The Miss 2016 Pageant Interviews: Ivory Towers

Before we announce the winner of the 2016 Miss Pageant, our team at the site are sitting down with all of the contestants to learn a little more about them and the pageant experience. Next up, Courtney’s interview with Ivory Towers…

– How long ago did you start drag and what made you want to start?

I believe I started drag 9 years ago. I don’t have an anniversary like most do, which sucks because I would love to have an excuse to have an anniversary show $$$. I started after walking into a drag show at Crews and Tangos that starred Farra N’ Hyte and Heaven Lee Hytes and catching a bit of it by chance. I was mind-blown that people can look that great, entertain, and express their sexuality and art (with the bonus of making some good coin). I felt the want to do it and came out two weeks later for their amateur drag night on a Monday.

– What’s your favourite thing about doing drag?

My favorite thing about drag is constantly changing. Sometimes it’s the make-up and having the ability to try new things and change my look whenever I want. Sometimes it’s being able to perform on stage. I’ll never be a broadway babe singing like Lea Michele (I’m currently obsessed with Glee on Netflix, so I apologize) or a professional dancer, so being able to perform on a bunch of different stages is such a high. Maybe if I have to say one thing without the obvious “being able to express myself” answer, it would be the way it constantly makes me want to be better. I always want to learn more and be better. Sewing, make-up, dancing, hosting- I’ve learned all these things from being a drag queen.

– Do you have a least favourite thing about doing drag?

This is like the “what’s your weakest strength” in interviews I always hated. If I’m going to say ANYTHING, I would say it brings about jealousy in me. At the same time I like that because it makes me push myself to learn more or try different things. The feeling of being jealous is one of my most hated feelings, but because of it, it has helped me in a way.

– Do you see your drag more as a character that you put on, or more as a part of your own personality? Has that changed over time since you started?

This question could have a very long response. At first Ivory was a character. I was trying to cope with having two personalities, living two lives for a long time. Ivory does definitely elevate Geoffrey’s personality, no doubt. From then until now it has definitely changed. That’s because I’ve realized that’s it’s not about Geoffrey and ivory, it’s just about me. Who that is; who knows. The more time goes on the more I don’t even consider gender or sex as anything defined or feel like I have to put labels on anything about me. I’m definitely not the same as I was 9 years ago, and in another 9 years, who knows? 

– What made you decide to audition for Miss WERRRK 2016?

I entered Miss WERRRK because I thought it was an interesting idea to compete over the internet; a way where people can see me outside of Ontario. I want to be seen and known and what better way than to enter something online? For Canadians, it’s very hard to be successful (not even just for drag queens). The entertainment industry in Canada is just not there. So hopefully, by entering, someone somewhere will see what I am capable of and maybe more opportunities will be there for me. I also am so happy to have made some great videos that will be now viewable on the internet forever.

– Did you do anything special for prepare for the pageant?

The only main thing I did before the pageant was research the previous year and see what could possibly happen in my year. I knew there would be themes but I also knew it wouldn’t be the same so I just waited week to week to see and let the stress take over.

– Which category of the pageant did you enjoy most? Why?

My favorite week is tough. I really did love them all. If I were to pick one it would be the celebrity impersonation week. I finally got a reason to make a massive Gaga music video and work with new friends and old. I had a blast doing it even though it was all shot and edited within a day. It was very stressful but I am super proud of the video.

– Which category did you enjoy the least?

My least favorite would probably be the single shot lip sync. That week caused me the most stress thinking about how to shoot an interesting music video that wasn’t just me sitting in front of a camera. I loved the song that was chosen but the idea of how to keep it interesting for 3 minutes without all the tricks definitely kept me up at night.

– What’s the next goal you’d like to achieve in your drag?

I have worked really hard on being a great entertainer over the last 9 years. My goal is to somehow travel and make it a living. EOY is always something I’ve wanted to do. The amount of money I would need always puts me off. Hopefully soon I can enter and maybe get a sponsor and work my way into the States. By then it’ll be Rupaul’s Drag Race season 20.

About Courtney Conquers 14 Articles
Courtney Conquers is a drag artist, writer, and avid knitter. She is one half of the drag media collective Drag Coven (she's the short one that does the videos) and she adores traveling with her friends to live shows of all kinds. When she's not writing, knitting, or running around drag events like a stressed out soccer mom carrying a handy-cam, she can usually be found petting a cat or yelling about queer femme issues on the Internet.

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