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Miz Cracker thinks drag ‘can be belittling to women if you aren’t careful’. This is how she’s making it a celebration

Reiss Smith December 10, 2020
Miz Cracker in a fluffy blue gown against a pink background, with one hand in the air, smiling

Cracktion!(Joshua Going)

Drag Race legend Miz Cracker is ready to celebrate.

It’s been five months – “years [ago] in COVID time” – since Cracker stormed Drag Race All Stars 5, finishing runner-up alongside Jujubee to deserving winner Shea Couleé.

Ordinarily, that would mean a summer spent touring the world, riding high on a wave of success. But instead, Miz Cracker has been building “really detailed models of houses out of popsicle sticks”, largely stuck at home because of you-know-what.

Fortunately, the pandemic has also given her time to contemplate – what it means to beautiful as a 36-year-old drag queen in a world of twinks, how to channel the Jewishness that “pours out of [her] pores uncontrollably” into her work, how to celebrate the women she looks up to, and – the eternal question for us all – how she can cram more Jujubee into her life. The answers, it turned out, were easy to come by.

PinkNews: Hi Miz Cracker! You have a new song out!

Miz Cracker: I have two! The first one with Jujubee is all about our love that we share for each other, which is a really weird one, because we pick each other’s noses. And it’s kind of all about that.

I was gonna write a song and I was like, what are some things that make me want to sing? And one of the things that makes me want to sing is my friendship with Juju.

We talk every day – she’s always talking me off of a ledge. I’m always like, corona’s gonna kill me! And she tells me again and again, that things are going to be OK, times are going to get better, money’s gonna come, blah, blah, blah.

And I just wanted to tell the world about the friendship that we have. I think people forget that some of the relationships that you make on TV are fake and just for TV, and some of them are real. And I wanted to tell people that this one’s real.

So which ones were fake?

[Laughs] I don’t know. You’d have to check who’s still following me on Instagram!

The second single is all about wanting to get the hell away from your family during the holidays. And I know that even with corona, people are going to be seeing their family members and wishing they weren’t. And it’s kind of an anthem for anyone who’s ever wanted to leave the Christmas table or the Hanukkah table and scream in the bathroom. That’s what it’s for.

I think a lot of people will relate.

Yeah, especially in the UK in the US, where maybe your parents support a prime minister or a president that you do not and you don’t want to hear about it. But you have to because it’s the holidays, you know, this is this song is for all those people suffering in that position.

Wide shot of Cracker wearing a menorah headpiece and icy blue gown
Miz Cracker is celebrating Hanukkah with new music. (Steben Trumon & Chad Wagner)

You said previously that before going into Drag Race season 10, you thought to yourself “I’m not going to be the Jewish queen”, and since then you’ve really embraced that part of your identity.

I think I was like, I’m not gonna do Hanukkah songs for the holidays. I’m just gonna do holiday songs. And then as I wrote them, they became heavily Jewish songs about Hanukkah. I was like, well, it happened again! I don’t know.

Like Sarah Silverman says, Jewishness pours out of my pores uncontrollably. And I think that’s what it is. And so it’s an ongoing relationships and an ongoing journey of discovery all the time. Drag gives you an opportunity to celebrate different parts of yourself and to make fun of different parts of yourself. I think that’s what’s beautiful about it.

You also spoke on All Stars about your journey from self-doubt to self-confidence, and that’s something that’s you’re going to explore in your new tour She’s a Woman.

Yeah. When I went into season 10, I was like, 128 pounds. And then 36 pounds later, thanks to COVID, I’ve had to think about what it means to be beautiful, and make room for myself.

There’s been a lot of changes in who I am, and I’ve had to learn that who I really am is somewhere inside, it’s not in the outside. And that’s so important for someone who’s gone through COVID and gained all the weight – but also, I’m ageing. I’m a full 10 years older than most working queens, I’m 36 going on 37. I’m just learning what it means to be a not a girl, but a whole woman.

And there’s a lot of opportunities to laugh at me in particular in that process. I thought a lot about who I could make fun of this year, and I think we’re in such incendiary times, I was like, who’s the best person I can make fun of – it’s me. So I can go all out on myself and no one can judge and people can laugh and enjoy and relax.

Let’s talk a bit more about All Stars, how did you feel after the finale? Were you happy with how you did and how you came across?

Yes, because I think those final episodes especially were what made the whole thing worth it. Working with Shea [Couleé] and Juju, and I’m not sure if I said it, if it made the edit, but I was like, no matter who wins this thing, it’s going to be a good season because Juju and Shea – they’re incredible.

So there was no way for me to end the season feeling bad. And with Shea winning and doing what she’s doing with the crown, I’m like, this is only a good thing. This is a year of good wins.

Miz Cracker in a pink pearly gown and headdress
Miz Cracker’s final All Stars look was a celebration of her heritage. (Adam Ouahmane)

Looking back on it, is there anything you’d have done differently?

More lipsync outfits [laughs]. I kind of got blindsided. I don’t think I expected to have to lip sync as often as I did, and I had to borrow wigs and outfits for my lipsyncs. But all’s well that ends well as I always say, I managed to perform anyway.

Well you performed amazingly – even in the “Fancy” lip-sync with Kennedy Davenport. That was quite a moment.

Oh Lord in heaven. I can’t remember if this made the edit either, But Ru was like: “That was a lot of words.”

And I was like: “Yes, it was.” It was basically Reba McEntire freestyling the first book of Genesis for 20 minutes! I was like [sings] “I remember it all very well… actually, you know what, I don’t remember it all very well.”

We get those songs when it’s time to memorise them, essentially. And I just remember looking in Kennedy’s eyes, and we were both like, which one of us is gonna fake this better because neither one of us knew what was going on. And I was like, God dammit, if I don’t know a word, I’m gonna do a cartwheel an no one’s gonna be any the wiser.

You’re a busy woman, we know you’ve also got podcast coming up.

Yes, it’s called She’s a Woman after my tagline, and also because it’s all about incredible women. And they’re not the typical podcast circuit celebrities. They are women from down the street, women you may know, women from everyday life that are doing amazing things with their talents and making a difference in the world. And I just wanted to create a podcast that gave back to my audience, which is largely women. And, you know, I run around saying she’s a woman all the time. So it feels like it would be stupid not to give back to women in some way.

There have been criticisms in the past that cis male drag queens appropriate womanhood, so it’s nice that you’re using this platform to celebrate women through drag.

Yes, and I think that it’s a legitimate concern. And if you just let drag be itself without thinking carefully, I think it can be belittling to women. But I think it can also be a tool to empower women. Whether you are a fan of drag, or you’re a cis female, drag queen yourself or a drag king, no matter who you are, I think there’s an opportunity for drag to celebrate women.

More: Drag Race, Miz Cracker

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