Heart of Business: Life is Never a Drag for Miz Cracker

Reading Time: 22 Minutes Beyond

A few weeks ago, the YouTube algorithm auto-played a video of Miz Cracker giving Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski a drag makeover. It left me thinking about the opportunities that being on a show like RuPaul’s Drag Race opened up for a drag queen’s career. Then, I remembered I hosted a podcast that asked those very questions to a person who gets to play dress up for a living. Not long after, I had confirmation for an interview in an email signed xoxo Miz Cracker.

Reader, let me tell you: Miz Cracker does not disappoint. Fun, witty and thoughtful. We talk about how she got her start in drag, the decision to go on RuPaul’s Drag Race and what she’s been up to since. Miz Cracker talks about the importance of building a brand and how social media has changed the game for drag queens.

I mean brand building is 90% of what I do. I am on stage for about 10 to 30 minutes a day. I’ll do two five-minute numbers or I’ll do a half hour show, at most I’ll do an hour and 15 minutes show. And the rest of the entire day is thinking about the brand and what I’m putting out there. A lot of people think that building a brand is about fabricating an image and building it on social media, creating a story. But it really should be sort of turning around to the pile of stuff that is you and shoveling it onto the internet.

00:00 Andy Shore: Alright, so how you doing today?

00:03 Miz Cracker: I’m doing great. I’m here in my little studio in the Bronx, which my co-pilot, Katelyn, and I just rented, and it’s now just our little home where we run everything from.

00:16 AS: Yeah, that’s exciting. Congrats on finding your own space and moving in there. I guess we can…

00:21 MC: Yeah, it’s…

00:22 AS: Sorry, go ahead.

00:23 MC: No, it’s important to have a space, a working space that’s not your living space, you know what I mean?

00:31 AS: I do, yeah. We both work from home a bit here and there, and it’s important to be able to have that space so you’re not just like, “Oh, I can go get food, or go take a nap, or go do all these other things. The dog is here to play with.”

00:45 MC: Yeah.

00:45 Daniel Miller: Throw some pants on, shower. [laughter]

00:47 MC: Yeah.

00:50 AS: And so I guess we’ll get back into having your own space and seeing that real career grow, but I wanna start at the beginning. What made you wanna get into drag in the first place?

01:03 MC: I actually didn’t want to get into drag at all. [chuckle] I was nagged into it by one of my friends. I was walking home one night, and I ran into this guy who needed help with a bookshelf, and I was like, “Listen, I’m gonna help you haul this up to your apartment.” And when I got to his apartment, it was covered floor-to-ceiling in wigs. And I was like, “What have I gotten myself into?” [laughter] And the guy’s like, “Well, I actually do drag every Saturday. I do these marches for marriage equality in Times Square. You should join me.” And I said, “Sure, maybe,” as in never. [chuckle] But he lived down the street from me, and he just kept asking every single weekend for six months, so finally I was like, “Okay, I will try it.”

01:58 AS: And that’s, of course, the infamous or famous Bob the Drag Queen?

02:02 MC: That’s Bob the Drag Queen. And as soon as he put me in makeup, I turned around and looked in the mirror, I was like, “Oh my god. This is the new thing!”

02:08 DM: That’s wonderful. So for some of our listeners, do you mind explaining a little bit what is drag and drag shows?

02:20 MC: Drag shows are a lot of things, but above all, they are people wearing too much, doing too much, [chuckle] in order to entertain queer people and their friends, really.

02:36 DM: Wonderful. I actually… I was just telling Andy, I think the first drag show I went to was in the Keys in Florida.

02:45 MC: Oh wow.

02:45 DM: And yes, I ended up on stage. I don’t remember anything after that, though, that’s probably the dangerous part of it, though, [laughter] but it was a lot of fun.

02:54 MC: I’ve had a few of those as well. Yeah, there’s… A lot of people have different rules for what drag should be and how it should look, but as long as it’s too much, I think that’s drag. Men can do it, women can do it, trans people can do it. There’s really no laws in the world of drag because it’s one of the only forms of entertainment that doesn’t have a NYU program feeding into it, [chuckle] it is just… It’s its own thing.

03:27 AS: It almost does now, with the whole Drag Race kind of economy that has grown from the show.

03:34 MC: Right, yeah, now there’s a market that it belongs to, but luckily it still has escaped academics for now.

