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Gurl, how does the founder of Wigstock ever find time to do her hair, or anything else for that matter?
Lady Bunny: I can’t rest on my wigged out laurels. Do you expect me to just curl up and dye? I do stay busy but this summer I’ve also insisted on taking some time out to do some things with a time limit attached to them. Like having my mom visit me. She’s not going to be around forever so there are just some things that you have to do NOW with no excuses. I’m not gonna curse myself and say I wish I’d spent more time with this wonderful woman after it’s too late. She let me put her in a wig and boa and we went out on the town dancing til 2 am. So she now likes to be called Lady Becky or The Queen Mother!
By the way, how heavy are your outrageous wigs—do you have an exercise regimen to build neck muscles?
Giving frequent blow jobs strengthen my neck so that I can wear gargantuan coiffures with ease. Oh, the price one must pay for beauty!
Just how tall are you? (Without the heels, honey.)
5’ 11” in stocking feet. But I prefer the word statuesque to hulking!
You’ve stayed fabulous for a few decades now (but who’s counting)—how do you keep fresh?
Crystal meth! KIDDING! That’s very sweet of you to say, but I have branched out so that my career contains many aspects. I started out performing, then developed Wigstock, started writing music (RuPaul and I have a duet on his last album and it’s on itunes HINT! HINT!) and then moved on to doing acting on Sex And The City, Another Gay Sequel, and more recently an off-Broadway play called When Joey Married Bobby.
I also DJ quite a lot and have just been cast in a stand-up comedy special on Logo. I don’t really do stand-up aside from patter between songs but dammit, trying new things keeps my job interesting. Having a blog (on LadyBunny.net) has also unleashed a political side, which I never knew I even had.
What do your duties entail as Dean of Drag?
Each week there are three judges—Frank Gatson is the Dean of Dance. He’s best known as the choreographer for Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” So he coaches the entrants on movement. I judge them from a drag perspective based on how much their drag professors are able to transform them and how much stage presence they have in their new looks. There’s nothing like a new wig and dress to push one’s adrenaline button and I saw some true wallflowers blossom.
Do you have any evil plans to become the Simon Cowell of the judges on RuPaul’s Drag U?
Reading is fundamental in drag culture. Straights don’t always understand it. So I always tried to make a positive comment and a funny/sarcastic one. Not to hurt their feelings but to make the show entertaining. A few times I’d run an idea past the producers and they would nix it as too mean for their target audiences. But it was no meaner than anything you’d hear a drag emcee say to anyone in a gay bar.
What are you looking forward to most about Drag U?
Filming season two if they ask me back for a second semester! I’ve never had a regular role on a national TV show so this is very exciting for me. If I had to pick one moment, it would have to be the finale. Not only were the contestants stars of classic TV shows--Tabitha from Bewitched, Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island and Lucy Ewing from Dallas—but Chaka Khan was the guest judge that week! She’s an idol of mine—the first record I ever bought was her album Rags To Rufus. I know I’m dating myself, but no one else seems to want to!
Got any good dish on RuPaul or any of the Professors of Drag U?
Tucking is very uncomfortable. So I thought it was a very smart idea that on Drag Race, Ru told me he would shoot his full body shots first, then un-tuck and shoot only waist and up shot. I’m a queen who likes other drag queens, so I really enjoyed working with all of the girls. And for the record, Raven is NOT a bitch. She just plays one on TV.
Does every woman have an inner Diva?
That depends on your definition of diva. If it’s a bitchy, demanding self-centered monster then I don’t think so. Let’s face it, drag queens emulate this type of diva—like Joan Crawford. But the goal here is to get these women, many of whom had had rough lives which have caused them to stop caring about their appearances, to take some time out for themselves and be pampered with makeovers.
And while they may not have the courage to do it on their own, with experts’ help, I think most women would enjoy having a diva moment strutting down a runway to a cheering crowd. But that doesn’t mean their going to run off and join the circus. It’s just a fun, kicky moment for them.
What are the biggest makeup mistakes straight gals make?
I was on a subway car the other day and out of 30 women, two had on light make-up. I know it’s summer but I think their biggest mistake is not wearing any! If you’re so naturally lovely that you can pull it off, then skip the paint. But even male actors get a little concealer under the eyes and some mascara. I mean, it takes 5 second to throw on mascara and lip gloss and the improvement is immeasurable!
Is it easy (or even possible) to get every student from drab to fierce on Drag U?
Of course not. One contestant had put in her profile that the celebrity she wanted to most resemble was Pamela Anderson. I told she was halfway there—think Louie Anderson…from Family Feud! Tammie was this contestant’s professor and they had gone for a Divine sort of look which just wasn’t working..
Have you ever had one of your snappy comebacks blow up in your face?
Oh sure! Both Jujubee and Pandora got me good, although I’m not sure these moments made the final cuts. Those girls are funny!
You have met and know so many people (at last count it was most nearly everyone) Do you have a fave celeb that really makes you feel warm and fuzzy when you think about him/her?
Patti Labelle. She’s as warm offstage as she is on. I’m not religious, but I feel like I am when I hear her sangin’. I’ve gotten to work with her several times now and each has been a joy.
As a Wig Master, do you have any words of advice for Kim Zolciak from the Real Housewives of Atlanta?
To paraphrase one of her songs: “She’s too retarded for the party.” Honestly, Andy Cohen, who created these shows is a friend and neighbor. But last time I checked, housewives did laundry and picked up kids from school. The women in this series are not real housewives on any level. They are cast because they’re bitchy and going to create outlandish scenes. I think they give housewives and all women a bad name. And do you know who is worse? The mixed trolls who watch them do it every week.
What’s one juicy tidbit you can share with our readers about what it’s like to be Lady Bunny?
Bunny is a slut whose motto is GET ALL YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN, CUZ ONE DAY THEY AIN’T GONNA COME KNOCKIN’! I don’t want to get old and ever regret not going for something.