RuPaul’s Drag Race: Jinkx Monsoon
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RuPaul’s Drag Race: Jinkx Monsoon

“I think we’re just going out for dinner and then sitting in our rooms crying!” Jerick Hoffer jokes.

It’s a rare day off between shows for Hoffer, best known by his drag name Jinkx Monsoon.
Him and his drag sisters have been dominating the globe on RuPaul’s Drag Race Tour Extravaganza: Battle of the Seasons, ‘sashaying’ and ‘shantaying’ across international stages with their witty and zealous drag personas.

If you’ve never heard of RuPaul’s Drag Race, it’s an American reality series that searches for America’s next drag star. Mentored and hosted by the iconic ’80s drag superstar RuPaul, it has eight seasons under its belt and has paved the careers of some of the most iconic drag queens; catapulting them across the world into stardom and providing a global platform for the trans and queer community.

Monsoon, the winner of season five, a narcolepsy sufferer and theatre graduate is best known for her zany, heavily Broadway influenced character that can only be described as a cocktail of mannerisms from Bette Midler, Lucille Ball and the mother and daughter duo from Grey Gardens.

“I love when women are super hyper-feminine, but also very kind of crude and in your face and they use their femininity as a tool and as a weapon. I always loved it when someone is just a gorgeous woman with the foulest mouth,” Monsoon says.

Bringing this combination to the stage, Monsoon is one of the many queens headlining the Battle of the Seasons tour to Australia for the first time.

“It’s very exciting because this is one of our highest produced, highest curated shows where we really get to bring the best of our talents and abilities forward,” she says.

Describing the tour as ‘drag vaudeville’, the tour has been a hit worldwide and showcases a hilarious drag-off between past season winners and favourites with comedic performances, including Violet Chachki, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, Adore and Sharon Needles.

If you’ve never seen the series, no context is needed as Monsoon points out, just an enthusiastic presence.

“I was actually talking to someone last night, a couple of people won tickets to our show and had never seen drag race,” she says.

“They were just fans of drag queens and they were just fans of drag shows. So they had no context of who we all were or anything like that and then they told me at the end that it was one of the most amazing drag shows they’d ever seen. We bring so many other production elements that wouldn’t even fit into your average gay bar, so it’s not just a drag show… it’s like a drag rock concert.”

The tour has proved to be a unifying experience for the drag queens as they took to the stage on the night of the Orlando shooting.

“Not one of us was feeling like getting into make-up and going out on stage and being clowns and trying to make people laugh, we were all very… it was so heavy on all of us,” Monsoon says.

“Every girl on the tour had someone they knew at the club that was hurt, or close to being hurt, or who had passed away. A lot of us were friends with someone who’s name was the first name released when they started listing the casualties.”

This wasn’t the first time the tour has taken a political stance, also confronting North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ which prevents trans people from entering bathrooms that aren’t assigned to their birth gender.

“We will always stand up and continue to fight and that’s what our community has always done,” she says.

“As drag queen celebrities with this huge platform, with this huge fan base, it is our privilege and responsibility to be a beacon of hope and continue to bring love and joy and laughter.

“We’re all doing our best to use our voice to motivate the community that continues to unify, that continues to speak up, that continue to fight for what we know is just and right in this country and in this world.”

On coming to Australia, we can expect a visceral and outrageous performance from the elite of the drag community, one that both the audience and Monsoon can look forward too.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Australia and I’ve always found that the audiences are very enthusiastic and very fun to hang out with. Very easy going, not judgemental at all. And the boys are super hot.”

Written by Caitlin Haddad

When & Where: Festival Hall, Melbourne – July 1

DRAG- TIONARY

Cheescake – A term used to describe someone with a body but also sexy

Fishy – A term used for drag queens who look extremely/convincingly feminine.

Hunty – When you’re a honey but also a bit of a …

Sissy that walk – To walk with sass

Sashay – walk in an ostentatious but casual manner. Used in RuPaul when you’re eliminated “Sashay away”

Shantay – To weave a bewitching spell

 

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