Sasha Velour is a genderfluid drag queen, global theatre star, actor, writer, creative director, and award-winning television producer. As the founder of House of Velour, she produces live theatre, television, film, charity events, merchandise, graphic design, photography, books, and excellent lists.
Sasha Velours rose-petal-filled lip-sync to Whitney Houstons So Emotional at the the finale of RuPauls Drag Race Season 9 (2017) became a cultural touchstone and was hailed as the performance of the year by the AV Club, introducing audiences across the globe to her signature style of lip-synch performance. It was also named one of TVs Best Musical Moments on Television by Entertainment Weekly.
Since that moment, she has headlined performances in clubs and theatres across the world, bewitching audiences on five continents. In 2019, Velour debuted her first one-queen show, Sasha Velours Smoke & Mirrors, to critical acclaim. Hailed as a spellbinding tour de force (Forbes), the show has pushed the boundaries of what drag can be, incorporating Velours signature innovative use of video projection. Over the course of a year, it was seen by over 35,000 people in 30 cities across three continents, featuring sold out performances in New York, LA, London, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Auckland, Toronto, Vancouver and more. The successful UK/EU tour of the show was cut short in March 2020 due to the pandemic, but returns to Europe in January 2022 with an expanded tour of the continent.
Velour is also widely known as the director and host of NightGowns, a drag revue she began in 2015. Over the years, it became one of the most esteemed and oft-imitated drag shows in the world. In 2020, she executive-produced and adapted the show into an 8-part docu-series. It debuted on The Roku Channel this May and is now streaming for free. The New York Times lauded it as being among the most life-affirming shows you could find on any platform. Working alongside Grammy Award-winning music video director Sophie Muller and the Academy Award-nominated producers at The Documentary Group, the 8-episode series won the Real Screen award for Short Form-Non Fiction. Other television/film appearances include The Bold Type (FreeForm TV), Broad City (Comedy Central), and the The Island We Made, a short opera-film commissioned by Opera Philadelphia (2021).
A former Fulbright scholar and drag-historian, Velour often speaks on LGBTQ+ issues and history. She has spoken at The Teen Vogue Summit and The Smithsonians The Long Conversation, as well as many colleges and universities. Velour has also spoken on behalf of the State Department abroad. Currently, she is on a digital speaking tour with fellow Drag Race alumnus, performer, and activist, Peppermint.
Sasha Velour is the only child of Mark D. Steinberg, a newly-retired professor of Russian History at The University of Illinois (aka Papa Velour) and Jane T. Hedges, an academic editor, who died of cancer in 2015. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her partner Johnny Velour and their Italian Greyhound Vanya.