Winner of Season 5 RuPaul’s Drag Race Jinkx Monsoon exclusive Interview
By Scott McGlynn
We talked about RuPaul, Bullying and Future plans.
Scott McGlynn: When did you realise you wanted to do drag?
Jinkx Monsoon: I knew from a very early age that there was something that made me different from other little boys…
I remember stealing pieces of my mom`s wardrobe; Halloween costume pieces, lingerie, makeup, accessories etc…. I would sneak these things our of her room and wait till everyone was asleep, then I would get up in the middle of the night to dress up and see what I looked like. When I saw my first drag show at age 14, I knew it wasn’t gonna be long before I was doing it myself… and it wasn’t! I started doing drag legitimately at age 15!
SM: You were AMAZING on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” how was the hole experience for you?
JM: Thank you! You wanna know about my “hole experience?”
HAHA! My whole experience on drag race was surreal. I mean I can look back on those filming days and I remember details as though it happened last week!
Overall the experience was nerve wracking! It truly is the Olympics of drag… actually its more like, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire… You know? The Tri-wizard cup and all that? It was like, every day someone could be taken by mermaids or swallowed whole in a hedge maze and you just had to keep chugging along.
SM: To top it off you won season 5!
How’s your life been since winning the show?
JM: Life has been worth living Scott. Ha ha.
No, honestly I worked my ass off before drag race and working my ass off now…
The only difference is I do it on a global scale now instead of a “local scale.” To have a career in this business, It’s not just about notoriety, Attitude, work ethic, commitment, and passion are what make you successful in this field… And going on TV helps!
SM: Your album “The Inevitable Album” a HUGE hit!
Have you got any plans for another?
JM: Thank you so much! “The Inevitable Album” was a passion project between me and my music partner, Major Scales. Major and I have been working together for almost 8 years now, so WELL before drag race happened for me. He is a brilliant composer, and amazing partner to have on stage, and beyond all of that, one of my best friends. He is gracious enough to share his original music with me and let me be the voice that brings it to the forefront. I LOVE the Bette Midler/Barry Manilow vibe we have generated together and its a blessing to have him on my team.
We ARE working on a second album. Whereas the first one was quite distinctly a cabaret influenced, jazzy, torch song album- this next one is going to be much more Rock and Ska influenced with a bit of a 90s garage band throwback sound to it.
It is going to be almost entirely original music by Major and Myself, we are working on some wonderful collaborations and guest features on the album, and its going to be called “The Ginger Snapped.” Everyone at Monsoon Enterprises is VERY excited about this project.
SM: What advice would you give to someone starting drag?
JM: Everything you need to know is on YouTube. If you have a question about how to do something and can’t find someone in your neck of the woods to teach you, YouTube is your friend.
Beyond that drag is a community thing, It is very much an experience to be shared with friends, I don’t make any decisions on new looks, new numbers, or new projects without consulting my beat friends who I trust and have a mutual respect for. No one is good at EVERYTHING.
Drag is about playing to your own strengths (and having others help you mask your weaknesses. ha ha)
SM: Has suffering from narcloepsy effected your work in the past?
JM: It is an obstacle that I have to overcome, But it doesn’t stop me in any way. I was just in rehearsal today where I had to take a little nap just so that I could get through the evening schedule… So it can be frustrating and it can prove challenging, But it’s nothing I can’t handle. I’ve suffered from my symptoms since I was 17, so I have a pretty good handle on them now at 29. OH GOD!
SM: How do you manage, Do you have any secret remedies?
JM: You know, its just all about listening to your body. But that goes for anything! I am a very privileged person in the fact that I get to set my own schedule to some degree, and I am in a position of power within my career, so I am able to shape my data round what I need to be my best.
When I was working muggle jobs and trying to fit into the real world, I just had to power through. I was taking Guarana supplements just to keep me wired and awake throughout the day… only to later find that that self treatment was exacerbating my symptoms. So my best advice is- talk to a doctor and be %100 honest with them.
SM: Earlier this year I brought out my first ever book my memoir called “OUT” dealing with my sexuality from age 11 and getting bullied throughout school and work, Now i’m working on a show to meet people of all ages getting bullied to help them, And help people needing advice coming out.
How was your coming out experience?
JM: I had a very privileged coming out experience I was born and raised in a very progressive liberal city (Portland, OR) and my family made it very clear to me that there was nothing I could do to make them stop loving me.
Not every kid gets that… not every kid has a family that would accept them for deviating from the norm in that way. It makes me extremely sad and frustrated, because I know it is our society telling families that they can’t love their queer kids not the families themselves.
People get indoctrinated by societal sheep mentality and they forget to love unconditionally… It breaks my heart. Which is why I have always tried to pay it forward. I was so blessed by having such a supportive family and community, that I have committed much of my life to being an advocate for queer rights and have tried to spread a message of love to anyone who will hear it.
SM: Have you EXPERIENCED bullying in school or work life?
JM: Absolutely!! I mean not to the extend of some of the queer bullying horror stories you hear… but I was harassed and tormented in high school not only for my sexuality but also my gender presentation.
Being queer and expressing yourself outside of the gender binary, While within the American public school system it’s ROUGH! Their’s no way around that.
It gets better every year… but until the leaders of our country treat queer and trans individuals like unquestioned equals, you can’t expect the bullying in the schools to ever stop completely.
SM: Tell me 3 facts about yourself?
1. I don’t eat eggs… like cooked eggs by themselves? Scrambled, sunny side up, omelet…. none of it! I just can’t stomach them.
2. I have a bit of scent fetish. A guy can win me over with his smell.
3. When I am REALLY hooked on a video game, I have dreams about it. I was just having dreams about “Overwatch” because I am separated from my PS4 currently.
SM: Tell me 3 things you can not live without?
-Red Hair Dye
SM: What can we expect from the FABULOUS Jinkx Monsoon in 2016 / 2017?
JM: My new album will be coming out in the spring/summer of 2017.
I continue to work on creating new materiel and original shows, so that I may continue to globe trot around bringing my original work to any country that’ll take me in.
OH! and I have talked with a very good friend of mine an AMAZING author Sam Lansky, who has just published his first memoir “The Gilded Razor,” which is already getting huge acclaim… Sam and I spoke briefly about collaborating to write my own memoir. Writing a book about my crazy upbringing and telling my story form my own perspective has been an idea of mine for sometime. But I don’t claim to be as skilled a writer as I am a performer… so with Sam’s help, Hopefully this dream can become a reality!
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3 thoughts on “Jinkx Monsoon Interview By Scott McGlynn”
Great interview, I love jinkx wish we could see him in Spain soon!
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LOVE me some Jinkx!
Please get an editor/proofreader & use spellcheck/Grammarly!