Chris Park chats to Jinkx Monsoon and Ben delaCreme
Brace yourselves because Drag Race royalty is coming to our fair city this weekend. We have two Christmas wishes coming true with Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme’s new show “All I Want For Christmas is Attention” coming to the Palace Theatre on Sunday night.
Tell me about the show
BenDeLaCreme (B): This is our second year doing a holiday show and the first year of bringing it overseas. It is a variety show of the highest calibre with singing, parody, glamourous costumes, puppetry and comedy but also grappling the reality of the holiday season and it being a difficult time of the year but people will leave feeling a warm sense of Christmas.
Have you been good enough this year for Santa to come?
Jinkx (J): I make it a point to act naughty so he won’t come because I don’t like intruders
How will you spend Xmas this year?
J: Doing the show. We will be in our hometown of Seattle for Christmas week doing a string of shows. Ben has a yearly tradition of going over to hers for a Christmas feast. Last year I spent Christmas with my blood family and this year I am spending it with my chosen family.
B: I am always on the road but the last eleven years I’ve been lucky enough to spend Christmas in Seattle. We like to keep up the tradition celebrating with friends.
J: My favourite part is that Ben does a smoked turkey that looks like a ham, it’s a turkey that identifies as a ham.
B: It arrives in the mail, I tend not to mess around in the kitchen when there are people who are far better able to do that.
What was your best Xmas present ever?
B: I didn’t enjoy Xmas until we started doing the shows so to be able to reclaim something and turn it into what I wanted it to be was a great gift. I love spending the holiday with people I love, being on stage and with the audience.
J: I wanted to say video games but now I feel I have to say something more profound. I am close to my chosen family but I hadn’t spent Christmas with my blood family since my Grandma passed. Last year I bought a house in Portland, Oregan and hosted a function. We had four generations of my family there for the first time in twelve years. It was exciting to be with the women who raised me and they now call me the Matriarch in the family.
B: Jinkx just wanted to say she’s bought a house
What is your must see Xmas film?
B: The Pee Wee Herman Christmas special. It is so bizarre. In the US they had the movies but they also had four seasons of a TV show and they did a Christmas special which is like some kind of 80s acid trip. It was star studded with people like Oprah and is just one big stream of consciousness.
J: A Christmas Story is a movie we have to have on in the background. None of us are really fans of the movie and it has some problematic moments but if it’s not on in the background there is a huge freaking fight.
Do you have any odd Xmas traditions?
J: My middle brother has to shout at some point, “You’re ruining Christmas”. I don’t know how it started.
B: Just being with Jinkx will be odd enough.
What does 2020 have in store?
J: I am name dropping now but I have a boyfriend who is from Manchester so I will be in the UK as much as possible. I will be doing a tour with Soho Theatre and Tim Whitehead Productions called “Together Again, Again” in the Spring. Then I will be working with Peaches Christ on “Adams Apple Family Values” and we have Sharon Needles playing Morticia so that will be coming to London and Manchester.
B: I am touring my solo show about relationships called “Ready to be Committed”. I am doing the US at the moment but we are working on bringing to the UK hopefully.
J: My boyfriend is bringing his family to the show this week and they have never seen me perform before so I’m worried they aren’t ready for this filthy monster on stage.
Have you been watching UK Drag Race?
J: I have, I enjoyed it, I thought it was a wonderful first cast, they all had their own unique styles and idiosyncrasies. There were some queens on there I have worked with before like Divina De Campo and Baga Chipz. I have known some talented UK queens and it is wonderful to see them get their chance to shine.
B: There were some queens on there too that I have worked. I think our style of drag works really well with the UK sensibility. We always have a wonderful time with the audience so I was excited to see the UK queens,
Have you picked up any British slang from the show?
J: I’ve performed over there many times so I was familiar with a lot of it even the Irish slang that Blu Hydrangea brought with her. What I loved was seeing RuPaul so unfamiliar with it and the queens teaching Ru new phrases,.
B: I’ve had experience in the UK too but I’m not used to simple things like when people say “Are you all right”
J: Yes it’s like an accusation, like “Are you all right because you look ill and like you were drinking until 4am in the local pub”.
If you could get an hours attention from anyone alive or dead, who would it be?
J: I feel like I have to say something really profound here. I think I would say either Bette Midler or Jennifer Saunders. They are the biggest reasons that I am a drag queen today. Watching Ab Fab and Edina Monsoon made me realise I wanted to do comedy and I wanted to do it in drag. Both their feminist bombastic styles I loved.
B: In comedy I love Amy Sedaris, her performances and writing are incredible, she is a powerhouse who isn’t afraid to be a serious or play the fool. I also love Dan Harmon of Rick and Morty, his sensibility of being smart yet dumb is brilliant. I would love to spend time with him but I’d be terrified.
“All I Want For Christmas Is Attention” is at the Palace Theatre on Sunday 1st December, for tickets please visit via the link below.
By Chris Park for Canal St OnlineRead More