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Drag Artist Theydy Bedbug Aims to Be a Little Sultry, a Little Scary

(Photo: @patrickisphotographer on Instagram)

“I’m not going to look at you while we talk,” says Kelindah Schuster, settling down at a brightly backlit vanity, brush in hand. “I hope that’s not weird.” I sit a few feet behind the fully-equipped makeup station in Schuster’s small bedroom, in Bed-Stuy. Everywhere, amid the amber glass bottles of essential oils and the purple yoga mat on the floor, there are signs of the theatricality that bursts from this room on a near-nightly basis: mannequin heads in colorful wigs; jars of brushes, every size; bottles of cosmetics I can’t identify; a standing rack of platform heels at the foot of the bed. We talk through the mirror, our eyes meeting only occasionally. I watch, transfixed, as the makeup gets painted on in thick swaths: red brushstroke-brows, panels of gold on the lids, contoured cheekbones and matte black lips.

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