Jinkx Monsoon is the alter ego of Jerick Hoffer who was the winner on Season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race on LOGO. He's continuing his New York debut at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC in The Vaudevillians, a musical comedy co-starring composer and musician Major Scales featuring such hit songs as "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "Drop It Like It's Hot." The Vaudevillans plays through November 11. Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Simply put, the movie Death Becomes Her. At a young age I saw that movie and said, "I want to do that when I'm grown up!" I didn't know what 'that' meant for me at that time, but now-a-days I just refer to it as the moment I realized I wanted to be Meryl Streep.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Bette Midler, Sarah Silverman, Bernadette Peters, Maria Bamford and...hell, let's say Daniel Radcliffe.
3. How did you come up with your alter ego, Jinkx Monsoon? She's a mix of...well, Better Midler, Sarah Silverman, Bernadette Peters, Maria Bamford, Ha ha, and of course some Lucille Ball, Madeline Kahn, Carol Burnett and then (not JUST cuz she's my namesake) Jennifer Saunders as "Edina Monsoon."
4. You are about to make a grand return to The Laurie Beechman Theatre as The Vaudevillians. How did you initially come to create this duo? What is like after all these years to be performing your hit songs again? How did it feel to discover these other artists perform them during your absence? For the Vaudevillians, their whole life is to be on stage, so now-a-days when the outcry for Vaudeville has been deafened by movies and stereos, it's nice to find any theater that will take them in. As for all their songs being stolen...that's kinda bittersweet. On one hand, of course they're upset to find all their music has been ripped off...But it's nice to know that it had such an impact that it has stood the test of time. But like I said, any chance to get on stage in front of a live audience once more? We'll take it!
5. What excites you about returning to perform at The Laurie Beechman Theatre? The staff at the Laurie Beechman get our show....They get theater. They are as in on the joke as anyone else. This is proved by their expert understanding of not just the ins and outs of our show, but what I've seen at every show I've been to there. The entire staff, from concierge to waiter to house manager to busboy....EVERYONE is there to make sure that you get the most out of your evening, and that you leave the show with a positive, theater-going experience. It's rare to find that these days. But it exists! It's alive and well at The Laurie Beechman Theatre.
6. What does this venue offer that another one might not? Intimacy, with just enough theatrical sensibility to make it "an evening of live entertainment" rather than just "dinner and a show." If that makes any sense. Ha ha.
7. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing The Vaudevillians? A new found respect for "the classics"...Meaning, these are songs we all know and love, but presented in a traditional sense. I think the best way of summing up our show is by stating, over the last century, so much has changed, and yet so little.
8. You were on Season 5 of RuPaul's Drag Race. What went through your head when you found out you were going to be part of this show? What was the best part of being on RuPaul's DragRace and what did you learn from Ru himself? When I heard I was going to be on RPDR5, I remember thinking "this can't possibly be true. I wished, hoped, and dreamed about this....and now it's reality?!? No F*cking way!!!!" And I still, to this day, still kinda feel that way. But what I learned from Ru is, you can't just sit and want it to happen. You gotta fight, finesse and WERK your way into your destiny. But once you get there, be proud of what special things you have to offer. Ru taught me, that no matter who you are, if you do it to 100% of your ability, you can do anything!
9. In addition to The Vaudevillians, you have also appeared in several theatrical stage shows, out of drag as Jerick Hoffer, in Seattle including Spring Awakening, Rent, and the upcoming Hedwig and The Angry Inch. What do you get from theatrical work that you do not get from your singing career? Well, I LOVE singing. But my favorite way to do that is in front of a live audience. You get something in front a live audience that you get no where else. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. If you truly wanna hone your skills, no matter what they may be, do it in front of a live audience. The laughter, the response, the kinetic energy in the room...that doesn't lie. You can't delude yourself in front of a live crowd. Simply put: "you either got it, or you ain't." - "Mama Rose," Gypsy.
11. What's the best advice you've ever received? No matter what critiques or criticisms you face; it's about the WORK, not YOU.
12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Shapeshifting, like "Mystique" in X-Men. Drag would be ten times easier and I could spend that three hours doing productive things. Ha ha ha.
13. Favorite way to stay in shape? Portion control and walking any/everywhere you can.
14. As Jinkx, favorite skin care product? Dr. Jen's King of Cool, after shave gel, available from Atomic Cosmetics.
15. As Jerick, boxers or briefs? Briefs. I like to be all in one place.
Jerick graduated with a degree in theatrical performance from Cornish College in Seattle. With ten years experience on stage, Jerick is a seasoned Portland-born entertainer who has captured the attention of his native northwest region. As early as 2006, Jerick appeared as the lead dancer in the world's largest drag queen chorus line, which made the Guinness Book of World Records. By 2012, he had advanced to roles in Seattle theaters, playing "Moritz" in Spring Awakening (produced by Balagan Theatre) and "Angel" in Rent (produced by The 5th Avenue Theatre). Earlier this year, Jerick played "Hedwig" in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (produced by Balagan Theatre and Seattle Theatre Group).