Jackie Beat is a f***ing legend and anyone who disagrees needs to get their eyes and ears checked. She’s been captivating audiences with her unique form of drag that captures just how creative one entertainer can truly be.
Now the Los Angeles based queen is giving thousands of people something to be excited about with her upcoming one-woman show Shelter In Face, which will be available exclusively on the GROWLr app tonight, May 9, at 9:00 PM EST.
Jackie talked about what fans can expect from the show in our exclusive interview. She also got quite candid about RuPaul’s Drag Race, how the coronavirus has affected the drag community, and so much more.
Tell us about your GROWlr takeover this Saturday and what fans can expect from your one-woman show?
Well, I don’t know if I would call it a “takeover,” but never fear – the drag queens are here! I feel like we are all at war with this pandemic and I’m very proud that it’s essentially my job to entertain the troops! What can people expect from my show? They can expect to laugh. We need to laugh.
Does this partnership mean you are coming out of the hairy closet with your love of bears?
I’ve been pretty vocal about my pursuit of the hirsute! I even do a parody of “Let It Go” from Frozen as “Let It Grow,” all about body hair.
What has been the best and worst part of being in self-isolation over the past two months?
Listen, I am very blessed. I live in a gorgeous house in Los Angeles with my two precious dogs, Miss Toni & Darlin. When you travel as much as I do, there is nothing I love more than just sitting around and snuggling with my babies watching Golden Girls reruns or Forensic Files. There is nothing better than doing nothing! But… I have learned that the only way you can truly enjoy doing nothing is when it’s a treat, when it’s a break from hard work. I’m trying to stay busy but you can only vacuum the ceiling and alphabetize your spice rack so many times. I guess the best part of self-isolation has been eating anything and everything I want. And the worst part has been eating anything and everything I want.
What kind of effects do you think this has had on the drag community, both in the short and long term of things?
I’m not sure, honestly. I know it has shown most drag queens to be very hardworking, creative and entrepreneurial creatures. It has also proven that being entertained and laughing and having a good time – in a very specific gay way – is vital to our very well-being. So, in that regard, the drag queens have proven themselves be essential workers. Personally, I have noticed a real appreciation for what I do from people who, before all this, weren’t really familiar with me.
I sing live and I am a writer in The Writers Guild who has written for people like Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, Sandra Bernhard, Margaret Cho, Jane Lynch, Elvira, Ross Mathews and more. And I’ve written for a lot of Drag Race queens. A lot! It sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, and maybe I am, but all I mean is that I approach drag in a much different way than most Drag Race contestants. I feel like you could drop me into any crowd, any club, any theater and I could win people over. Can Miss Vanjie do that? I’m not sure. So to get back to my original point, a lot of Drag Race fans who thought they knew what drag is and could be have suddenly been very appreciative and supportive of what I do. It’s like a light has gone on for a lot of them. I haven’t been on TV so I actually have to try harder and put on a great show. I know that sounds bitter, but it’s just reality.
Are you keeping up with Drag Race this season?
Yes, I always watch the show. Know the enemy! LOL, I’m kidding. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like maybe it’s run its course. I know a lot of people work very hard on the show so I don’t want to trash it, but it bothers me that queens who have never even performed in a club are being allowed to compete. I mean, think about that. If you have enough social media followers and you can paint and FaceTune your face, you’re in. It also helps if you’re a cute young thing out of drag. After all, most of the fans are teenage girls so I feel like that’s always taken into account now.
Honey, I became a drag queen because I’m not all that cute as a boy! I became a drag queen because even within the misfit gay community I was even more of a misfit. Me and Lady Bunny and Sherry Vine and Coco Peru and Varla Jean Merman and the other trailblazing icons didn’t do drag because we thought we could make money. We did it because we had to. That’s who we were. The freaks. And I say that with love and pride. But now you can be a drag queen who has never even stepped foot on a stage and asks questions like, “Who’s Mae West?” Oh my God, I promise my show is going to be funnier than this!
Any thoughts on who you think will win the coveted crown in June?
I really like Gigi Goode and Jaida Essence Hall. They’re both gorgeous and have turned out to be much funnier than I expected. And of course Crystal Methyd is adorable! I also think Heidi is hilarious and naturally charming and I just love her, but I don’t think she can win. The truth is I’m rooting for Sherry Pie! Um, that was a joke.
Would you ever consider competing on the show?
Of course. No one can deny the power of the show and the power of TV. You become instantly famous and your booking fee goes way up, whether you deserve it or not. My only concern would be that the show’s format wouldn’t really showcase my talent and my kind of drag. I mean, I don’t lip sync. I can’t sew or do hair – bitch, that’s what Venmo is for! There have been rumors about a Legend Season, but it will never happen. Never.