03:43 AS: Sure.

03:44 MC: Which, who knows. There could be a drag vocational school, [chuckle] drag community college, which would be a great television show on ABC.

03:54 AS: I was just gonna say, I’d watch that for sure.

03:57 MC: Yeah.

03:58 AS: And so how long after you started doing drag, and getting started, and seeing yourself there for the first time… When did it go from, “Hey, this is really fun,” to “This is what I think I could do for a living”?

04:11 MC: Well, I actually just had this show with a queen, Brenda Darling, in the Upper West Side. And one night she just was just murdering it, she was just doing such an amazing performance, and she got the standing ovation, and I got mild applause, and I was like, “This is so rough, [chuckle] every week, to go through this.” And I was kind of like, “Listen, I’ve gotta either quit or really go all out and make this my thing because this middle ground is not doing me any favors, it’s not doing the audience any favors.” And that was when the tides turned, which I think was like 2014, 2015.

04:53 AS: Yeah, I think that’s a good lesson for a lot of people wanting to pursue passions is you gotta go all in on it.

05:00 DM: You can’t half-ass it, yeah.

05:00 AS: If you’re gonna do one foot in, you’re gonna find yourself there being like, “Yeah, is this it?” ’cause you’re not giving it your all anyways.

05:09 MC: And your relationship with drag is like your relationship with any person, you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it. And you can starve it or feed it, but you’re not gonna get… And there are exceptions to the rules, of course, but you’re usually not gonna get more rewards from drag than you make sacrifices. It’s gonna be about equal.

05:33 DM: Yeah, absolutely.

05:35 AS: And I do content marketing, social media, for a living, and as a nice Jewish boy from the Midwest, I have a hard enough time explaining that to my parents, that that’s a thing you can do. How did it go over with your family when you told them that this was the thing for you?

05:52 MC: I think my mother was actually in town when I decided to quit my job and do drag full-time, and she was just like, “You know what, you hate your job so much, I would rather that you were homeless on the streets than doing this job because I really want you to be happy more than anything else. So I don’t know if drag is gonna be successful for you, but I know that you are going to be happier.” And I was like, “Okay, we’re doing this then. If my mom says I should do it, then let’s do it.”

06:24 DM: That’s wonderful, that’s… Yeah, having support from family, friends, with something like this, I think that that’s always one of the most important things. I see you’re on tour a lot. It seems like beyond being able to get a career from this, drag has allowed you to travel a lot. What are some of the places that you’ve traveled to, and what are some of your favorites?

06:54 MC: Oh my god, we’ve been to so many places. I think we’ve been to 15 countries in the last year.

07:00 DM: Oh wow.

07:00 AS: Wow.

07:01 MC: It’s not made up. Katelyn is sitting over there like it’s totally made up, but [chuckle] Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, I’m won’t count the US, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, the UK… Wait, is Scotland part of that or what? They’re gonna be so mad that I still don’t know. Portugal, that’s 13, I think, now. And I’m sure there’s just one more. Oh, I’ve been to Senegal and the Gambia, but not for travel. But yeah, we’ve been to over a dozen countries. It’s a lot.

07:42 DM: What’s been one of your favorite ones, so far?

07:46 MC: I mean, one of my favorite ones, of course, on the small side was Portugal, it’s… Lisbon was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my entire life. But our favorite place to go is anywhere in the UK and Ireland because they just treat us so well. They treat me so well over there. And every single aspect of a drag show is handled so beautifully, and the audiences are so polite, and kind, and they bring gifts. And it’s like when you come back to America, it’s quite a shock because any American listening to this will know, we are a lot to deal with. We just are.

[laughter]

08:35 DM: That’s so funny. Is there… Do you see big differences from country to country in regards to the drag community?

08:42 MC: Oh, you can see differences in the drag community from state to state. If you are in Columbus, Ohio, and you name a pretty drag queen and a comedy drag queen, they will be completely silent for the pretty drag queen and just go wild for the comedy queen. And then if you are in certain parts of New York, they will go nuts for the pretty girl and have nothing to say about the the comedy queen at all. But you could cross the water and go into another part of New York City, and it’ll be completely opposite. There’s so many little bubbles, and you kinda have to know where you’re going. I know what numbers to perform, what songs to perform in different states. I’m like, “Well, this is the state for this song, I can’t do any other, they’re not gonna hear this one,” and you just have to be very sensitive to it, and you learn very quickly.

