Creature Feature: Mango Sassi
She blue herself! This Creature Feature is all about Toronto’s favourite smurfette, Mango Sassi. If you haven’t met her, then please take the time to find her. She is a stunner, turning major looks, and fantastic fun but also is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. We recently had a chance to speak with Mango about inspiration, fashion, and what it’s like being blue. (I avoided using any and all Eiffel 65 references in this piece, but let it be known I was humming it while writing.)
Yohomo: Can you tell us your name, what it is you do for a living, and where you are from?
Mango: My name is Jason Charles Hatton, but I’m better known for my drag persona, Mango Sassi. I make money creating beautiful illusions for a number of purposes. I am from Toronto.
How did Mango come to be, and how long have you been creating her?
Mango has been in the making since I was a young child, but the blue/multi-coloured goddess that people see today started seven years ago. I was working for Chanel doing window displays across Canada and ended up with a ton of wigs that were being discarded from past installations. I didn’t want them to go to waste, so in May of 2013 I decided to throw a drag costume party, appropriately named after Lady Bunny’s Wigstock, and gave out wigs to all my guests. It was that first party where Mango made her official debut.
What inspires your looks?
SO MANY THINGS, and it’s always evolving and changing. Fashion, music, film, religion, nature … the list goes on and on.
I find that most people who are character performers gravitate toward a time period of style/inspiration. Does Mango have one?
I don’t have just one time period of inspiration, but I do love me some ’80s fashion. I just adore the tackiness, big hair, and shoulder pads.
Who are your musical faves to perform to?
Prince, Liza, Shirley Bassey, Björk, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, and most things disco.
Mango is loooookkkkkssss! Do you find that you think of the outfit first and then the makeup and hair follow, or is it the other way around?
It’s different each time. I’m a Gemini with a hectic schedule, so inconsistency is the name of the game. Some looks start with a dress or a wig, while others begin with something as simple as a brooch. Some of my looks aren’t complete yet and are patiently awaiting that perfect finishing touch. I have been collecting and building pieces for a while, so oftentimes it’s just a matter of what I can throw together and make work with what I got.
When getting ready, what’s the thing you put on that makes you feel like you’ve become Mango?
Definitely LIPS! Gives me so much life!
Who are some people you follow that you adore?
What do you want people to take away when they see you perform or meet you at a club?
Joy and happiness. We are constantly receiving messages of fear and negativity in this world. My only mission is to lift people out of that, even if it’s only for a brief moment. Bring some light and love into their life and hopefully a laugh or two.
I’m a podcast person; that’s what’s usually playing while I’m getting painted for the party. What about you? What’s happening around you while you’re getting ready?
I like a good playlist. It can vary depending on my mood and the time of day. I usually like ’70s funk/soul, mixed with some blaxploitation soundtracks. Basically, something chill with a little attitude that makes my booty wanna shake. Oh, and some delicious coffee!
You also run a party in the city. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, I host an annual drag costume party, and it has become one of the greatest pleasures of my life. Every year I set a theme and curate an environment that embodies that theme in décor and sound. It is a transformative experience that inspires creativity and invites our guests to unleash their most glamorous selves. This event has helped me find my voice as a drag performer and has provided me with the most fabulous drag family a queen could ask for. This fall we are taking things to the next level. Check out @mangosassi for more details to come.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten about being a drag performer, and what’s the best piece of advice you can give to others?
It’s the same for both: if you are having fun and enjoying yourself, then the audience will have fun and enjoy themselves. It’s that simple.
Where can we catch you, girl?
The Hassle Free Clinic, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
And what’s in the future for Mango?
Oh, girl! You bitches don’t even know what’s coming! Film, music, television, porn, and my travelling one-woman show, Sassi with an “I”: The Delusion Is Real. I want my legacy to be a distasteful body of work that will be banned for generations to come.