Interview: Jinkx Monsoon
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Catapulted into mainstream culture following their win on RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2013, in the four years following Jinkx Monsoon has fully established and cemented themselves as a drag-artist-actor-singer-songwriter. Moving genre to genre, whilst continually staying true to their old-Hollywood cabaret influences, the character of Jinkx has developed and honed into one of the most iconic queens to ever grace the show. We caught up with them to talk about their rise to fame and new UK tour. You’re back in the UK with your tour of ‘The Vaudevillians’, which is running from November till December. You have performed this since November 2013, so it has been going for a strong four years – how do you feel that the show has developed over this time? We always like to incorporate the new things that we discover in each new city - like we customise certain parts of the show to the different cities that we’re in. So we discovered new bits and new comic moments specifically performing in the UK. So it’s got little UK specific moments that I think that we never would have discovered if we hadn’t brought it to London a year ago. Whilst we’re on this tour we’re hoping to find all kinds of new things to do with it. But I think mostly the way its developed over 4 years is that all the fat has been trimmed from it! We used to do the show and it was about an hour and forty minutes, and nowadays it’s just about an hour and fifteen and we think it’s much better this way because it’s just the streamlined, most effective moments and most satisfying moments presented in a very, very clean and tight way. Going off what you said about each show adapting for its city, what do you think is the difference in the way that British audiences respond to your drag specifically, and drag as an art form? I think the UK audiences are just really willing to go there with us, you know? It’s kind of a convoluted concept, it’s a bit of a ridiculous conceit, and I think our UK audiences are just really willing to go there with us without questioning it at all. They’re really receptive to the idea of that we’re going to come do this really stupid, kind of ridiculous show and they don’t ever just spend a moment questioning it. They’re just really receptive to our dry and ridiculous humour. You’ve also got an album, ‘The Ginger Snapped’, coming out mid next year. You’ve said that it’s going to be a like a 90’s garage band sound, so that’s quite a departure from your current sound. Do you see your drag evolving alongside that sound in the same direction? I think what it is that we have always kind of wanted to do this, my drag has always been very much inspired by old Hollywood, and cabaret, and musical showtunes and stuff. But I’ve also, me the artist, has always grown up with garage band and true rock influences. So even though it’s never found its way into my drag; well it has here and there you know, like I’ve done a lot of covers of songs from like No Doubt and Amanda Palmer and you know some classic rock influences and stuff, though this is our first chance to really like do original music like this. And even though you know it hasn’t found its way into my drag very often, it’s always kind of been there and the influence has always… I’ve always had that influence on my work I’ve just never really reincorporated it into anything until now.
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