09:41 AS: Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of comedians talk about that. There’s always the, “Local jokes get local work,” but just knowing what material’s killing in the clubs in LA, and the second they go on tour and they’re just getting blank stares, that you gotta be able to read a room, and I guess it’s incredibly important for you guys, too.

10:00 MC: Right. Just stop and think for a minute about the people that are in that room. You don’t have to know that much about a city to know jokes about Fendi and Prada on 5th Avenue are not just gonna play as well in San Francisco, or… You know what I mean? It’s just like it’s not there, and that’s not what people live for in San Francisco, it’s just… It’s not that hard to do, doesn’t take rocket science, just go with your gut. But if you… What you do, I find, is I… Whenever I’m backstage, I’ll just turn to the other people in the room, I’ll be like, “Alright, here we are in Puxaluxie, Alabama, what is the neighborhood that everyone makes fun of?” And they’re like, “Oh, we always make fun of blah-blah-blah-blah neighborhood,” you’re like, “Alright, work.” You go out on stage, and you’re like, “Oh, sir, look at your outfit, where are you from? Blah, blah, blah, neighborhood?” and everyone’s like, “Oh my God, genius!” It’s a literally a mad lib fill-in-the-blank joke that I take everywhere, but people live for it.

11:10 AS: Yeah, that’s great. I don’t know if you heard of Brody Stevens, that’s way last year, but he used to be the guy that closed the comedy club, would perform the last hour to the six people still there finishing their drinks. And his entire bit was that he can do all the different places in the Valley, and know the zip codes, and just all over the country, too. If someone’s in town, he would have some random fact about… Just an encyclopedic knowledge of the randomest things that… Exactly like you’re saying, connect with anybody for any means necessary.

11:42 MC: Yeah, just know the lingo.

11:45 DM: What would you say are some of your pet peeves when it comes to drag shows in general, and then as a career as well?

11:54 MC: My pet peeves for a drag show? My pet peeves for a drag show… Honestly, for Ru Girls! , we meet our fans at some point during the show. We will go to a little photo area, and get to say hello to everybody, sign a few autographs. It’s a huge pet peeve for me when that is scheduled to be at the end of the show because I am one of those drag queens that sweats her face off during the show, [chuckle] and I just look like a bedraggled Cocker Spaniel-rodent hybrid, just something pulled out of a drain, and that’s the picture that they’re gonna get. [chuckle] So for the bar it makes sense, it’s an incentive for people to stay for the whole time, but for me, I just hate that. And my big peeve for drag shows in general is when someone performs a song, and then another queen a couple of performances later comes up and does the same song, I’m like, “Really? You didn’t have [chuckle] one other song to do? You had to… We’re gonna listen to Nicki Minaj Super Bass four times tonight?” You know what I mean? [chuckle]

13:11 AS: “Just that confident that yours is gonna be better after the fact?”

13:14 MC: Right, “It better be amazing.” [chuckle] We had this night, we went to a place in LA called Mickey’s. There were 10 girls, I would say six of them did the same did the same Nicki Minaj song. Six! [chuckle] And you know what, luckily Nicki Minaj is great, so it was fun every time, but still! The principle stays.

13:35 AS: It’s a lot. So what was the process like for you deciding to go on the show? Was it a no-brainer, or was it something you had to really think about? And then the experience with filming, and how did that change your drag outlook?

13:52 MC: I was really hesitant to even audition for Drag Race because I believe in small rooms. I believe in making in-person contact with the audience when you are a drag queen. And I wasn’t sure if being part of television was gonna get in the way of that, and if it was gonna make me compromise myself in ways that I couldn’t predict. So it was a really long process. And finally what it came down to was, “Listen, I am in my 30s now. We need to be financially stable, and we need to take this to the next level and go all the way, as I already said. Otherwise we may as just well stop.” So I was like, “Alright.” It’s like if you wanna do something, you wanna do it on the highest level, and I was like, “Alright, this is the highest level. And if I wanna be true to myself, I gotta do it in that context.”

