RuPaul's Drag Race star Jinkx Monsoon talks ahead of Midlands shows - with pictures and video
She’s best known for her quirky comedic stylings, endearing attitude and her water off a duck’s back mentality - and she’s heading to the Midlands.
RuPaul’s Drag Race icon Jinkx Monsoon is heading to Stafford’s Gatehouse Theatre and Birmingham Hippodrome, alongside writer and composer Major Scales in their vintage cabaret The Vaudevillians.
“This is our mutual brain child and we've been doing this schtick for years - so you're in for a really good show.” Says Jinkx Monsoon, the drag character of performer Jerrick Hoffer
“This is the best of our best material. We play two Vaudeville performers from the 1920's who have been frozen alive for the last century. They've recently thawed out and have taken back to the stage. What more could you want?
“Major and I went to college together each studying musical theatre. Eventually we became roommates and occasionally we would stay up late and have a little wine and just start making up the most ridiculous, convoluted stories we could.
“One day we set that to music, and the rest wrote itself!”
Jinkx was born in Portland, Oregon and attended da Vinci Arts middle school. Jinkx came out as gay in middle school, and first performed in drag at the age of 15.
Jinkx tells us about the first time she encountered drag, and the impression it left on her as a person instantly.
“The first time I saw a drag show I was at the Queer Resource centre I went to as a teenager, I felt an electricity in the air, it wasn't long until I decided to get into full drag one night and perform.
“That was all it took! One night I decided to do it on a whim and I've been doing drag ever since; for the last 15 years I've been a drag queen and it's honestly what I do best!” she laughed.
“My family was very understanding and supportive. No one was particularly surprised and there wasn't really any negativity around it.
“The most valuable asset to a young queer person is a supportive family or chosen family. I'm very lucky to have been allowed to be myself around the people I love.”
Jinkx moved from Portland to Seattle and pursued her drag career, regularly performing at club shows and starring in multiple Funny or Die webisodes entitled Monsoon Season alongside creative partner Nick Sahoya.
In 2011 Jinkx became the subject of a YouTube docu-series Drag Becomes Him, exploring Hoffer’s life in and out of drag.
WARNING. This trailer contains strong language that some viewers may find offensive:
In 2013 Jinkx Monsoon appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race season five alongside the likes of Alaska, Alyssa Edwards, Detox and Roxxxy Andrews.
Picked out as the underdog of the season as her style of drag was frequently undermined by other contestants, Jinkx monsoon rose from the ashes and was crowned the next drag superstar as she won the season.
“Drag Race was the most stressful, most nerve wracking, most wonderful, amazing thing I've ever done.” Jinkx says.
“I love the opportunities I've been given thanks to my experience on Drag Race. I am very grateful for the life I have now.”
Her win on the show has led Jinkx to be able to turn her passion into a living, something that she is eternally grateful for.
“It's been a lot of fun, to be honest. The way it has impacted my career is that it introduced me to a worldwide audience of people who enjoy what I do.
“All I have really ever wanted to be was a live performer, and now I get to do that as a career. I'm so grateful for the fanbase I encountered from doing Drag Race because they allow me to create artwork as a living and a lifestyle.”
Her win has led to headline comedy tours across the world, appearances on numerous Drag Race tours alongside other famous queens, and appearing in various stage productions such as Hairspray.
In 2013 Hoffer was chosen as one of the Artists of the Year by City Arts Magazine along with Megan Griffiths, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Wes Hurley.
This year, Jinkx has been announced as the voice of brand new Steven Universe gem Emerald.
Despite her runaway success, Jinkx still manages to keep in touch with all of the contestants she met while competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“All of us girls really get along well. We can go ages without seeing each other, and then all of a sudden I'll work a gig with like, Alyssa Edwards, and we're getting along like it was yesterday.
“There's kind of a mutual respect that binds us all and allows us to work together well. I have many friends from my season that I talk to and see all the time.
“Alaska and I will text each other random Golden Girls quotes in the middle of the night out of nowhere. It works for us.”
Jinkx has experienced many amazing things in her career, but one of her proudest memories includes Mama Ru herself.
“Honestly, one of the most amazing things that I've experienced was the week that Michelle Visage and RuPaul both came to see The Vaudevillians, within days of each other.
“It was an amazing feeling to get to show Ru the aspect of my work that I'm proudest of, after Ru had given me such a huge platform to launch from.
“Of Course, Michelle came ‘incognito’ but her laugh gave her away throughout the night. It was wonderful.”
The future looks bright for Jinkx Monsoon and The Vaudevillians, with a string of shows and even new music on the horizon
“The Vaudevillians will literally tour ANYWHERE there's an audience willing to see them.” Jinkx tells us.
“As for Major and Myself, I have a new album coming out this fall called: The Ginger Snapped. It features a lot of new original music by Major Scales and a few diddies by me, sung by Yours truly. It's a 90's GarageBand throwback, distinct to our west coast Influence.”
“We’re looking forward to coming to Stafford! I'm not entirely sure we’ve visited before. I've only been to a small handful of cities in the U.K. and most of them were through the haze of ‘tour life’... a.k.a. vodka!”
Jinkx Monsoon and Major Scales are The Vaudevillians, coming to The Gatehouse Theatre in Staffordshire on 5th November. For info and tickets: www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk / 01785 619080
The Vaudevillians will the appear at Birmingham Hippodrome as part of SHOUT festival on 19th November. For info and tickets: www.birminghamhippodrome.com / 08443 385000