Ginger Minj is a busy little elf.
From her new country album “Double Wide Diva” to sporadic appearances on television and in the movies to her next book, “Southern Fried Sass” (which would have earned her a six-figure contract), the “Drag Race” diva is everywhere. these days including a location near you. On November 29 and 30, the new Christmas Queen will perform her spectacular Winter Wonderland tour at the Miracle Theater.
We recently caught up with the multi-talented actress / comedian / singer to discuss her continued success, including making friends with Jennifer Aniston while filming Netflix’s “Dumplin,” her take on Dave Chappelle’s latest backlash, the best Christmas present she’s ever received, and what makes her the “cutest bitch” on this side of the North Pole – but first, let’s go sleigh back to the beginning.
BLADE: Tell me a bit about your beginnings in drag and the genesis of Ginger Minj.
GINGER MINJ: Like most good homos who love shows, I came across flirting through musical theater. I auditioned for a show that required either frontal nudity or drag, and figured I’d do better with a wig and heels than nothing at all. I got the role and really embraced it quickly. I felt more free and honest as a performer than ever before, and realized that I could earn a substantial income doing something that I was fully responsible for creating.
BLADE: How has your appearance on “Drag Race” helped your career, and what are your main lessons from your time in the series?
DG: It’s an international platform that allows us to present ourselves to the whole world. It allowed me to sit at the table with people and places that refused to even open the door for me in the past. I think there was – and maybe still sometimes is – this initial assumption that drag artists are limited in their talents, but we were able to show the world that we are just as talented and capable as we are. any other artist. I don’t wear a wig as a gadget. I wear it as a prop, and that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be taken as seriously as any other actor, singer, etc. “Drag Race” does a great job of showing the world that – and I will forever be grateful.
BLADE: If people didn’t surprise you in “Drag Race”, they might recognize you in the 2018 Netflix movie “Dumplin ‘” starring Jennifer Aniston and Dove Cameron. What was your experience on the set and do you have any other TV / film projects in the works?
DG: “Dumplin ‘” was the best experience of my life! Jennifer Aniston brought me coffee every morning and Kathy Najimy had my trailer moved next to hers so we could listen to Beyoncé and play with makeup. All the cast and crew treated us all, the queens, with incredible respect. It really gave me a passion for filmmaking and, yes, I’m happy to say that there are a few more projects – big and small screen – coming soon.
BLADE: What makes you the “most beautiful bitch you’ll ever meet?”
DG: It’s like those good old ladies from the church in the south who will give you the shirts on their backs but will grimy you for not bringing yours. The only thing bigger than my mouth is my heart and the “shady” things I say should never be taken seriously.
BLADE: As a comedian yourself, what do you think of the latest Dave Chappelle / Netflix controversy?
DG: I’ve always felt comedy and drag go hand in hand: it’s an outrageous way to start a conversation and confront people with their own feelings about anything and everything. That being said, I think there is a way to do it without disparaging and discrediting an entire group of human beings. I think it’s a shame that someone with such a platform chooses to strike.
BLADE: Your new single “Walk Tall” is about growing up gay in the South – and it’s a really good song. A radio worthy even, but difficult to sell, given its content, to a country music audience. How do you think this is changing? Will LGBTQ + country artists ever experience the same success as their heterosexual counterparts?
DG: I think so. To be completely honest with you, I got a lot more support for this album from the country community than from the drag world. The message is so universal, and we’ve been very careful to do it in a genuine and simple way. When we stop focusing on our differences and start accepting our similarities, the world can change. I just do the things that make me happy and hope he finds the people who need to hear him.
BLADE: Christmas is fast approaching, do you prefer to give or receive? What is your most precious Christmas present from the past?
DG: I am definitely a donor! I drive myself crazy for months researching and planning and searching for the perfect gifts for everyone. It’s my way of showing people I love the most that while I might be busy, I’m listening. I hear them, I see them and I appreciate them. The best Christmas present I ever had was a pair of inexpensive plastic slippers from my mom when I was a kid. I still have them. This moment changed my life forever. This is actually what inspired “Walk Tall”.
BLADE: Like Santa Claus himself, the Ginger Minj Winter Wonderland Tour 2021 is coming to town. What do you have in store for the public this holiday season?
DG: What don’t we have in reserve ?! There are 20 costume changes, instructional videos gone terribly wrong, singing, dancing, magic tricks, fog machines, comedy, and it’s even snowing on the audience! It’s the biggest, prettiest and most ambitious show we’ve ever put on.
BLADE: Until 2022, what is in preparation? What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?
DG: So many good things – more music, movies, TV, a theatrical production of “La Cage aux Folles” in Chicago, and my book “Southern Fried Sass” will hit the shelves. Now is a great time to be the “Glamor Toad,” and I am grateful every day.
Mikey rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in over 100 outlets around the world. Connect with Mikey on Instagram @mikeyroxtravels.