14:58 AS: Yeah. And I’m sure all those things that you did want that you were concerned, you had to know it was gonna open up the opportunity to do those later. Like look at John Mayer did two pop albums, and then got to do whatever he wanted for the rest of his career, whether it’s…

15:13 MC: Right!

15:14 AS: Touring with the Grateful Dead, or playing with Eric Clapton, or all those things that… We’re both marketers, so for me, it’s just like, oh yeah, you take the opportunity that’s gonna give you the exposure, and then do it on your own terms afterwards.

15:28 MC: I’m sort of like the John Mayer of drag in that sense. [laughter]

15:31 AS: I’m here for it. Let’s start it right now, we’ll keep spreading it. [laughter]

15:36 MC: But yeah, no, it is true, I do get to do exactly what I want. And I had this Jewish epiphany, which means nervous breakdown, [laughter] and at the end of it, I was just like, “You know what, I’m gonna do exactly what I want all the time. I’m not gonna pay attention to what anyone else is doing because that’s the only way I’m gonna be happy.” So that’s the way we do things now.

15:57 DM: Yeah, I think that that’s a really good point. For anybody that says… Sorry, I hear so many people… I think it’s a good idea to keep an eye out on what the competitors are doing, what other businesses are doing, but if you continuously do that, you’re always gonna be chasing them and going behind them. If you look inward and start to focus on what you really want, there is no competition to you, and you do your own thing. So yeah, I agree with that full-heartedly.

16:24 AS: Speaking about that, can you tell us a little bit more about American Woman?

16:30 MC: Oh yeah, American Woman, I guess we’re relaunching the global tour this week. We’re doing it at a place called Laurie Beechman Theater in New York. And it is about feminism today, and the mistakes that I have made in not supporting women in the way I think they should be supported, especially because I was raised by women, by my mother and my sister, my Drag Race audition tape was made by a woman, my manager and my assistant are both women, 75% of my audience members, when I look off the stage, are women. I owe women everything, and I think I have to stop and think now about some of the stuff that I do that doesn’t make life easier for the women around me. And I make fun of myself and point out things that we can all do better to make America and the world a better place for women, especially right now when women are coming together and saying, “It’s time.”

17:42 AS: Yeah, that’s interesting. You say walk a mile in their shoes, and you do [chuckle] that whenever you’re performing.

17:47 MC: Oh, yeah, yeah.

17:48 AS: And just having… After the explosion of Nanette and Hannah Gadsby last year, and looking at the self-deprecating humor of it all, and the impact that has on yourself and the community, I think that’s important.

18:00 MC: I watched Nanette while I was preparing for American Woman, and it was really a powerful thing. And I don’t think everyone has to be perfect when they contribute to the women’s rights movement that’s starting to re-emerge and gather momentum right now, but I do think we have a responsibility to do our best to try to contribute. Make mistakes, fix them along the way.

18:29 AS: Yeah, I think especially in the social media culture we have, that it’s important that it’s not… To accept that everyone’s not perfect. And as long as we’re trying and everyone’s on the same team, that it’s okay to have those bumps in the road.

18:42 MC: I think women make a lot of mistakes when it comes to women’s rights, too, and in the way that they treat each other. And so we can sort of all be on the same page of like, “Okay, we’re all struggling to figure out where to go from here, but we all agree that where we are now is not great.”

[chuckle]

19:00 DM: Yeah, most definitely. I think there was a Ted Talk, gosh, I can’t remember for the life of me, the name of the guy that was talking about it. But he was showing the differences between languages and upbringings from men and women. And languages, for example, in certain countries like in Spanish, bridge is masculine, but in German, it’s feminine. And when they would ask people to describe in their own language what a bridge looks like, in Spanish, they would say it’s strong, it’s this and that. It would be a lot of male words.

19:40 DM: And in German it would be a lot of female ones. Oh, it’s a beautiful bridge, connecting bridge and so forth. So the the wiring of the language alone was so interesting on how that wasn’t… The main thing that he was saying ’cause language is much harder to change, but the upbringing, so many parents will encouraged their kids to go on the playground and get hurt. But their daughters, they’re like, “No, no, don’t skin your knees, you’re a princess, stay here.” And there is that balance of that pre-wiring is from a very young as a kid and the power that that can have. So yeah, I think the movements that are happening now, it’s something that it should have happened long time ago, but the power of social media is really allowing communities to spread and to empower women. Definitely.

