Chelsea Boy departed Drag Race Holland on a high, after portraying Tiger King star Joe Exotic, and has plenty more daring choices ahead. The queen who straddled the fence between “hyper femme and club kid alien” is a strong proponent of a-fab queens and loves to see a multitude of expressions of drag. I sat down with Chelsea Boy to chat about her post Drag Race Holland plans and why she has such a deep passion for making sure that all forms of drag are represented.
Michael Cook: What does it feel like to have been part of the inaugural cast of Drag Race Holland?
Chelsea Boy: It has been absolute insanity! It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be on stage and this platform has been really amazing. If you had asked me a year ago where I would be today, I would never have expected that I would be where I am today. After being in this position, the only way to go is up.
MC: You are the second queen in Drag Race her-story to do full body makeup for your promo look, which many would consider a bit daring. Is being daring and thinking outside the box a signature part of your brand would you say?
CB: Absolutely. I always like to say that I like to play with all of the crayons in the box, why just pick one? There are so many great aspects within drag that I wanted to touch on & exceed the whole gender spectrum and be this hybrid being; that is what my brand is about.
MC: You started doing drag when you were very young, around nineteen. When did you know that this would be the passion that you would follow?
CB: I definitely grew into it. I had this ‘kid in a candy store’ mentality, where I would just find so many things that I would find exciting and thrilling and I would always be curious to learn new stuff and discover new things to be fascinated by. I knew from a young age that I definitely wanted to do something; I was artistic kid and I knew that I wanted to do something with dancing, painting and performance. I think that is how I got involved with drag, drag puts all of these disciplines and it puts them all together. There are so many aspects of being a queen and I think that is really what got me into doing drag and fueled my love for it.
MC: Your Snatch Game character was Joe Exotic, which was both daring and completely timely. What gave you the idea to take on such a character for that pivotal challenge?
CB: From a very young age, I was always fascinated with pop culture, and especially American pop culture. I love to do things that are current. When the lockdown started, everyone was first talking about the lockdown and COVID, and then at one point there was this internet sensation that everyone was talking about and that was the show Tiger King on Netflix. I binge watched the entire thing with my roommate and it was the epitome of pop culture for me; its insanity, its hysterical, its a real life telenovela; that is why I picked the character. I also picked the character because I can be a very reserved person, and I like to watch everything going on before I jump into something. When I picked this character, I put myself in a place where I had to let go of overthinking and I had to jump right into it; I had to just go ahead and do it. It could go two ways, I could either shut down or I could do it as I intended and overcome the overthinking and start talking until someone tells me to stop (laughs).
MC: You won Snatch Game but you didn’t win the week. It must’ve been puzzling for that to happen after hearing such positive critiques from them.
CB: Yes, especially after receiving compliments from them the week before, I felt like I finally had a win in the bag. Of course, it was disappointing when it didn’t happen but like I said earlier, when looking at drag you are looking at art. Everyone will have their own taste level, their own opinion, and their way of looking at the world, and they will expect certain things. That is just four opinions, and then there are the opinions of the big crowds, whose opinions I am much more interested in.
MC: So it sounds like you are definitely grateful for your Drag Race Holland, experience but definitely are looking towards the future.
CB: Absolutely. It is about how you take it on after and I just want to keep on rising to new cosmic dimensions.
MC: You are a champion of all kinds of drag performers, including a-fab queens. Many still have an antiquated view of drag, that the art of drag can only be represented by one type of person. Where does that passion you have for all kinds of drag being represented stem from?
CB: Because I want people to say yes to life and I don’t like naysayers. Anyone that can find a forum to express themselves or find themselves they should do it. For me, drag is a forum for me to express myself and put it under a magnifying glass; I put every aspect of myself under a magnifying glass in my drag. I let it sit there and then I discover how it works for me. I think everyone should have this platform to use drag as a an art form, to express themselves, to start loving themselves, to start celebrating art with other people. Why would we say “no” to anybody? Drag Race so far has been primarily male performers who are assigned male at birth, but for me drag is so much more. For me, it was about being on the show and pushing for that representation. I did show that hyper femme look, but I also showed that club kid/alien look. It was something I wanted to balance it out and still push the boundaries while I followed the format of the show.
MC: What is next for Chelsea Boy?
CB: Definitely I would love to tour; see new places, meet new people, and share the love for drag with everybody. That is what I would be doing right now if there was no COVID. Right now I am doing my best to reach people online and reach people though social media for some collaboration. I am also working on a secret project….
MC: How have you stayed inspired and creatively fueled during the past year?
CB: COVID gave us a transcendence to real introspection I think. I think we have it collectively now to see what the identity of the world is and to see where we are at. It gives you a chance to go into new creative corners for yourself and to reach out to other people and discuss ideas and work on things. It is the time to be disciplined and discuss parts of yourself that you may not have known. I think once the pandemic is over there will be a creative explosion of everyone who has been sitting on their ideas and concepts; and I cannot wait for that to happen.
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