I was first introduced to Ginger Minj, who many of you will remember from Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race, four months ago when her show Crossdress for Christ was returning to The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Well, a lot can happen in four months and it's wonderful, during this festive time of year, to catch up with Ginger as we talk about her debut holiday show The Ginger Minj & Friends CHRISTMA-HANNU-KWANZAA-KA Spectacular! which will play at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC December 10-13 (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue inside the West Bank Cafe). Click here for tickets!
No matter what you celebrate, the indomitable Ginger Minj and her merry band of cohorts are ready to help you ring in your favorite holiday. The festive show will feature hits like The Kwanzaa Song, Oh Hanukkah, and I'm Dreaming of a "White" Christmas. Ginger will be joined by Janine Klein and Michael Kirk Lane in her quest to redefine whatever it is that you hold dear!
1. We first met this past summer when we did an interview for your show Crossdresser for Christ - The Musical. Looking back, what were your thoughts on how the show went? Do you want to do it again? It's good to chat with you again! Crossdresser for Christ was such a cathartic experience! It changes and grows with each performance and allows me to connect with audiences in a way I've never been able to before. I can't wait to do it again...I gain new stories and perspectives on life every day!
2. What is something that has happened in the past 4 months that you are most thankful for? My life has changed so drastically over the past four months! I have a much better sense of self, I've dropped over 50 pounds (don't worry, I'm still a big boned gal!), I've reconnected with both of my brothers after 15 years apart, and I'm in the most wonderful relationship! It's a great time in the Haus of Minj! I am so, so thankful every single day for all of the doors that have been opened to me, even if they're showing me the way out. ;-)
3. This December you are debuting your first ever holiday show The Ginger Minj & Friends CHRISTMA-HANNU-KWANZAA-KA Spectacular! In this show, your quest is to redefine whatever it is you hold dear. What is something you hold dear that you have redefined in your life? CHRISTMA-HANNU-KWANZAA-KA" is my attempt to celebrate everyone, no matter what their beliefs are, all while poking fun and having a good time. Those are the two things most important to me, universal celebration of self and laughter, so to be able to combine them is truly a Christma-hannu-kwanzaa-ka miracle!
4. How do you feel this show will spread some much needed holiday cheer? This is the holiday show for those of us who feel like we'll run into oncoming traffic if we have to sit through another rendition of "Oh Christmas Tree" or "Jingle Bells". It takes the idea of a traditional Christmas Pageant and turns it on its head. It's definitely not for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended, but it's fuuuun for the whole (dysfunctional) family!
5. This show also celebrates all the holidays from Kwanza to Chanukah to Christmas. What's your favorite way to ring in the holidays? As traditional as it sounds, holidays are all about family to me, both biological and chosen. Having spent this past year traveling the world, quality home time is more important than ever!
6. Out all the holiday influenced clothing options, how do you decide what you are going to wear for this show? The costuming process has been a lot like the writing process...throw everything against the wall, see what sticks, and add rhinestones. There are certainly some, ummmm...colorful?...creations, to say the least.
7. What is one holiday tradition you have adopted as an adult? For as far back as I can remember, we all get together on Christmas Eve, stuff our faces with Mom's lasagna (literally the only thing she can cook, but it's delicious!), donning our gay apparel (usually new pjs) and piling into the car to go look at Christmas lights. No matter where I am in the world, I will never miss Christmas Eve with the family, especially since we lost my grandfather this year and it showed us how precious our time together truly is.
9. What's your holiday wish for this season? I just want to continue to do what I love to do! Traveling the world, meeting and entertaining all kinds of people, sharing all kinds of crazy experiences is a dream come true. And cultivating such a wonderful relationship with the Laurie Beechman Theatre has been the icing on a sweet, sweet cake!
10. What's your favorite holiday food? All of it! I'm about as Southern as you can get, so the holidays is the one time of year we're allowed to gorge ourselves on mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, etc. and not feel bad about it!
Ginger Minj has long reigned as The Comedy Queen of The South, with the pageant titles, including "Miss Gay United States 2013," "Miss National Comedy Queen 2012" and others. Originally from Leesburg, Florida, she now calls Orlando home. Minj cites classic funny ladies Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball as her idols. "Anyone who can pile three wigs on their head, squeeze their body into a beaded and rhinestoned gown and serve humor alongside the glamour is my hero," says Ginger. Ginger’s future career goals, in addition to winning the title of "America’s Next Drag Superstar," on RuPaul’s Drag Race is to follow in the footsteps of similar plus-sized comedians like Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson. And she’s already got the acting credits; before becoming Ginger Minj, this talented performer was a child actor starring in a series of Christian movies and books on tape, and even won a Best Actor Award for the state of Florida in 2002.