by JD Rodejo
PRODUCER. HOST. PHOTOGRAPHER. ARTIST.
Born and raised in the Philippines, I moved to the US from Japan in 2021. My first year in the United States was a little difficult, basically starting from scratch, I tried multiple ways on how I can keep myself both busy and involved in the queer community. That’s when I found drag and my drag persona, Morena.
I started drag a year and a half ago and got really lucky finding groups of people who helped me grow as a person and as an artist. It pushed my creativity and artistic skills to new heights up to the point where I now produce and host my own show, The HotPot, which gives opportunities to new artists, young or old, to showcase their skills in a competition-based setting. It also allowed me to work with multiple non-profit organizations, including Transponder and HIV Alliance, to raise funds and awareness both to the community and its allies. This show also allowed me to further push my marketing and advertising skills as I managed all the posters, photo and video promotions and social media marketing for the show. This year, I also got nominated for Eugene Weekly’s Best of Eugene.
Drag also re-introduced me to my first love, photography. Last summer, I started my own photography business, “Lenses with Lashes”, and was lucky enough to shoot multiple events in the downtown area. This allowed me to expand my knowledge about the Creative Cloud.
My time here in Eugene is extremely limited, and I cannot wait what the next location will bring or what I’ll be able to bring at the next location. I decided to get back in school to refresh and update my knowledge regarding the current state of multimedia. I will also continue being a student worker and work with the Multimedia Department at Lane Community College.