Every once in a while a queen hits the Drag Race stage that is simply made for the runway, and that is most definitely, Drag Race UK‘s leggy bombshell Banksie. A member of The Family Gorgeous, Banksie arrived for Drag Race UK with a strong pedigree and talent to spare. After a stunning Lip Sync For Your Life prior to departing the competition, Banksie is now looking forward to the future. Whether she is hitting the West End or stomping a future high fashion runway, my amazing chat with Banksie post-elimination made one thing clear-it’s all in the spirit of manifestation!
Michael Cook: Tell me about your RuPaul’s Drag Race UK journey.
Banksie: It really was a dream come true. I was watching the US seasons since I was fifteen, so to know that I could do it and to have gained such a positive spin on me, people are really happy that I went on. I’ve had so much support and it’s a dream come true really.
MC: You joined RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on the heels of your “non-binary parental figure” Cheddar Gorgeous making the finale during Season 4. Was it hard coming in as a member of that acclaimed drag family or did you make it a point to stand on your own?
B: I think that the thing about my drag is that yes I am Banksie and Banksie is a real important thing and have a very distinct style, but my drag wouldn’t be what it is today without them. They have influenced my drag; so wherever I go, I am the Family Gorgeous still. Cheddar is like the alien one, I am the supermodel, Anna (Phylactic) is the monster, we’ve got Lill who’s Courtney Love, we’ve all got a different vibe, but we’re still in the same planet, you know?
MC: What are your rose and thorn from your RuPaul’s Drag Race UK journey?
B: You know what, I put such a rose colored view on all of it. I think my best would be having the mirror chat with Vicki (Vivacious) about my partner and trans love and all that kind of thing. The thing that we got back about all of that was people saying that they see gender in a different way or that they’re looking at love in a different way, not just bodies. That was my rose.
As for my thorn, it would be probably how the fight escalated. We could’ve nipped that in the bud, “Okay girls, we’re a team”. I’m a person who’s very measured and thinks about what they’re saying and when things move that fast in an argument or when you’re so terrified-you just said something to RuPaul-your brain instantly goes. I had to take myself off, that was the only way that I was going to bring it back to a normal place.
MC: Seeing you lip sync the iconic track “I Dreamed A Dream” is arguably one of the best Drag Race UK lip syncs in herstory.
B: I wish they’d kept the very, very start of the lip sync in. We were on two sides the stage as there is that little piano part in the beginning and I kind of shoved DeDe (Licious) out of the way so I was in the center of the stage. That would have been such a camp way of starting that lip sync. I’m a park and bark girl, I like to do a good ballad I like to show emotion. You can dance around the stage as much as you want, but when you can’t do that you have to know your words, your breath, all of these things. It’s a true show of a good lip syncer and DeDe was amazing and she did all of it.
MC: When did you get your first instinct that drag was going to be the path you would follow for your career and your life?
B: When I started, Drag Race UK was not out yet, and I I think the first one I watched live was Season 7, but I’d watched all the ones previous to that. I knew in America it was a dream and you could do it and “someday I want to go there”. I found Cheddar Gorgeous who used to put videos out that she would call “Drag Me To Manchester”. She would document nights out with all of the girls, all of the family, and I would watch them religiously going “If they can do it, I would be great at that job”. I was going to stalk them and pressure them into making me a family member, and now I did.
MC: So many times when are out at a bar or a pub, you see those talented people you want to befriend and you actually did it!
B: I paved my way and I went to those nights and paid my money at the door and I said I was going to follow Cheddar around until she’s my friend-and I did. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
MC: What drag performer did you see first that simply just jumped out of the screen at you and helped you fall in love with the art form?
B: My first season of Drag Race was Season 5 and it was a tie up between Detox and Jinkx (Monsoon). I think my eye blended into the two of them maybe, it’s like the fashionable, glamorous, big nose of Detox mixed with the absolute magic that is Jinx Monsoon. If I could be half the performer that they are, that is the goal.
MC: Now that you have the globe at your feet and this massive Drag Race platform, what do you want to do?
B: Well the reason I wanted to do Drag Race was because wanted to travel, see the world and perform in places that I have not performed in before. The United States is in the cards, I want to go to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, I want to see it all and perform to countless people. I want to also maneuver my way into fashion, I have tried for years. I think this may be the catalyst that will open doors for me so fashion is on there as well. And just because I bombed the musical challenge, I want to do something on the West End now! if you don’t ask you dont get, I am going to make it happen!
MC: Your dreams are so vivid and you have them all in your sights right now. What do you tell people who want to make their own dreams come true?
B: I had a realization years ago when I was about nineteen. I suddenly got the idea that “Oh My God, my life is mine”. If I want to do it, it’s up to me to make it happen. Manifestation is a real thing. I was the person who would go up to the club owner who would say “I’m coming to do that next week” and they would say “Not next week”. Then when a slot opened up, they would remember the queen that said she would do it and they would send me a text.
Manifestation really works. Your life is your own, you can make things happen. I made it all happen for me; I’m twenty four years old and I am doing things that people in their late thirties haven’t even had the chance to do yet; I want to do it all babes!
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