20:28 MC: Yeah. And to talk about and to talk about things that they haven’t been able to talk about before, so…

20:32 DM: Exactly.

20:35 AS: So we’re talking about you being able to have a platform and trying to use that responsibly, going along with that and kind of building your brand as drag has become such a bigger part of the zeitgeist with the popularity of drag race. How much thought do you put into kind of building the brand you have and helping yourself separate from the rest of the crowd?

20:55 MC: I mean brand building is 90% of what I do. I am on stage for about 10 to 30 minutes a day. I’ll do two five-minute numbers or I’ll do a half hour show, at most I’ll do an hour and 15 minutes show. And the rest of the entire day is thinking about the brand and what I’m putting out there. And it’s really… A lot of people think that building a brand is about fabricating an image and building it on social media, creating a story. But it really should be sort of turning around to the pile of stuff that is you and shoveling it onto the internet. And by that I mean…

21:45 DM: That’s a good visual.

21:47 MC: You know what I mean? Kaitlyn and I take the stuff that we do every day, and we take pictures of that so people know what we’re doing. We don’t go very often to a photo studio and put me in an outfit that I wouldn’t normally wear, and a hair that I wouldn’t normally wear, in lighting that I’m not normally in, to tell the story of me being someone that I’m not. We’re like, “Okay. I was in drag early today and I was in Boston, so here’s a picture of me early in drag in Boston by a landmark.” We try to take a picture of me with a landmark in every city that we go to. And it is not story-telling, it is literally just journalism. It’s documentarianism. You know what I mean? And I think that’s… People get everything backwards that you are supposed to create this image and then live towards it, but really you live and then you expose that life to the world. And that’s… If you try to do it the other way, you will get exhausted. This way is exhausting enough, but that artifice is gonna take up so much of your energy.

23:00 DM: Yeah, if you don’t absolutely do what you love, you’re gonna burn out really fast. That’s yeah…

23:03 AS: And we live in a world…

23:05 MC: Another thing that… Another business, the smartest business thing I ever heard which came from Kaitlyn as far as anyone who is trying to sell an item based on their brand, do not sell something that you would wear or you would use; sell something that your customers will wear or use. And a really good example of that is like if you are a 6’5, 102-pound model, yes, you would wear a leather bra and panty set out on to the stage. But you can’t really make that into merchandise for your customers because almost none of them are going to be 6’5 models. Do you know what I mean? And I see people make this mistake all the time. They’re like, “Oh, here’s something that I would use, I would wear, I’m gonna sell it, and I’m gonna put my brand, my logo on it.” And then the fans come up and they are Americans just regular Americans, not wealthy traveling entertainers and they look at the spread of stuff and they’re like, “Where does this fit in my life?” It’s backwards.

24:29 DM: Yeah, definitely. I mean like you said, we live in LA and where you’re always told write what you know. And just as marketers in general, just seeing the importance of being authentic and trying through it like… There’s so much competition in any market, really, at this point, that the ones that people feel like they can connect with and see who they actually are is who it’s gonna be. And I think that extra layer of being able to understand your audience, I mean, as marketers, you could be selling a product, but what you’re really selling is the solution to a problem that someone has and being able to understand from their eyes and do that customer-centric marketing rather than just blasting what you think you need to be putting out there.

25:09 MC: I think authenticity, loving what you do, are such high goals. And if… You have a whole lifetime, you might not get there. But you can definitely start by not lying before you get to authenticity, just don’t lie. That’s a good one. And then if you don’t love what you do, at least do what you do. It’s very hard for you to create a brand as a drag queen if you don’t do drag all the time. Does that make sense?

25:44 AS: Yeah.

25:45 MC: So obviously the goals are to be totally authentic with yourself and your audience and to love what you do. But shy of that on a regular human day, just don’t lie and do your job. You know what I mean?

25:57 AS: Mm-hmm.

25:58 MC: Kaitlyn almost died just now walking into the room. [26:00] ____ wires everywhere. It’s almost became a one-woman business again.

[laughter]

26:08 AS: I’m glad everyone’s okay. And kinda continuing on, using all of you and what you’re doing, you’ve had two web series that are either Rhymes Or Puns With Jew, and Review With The Jew, and Jewtorials, what went in the decision in including that in what you’re putting out there?

