Molly Poppinzz hit the Drag Race Down Under main stage and quickly proved herself as one to watch, with a star-making runway performance. While the Newcastle stunner departed the competition right as the top three was decided, Poppinz has plenty more to show the world post Drag Race. I caught up with this effervescent queen and we chatted about her Drag Race Down Under journey, her Canada’s Drag Race connections, and what she has planned next!
Michael Cook: Many viewers had you pegged as a competitor that could quite possibly go the distance on Season 2 of Drag Race Down Under. What did it feel like for so many viewers and fans to see you as such a strong contender?
Molly Poppinzz: It was crazy because I walked in there so overwhelmed and was trying not to let them see me sweat. I was walking in there as a small town girl with these big city drag queens, so I knew that I could run with them and that I had what it takes. I just had to believe in myself in that kind of setting with so much going on.
MC: How did you manage to block out the noise and truly concentrate on competing?
MP: It was like, I’ve made it. I have come this far, I am on Drag Race. I am not going to let this slip away. The first episode was the design challenge and I don’t sew, I am in danger here! My Newcastle sister (JoJo Zaho) last year went home first, and now maybe it’s going to be the ‘Newcastle Curse’ and I’m going to go home first this year! She whipped out the hot glue gun, made some magic and won the challenge! I was really gagged at that moment and first one out of the gate realized, “I can do this”; so it was like, “let’s do this”!
MC: So after winning the first challenge and it sounds like, surprising yourself, did you then look around and realize that it could really be anyone’s game?
MP: Absolutely. I had an idea of who was competiton, who would be in the top, not sure about them, and some people left and I was gagged. I was shocked when Minnie (Cooper) left, I was shocked when Yuri Guaii left, they were really fierce competitors that I would have seen go the end, it was crazy.
MC: What is the New Castle drag scene like?
MP: The scene is very small, we do have a handful of drag performers and drag artists, we have a pretty tight community. There is nowhere for us to drag really, we have no queer spaces and no gay bars. We kind of have to find the spaces ourselves and take over venues for a night and make them queer, whether its a cafe or a function hall. For example, I used to do events at an old church. We find anything that we can take in Newcastle and we put on a show. We are only about two hours away from Sydney, so I have been very blessed to be able to perform in Sydney both before and after Drag Race, so that was always good to have some extra work.
MC: When did you know that drag would be much more than just hobby, but a passion that you would be following?
MP: I started drag in Australia, and I was a bedroom queen for a little while, I think that was in 2014. The first two years is really slow, I would go out in drag every once in a while. I wasn’t that confident and not sure how to get my foot into performing. I just said “fuck it” and I moved to Canada very randomly, I would save some money and I had some friends there. New city, fresh start, I would do drag here properly and I want to perform. I entered a drag completion, a mini Drag Race, five week competition. I was the first one up that night, I had never performed before, and I don’t remember anything about it; adreneline just took over. I made it through the first round then I made it all the way to the finale. After that I was catapulted into the Vancouver drag scene and I was there for almost three years, booked and blessed. From side career hustle to full-time career!
MC: Did you get to work with any of the ladies who have gotten to be on Canada’s Drag Race?
MP: Oh yeah, I got to work with a bunch of them. I am really good friends with Ilona Verley, she is one of the people that I got close to first. She really helped me mold my drag and my aesthetic and she taught me the ways of the scene. Also, the Brat Pack, Kendall (Gender), Synthia (Kiss), Gia (Metric), love all them! Beth (formerly known as Beth Amphetamine) and Vivian Vanderpuss also, I love my Canada girlies!
MC: You now have the Drag Race Down Under platform ahead of you; what do you want to do with this opportunity?
MP: I just wanna ride this wave and see where it takes me. Take every opportunity that I can get and live it up. I want to tour around, travel as much as I can, I have been traveling Australia the last couple of months and it has been amazing. It’s exhausting, but amazing; it is the life! I want to go overseas, head back to Canada for a Canadian tour, just make the most of it honestly.
MC: On your season, some of the girls knew each other previously and it felt like they were evening some scores in a way. Are there any girls that you know and feel are true blue sisters going forward?
MP: Oh absolutely. Beverly Kills, definitely. Even though she was causing some drama in the workroom, she is my bestie. I think I was one of the only people to really get who she is; she’s young you know? She grew up on Drag Race, I love Beverly and I didn’t know that I would. I didn’t know her before, I only knew her from Instagram and her look was very intimidating. She is such a sweetheart and we just clicked instantly. I didn’t really know anyone, the only person I knew personally as an acquaintance is Hannah (Conda) and you see we do have that type of relationship on the show; it was like “okay, I know someone here, hi” (laughs)!
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