Tell us a little bit about yourself and how the RuPaw project came about.
My good Judy and I John, have been best friends and creative co-whores in NYC for the last 8 years and have always loved the drag scene – and of course...RuPaul's Drag Race!
RuPaw's began two years and 255 posts ago on a rainy night at Strand Bookstore. Tuna the dog, who was rumoured to strongly resemble John (according to John’s boyfriend, Stephen), was having a book signing, and we decided to go for the photo opportunity alone (as it turns out, the rumours were true)!
Here was Tuna, with his underbite on full display, getting all of the accolades (and out there on the internet were also Marnie, Bub, and Grumpy Cat), and we sat there and thought, ‘What poor fortune to only have a cat of symmetrical proportions at home’. I said out loud to John, ‘What do I know best...cats & drag queens, cats & drag queens’, to which John proclaimed: "RUPAW'S DRAG RACE"!
You are taking Instagram by storm; are you surprised by the popularity?
Timing is everything! Within days of conceptualising RuPaw's Drag Race, season 7 began! We made our first look (Miss Fame), we did our first photo shoot (only to find our little Kitty Girl was more than happy to get padded up and hit the cat walk), and did our first post (radio silence). Maybe a week or two later we had...13 followers, and all of 3 likes. But we kept on laughing and creating! Some of our first big fans on Instagram were the queens themselves and RuPaul's Drag Race! Once they started Ru-posting, we jumped to 10k, and once others started taking notice – like when BuzzFeed did an interview with us, for example – we jumped from 10k to 20k overnight! The internet is a strange and wonderful place!
Talk us through your creative process…
Every week, we watch RuPaul's Drag Race (often at a viewing hosted by so many of the fabulous queens stomping around NYC & BK) and pick which look(s) will be best to create. Sometimes it is who won! Sometimes it is who lost, who we really love, who the fans seem to be gravitating towards, who had the best look – OR the most insane look! We have become a little more couture this season (THESE QUEENS ARE GIVING US A RUN FOR OUR MONEY; that is no joke haha), but ultimately, it is all about making people laugh and what will look funny translated on a cat!
Do you make the costumes yourselves?
Absofruitly! All of the cat couture seen on RuPaw's Drag Race is handmade by myself and John! We have the luck & luxury of living in New York, where we can source materials in the Garment District (more often than not, sourcing the same materials the queens themselves use) and from local shops that support the LGBT community like Out of the Closet Thrift Stores! It often takes us each hours, days even, to complete one tiny look together. We pad, hot glue, and sew the gowns and make the wigs from scratch – a lot of what you see is just regular ol' yarn, manipulated and teased to kitty wig purrfection (we get a lot of styling inspiration from our favourite wigmakers, Wigs & Grace)!
How would you define sassiness?
Sassiness! It’s sweet! It’s sticky! It’s spicy! It’s salty! It’s sparkles and glitter! It’s big and bold! It’s in your walk, your talk, your clothes, your hair! ANY WHICH WAY!
How sassy are you?
On a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being the most sassy, I would say I’m at about one fafillion! I've never been one to blend in, back down, or be boring (or humble)! But I like to share my sass with people in a way that is ridiculous, yet approachable. It’s an all inclusive kind of sass (until it’s not, and then it’s ALL T, ALL SHADE HENNY! Haha)! Why be the whole box of crayons if you're not going to share all of the colours with the world?!
Tell us your best sassy story...
Holy heck! Where do I begin?
I once heard, "A closed mouth does not get fed"...and let's just say...I ain't never been hungry!
What makes you happy?
Growing up, I did not have a happy home, so I am beyond happy to now have the incredible drag family and community that we do through RuPaw's Drag Race! The number of likes and positive comments we receive is just unbelievable – every time a follower says, "This is giving me life", it really gives me life. I can’t imagine a better feeling than making more than 55k people laugh! And as RuPaw's grows, we only hope we are able to continue to use our prowess to raise money and awareness for AIDS Walk and so many other LGBT organisations. We are all in this together, right?
What exciting costumes can we expect soon?
There have been so many above-and-beyond looks this season – the queens’ promo looks really set the tone. Our version of Shea Couleé's promo look cost us some serious kitty coins...and by that, I mean a lot of human dollars haha, and the costumes only keep getting bigger! Our recent Club Kid copy cat of Peppermint has received our greatest number of likes to date! As we near the finale, we can only imagine the queens will be pulling out all the stops, and we've got our claws (and scissors) out, ready & sharpened! After all, it’s our world, KITTY GIRL!