26:26 MC: When I went into season 10, I was looking at Kaitlyn and I was like, “I am Jewish. I’m not gonna let them turn me into the token Jew.” I’m not gonna make… I know they wanna make that part of my storyline, but it’s like… That’s just a part of me. And then Watching season 10, every time I walk into the room I’m like, ” Jewie McJew, McJew Jewison. You know? And I was like, “Oh my god.” It is a massive part of who I am and I’m just going to embrace that. And it is really just… I laugh the hardest when I’m making Jew jokes because I love being a Jew and I think Jews are funny and wonderful people. And so it’s just… When I put Jew in the title of anything I do, it’s just kind of like… It just makes me happy, that’s why.

27:16 AS: Mm-hmm, that’s great. I think in audiences like there… Especially Jewish audiences, the second they know someone is Jewish will just support that person no matter what.

27:28 MC: Oh absolutely.

27:28 AS: Even growing up, there was like one Jewish player on the Dodgers and I’m from Chicago, but I knew that because my dad told me every time he was on television. And told me of the Sandy Koufax story all over again ’cause he is just like Jew, he’s like, “Well, we’ve gotta root for what we’ve got left.” And it’s just so funny [27:47] ____.

27:47 MC: Yeah, any time you get together with Jews you’re like, “Did you know that so and so was a Jew?” “Oh, I didn’t know that.” “Did you know that so and so was a Jew?” “Oh, I didn’t know that.” “Did you know that so was… ” “Oh, I did know that. Yes, I knew he was a Jew because he did this Jewy thing.” “Alright.” “Well. How are your bowels?” “Terrible, let’s talk about it.” Like how every Jewish conversation begins.

28:10 AS: Yeah, just Eliot Glazer from Broad City and many other things had Este Haim on his haunting rendition show. They did a whole Jewish music set that just killed the whole room.

28:22 MC: Right.

28:22 AS: I was like, “Yeah, this plays in LA. It might not play like you said in Ohio so much.”

28:27 MC: Right, I can’t wait to release my Klezmer album, which I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but it’s gonna be great. And I’m gonna play Klezmer for Kaitlyn after this so she knows what the hell I’m talking about. ‘Cause I’ve had to teach her everything about Judaism.

[laughter]

28:43 AS: That’s funny, yeah, I’m the…

28:44 MC: Doesn’t play well in DC.

28:45 AS: I’m definitely the token Jew in our office.

28:48 MC: Good.

28:48 AS: So I get that responsibility as well.

28:51 MC: Yeah.

28:52 AS: And so we’re talking about doing it and everything that goes into it. Is drag a career that you think has longevity, or do you have plans beyond that?

29:01 MC: I never make any plans for my life in the long term. I sort of do what I wanna do until I’m not interested in it anymore and then I suddenly stop. So I’ve never… I think as long as drag allows me to do exactly what I want to do all the time, which is what it’s allowing me to do right now, I’m gonna… There’s no reason I would ever leave it. If ever at any point I find that it’s constraining me and that I feel that I’m not totally free, then I could leave. But I just don’t see that happening.

29:34 DM: That’s a great feeling.

29:35 AS: Yeah.

29:36 MC: I’ve never made any plans ever.

[chuckle]

29:41 AS: That’s great, yeah. Our next guest we’ve got that we’re interviewing actually later today, his name is Nick Uhas. He was on Big Brother back in the day, but the first time we interviewed with him was like four years ago. And he’d gone from like a high school wrestler to a professional rollerblader to like crashing a fraternity conference to do networking that landed him on Big Brother, and then was like hosting other shows. And like the whole conversation we had is just kinda picking the path presented to you and being able to do that and see that and accept that where you are is where you’re supposed to be and kind of go forward from there.

30:15 MC: I came to New York as a poet, and I worked with a number of poets in a group. And we traveled around the country doing readings and performances then I got bored and I quit. And I joined a publishing house and worked my way up to the top as an arts editor and then I was bored of that. And I went into journalism and I wrote for a newspaper for a while and then I was done with that. I took one fundraising course and became a fundraiser for a museum. And then I was like, “Now I hate fundraising.” And I was like, “I think I’ll do drag.” And so that it’s sort of just been like completely 180 turns all the time that led me here. No plan whatsoever. I left Seattle to come to New York because I saw Meryl Streep walking down the street in a movie in New York, and I was like, “Oh, I wanna do that.”

