There are many gifts to be found on self-proclaimed “video game siren” Velvet Caveat’s TikTok, like gay Team Rocket and, most recently, an electric blue Gyrados puppet holding down Ariana Grande’s part of “Rain On Me” during a lip-sync performance.
“No, but Gyariana killed it,” Caveat writes in the caption, perhaps underselling the surreality of watching a sharp-toothed Water/Flying type handle Ariana Grande’s vocal runs with ease while she’s dressed as a tastefully nude Misty.
The puppet was a collaboration between friends, Caveat tells me over email—Matti made the head and puppet, Zac and Alex worked on the body.
“It was inspired by Carmen Farala from Drag Race España who did this amazing snake look I loved,” she says. “I wanted to reinterpret it in my own way. Why not Misty being constricted by a Gyarados? I even had Staryu earrings from my friend, Girl1000 Jewellery! It was a fun interpretation that hadn’t been done before and it meant that Gyariana (her name) could duet with me doing “Rain On Me” for the show finale. She even shot water out in the final chorus!”
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A jaw-dropping Gyariana, to me, marks just another night for Caveat, who has been performing her video game-themed drag show SlayStation in London since December 2021. The Gyrados performance was part of its recent Pokemon-themed Master Ball.
About founding SlayStation, Caveat says she “decided I wanted to start my own show and space and thought, ‘Why not combine my two passions, video games and performing?’”
Caveat, who is trans, had never attempted cosplay before starting SlayStation, but felt like “video games have always let me express myself and my identity in a safe space, especially while I was still figuring it out in the real world.”
“I really wanted to portray the importance of that for me and so many other people with the event,” she continues.
Video games form the rhinestone-glued platform to Caveat’s plans—even her name was inspired by Odin Sphere. And only a little over a year old, SlayStation has already motivated plenty of video game drag, including a Goldeen cosplay topped with inky fake lashes, a glamorous Lopunny, and for Caveat, Bayonetta.
“As a 6’4” woman, I felt like I could really do her justice,” she tells me.
The event is already gaining recognition through TikTok and through industry pros like Kim Chi, who competed on season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and British Drag Race star Dakota Schiffer, who both attended SlayStation’s Master Ball event.
But it isn’t only fun to look at. it’s also creating a vibrant and comfortable space for queer video game fans.
“The best show I’ve seen in a good while,” one Instagram commenter wrote on SlayStation’s post highlighting the importance of trans representation. “So much love in the room, cannot wait for the next one.” They’ll only have to wait a bit longer—there’s a Doki Doki Literature Club-themed event coming in February, and Caveat tells me she’s already planning “a big Final Fantasy show in a few months to celebrate the new games.”
“Should have some more fun looks and performances,” she says. Here comes the Square Enix hurricane, bitch.