Retro, campy, beauty. Baltimore baby drag queen. Mixed, Black and White Jewess, but I'm coming to you all in color darling!
Life's a whirl, so here I go! My name is Tzedakah Boxx and I'm fairly new to the drag game. I'm grateful to call Baltimore my home town, and so many wonderful people here are part of my inner circle, my chosen family, who help me discover my true self. With their counsel, I'm living my uninhibited and grounded self!
Tzedakah means Giving Justice, aka giving charity! It's literally my name in Hebrew: my given name AND surname! Yes you read that right. Also this is a Jewish play on words: A “Tzedakah Box” is a coin jar that homes (and fondly, my Hebrew school classroom) have near their entrance for you to put spare change into for charitable giving.
If a problem can be solved with money, then it's not a problem but a cost. (see more of my favorite quotes)
I started my drag life to debut as an opening act for the 2022 Baltimore Drag Queen and King, thanks to Unmatched Athlete, Movement Hampden, Stoop Storytelling and the Baltimore Pride Center of Maryland, on June 18 2022; as part of the big Pride at Union Collective event Unmatched and Movement organized. (My spouse performed with me too under the name Titi Holey! Yes mama she brought the big bold and beautiful! So proud!)
Outside of drag, I work in community development by day, and at night (and on weekends) am part of an amazing team at Unmatched Athlete run by my husband that encourages LGBTQ+ youth to participate in sports and fitness. Our committee dreamt up the idea of a pride event after our June LGBTQ+ Youth Climbing Days, and I was asked, or rather challenged, ‘will you do drag?’ Well! As a once-a-theatre-kid-always-a-theatre-kid, I answered the call. ‘Tits up!’ as the saying goes.
<aside> 🎭 My first show!
After visiting da clubs back in the day, and watching RuPaul's Drag Race for oh so long with my husband (who really introduced me to the wider TV drag world— to Trixie Mattel, Jinkx Monsoon, Yvie Oddly, Miz Cracker, Shea Coulee, Jan, Rosé, Bob the Drag Queen, Jaida Essence Hall, Gigi Goode, oh the list goes on!), I called upon the spirit of my bubbe —my Grandma— and I knew I was ready, but would it feel authentic? I dug deep down, which some would call a “spirit quest” while my therapist “meditation,” and in time, I found my voice.
The world's eye came to my mind with Barbra singing in the background (”there's a place for us!”… “don't rain on my parade”… “we've got nothing to be guilty of, our love could climb a mountain”)! I heard the coins jingling. Or rather, the chocolate gelt at Passover seder, THAT was the calling. Enter the puns, the Yiddish, the theatrical old-lady cookyiness…back before she's old when she's still a spring chicken!
Enter the purpose: to spark rebirth, to inspire charity and self reflection, to challenge you to seek and give forgiveness, to be honest yet campy…where I can slide intentional saving habits and good financial advice into your evening, while making you laugh and cheer! How? By channeling nostalgia through LOOKS and music tracks that celebrate the memory of golden times, sassy giddiness, fiery saucy sexiness, and the bittersweet too.
By being a bit Midge from the Marvelous Mrs Maisel, a bit Dorothy from the Golden Girls, Uhura from Star Trek TOS, Samantha from Bewitched, Sally Field in The Girl with Something Extra; I balance wit and charm. With a bit of Lizzo, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, Diana Ross the Boss, the beauty of Dorothy Dandridge, I channel strong Black performers. With some Lana del Rey, a bit Betty and Peggy from Mad Men, with a touch Albert from the Birdcage, some Fran Fine from the Nanny, and a dash of Fanny Brice, I inhabit sass, spunk and chutzpah to act*.*
Hop on this yimby train and come sit beside me. Admission is free! I'm still finding my place, meeting knowledgeable folks in the DMV drag LGBTQ+ community, and listening to the Almighty telling me where I am called to go.
For now, I see intimate get-togethers and photo shoots on the horizon as I firm my style, watch the pros show me how it's done, and trivia nights maybe! But first and foremost, I need to find a drag community and drag mother here in Baltimore. I am learning how to balance social engagements with work, community service and play, all in time, friends. Please stay in touch!