By: Amanda Sandström Beijer
Photos by: Joseph Ohlert
This party girl shines her sparkling presence over Berlin and electro shocks us with her performances that keep on shining on stages all over town. We’re obsessed with her glitter lips, colorful clothes and sassy personality – Bring the Absinth(ia)!
Where did you grow up and who were you as a kid?
I’m from Hamburg, and I was a pretty shy guy who got called out to be a girl very early on, just because I didn’t fit into other people's gender norm. So I became very anti. No matter what names I got called, I tended to get more extreme with my appearance just to prove that I wouldn’t give in.
I brought the french pop-art-nails to school, long hair and middle finger in the air. I had to get strong to survive every day's shit parade in school, as well as later on in everyday life. Which is a real task when you’re a shy person.
How, when and why did you come to Berlin, and what was your view on the city then?
My impression of Berlin was: loud, dirty and too busy. In Hamburg you get this point of view of the city sort of injected into you from birth.
It took two friends, four years of persuasion and finally a fantastic secret party in 2012 in Berlin, to say yes to a one year tryout here. My impression of the city actually hasn’t changed in these ten years of living here, but I really enjoy living here still today and still experience all of what the city has to offer.
What made you fall in love with the city?
I quickly fell in love with the queer scene. In Berlin I felt liberation, almost an eye opening feeling of how a world of possibilities was available in terms of living my own true life. Sometimes even without going through shit parades of stupid people. Here I realized that I’m not just gay but a queer person. It’s not always easy to break out of the limiting mindset that you grew up with, but I met incredible friends in this city that today are my family. With them it’s an ongoing discovery to always find new and great queer things and experiences in the city.
Where does the name Absinthia Absolut come from?
There’re so many ways on how to choose a drag queen or performer name. Mine happened at an underground party where I drank Absinth for the first time. The taste, effect and the happenings of that night somehow made me wanna relive these feelings. So as a reminder, the name Absinthia came to life. Absolut just came as a joke. But the mixture of both drinks gives you a feeling of what I try to bring across through my performances.
Today you’re a big name on Berlin’s drag scene – tell us all about your journey to the stage and as a performer and artist?
Berlin is where I have tried many things for the first time ever. When it comes to my first ever experience with drag, some friends took me to a screening of drag race in 2014, where Pansy had a live drag show afterwards. I was so mesmerized by the people on stage. Then my friends said that we should try out drag as well, and that’s how it all started.
The freedom of this artform proves the feeling I got from the first time, which is a feeling that I have always been seeking – liberation. There was no question about one's gender or anything like that. Neither did it matter how you looked, you were already a queen and that’s a label with a lot of freedom. So the journey as a genderfuck queen began!
Since then I’ve performed on bigger stages like SchwuZ, Milkshake festival in Amsterdam, Pride in Zürich, and the cool Bushwig here in Berlin. But also many more intimate places like Tipsy Bear and Silver Future.
No matter the size of the stage, I always loved the energy exchange with the audience. My introverted and shy sides got a new output to become extroverted for a moment. One day I began to work on my own backdrops. That gave me more possibilities to set the mood in a bigger way of how I imagine the effect of my performance. But it takes time and actually it really also takes a muse.
You’re a real party gal, did the lockdown make you realize something special?
That shit situation did a lot of unpleasant things… One of them was realizing how much of an introvert I actually am. Luckily I know how to keep myself busy. But since I was 16 years old, nightlife has been a big part of my life. The dance floor is where I bloom. It’s my battery, my area of no holding back, creative pool, connection point and inspiration.
Without this, my drive crumbled. Sure you can find substitutes or find a new way of putting yourself out there. I did for example release some nerdy videos on YouTube, which is fun but I need to be experienced in person. The outgoing part of myself is coming to life on stages and on the dance floor. I honestly have a feeling that the lockdown made me even more of an introvert than I was before. It’s a tricky situation which requires a lot of work for many of us to be able to reset.
So hell I’m ready to dive back into the liberating scene and give the title of being a club queen more foundation again.
Where can one find the best parties in Berlin, tell us your gems!
My holy grail is of course Panorama bar at Berghain. It brings such a lovely harmonic mix of diverse people. Horse meat disco also gives me the eternal groove, as well as Cocktail d’amore – well, you know, it’s the freedom of the parties. SchwuZ of course became, at a time in my life, like a second home. The list could go on and on of incredible parties in this city but these are my shining stars.
Why do you choose to live in Berlin today?
I wish I could give a very creative answer to this but basically I’m a person who has found my family here, and I tend to stick to wherever they are located. There’s no other city that gives me the same feeling that Berlin has brought me. It just has the whole package.
If you could change something in this city, what would it be?
I'd love to see how this “open minded city, as it’s been called so many times, could hold up way more often to its own label.
Besides a professional party attender, you’re a glitter lover. Tell us about the obsession!
Glitter gives you that extra joy. As a club queen glitter is like ecstasy. When the light hits my glitter lips it makes people smile and brings out the disco diva in all of us.
What are your hopes and dreams for this year/ the future?
Usually I don’t make any New Year's resolutions but one thing that’s on my list is to get out of my corona-lockdown-anti-social-holding-back-dilemma. I wanna divorce my couch and marry the night again.
If a friend would visit you in Berlin this spring, where would you take them?
I would bring them to the Sanssouci park. I just love it there and can spend a whole day walking and dreaming away at that place. Then I would show them Tipsy bear, as it’s always good to watch a queer performance show. On a Sunday we would have brunch in Südblock, where I actually had my very first performance, and have experienced many historical moments. After the brunch I would take them to Tempelhofer Feld. Maybe even go for a walk from the Landwehrkanal to Treptower park as that’s also very nice for a good conversation. Later on, if it would’ve been possible we’d be turning back time and going dancing in Griesmühle in the sunshine. I could go on about the fabulous clubs but then the list wouldn’t end.