As one of the standouts of "RuPaul’s Drag Race" Season 14, Kerri Colby quickly showed the world that she is much more than a queen that can stomp a runway. A trans trailblazer from the legendary Colby dynasty, Kerri is now dishing out advice on her new WOW Presents Plus show Kerri Kares.
We sat down to catch up on her post-"Drag Race" life, watching the Colby dynasty continue to flourish, and what she is truly passionate about now.
Michael Cook: Your brand new show on WOW Presents Plus Kerri Kares is such a fantastic idea for a show; tell me about it.
Kerri Colby: I am so excited! It is no surprise that from fan reaction, my reaction, and World of Wonder’s reaction, we wanted to see more of Kerri. I wanted to do it in a really authentic and real way, to really clear the air and come into myself, and explain some parts that we didn’t get to dive into on Drag Race. People know that I’m a hands-on type of girl, I love to help people but maybe we don’t really know why or where that comes from. Getting those context clues of who I am and why I am, we got to build this beautiful journey together. When we were conceptualizing the idea of doing a show, one of the very first things that I was adamant about was that I didn’t want to bring this stale, inauthentic and not really well planned out concept to people and go “here you go, enjoy, watch more of me”. We have plenty of that if we want it, but it’s authentic that I like to help people, I like to see people win. With that being my heart, I was like let's build this show off of my fan base the "Kerr-Bears."
MC: So your fan base truly is at the heart of how this show was born it sounds like.
KC: They were writing and DM-ing me asking me a lot of questions, so I was like, “why don’t we make this more of a progressive project and a love bomb fest of education, connections, and overall buffoonery” because that is very much who I am. Everything you see, questions, concepts, some of the comedy skits, all of those things were written in suggestions, along with a few personal notes, from the Kerr Bear community. I think that is going to be so fun for them to see themselves and say, “Oh my God I wrote that question, I sent that in or I wanted to see this.” It really is a show built by my community but it really is for everyone.
MC: The Kerr Bear community is an absolutely adorable name for your fan base, and it clearly shows how much they mean to you.
KC: It is so cute, but I can’t take full credit for it. August (Getty) my brother definitely got me together. I think I had thought of “Kerr-achters” at first like we were all little “characters.” He said “absolutely not, it’s Kerr Bears” (laughs)
MC: You did participate in an acting challenge during your season of "RuPaul’s Drag Race," but did that in any way prepare you for being in front of the cameras for your own WOW Presents Plus show?
KC: I think that it got me somewhat comfortable, but the structure and layout of Kerri Kares are so much more of my fever dream. Even before Drag Race, me in my own room, my glam space, like “I am going to do a show today”...I got to really be in that green screen arena of filming and I was able to let out that side of me. I think it was more authentic and had a lot more confident energy because I did get prepped from Drag Race to know where to go when a camera says “Action”!
MC: How do you think your experiences in front of the camera on "RuPaul’s Drag Race" and now Kerri Kares have elevated your career for you as a whole?
KC: It’s no secret that I want to be here for a very long time. I want to build a legacy not just on what you see or what I say, but on how I made you feel. Hopefully, if people do learn or take something away from what I do or what I say, I want that to also build my body of work. Giving advice was something that I established on Drag Race and that is very true to the brand. I went through a very big time of having to digest seeing myself be my own inner saboteur on Drag Race, I think a lot of us girls go through that. I learned a lot about confidence, self-esteem, being able to deliver and be authentic and not giving a rat's ass about a lot of things and being able to really go full throttle for things. Kerri Kares, beyond being a love project for me, I was able to reshape my narrative and show “this is what have learned since we filmed Drag Race” and now I am actually ready to give people a piece of my passion that they will be able to use, have fun with, keep coming back to, and hopefully learn something.
MC Being on "Drag Race" is almost like being the prom queen for a year and then your season ends; what has your post-"Drag Race" life been like?
KC: I wanted to build a legacy. I wanted to make sure we had things way beyond me going forward that keep who I am and what we are as divas and girls in your mouth, which is why we have things like the Colby dynasty continuing on Season 15 which is amazing. I really did get to live a lot of my fantasies that I always hoped I would be able to do, the things that when I was playing with dolls with friends, I would say “let's do this.” Now it is my reality. Building that into ways where you get your moment, have fun with it, but also figure out how to apply it and have a career mindset to use your fantasy to fuel your future. That is what it is about now.
MC: What is it like watching your mother Sasha Colby compete on "RuPaul’s Drag Race" Season 15?
KC: I honestly prefer it this way, I love to cheer her on. To be honest, Sasha being on Season 15 has made me a very authentic fan of the show. One of my favorite seasons ever was Season 5, I remember being so inspired and so awestruck with everything. When I knew Sasha going, I said that I didn’t want to know a lot about what she was going to be doing. I wanted to authentically get involved week after week and come back and see what you are going to do. We kept it that way, but now we get to share all of our gossip and hot tea now that she was there. Seeing her on there though just warms my heart and it’s quite the experience!
MC: Do you think that being part of the Colby dynasty has insulated you in a way and given you lessons from every member of your family that others may not be lucky enough to have access to?
KC: I think making sure that you know what “Colby” was even outside of your queer community, was a goal of mine. It wasn’t just Kerri Colby, but “Colby” in general. We already knew going in that Colby was a legendary name, but my goal was to show that Kerri Colby was a legendary character of that dynasty and to give that a broader platform. Now to continue to grow on that you have multiple ways to see us doing the damn thing, excelling and shining; first and foremost we are Leos, and we are definitely doing the Leo thing! We are trans icons of color, and showing that when you give someone the space, there is really no limit as to what people can do. Having the support of the people we have gained from Drag Race, makes me want to work that much harder and do so much more.
MC: What do you care about the most right now?
KC: I really have shifted my attention to being conscious. I think that there is so much with visibility and with that, comes responsibility. There is so much more visibility and opportunities to see her, be her, see him, be him, etc, but with that being the case, there is so much more responsibility. To continue to keep the seats at the table, bring education and awareness, and inspire people to vote. We are in a very critical time where if we don’t stay awake and on top of what’s happening with the community as a whole, it could be something so simple as “here today, gone tomorrow” for very essential things that we need for our daily lives. I think that being able to be knowledgeable of that and to use my platform to push that and to show people that there is no limit to what you can have or what you can do. Have a delusional dream and have a hard work ethic and make it happen and watch the fruits bud for you. That is where my head has been at and it keeps me focused.
"Kerri Kares" is streaming now on WOW Presents Plus.