He’s known as Raven to the scores of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans, and each week he works behind the scenes getting host and executive producer RuPaul camera-ready for TV. David Petruschin has been working with RuPaul since 2016.
“It’s a crazy thing to wrap your head around when you are responsible for getting the queen of drag into drag,” Petruschin says in a new Variety Artisans video presented by HBO.
As Raven, Petruschin appeared on the second season of the Emmy-award-winning show and subsequently on the first season of “RuPaul’s All Stars,” but a few years later, when RuPaul was seeking a makeup artist, it was Petruschin who was called.
Long before that, the California native was aware of RuPaul through clubs and other local venues. Petruschin thought, “Oh, that looks like fun,” he recalls.
For Petruschin, the key to drag is and always has been makeup. “Makeup is the most important thing for a drag queen. You’ve got queens who are bald and maybe only wear a fascinator. Or some don’t wear anything on their head at all, but they still have to have a face of makeup. You’ve got queens who like to perform nude, but they still have to have full face makeup,” he says.
It’s no wonder he became the queen of makeup, renowned for his looks.
One such look that has become a trademark is the beige face. He feels it works with any color hair and any color costume. But when it came to Season 13 of “Drag Race,” it was another story.
“Your job is to make the goddess of drag look like the goddess of drag,” Petruschin says, noting he refuses to repeat looks.
His goal is to keep each look fresh whether it’s by mixing colors or being daring. Ninety-nine percent of the time, RuPaul will approve colors Petruschin suggests. For the finale, which was shot in Downtown Los Angeles, Petruschin had prepared something specific, only to find out he needed two distinct looks.
One, designed by Zaldy, featured a neon gown featuring thousands of Swarovski crystals; another featured a tulle coat.
“I carved out time to do Ru’s face for the first clip. I said, ‘Now, we need to recreate the face for the neon dress.’ We went back upstairs and I had to kind of take some things off, replace some things, blend things out and give two different looks,” Petruschin says.
Watch the full video above