Chatting Up the Legendary Lady Bunny
America’s drag version of royalty, Lady Bunny, is in town this week pulling out all the stops at a couple of different gigs around the Castro and the City. She’ll be working the decks as guest DJ Wednesday, July 31st at Joshua J’s and Juanita MORE’s beat banging Booty Call Wednesdays at QBAR (456 Castro St.).
Lady Bunny is one of the best known drag queens in the world. She’s the creator of Wigstock, one of the most innovative and ground shaking events ever held in NYC, exposing the world to a bevy of unique talent and madness like Hedda Lettuce, Leigh Bowery, and the musical group Deelite. She is a Renaissance woman and a force to be reckoned with. My favorite description of her she wrote herself for her blog. “I’m a Southern transvestite showgirl and I love pudding and owls. And owl pudding.” She also lists her interests as music, humor, dick and politics for those looking for a way to strike up a conversation next time you’re within her celestial orbit. Lady B is also wickedly funny and not shy about speaking her mind on a variety of subjects.
Castro Biscuit: You’re such a multi-layered performer: singer, actor, writer, television personality, club promoter, and drag entertainer plus a DJ! Which is your absolute favorite hat to wear?
Lady Bunny: Stop it! Stop the compliments! PS: You forgot journalist. Kidding! You know how the entire computer generation has ADHD? I had that before it was cool. I bore easily so it’s wise to ensure that various projects keep my plate very full. And as you can see, I normally gobble up everything on that plate and more! It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to work on music. I currently have the closest thing I’ve had to a hit on the Billboard Dance charts right now at #43. It’s called ‘Take Me Up High’ and I’m thrilled there’s been such a great response to the song and video, because I put songwriting and recording on the back burner for over a decade. Once I was finally ready with a release, the music industry thanked me by going into a tailspin due to illegal downloads and an emphasis on very formulaic top 40 artists drowning the market with garbage pop/dance. Even Justin Bieber! And in an industry that’s looking for the next Britney or Beyonce, a 50-year-old transvestite doesn’t exactly fit anyone’s mold. But this single is opening all kinds of doors. Today, I’m getting the video closed captioned for broadcast. I’ve never done anything like that before so to me it’s all exciting. Still performing comedy a lot all over the place and but I’m excited to just hop on and see where the music takes me. Which is a very San Francisco sort of feeling!
CB: At Booty Call you’ll be spinning discs-how long have you been a DJ?
LB: Michael Alig, the axe-murdering subject of the film ‘Party Monster‘ and promoter/club kid extraordinaire gave me my start in the late 80s. I was always booked as the dj in the smaller, more alternative room. Sadly, many clubs today have an alternative room which plays the same top 40 crap as the main room. Kind of defeats the purpose when you can’t escape Rihanna anywhere in the club. Especially when she’s singing ‘WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN’.
CB: I love your blog-how long have you been doing it?
LB: I’d say about 15 years. It’s an odd mix of comedy, pop culture, filth and politics. A lot of people didn’t now I had a political side. But a blog is a much better way to express serious, complicated thoughts because a drunk nightclub crowd hardly has the patience to listen to my thoughts on anything political or even too complex. With the blog, they can skip the posts which don’t interest them.
CB: How do you deal with trolls and their negative comments?
LB: I eventually stopped all comments because I was being spammed so heavily by robotic gold vendors. I can’t spend all day deleting annoying spam, which kind of kills the discussion.
CB: What topic has caused the most controversy?
LB: I’d say my most controversial topic is my disdain for Obama and other corporate democrats. Perhaps because I’m white and southern, it’s assumed that if I criticize the president, I’m Republican. Far from it! I’m a life-long democrat who is being driven from the party by crooked democrats like Obama, who are bought and sold by big business and the corporate and super-wealthy who don’t pay their fare share of taxes. Obama apologists like to claim that he’s a good guy but he’s a little wimpy, or that he inherited the country in such a mess and things take time to fix. Well, he’s certainly no wimp when it comes to dastardly deeds like spying on Americans and launching drones. And he did inherit a mess–which he has no interest in fixing if it interferes with his ties to corporations. He met big pharma at a closed-to-the-press session at the White House before he even crafted Obamacare. The system is so broken that changing one of the players isn’t going to help. Which translates to: If Obama recommends Hillary, then she’ll be more of the same.I never got more hateful comments on any post than one which was critical of Madonna. Gays acted as if a drag queen dissing Madge was sacrilege. Sorry, but not everyone in the gay community was brainwashed by Old McDonna.
CB: When did you meet Juanita MORE!?
LB: I honestly don’t recall. She was one of the few San Francisco queens who made regularly pilgrimages to NYC, really keeping that connection alive and expanding her empire. From fashion to promoting to performing to djing, she’s a force. And she hasn’t succumbed to the top 40 disease at Booty Call that forces djs to become jukeboxes that spout Gaga and LMFAO only. So it’s a pleasure to spin for her crowd. And let’s not even discuss her phenomenal, drool-enducing culinary skills!
CB: What do you like about SF?
LB: It’s the prettiest City in the country. I’m partially color blind–this explains my fashion sense–and I’m worst at identifying shades which aren’t straightforward. Nothing thrills me more than walking around gazing at the phenomenal fairy tale houses with turrets and elaborate flourishes and asking a friend “What color is that? How about that one?” I can’t alway identify the colors, but I love trying and then hearing what colors they actually are. I know that San Francisco is expensive. But if you’re living in an ornate house painted lavender, teal and cream with gold accents, it must be worth it. And the food here cannot be touched! The salad bar at Harvest is incredible and I’ve often dropped off my luggage and taken a cab straight to Pancho Villa in the Mission for those insane burritos and fresh pineapple agua fresca. And it’s a good place for intelligent, hip audiences. I’m performing with Glamamore for her SomeThing night this Friday at The Stud and bringing my one woman show to Rebel on October 4th and 5th.
CB: How do you find the Castro?
LB: Originally, I just wandered there because it’s the gay mecca of the West. When Wigstock: The Movie came out I got to appear at the magnificent theater and was also booked by Marc Huestis and Sasha Soprano for other events. I’m staying in the Castro this trip and it seems a lot less gay. I’ve also noticed 3 tours yesterday. Hmmmm.
CB: What’s your favorite bit about working on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Academy’?
LB: Meeting the Drag Race queens when they weren’t on Drag Race. On Drag Race, they are cut off from their cell phones and internet in a highly competitive environment for the duration that they stay on the show. On Drag U they were booked as talent, so they were relaxed and a joy to work with and I like all of them! Except for RuPaul–kidding!!
CB: What are the drag essentials you carry with you when you’re working-your purse tool box so to speak.
LB: Hammer, pick, spackle and blow-torch. No, I always have hairspray, lip gloss and powder on me.
CB: Hahahaha! Gurl. You’re too much. See you tonight!
Catch Lady Bunny tonight in the Castro with Juanita MORE at Booty Call Wednesday, 9PM, at QBAR on Castro or Friday at SOMEthing that art, drag, and cabaret extravaganza at The Stud Bar at Harrison and 9th Streets in SF.