Bartender. Personal Trainer. Drag Queen.
// Written by Lucius L Riley | Photos by eyeLucius –
Mark David’s New Orleans story has been filled with twists and turns that keep him as busy as his many roles in the Crescent City. FLAME catches up with Mark during his workout at Downtown Fitness at Canal Place and off-shift at OZ on Bourbon Street….
So you’re originally from upstate New York, how did you find your way to New Orleans?
From New York, I started out in Florida for a college program for Disney World and then I ended up in Alabama…then Nashville. While in Nashville, I went to Pensacola Pride and found a big hairy Bear on the beach…and I followed him here.
Do you think you’re here to stay or is this just a stop along the way.
I think so. It’s a hard city … the job market isn’t always the best…but I think I’m here to stay.
Your primary professional home is OZ on Bourbon St. How did you land there when you got here?
When I decided I was heading to New Orleans, I saw that OZ was one of the better venues to work and reached out to management via email with my background of working at other bars and it all just clicked.
In the last year you masterminded a new Monday night party, “Lazy Susan Karaoke” at OZ that has taken off. A new drag queen hostess every week – how did you come up with the idea?
I kind of fell in love with karaoke in Nashville and realized there wasn’t a good spot to do karaoke on a Monday night. I keep the hosts rotating (thus the name “Lazy Susan”) to keep things fresh week to week. People like fresh.
One of your frequent guest hosts, ChiChi RodriqueZ, has described your style of karaoke as “taking a love song and turning into a heavy metal headbanger.” Is it true that a customer once tipped you $100 for your rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”?
No…it was Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”
A lot of your curated guest hostesses come from your personal experience of drag with your alter ego Duchess Ovens. How did she come about?
I was in cycle 5 of the Vinsanto’s New Orleans Drag Workshop. It was a 10 week program filled with exhausting 4 hour Tuesday nights sessions featuring guest Queens teaching the different ins and outs of being a Queen.
And what about Duchess Ovens herself?
It was kind of an orphan Christmas hanging out with Levie (drag queen Hanibelle Spector)…I started looking through his drag stuff, put on a wig and Duchess was born. “She’s a Cattle Hormone Queen, A Buff Bitch.
You’ve recently turned your attention to growing your fitness ventures and branched out into personal training. How was that?
I pretty much grew up in the gym, I decided to get my certification with National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). I’ve started training clients at Downtown Fitness locations as well as NOAC (New Orleans Athletic Club).
How often to you work out?
I try for 6 times a week, about an hour each session.
What are your favorite and least favorite body parts?
I like my chest and shoulders…A perk of where I work (OZ) is that shirts are optional. I have chicken legs. I wasn’t blessed with good legs but I’m working on it. Don’t skip leg day.
Any other advice for fitness newbies?
Start with a buddy, it keeps you accountable. Same with a trainer. Get a good playlist, make it fun.
It’s said in New Orleans, “We have a lot to eat. A lot to Drink. And A lot to F*ck”, what are your food, drink, and sex highlights?
I really like the burgers at Bayou Burger Co. on Bourbon St. Sushi Village in Metairie is also a favorite for it’s all you can eat. They hate me. I eat a lot and I can really throw down some sushi without breaking my budget.
If I’m not hanging out where I work, I like to visit my buddy Tim at Good Friends. He and the other bartenders there are great. And 700 Club for their great chicken wings.
There was a night where I fell on the way home leaving 700. Busted Face. Blood Everywhere. I still went home and called up The Boy and made a homemade porno. Getting freaky with my face bashed in. It’s HOT.
MARK DAVID INFO
Downtown Fitness: Canal Place http://downtownfitnesscenter.com
New Orleans Athletic Club – 222 N. Rampart St http://neworleansathleticclub.com
OZ New Orleans – 800 Bourbon St https://www.ozneworleans.com