Taking Another Trip To Nebraska with Mackenzie Claude

One of my first ever interviews was with Mackenzie Claude, fresh off his appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race several years ago and he remains to this day one of the nicest people I’ve ever spoken with. We caught up again a little over a year ago when he was just starting to kick the idea around of bringing his alter ego from Drag Race back out of mothballs. Since that time, Nebraska Thunderfuck has remerged with a vengeance and I was lucky enough to catch up with Mackenzie once again during WERRRK’s three year anniversary to talk about how she has changed his life yet again!


 

Hello there Mackenzie! They say the third time is the charm and this is our third time talking! How have you been my dear?

You know Chiffon, I’m use to being the third!  I’m doing fabulously! It’s a beautiful day in Vegas. Congrats on WERRRK.com’s three year anniversary! I’m drinking champagne right now to celebrate.

Thank you! Three seems to be the number of the night. Just be careful you don’t end up three sheets to the wind with all that champagne. So the last time we talked was about a year and a half ago and you were just starting to dip your toe into Nebraska’s return. I would say she’s back in full force now though.

Yes I was just getting my feet wet and seeing if I liked the temperature. However now I can proudly say that I am balls deep into Nebraska. She has taken over my life, that bossy bitch.

I’m using all of my ladylike politeness to avoid making a balls deep joke so I’ll just ask what was the impetus to bringing her out of mothballs?

I knew once RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8 started airing that my partner Derrick would be on the road even more than he already is. I also knew that our other partner Nick would be most likely going with him. Nebraska was a way to travel the world with them.

Sounds like a pretty good plan! How quickly did you take to performing regularly?

My first contract was a year long residency at Share Nightclub in Vegas. I’ve been very fortunate. Since then I’ve been able to tour the country and see Mexico and Canada. It’s been a wild ride.

Do you feel like your years as a male model were helpful in bring Nebraska back to life regularly?

Absolutely, my modeling background has been a wonderful asset. As a male model I’ve walked the runway at Fashion Week Los Angeles in nothing but underwear. So prancing around as Nebraska on stage is a breeze in comparison.

Even in heels?

Surprisingly yes. Although if you have watched the Veteran makeover challenge on season 5, episode 10 of Drag Race you probably wouldn’t believe me. I’ve come a very looong way.

What was your biggest misconception about drag that you realized after you started performing regularly?

I didn’t know that I would have so much fun being Nebraska. That I would end up falling in love with the artistry of makeup. That I would find pleasure in creating choreography and putting together mixes. That this journey would be so fulfilling. All of it has been an awakening.

I know you’re already starting to dabble in makeup tutorials online. Did you have any experience with makeup before this?

Makeup was never an interest of mine before Nebraska. However over the past 18 months I’ve had to take in so much information on the craft. I’ve learned techniques, tips and tricks from my partners, other queens around the country and from my own personal trial and error. So I’ve decided to share this knowledge in hopes that it will benefit others. Maybe there is a new queen out there that is struggling a with blocking brows like I did in the beginning. Or maybe there is a girl who wants to take her A cup to a C or D cup. Their is wealth in knowledge and I believe in spreading the wealth.

How has the response from the fans been?

My first makeup tutorial has received over a million hits so I suppose people are receptive to it. The drag fans have been very good to me. A few of them have created a group online called the ‘Bomb Squad’. They make videos and illustrations of my work and send me sweet letters in the mail. And of course their are also always detractors in life. The dichotomy of blending together military with drag culture is very polarizing for some people. I’ve endured my fair share of online right wing trolls that don’t think those worlds should ever mix. They can be very cruel. I choose to ignore them and continue forward. I don’t particularly care for strangers telling me what I can or can’t do. Detractors are non-factors.

The Drag Race fans can be very…..let’s say passionate and opinionated. Earlier this year there were some rumors that you were going to be a part of the season 9 cast. Is Drag Race something you would have an interested in, especially in light of some of the negativity Derrick received?

*Laughs* The rumors are always so ridiculous. I literally had been doing drag for about 6 months when they started the casting process for season 9. Drag Race is an incredible platform and one day when I feel ready I will happily audition. I’m very proud of Derrick and his time on the show. It was a lot of fun watching him each week and he has grown immensely from his experience. His benefits from appearing on the show have far outweighed any negativity he received online during the season.

Photo by Jose Guzman Colon

From the military to modelling to now drag, your life has taken many twists and turns. Where do you see life taking you next? What kind of goals do you have for yourself now?

Where do I see life taking me next? Hopefully a remote island somewhere deep in the Caribbean. Other than that I am keeping my options open. I am going to keep reaching for the stars and see where that lands me. The reality is that I am just chasing my own happiness and right now drag seems to be the path that has lead me to. One day I want to transcend Nebraska into a fashion house because that is the trade I know so well. I’m starting now with online tutorials and eventually I will move on to custom makeup products and a clothing line. Those are just a couple long term goals. I’m in no rush.

Are you up for a few lightning round questions?

Let’s do it!

Must have makeup item?

Black Liquid Liner

Drag role model?

I love trouples so RuPaul, Derrick, & Alaska.

4am post drag food craving?

Tacos

Best part of drag?

Wigs

Worst part of drag?

Nails

Most surprising thing about you people might not know?

I listen to Kendrick Lamar all day, everyday.

If not for drag, what would you be doing?

I’d probably reenlist in the service.

Queen you most want to see on season 10 of Drag Race?

Kahanna Montrese

Guilty pleasure?

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/Atlanta

Death row last meal?

Chicken Carbonara with garlic bread and Caesar Salad. Bring on the carbs!

Last movie to make you cry?

Titanic

Favorite X-Men hero and villain?

Jean Grey / Mystique

Netflix binge recommendation?

Stranger Things

Last one, most embarrassing song on your phone?

Shoes by Liam Kyle Sullivan

In the meantime, where can people can see you perform and how can they keep up with your adventures online?

Yes I post videos, performances and my tour schedule on Facebook and Instagram as @NebraskaThunderfuck. And on Twitter as @MackenzieClaude.

Well I think we have just about reached the end here….until our fourth interview! I appreciate you being a part of our three year anniversary celebration week here at WERRRK.com and I just would like to say that you have always been one of the nicest people I know in this business. I wish nothing but continued success for you going forward. Do you have any final words of wisdom to leave the WERRRK.com universe with?

Thanks Chiffon. I’m a lucky queen to have YOU in my life. You continue to provide me with a platform to share my story and I am very appreciative. I would like to encourage anyone reading this to tackle their own dreams head on. I am living proof that those dreams can become a reality, but you have to werrrk bitch.

About Chiffon Dior 479 Articles

Despite being a drag journalist for over five years, Chiffon only recently realized that she missed a golden opportunity back then to change her drag name to Rhoda Story.

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