Every season on RuPaul’s Drag Race one of RuPaul’s biggest pieces of advice to the girls is simple; show us who you are. For Heidi N. Closet, she did that and so much more this season. The North Carolina firecracker made sure the judges and her competitors alike saw her heart, her humor, and her absolute love for the art of drag. As one of the competitors who many are calling the heart of the season departs, she caught up with me for a chat on what her time with Mama Ru meant to her, and when exactly we may be seeing a final name change be announced.
Michael Cook: So tell us, are you Heidi N Closet, Heidi Aprohodite..what name are you officially going by?
Heidi N Closet: (Laughs) you are going to have to watch just a little bit further to find out. All might be revealed when we all get together and congregate again.
MC: Now that the whole RuPaul’s Drag Race experience is in the rearview mirror, looking back on it as a whole, how do you see it now?
HNC: It was definitely the hardest thing that I have ever done, but it was also the most fun thing that I have ever done. It was an amazing, amazing season and I would not change it for anything in the world.
MC: It looked like you were really enjoying yourself during the whole process, would that be fair to say?
HNC: I did! I think that really came across also. I was clearly enjoying every moment of it. Even when mama was in trouble, I was living for every moment. And when I had to get the girls together, it felt good too! (Laughs)
MC: So how did you come up with the name that you entered the competition with, Heidi N Closet?
HNC: Well, being from a small town especially in the South and in the country, there are a lot of men who don’t feel comfortable coming out so they tend to stay in the closet. When they see someone who is out and proud in the town, they tend to secretly inbox them and hit on them. Jokes are made, and people say that there is no need to be “hiding in the closet” and that is where my name originates from. One day, I went to perform my very first show and the director said “what’s your name”? I did not have a name very thought out and that is kind of the first thing that popped in my head. It stuck and here we are.
MC: You are from a small town in North Carolina. What does it take to make it in a small town and then end up being plucked from obscurity and end up on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
HNC: You really have to be always willing to push yourself and one up yourself. Making sure that you have the drive, because it is always work, especially coming from a small town. Not to discredit anyone from bigger cities because it is a lot of work for them too, but it is even more work when you come from a small town because you don’t have the resources and everything else that they have access to. It is a lot of determination and you really have to push yourself. You have to really really want it, not just to say “oh yes I did that”, you really have to crave it and want it.
MC: You were one of the true sweethearts of the Season 12 and the fans seemed to really fall in love with you. What was it like to get so much love from the fans?
HNC: It felt amazing. Growing up, I was made fun of a lot for just being who I was. Watching back and seeing everyone’s reaction to me, the fans, the other girls and the judges as well. Seeing them praise me for just being who I was, it was just a complete twist to what I was used to. It felt amazing!
MC: You also got a great deal of time with RuPaul on your own during workroom walk throughs. You must have a whole notebook full of advice from Mama Ru by now!
HNC: And does (laughs)! I always say, I am always willing to learn and grow. So when I have a chance to learn, I take that as an opportunity. Some people get to a certain point in their career and feel that they know everything, but I look at it as if you are at a point in your career where you know everything, then it’s time to retire I am always in that zone of wanting to keep learning, growing and evolving.
MC: Every year has it’s own lip sync assassin and it certainly looks like you might be one of the ones from Season 12. You slayed the stage a total of four times this year!
HNC: Who me? It’s crazy! I definitely did not go to Drag Race wanting to be the lip sync assassin, but I refused to go home, so sometimes you just have to be it (laughs)!
MC: You were also one of the meme queens of the season, and your reactions to certain situations was captured in gifs and memes all over, including your resemblance to Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. Have you heard from her at all?
HNC:I have not heard from her, but I have seen that and it’s so funny (laughs)! When I first saw it I laughed, because I had never seen the resemblance, but here it is! That’s who I shoulda done for Snatch Game!
MC: Well, the new cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars was announced recently, so there is always the chance that you could return for an upcoming season of All Stars season. Do you think you would participate if asked?
HNC: If they asked me back, I would definitely have to make sure I was in the right state of mind for it, but I think that I would go back, yes.
MC: What is next for Heidi?
HNC: Well right now, I am just working on a couple of little side projects that hopefully will be seen really soon. Hopefully when all this is over, I will make a few more appearances on television because I want to break into the television industry. Maybe some voice acting also, because I love my voice; I just want to take over the world!
MC: During the time in our country where we have hit the pause button, how are you staying inspired and creative?
HNC: I’m just dabbling and tinkering honestly. Especially with my makeup, I am trying different things that I have never done before. This is my time to dabble, this is my time to figure out other things that could work for me. I think it is really helping me open up creatively. I have really been looking up new looks and things that I want to do. Be in the lookout, you are going to see a whole new side to Heidi. A side of Heidi that can actually spend some money on her outfits (laughs)!
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs on Friday night on VH1 (check local listings)
Art Courtesy of VH1