31:12 DM: Do what you love to find the people to love. That’s what [31:16] ____.

31:16 MC: Right, oh exactly. Do what the people you love do.

31:18 DM: There you go. Yeah. This is the question that I had for a little bit earlier, but the conversation kind of strayed it out. But I’m actually on the computer right now and I can see some of your photos. And I have to say, “My goodness, the make up, the hair, the dress, everything.” How long does it normally take to get out… To have that transformation? To be ready like that?

31:44 MC: It takes me about an hour to make a wig. I usually make my wig right before the show. And then about two hours to get in drag, and that’s including getting in my pads and everything.

32:00 DM: Wow, that’s… Yeah. I thought it would be more than that. It looks amazing, so yeah.

32:06 MC: Oh, I mean, it used to take me four hours just to put my eyebrows on. But now it’s a lot easier.

32:17 AS: Great, getting your Malcolm Gladwell 10,000-hours in drag.

32:21 MC: Oh, definitely 10,000 hours at least.

[chuckle]

32:26 AS: And in terms of the pictures and everything you talked about, like wanting to show the authentic part, how much has social media and Instagram in general changed the game for drag?

32:41 MC: Let’s just put it this way: When Lady Bunny was doing drag, it was not a visual art form.

[laughter]

32:50 MC: She and the ladies of her time, it was about being in the same room with them and if they could be funny and make you happy while you were there. Never mind the fact that she was just wearing two lashes and a touch of lip gloss under that wig. It took… The makeup did not matter and the outfit could have been vintage, let’s put it that way. As Jinkx Monsoon put it, a series of unfortunate caftans [laughter] But now social media is a visual… Especially Instagram is a visual medium and it has created an expectation for drag that it will be a powerful visual experience. So that, I think, has created a massive change in drag and also the expectation that thousands of people should know about you, which I don’t think that the queens like Lady Bunny really anticipated when they were starting drag. You know what I mean? They were not like, “I’m gonna be world famous.” I think they were like, “I’m [34:04] ____ gay tonight, girl,” you know? And that was pretty much it. And things like Sweetie, they were going lip sync in a club and have a really great time and then that was it. They wouldn’t expect to become a mega star.

34:20 AS: Yeah, now you guys have to be the multi-hyphenates of the look, the make-up, you can dance, the comedy, all of it. It’s like a lot more.

34:28 MC: Right, but also you have a different breed of people coming into drag. People that wanted to do something for its own sake, art for art’s sake, those were the kind of queens and the kind of personality types that were flooding into drag in the ’70s and the ’80s because they had no expectations of fame. Now you have people that are thirsty for fame which is a very different personality type, thirsty for fame, thirsty for money, thirsty for recognition. Those flies are being drawn to the tape now, and it has changed the temperature of the water.

[laughter]

35:07 AS: I believe that. So what’s next for you? You said the show is starting back up again and you’re about to go on to tour?

35:14 MC: I’m about to go on tour with American Woman, so it’s gonna start here in New York once again. And then this fall we’re taking it to New Zealand and Australia and then the UK in January. And then in the spring, we’re thinking of doing an American tour as well since, you know, that’s where we’re from.

35:39 MC: But we’re spending a full year and a half in the UK if we can.

35:44 AS: It’s fun. Sure, why not? As you said, follow the path you got. If the opportunity is there, you might as well.

35:50 MC: Yeah, give me a visa and a Visa debit card.

[laughter]

35:56 AS: Well, Miz Cracker, I wanna thank you sincerely for spending the time and chatting with us today. Before we say goodbye, let everyone know where they can follow you and find as you go on the tour.

36:08 MC: Absolutely. If you like a visually appealing drag queen, just go to miz_cracker. That’s miz_racialslur on Instagram and Twitter. And find my YouTube where I have literally 50 hours of video content laboriously made. I watched all 50 of ’em while I was sick the other day. And yeah, get to it. Go to mizcracker.com too, but it’s just gonna direct you to the good sites, so… [chuckle]

36:42 DM: Awesome. Well, thanks again for joining us. And thanks everyone for listening. We’ll catch you guys next time.

36:47 MC: Thank you so much, everybody.

36:49 AS: Bye.

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