Good morning Jackie! How are you my dear? Congratulations on your big So You Think You Can Drag Season 8 All Stars win!
Thank you Chiffon! It’s lovely to see you on this crisp fall day! I‘m feeling my basic bitch fantasy with Pumpkin Spice Lattes (skim of course), and I’ve jumped right out of the proverbial frying pan of SYTYCD and into the Fryer of the spooky halloween season which is really the Christmas of drag.
The weather did turn very pumpkin spicey and eternal scarfy all of sudden! I might have to fish out my UGG boots to really feel my suburban white woman fantasy with this weather.
Ah yes, the UGGs, Scarf, and MiniSkirt look- very fall.
So I think it would be a welcome relief after a solid month of “GO! GO! GO!” with So You Think You Can Drag for you though. Has it sunk in yet that it’s over and that you actually won?
You know, I mentioned this to Strawberry during our interview right afterwards for Backstage ‘Berry, but even a couple weeks later it really does feel a bit like I’m floating on a cloud. You know having narrowly lost the first season all those years ago, I had kind of forgotten how hard that was on me at the time- but to hear my name after eight years of honing my drag craft was kind of this unexpected and amazing validation of what I do with my drag.
Eight years ago? So you were in your mid-teens when you competed the first time?
It was actually an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras.
This is the fourth year we’ve covered SYTYCD and the second year we’ve been backstage with you all here at WERRRK but I still don’t think people have an idea of the wringer you gurls go through. Can you give us an idea of what typical week is like for the queens during the competition?
Oh boy- well to be honest, the competition has definitely become more intense since way back in season one. That first year we still had to pull together show stopping numbers, but there were no themes, and no runway look. Also it was the first year, so people didn’t really know what level they could bring to that space- it wasn’t until the finale of season one where we finally pulled out the big production numbers that SYTYCD has now become known for.
So what were you feeling heading into the final night? Were you confident in your material?
Going into the season, I spent time actually mapping out everything I wanted to do each week including the runway and the lip sync for your life. We only had four weeks, so I wanted to bring the audience on a bit of a journey with who Jackie is and what she can do. For the finale I knew we had two numbers each (plus the top three got to lip sync for their life) so I wanted to show a couple different sides to myself, and hopefully surprise the audience and the judges with a couple things they wouldn’t expect from me- and safe to say there were some surprises!
As Paige (Turner) was announcing the finalists, what was going through your mind?
Well- Paige is a tricky one. We thought there would be a top two but she pulled a fast one and there ended up being a top three this year, with me, Daphne Sumtimez and Holly Box-Springs!
Pretty sneaky if you ask me but quite honestly a good idea. I don’t think there was a week where Strawberry and I didn’t say how hard a job the judges had this season. Everyone brought it week after week!
Oh my goodness- I mean right off the bat with the first week! There were PRODUCTION NUMBERS!! I was actually very nervous going into that first week- I had brought a sweet little parody song I had written but these girls had half naked boys, and reveals, and oh boy! It definitely got me into the competitive mode- for every week after the first I pushed the production value up a bit! I even built a light-up cardboard car! Unfortunately it doesn’t drive anywhere… so yes… I still need you to drive me to the Garden State Plaza mall next weekend.
That’s fine. I’ve been meaning to test out my roof racks. You just need to bring your own bungee cords.
Perfect, I’ll just pull them from the ceiling at New World Stages where I left them after the producers said I couldn’t bungee jump off the balcony for my Mary Poppins number. Something about “Safety” and “Insurance”… THANKS OBAMA!
Well some jolly holiday that was! And speaking of jolly, your final lip sync was your own take on Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know?‘. Can you take us through that ahem….killer performance and what you were feeling during that?
Well it really was a flashback for me to eight years ago when I competed in the Top 2 against Honey Davenport. We had been assigned a song the final lip sync which was “All I Want For Christmas Is You“, and back then I thought it would be like counting your chickens before they hatched if I actually prepared something. So when the final lip sync came- I was totally unprepared and Honey demolished me. This year, Paige let us pick our own 90 second cut to lip sync for and I’ve always been drawn to Whitney and I especially love the detail and emotion in her vocal phrasing. When I paired that with the words I thought, you know I think this song is a bit about a crazed woman who REALLY wants to know if someone loves her. The prop reveals (of a bloody knife and a bleeding heart) I thought helped match the intensity of her voice. During the number I had actually planned a couple bloody reveals with a blood pellet hidden under my tongue and also one in my bra. But the mouth one dissolved by the time my time was up, and when I went to rip my heart out- I made the split second decision to cut the blood, I didn’t think I needed it in the end!
I feel like we just got a Pop Up Video tidbit here!
A little trivia for the kids at home!
Well I have a trivia question for you. What is the best sequel to a smash hit, not counting The Empire Strikes Back and Godfather 2?
Well naturally I would say Grease 2…..maybe the best sequel ever made, but are you hinting at something else?!
No. I meant Grease 2. But I mean, I guess we could segue into talking about “I Dream of Jackie 2: Jackie’s Nightmare” which is coming to the world famous Laurie Beechman Theatre this Friday and Saturday night.
Oh yes! That little skit! I thought you’d never ask about it.
Well, you contractually insisted upon it before doing this interview soooooo.
Who me? You must have been discussing this with my twin sister Jacqueline. People get us confused all the time!
Now she is the good twin right?
Well she DOES look better in green! It actually has been really fun getting to play with my evil side. I’m typically known for my plucky charm and sweetness- hold that laugh Chiffon!- so getting to dive into a different character has actually been really exciting!
So the original “I Dream of Jackie” was a huge hit and some hack writer even referred to it as “a triumph“. How did the sequel come about?
Well as you know from the first installment, I definitely have a bit of an obsession with I Dream of Jeannie- the inspiration for he original show. I loved Barbara Eden’s take on the ever optimistic Jeannie and felt it so closely matched my own optimism about the world! Having rewatched the entire series as i dove into the world of the show I found myself LOVING the episodes where her evil twin sister (Also named Jeannie) came to visit- so I thought it would be fun to see the Evil twin sister of Jackie (in this show, named Jacqueline) who comes to wreak havoc on her sister and her handsome harem boys! It really is a whole new show now, and there are some really fun and spooky new numbers (perfect for the Halloween season!) It also gave me a chance to revisit some of the material from the first show and respin it with a new twist! Plus I get to play both sisters in the show, so you’ll have to come and see for yourself how I pull it off! Plus you get to see my handsome harem boys, Drew Bloom and Blake McIver (who is also directing and choreographing the show and also has his “Blake Sings Barbra: The Concert” show this Sunday night. More info here).
This is the part where we tell people how to get tickets right?
Well Jackie, I found my UGG boots so I think its time to go enjoy this brisk fall weather but we will definitely be seeing you this weekend for “I Dream of Jackie 2: Jackie’s Nightmare“! Do you have any final words of wisdom to leave our readers with?
Well Chiffon, I just want to take this chance to thank you and everyone at WERRRK.com for the work you do to spread the word on “local queens”. There are so many shows coming up and you guys somehow have the ability to cover them all which is amazing! And as a quick shout out, I have one more show at the Beechman coming up this year- I’ll be back together with Paige and Remy for a fun and hilarious take on Christmas Carol! And rumour has it Carol Channing will be joining us again for the umpteenth year in a row!