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Art & Life with Tony Soto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Soto.

Tony, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I think that my story started when I was told that it was perfectly fine to pursue a life in fine arts, but it was just plain stupid to not have a backup plan when it all came crashing in on you. I made it my mission to prove them wrong. I started in rural Illinois where I was in the theater club, and dreamed of one day getting out of my crap town and moving to NYC. Never made it east but did land in Chicago where I directed theatre and started to think about other avenues that interested me. I started a queer website where I interviewed amazing LGBTQIA people in and around Chicago. I dabbled in drag throughout my 13 years in the windy city but really only started to try my last three years. I also decided to start my own podcast while in Chicago, The Tony Soto Show got its start in 2014.

I cast my two best friends and we chatted about anything and everything under the sun and we wanted to have interviews to learn what people were up to in the queer community. The cast has changed some through the years, but the shows layout is still about laughing and showcasing queer talent all over the world. Now I find myself in LA in my late 30’s figuring out what is next. My podcast is still going strong, and I even created another one called The Gay Power Half Hour, a 3o minute show featuring .myself and my comedy partner, Casey Ley. I’m also proud to say that my drag career is going strong, I am the best drag queen in LA that no one knows about. I host five monthlies around the city and hope to venture more outside the city in the future.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I get to make all kinds of things! I am actually really in love with that fact these days. I produce and star on two very fun podcast, and I’m a damned good drag queen. My art is talking and engaging an audience. I want to be a storyteller. I like to engage audiences. The art of speaking is dying out. I do podcasts and drag because you can engage people in a way that isn’t a thumbs up emoji on a screen.

I want people to walk away from anything I do feeling like they were able to put their life issues down, if even for a moment, and laugh. I want people to know that I love what I create. I love being an opinionated online personality by day and then be an opinionated drag queen by night.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
I created my original foundation in Chicago. We are trained there on the importance of ensemble, creating a base of like-minded folks is very important. When I first move to LA, I have to agree that it can be huge and daunting and people are really into their gigs, so it can be lonely. But my inner need to collaborate with others forced me to get out there and start meeting people. You’re only as lonely as you want to be.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The Tony Soto Show and The Gay Power Half Hour can be found anywhere you stream your favorite podcasts. If checking out drag is your thing, follow me on Instagram @thetonysotoshow for show information. I can be seen monthly at Akbar, Precinct, and Faultline.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Paul Brickman, Felony Dodger

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