Miz Cracker may have "sashayed away" last night on RuPaul's Drag Race, but she is going to go down as one of the most beloved queens to come out of the franchise in quite some time.
Her eye for creativity was only matched by her penchant for runway banter, and every time she hit the runway, the Cracker brand was showcased. While she may have left the show just short of the Top Four, she found time to catch up with me about letting all of her emotions out on Drag Race, her unique next step post Drag Race and why living your most authentic self is more important now more than ever.
The internet was abuzz last night after your elimination. How did it feel to see this much love for you after your elimination from RuPaul's Drag Race?
Sometimes I go to one of my sold out shows and I look out of the crowd, and I will say to myself “all of these people are not at other people’s shows”! (laughs). Everything that I can grasp and take in this world is something I can take from another queen and that is how I live!
What was the experience of RuPaul's Drag Race like for you all the way around? You got to the Top Five, so your experience is much more fleshed out than some others.
I expected RuPaul’s Drag Race to be a canned and produced reality show. I did not know that what you see on the television is actually what happens in the workroom. The fact that the queens there really connect with each other and build a community. The shit that we talk, we come up with that ourselves. The only thing the producers may say is “ok it’s quiet, somebody better say something”. The rest is totally us and I love that. I loved having a real experience in a place that is now recorded forever.
So many of your New York City sisters were on this season’s cast with you. What was it like to have a diverse group of your hometown sisters with you during this experience?
Yuhua (Hamasaki) made my dress for the Marie Antoinette runway last night. I made hair for Monet X Change. Aquaria helped me get the right soles for my shoes for one of the lip syncs. I helped Yuhua get ready for her lip sync by combing out her wig. If we had not been there for each other, I don’t know what I would have done.
During the judge's critiques on the main stage, the judges mentioned that you were not able to break through and really show yourself. Do you felt that that critique was accurate?
The judges are five people. I submitted myself to their judgment. They did not think that I showed myself and that is ok, I came there to hear from them. Apparently, America feels like I showed myself. I am in the Top 2 most popular people on Instagram, I am far and away one of the most successful people on YouTube (Review With A Jew), far and away from more established shows like Fashion Photo Review. My meet and greets are sold out, I had the third largest line at Drag Con, every show that I do I have to extend it to two or three runs because every ticket is sold. America feels that I showed myself. RuPaul himself told me, “unless they're paying your bills, don’t you pay them no mind”. The judges aren’t paying my bills, America is. So goddammit I am going to listen to America!
You discussed your upbringing with a very artistic mother and your life as a child with not a lot of money; so many felt that you did show a great deal of who Miz Cracker truly is.
I think what they wanted was for me to cry. God dammit, they got it yesterday. I came to my hotel room yesterday, held onto the rail in the bathtub and scream cried until I aspirated my own tongue. They got what they wanted (laughs).
Did you spill everything on the runway and during the show that you wanted to? Is there anything you wish you could have shown?
I showed the judges everything, everything that I had. That is why I have no regrets. I would have regrets if I felt that I held back in any way.
It almost goes without saying that you are now on the top of everyone's list to do an All Stars season. Any thoughts on that yet?
You know, there is such a draw to do stuff on television where you have so much attention. But we live in a world where Donald Trump is the President. Being gay is banned in so many countries. I have plans to do projects in the real world, not in reality television, that have to take priority. Because out there, lives are at stake. One of my projects is to go to Uganda for an organization called Pride Uganda where I will be teaching workshops in drag to underground drag queens in that community.
What a spectacular and worthy cause. How did you get involved with that community? I am a journalist and am still a columnist for Slate. It was a tip that a war photographer gave me, that there was this private community there. I investigated it and have been linked with that community ever since.
Speaking of journalism, there was an article by Brian Moylan for Vulture that was referenced your name in terms of a racial slur and felt compelled to try to act as if it was "problematic" and was clearly not in on the joke.
Cracker is a racial slur. The whole points of my drag is to make people jump a little bit. I don’t mind at all if I am controversial. If I am not controversial, am I doing drag? We are going into an era where drag is a fashion plate on Instagram, but that is not the era that I came from.
This season of Drag Race had five New York City girls come through that workroom but there are so many other girls from New York that could come through and rock subsequent seasons. Which one of your sisters do you think would be amazing on Drag Race?
I think that my sister Kizha Carr (@beardedbitch) and my sister Tina Burner (@TinaBurner) would tear the place down given the chance. Ru, if you are out there listening do yourself a favor and put them on your show. Those people are monsters! I don't know what nuclear power plant they were born next to bit they are huge in every way.
What does pride mean for you?
For me, pride is about making a world where queer people and queer allies can be themselves, can say what they want about their lives without a second thought. Whatever we have to do to get to there, that is what pride month is about for me