Tearing it up with Diva Drag Brunch's Jayla Rose

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Jayla Rose — Photo courtesy of the artist  

Jayla Rose has been stirring things up in the Portland Drag Brunch scene for quite some time. Her dramatic dancing and gymnastic performances have been racking up an abundance of shares and likes on social media. Then came her inclusion in Lizzo's Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, where Jayla represented Trans Joy like a beacon for the entire Queer community. She is an Emmy winner who appeared on the Grammys to introduce Lizzo herself, and she continues to TEAR IT UP with the Diva Drag Brunch touring series. This year, Jayla rounds out the amazing line-up of headliners coming to the official Tacoma Pride Block Party at The Mix on Saturday, July 8. Jayla was sweet enough to take time out of her busy schedule to jump into the Q & A game with me, and I was delighted to learn more about this rising star!

LA Kendall LaBree: Tacoma Pride is excited to have you up in it! Have you been to Tacoma before?

Jayla Rose: First of all, I am so excited to be up in Tacoma to ring in Pride! I have actually only been to Tacoma once, and that was for our America's Got Talent audition many moons ago. So it's definitely about time to change that!

LAKL: We first saw you on Instagram from a Drag Brunch in Portland. It was impressive because you were doing THE MOST. Then all of a sudden, there you were on Lizzo's Watch Out For the Big Grrrls. How did that come to be?

JR: Well, thank you so much! So when she had posted her initial casting call, I had a bunch of friends and family tag me in comments sending me the link to submit the audition. So with a lot of nudges from all of them, I submitted my audition on the second to the last day! Better late than never!

LAKL: What was the most inspiring thing about being on the show?

JR: The most inspiring part about the show was the fact that you had a group of women from all different walks of life sharing a common goal. In society we are used to seeing women compete against each other; however, with this project, we all formed such a sisterhood. We genuinely were then, and continue now to root for each other! The bonds formed and the support from one another, as well as Lizzo herself, is truly amazing.

LAKL: Conversely, what was the absolute most awful part of being on the show?

JR: The most awful part of the show!? I could say that it was my own battle with myself during the filming process. However, the worst for me would honestly be the end of filming. We all got close and it was just an amazing energy to be surrounded by.

LAKL: How has life post-show been? I mean, it must be pretty good appearing at the Grammys?

JR: Life has been such a whirlwind! The best way I can describe it is beautifully chaotic! I never pictured that I would be booked to headline different events, get to travel, and yes, the Grammys! Anybody that knows me knows that I get so anxious talking on a microphone but to be a presenter at the biggest night in music was so amazing!

LAKL: It was amazing to see you on there . . . and then, Emmy winner? Do you ever think, "Is this real life?"

JR: I ask myself all the time if this is all real. I honestly cannot describe how surreal it has been. I'm forever grateful that my life has been changed for the better! Adding Emmy winner to the credentials is the cherry on top of the sundae!

LAKL: What advice would you give those watching your experience and wishing to follow in your footsteps?

JR: The best advice that I could ever give somebody is to remember your why. We all have moments where we come up to those bumps in the road, but it's how we navigate them. Continue believing in yourself and know that you are seen, appreciated, and loved!

LAKL: I was reading somewhere that you are quite the well-trained dancer in various genres. Has dancing always been a passion of yours?

JR: Dancing has always been my passion and something that I completely fell in love with. There was a moment where I felt like I loved dance more than dance loved me, but I had to remember what made me fall in love with it and claim my home in the studio.

LAKL: Any big plans for the future? New projects we should be watching out for?

JR: As for the future there are a few things in the works! But I am loving the direction that things are moving in. This has been the first time I feel like the sky is truly the limit!

LAKL: What can the crowd at the official Tacoma Pride Block Party at The Mix expect when Jayla Rose hits the stage?

JR: A few things: They can expect dancing, energy, flexibility maybe a flip or two. But what I am hoping for is that somebody will be inspired. Just to know that if somebody like me is able to do this, then they certainly are as well!

Alright Queers — get those tickets and come see what all the buzz is all about! The official Tacoma Pride Block Party WILL NOT DISSAPOINT! Saturday Jul 8, starting 12 p.m., The Mix, 635 St Helens Ave., Tacoma, WA.