Jinkx Monsoon takes her 'filthy' comedy on a stand-up tour – The Arizona Republic
Corrections & Clarifications: Jinkx Monsoon has been sober for three years. An earlier version of this article misstated the length of time.
It’s monsoon season — in more ways than one.
In July, drag superstar Jinkx Monsoon, 34, was crowned the Queen of All Queens on Season 7 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars.” Two months after her historic win, she will be making highly anticipated appearances in Phoenix.
The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 5 champion from 2013 won “All Stars” this summer among an all-winners cast from previous seasons — and has the scepter to prove that she is the ultimate queen in “Drag Race” “herstory.”
Suffice it to say, she’s been busy since claiming the title.
“I have worked pretty much nonstop since the finale,” she told The Arizona Republic. “A lot of the things that got canceled for COVID have all coalesced at the same very busy moment in time for me. So it’s been a lot of work, but I’m very content.”
However, she’s found time to do a handful of stand-up comedy shows before she jets off on the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Tour.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, she will be in downtown Phoenix for two stand-up shows at Stand Up Live (the 7 p.m. slot sold out, so the venue added a second show at 9:30 p.m.) and will make a sold-out special appearance at Kobalt Bar in Phoenix on Friday, Sept. 16.
She promises that her sets will be “filthy, raunchy, funny (and) boisterous,” so the shows are for age 18 and older.
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Jinkx believes that “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans got to see “Jinkx the human being” on screen. In reality, however, “I’m filthy.”
“Jinkx the character is so much … filthier and unhinged,” she said.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned. Jinkx’s stand-up show is a “very intimate, candid show” full of anecdotes from her sex life, the celebrity drag queen lifestyle and the days when she used to drink. (Jinkx is three years sober.)
“What I love about doing stand-up in drag is that I am sharing stories from my real life, but through the filter and through the lens of Jinkx Monsoon the character,” she said. “So it’s all being delivered in the most filthy, raunchy, funny, boisterous, over-the-top way possible.”
However silly her material might be, Jinkx takes herself seriously as someone representing a marginalized community in the realm of comedy.
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Jinkx, who grew up in Portland and came out as gay at 13, grew up in a space where they felt safe coming out as a teenager. (Jinkx Monsoon is transfeminine nonbinary and uses she and they pronouns.) In an interview with Autostraddle this year, she credited Portland’s Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center for being “involved in queer politics and queer issues” from an early age.
Growing up with support from her community and relatives has influenced Jinkx’s humor, including how she reads (also known as roasts) other drag queens.
“I really love having grown up in the queer community and learning what’s funny from other queer people, because I don’t think a lot of queer comics practice punching down,” she said. “I think (BenDeLaCreme) said it best, like, if you can’t be funny without attacking marginalized communities, then you probably weren’t that funny to begin with.”
Jinkx refuses to go for the low-hanging fruit, she said, because “true humor” comes from making jokes about someone’s personality — not their attributes, demographics or “what society places on this person.”
When it comes to stand-up, Jinkx Monsoon isn’t the only drag queen doing comedy sets at major venues. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen performed at Stand Up Live Phoenix this year, for example. Though Jinkx believes most drag queens “are already stand-up comedians just in what we do in our work,” she is among a minority in the comedy profession.
“There’s no reason why drag queens shouldn’t also be participating in the stand-up comedy world, which we know is dominated by cis straight men,” Jinkx said.
“So to be someone who’s bringing more queer stories and queer representation to the stand-up comedy world, I feel so lucky to be at this point in my career — where I’m doing a little bit of everything and showing that drag queens are everything we claim to be.”
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Jinkx’s schedule mainly consists of live performances — comedic, theatrical and musical — and they will remain as her focus. She will continue to work with musical partner Major Scales and fellow “Drag Race” alumna and Pacific Northwesterner BenDeLaCreme, who’s the other half of the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Tour.
Bu there are other avenues of entertainment that she’s continuing to explore. She’s done some voice acting in the past few years, lending her voice to animated series such as “Steven Universe” and “Helluva Boss.”
“I’ve been taking more trips into the studio for animated voice acting appearances, none of which I can talk about, but I can just say I am truly excited for some things that are down the line,” Jinkx said.
“I’m still very green in that realm, but I am excited that the voice acting world and the animated world has started to give me bigger moments to shine and trusted me with bigger projects recently.”
She will also continue to lend her talents to live-action productions. Jinkx’s acting credits include playing a drag queen named Em K. Ultra in Hulu’s 2020 rom-com “Happiest Season,” and her sketch comedy series, “Sketchy Queens,” will premiere on the streaming service WOW Presents Plus on Sept. 15
“From this point moving forward, I’m going to be going for a lot more auditions, because I really want my future to be in scripted acting work,” she said. “I want to be able to split my focus between doing scripted acting work as an individual and then continuing to generate original work with my collaborators.”
Whether she’s on stage, filming a movie or TV series or playing an animated character, she knows that “my entire life has led up to me doing what I do right now.”
“The one thing I’ve been most certain of in my entire time on this Earth is that I belong in entertainment, and that’s the best way for me to create positive change within my community and within the world at large.
“If I had no voice at all I’ll find a way to still get on that stage and express myself.”
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Her Stand Up Live appearance won’t be the only opportunity to see Jinkx in Phoenix.
On Friday, Sept. 16, she will also make a special sold-out appearance in central Phoenix at Kobalt Bar‘s weekly 4Some Revue drag show, which stars Joey Jay, Toothpick, Gia DeMilo, Mynx DeMilo and Salem Vee DeMilo.
After Phoenix, Jinkx has two stand-up shows at the Punchline Comedy Club in Sacramento, California, before going on tour for the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show.
Here are the U.S. dates for the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show in 2022:
Where: Stand Up Live Phoenix, 50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix.
When: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15.
Admission: $35 general admission, $80 VIP (includes reserved seating and meet & greet).
Note: The show is 18 and up.
Details: 480-719-6100, https://phoenix.standuplive.com.
Reach Entertainment Reporter KiMi Robinson at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @kimirobin and Instagram @ReporterKiMi.
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