Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview - Jinkx Monsoon

By Andrea Alton

I’ll admit it. I have a crush on Jinkx Monsoon (created by the brilliant Jerick Hoffer). She’s from my hometown (Portland Oregon), looks great in a wig and she can rock blue eye shadow in a way I always dreamed of in the 1980’s. She’s also an extremely talented performer who won season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race and is currently performing in THE VAUDEVILLIANS which also stars Major Scales (aka Richard Andriessen, who is also brilliant), the co-creator of the show. THE VAUDEVILLIANS had its first show at The Laurie Beechman Theater in July and has had numerous extensions. If you can get a ticket (they sell out fast!), I would highly recommend you make your way to The Laurie Beechman to see this show which runs through November 19th.

Jinkx is a busy gal but she found time to talk about theatre, how to maintain great hair and her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Andrea: I’ve heard you’re a theater nerd. Do you remember your first introduction to theater?

Jinkx: As early as kindergarten! We did a class play for friends and family at my school in kindergarten and I got to play the most dramatic role, the villain: Anasi the spider. A role I took very seriously. Ever since then I've LEPT at any chance to play roles in school plays, and nowadays, big boy plays.

AA: How did you come up with the idea of THE VAUDEVILLIANS?

JM: My music partner and I came home after a loooong tech rehearsal for the play "Our Town" we were performing at our college. We would joke about being the oldest people in the world, talking about "the way things used to be," and that was the grassroots for became our characters in the show; two Vaudeville stars frozen alive at their prime in a freak avalanche, now thawed out and returning to the stage to reclaim their original music.

AA: What kind of theatre/cabaret excites you?

JM: I think I get most turned on by shows with completely outlandish concepts. If it’s something that looks stupid on paper, it generally has potential to be amazing. My rule is the stupider the premise the better, cuz when you start at outlandish set up, you can do so much. You can go anywhere. I love stuff that plays with gender, sexuality and pushing the envelope on what our society considers "normal." Some of my favorite cabaret shows have been Varla Jean Merman in "The Book of Merman," any of Dina Martina's shows. I saw Joey Arias sing the Billie Holiday sing book, and Lady Rizo's solo show. I have loved all of these shows and they have fueled my own desire to break in to the cabaret world.

AA: How did your collaboration with Major Scales begin?

JM: We have lived together for about 5 years. We met at Cornish college where we were both studying theater. He and I relate through our eclectic taste in music and movies and plays and at this point I consider him family. We started working together for various variety shows and we developed a real chemistry. Even though we both have solo careers we really work well as a unit.

AA: I grew up in a little town outside of Portland and the rain always ruined my hair. How do you keep your hair and makeup looking so good while living in the Pacific Northwest?

JM: Planning ahead. Match umbrellas to your outfits and themes and when in doubt, count on the Uber car service.

AA: I know you do a lot of theater, what’s your dream role?

JM: My all time dream role is Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Close seconds are The Witch in Into the Woods and a new one is elder Cunningham in Book of Mormon.

AA: What’s your fondest, funniest or most disgusting memory of RuPaul’s Drag Race?

JM: Fondest was (and it got cut from the show) when Ru quoted Death Becomes Her in conversation with me. I explained that I didn't know lots of drag slang but I'm starting to get hip to it. She replied: "NOW a warning!?" And I freaked.

AA: If they were going to turn your life story into a Broadway show or ABC miniseries, who would you want to play you? They can be dead or alive.

JM: Patrick Wolf

For more info on Jinkx check out

And to buy tickets to THE VAUDEVILLIANS go to

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