I just remind myself that bone structure and eye shapes will always make you look different. Raven and Roxxxy Andrews were the most challenging so far I think. Bianca Del Rio is one of my favourites though; I love a huge eye crease (and there should be a new one on my channel coming soon just fyi..)
Where do you get inspiration for the looks you do?
I love to have a cohesive look so if I want a certain character to portray the makeup has to go with it, just like the hair and outfit. But since I’m a very cheap queen, I shop off amazon and store racks for clothes, so that affects my look. I just don’t always feel like a clown face goes with a cocktail dress. But overall my look is inspired by the image of the “ideal” face, kind of like a MAC face chart. Big eyes, nice lips, thin nose, cheekbones, impossible facial symmetry. In that sense, I feel that my simpler looks still have a bit of fantasy in them since no woman actually looks that way naturally.
Your makeup skills are great – any plans to audition for Drag Race?
Well I actually did audition this past year for season seven. I secretly knew I wasn’t going to be picked – my wardrobe is pretty lame. But I just wanted to do it on my own to get my face out there at least. I’m just glad I was able to finish the video all on my own since the requirements are crazy. It was a helpful learning experience for next time.
Do you have a favourite song or artist to lip-sync to?
I think I’ve had this conversation with a few queens in the past. Like every queen has a certain singer or song that is just “THEIRS” that they’re known for or always do. For the past few months my go-to girl was Iggy Azalea, and fortunately for me when Fancy blew up it was finally something mainstream to perform, since before that I was really against top 40 songs. Not because I don’t like pop music, just mainly because I’m always paranoid that another girl will be doing the same song.
It happened one time when I performed with Ivy Winters and it was pretty funny. But yeah, I like doing Iggy songs because she is pretty difficult to lip-sync to, but when you learn the words it’s so satisfying to sing along with. For example, her song Beatdown with Steve Aoki is one her fastest verses and it’s a pain in the jaw but its just so fun to perform.