Washington DC is legendary for their drag scene, and while the city’s LGBT performance scene takes a temporary reset, one of the brightest stars of the Beltway keeps making her own career moves. Jasmine Blue launched her career in DC, but has made her energetic stage presence and stunning performance style known in Rehoboth Beach DE for the past few years. We caught up recently to chat about her beginning in the drag scene (at the also legendary Ziegfield’s in our nation’s capital) and how she’s been staying inspired during this time.
Michael Cook: Let’s start at the beginning; how did Jasmine Blue get her start in the drag world?
Jasmine Blue: Crazy, but not so crazy story; I got started doing drag on a dare from a friend, while at an amateur show in my hometown of Washington DC. At first, I rejected the dare. I then saw the queens collecting money, and as a college sophomore, I was as broke as any other college student would be. I decided to give it a shot and I’ve been doing this for eleven years and counting.
MC: When did you know that drag had shifted from a hobby to what could possibly be a full-fledged career?
JB: I knew this was more than a hobby when I realized I was actually using my degree, and the skills I learned while in undergrad. I started school as a music major, because I just knew I was supposed to be on stage, with the spotlight shining directly on me. I switched over to marketing, and took some sewing classes as well. I figured once I put my music, sewing, and marketing skills together it all equalled drag queen, so it must be more than a hobby. I was determined to be the “Sparkling Diamond” of DC like Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge minus the ending (laughs)!
MC: For those that have never seen you perform, how do you describe the “The Jasmine Blue Performance”?
JB: The “Jasmine Blue Performance ” is unpredictable. You will never know what i might actually do…. sometimes I barely know what I might just do! I have jumped from ceilings, roller skated through audiences, sang live on top of bars and pianos. I love to keep the crowd guessing. But, no matter what, I always keep it classy, and fully sassy.
MC: What have been some of your performance and drag career highlights?
JB: One of the most important highlights of my drag career is being the first African American Queen to be crowned Miss Gay United States in 2011. Another big one was Miss Ziegfelds 2014. The reason that win meant so much to me was because the manager of the bar didn’t think I was good enough to perform on his stage at that time. I was more than happy to have proved him wrong by winning his pageant, and show him and other nay-sayers that I was indeed worthy of performing there, or anywhere else for that matter.
MC: So many queens make comedy and a version of stand up comedy a part of their act now. Do you weave comedy into your act and performances?
JB: As far as comedy goes, I don’t consider myself funny, but for some reason people are always laughing at me (or maybe with me); who’s to say (LOL)?I suppose I’m funny when I’m not thinking about trying to be funny. I try not to pattern myself after any other queens. I figure, there is already one of them so why not be the best version of me? The world, I’m sure, would appreciate more of me anyway (LOL)!
MC: Rehoboth Beach, DE has become a home away from home for you. What do you think it is about Rehoboth that makes it so magical?
JB: Rehoboth has certainly been like a second home for me. I started working in Rehoboth, at The Blue Moon in 2015. Thanks to this venue, I have been able to use my actual singing voice for live performances. Singing live was something I always wanted to do since I started doing drag. I have also made so many genuine friends there through the years. Everytime I come to Rehoboth Beach, it’s like a family reunion.
MC: Your name has emerged in several circles every year casting for RuPaul’s Drag Race begins. Any interest in maybe taking a crack at the crown?
JB: I have heard that I was “one to watch ” for Rupaul’s Drag Race. So far, I have yet to be one to call (LOL) !! With that said, if Ru (or whomever) were to give a girl a call, I would certainly hop on that plane before the phone conversation was even over!
MC: Sisters are crucial; who do you count on as your drag sisters in and out of drag?
JB: I have some very close “sisters”. Even out of drag, we talk on the phone everyday, if not every other day. I’m not going to name them … we wouldn’t want the other girls to get jealous (LOL). But, those “sisters” know who they are (wink)
MC: What’s the best advice that you have ever received and who gave it to you?
JB: The best advice I ever received was from Vicki Vox ( a DC drag legend). She told me some years ago, in my younger drag years, “Be careful what you do now, because the audience will expect you to keep doing it years down the road…. and you WON’T BE ABLE TO!!!” My knees and back now know exactly what she meant !!!!
MC: How are you remaining inspired and creatively inspired during this time in our country?
JB: Since there are so many drag shows that can’t be done, at all nationally, this has left me with a lot of time to finally do the sewing that I’ve been wanting to do for so long. I have also been able to practice some new impersonations, and learn some new songs. Mostly, I’m appreciative that I still have friends, family, and loved ones that I can still call. They all inspire me in some way as well, even if they don’t know it.
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