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  WINDY CITY TIMES

ENTERTAINERS 'Drag Race' alum Ginger Minj takes 'Christ' on the road
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2015-07-01

This article shared 5254 times since Wed Jul 1, 2015
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The talented and funny Ginger Minj almost won the RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo during season seven. Before that, she reigned over the pageant circuit in the South. Hailing from Leesburg, Florida, she now calls Orlando her home.

Presented by Murray & Peter, Crossdresser for Christ: The Musical will take her on a whirlwind tour.

Windy City Times: Hi, Ginger. Good to see you at Roscoe's recently.

Ginger Minj: Oh, I had walking pneumonia. That sounds stupid—it's a cold, so get over it!

WCT: Was it hard to perform a selection from Rent in the bar?

GM: I think it can be hard with any song. You will appeal to some people and turn others off. I have found that when I do Broadway there is a lot more people that get it than I anticipate. At Roscoe's the whole room was singing along and I thought that was so cool. I did not expect that.

WCT: Why didn't perform your single "Ooh Lala Lala?"

GM: I was going to but I could't breathe through my nose. I couldn't have sung even if I was at gunpoint!

WCT: Were you able to rest some and get well?

GM: No; there is no rest for the wicked. I had a trip to Nashville and, after that, Washington D.C.'s Pride. Then I am back in Miami to finish recording my album. I just recorded a duet with Margaret Cho for my record. It is hysterical. I think people are going to expect one thing and then get something totally different. They are going to love it. It's wonderful and I loved working with her.

WCT: She's a nice person.

GM: She's sweet. I grew up adoring her. We were sitting there in the recording studio and every time there was a break she would ask me to take a picture for her friend or do the Adele thing. I thought, "I should be asking you to do all of this, Margaret!" It was really funny to me.

WCT: How did your show, Crossdresser for Christ, come together?

GM: It is a one-woman show starring me and three other people. It is the story of my life from the time I was born until I got into drag. It had my Southern Baptist upbringing mixed with all of the terrible decisions I have made every day, whether performance based or in my personal life.

It is therapy to me. I talk about stuff I would never talk to my therapist about. It is easier to talk about when it is set to music. You can sing emotions better than you can talk about them. We did the first workshop of it back in November. It was good but needed tweaking. We did a second workshop in the Laurie Beechman Theater in New York and it came together. We had three performances and they were all sold out with standing ovations. The best part was when people came up to me right after the show and identified with my experiences. It is cool to share experiences with an audience who get it.

WCT: Who are Murray & Peter, who presented your show?

GM: They used to produce Joan Rivers' live shows and also Bianca Del Rio's Rolodex of Hate Tour. Bianca has been one of my biggest champions from the beginning of the season. She told people to check out my show. That is what happened with Murray & Peter. She told them to see my act and they flew in for it. They loved it so now we work together. They are great guys.

WCT: I grew up in Tennessee with a strict religious background. Was it the same with you?

GM: Completely. That was my experience growing up in Florida. We were at church every Wednesday night as well as Sundays. We lived at the church. We couldn't dance or drink, pretty much all of the shit I get paid to do now!

WCT: Did your family come around to you being gay?

GM: Not just my family but the entire community in Leesburg, Florida. Ever since Drag Race happened, everyone has been very supportive. I have gotten one piece of negative feedback from anybody there. Good Southern religious people can read you to filth but still give you the shirt off their back!

When I married my husband in Leesburg ten years ago the entire town pitched in because we had no money. The local grocery store down the street made the cake.

WCT: We talked before the season began on RuPaul's Drag Race, so how does it feel now that everything is over?

GM: I feel wonderful. I sat there watching the finale and thinking how happy I am that it is over. I felt like I gave birth to the biggest fucking baby in the world! I had all of these secrets that I was sitting on for a year. All of sudden it is done. It was time to pick up the pieces of my vagina, sew them back together and move on!

WCT: There is an on the Internet titled "Five Reasons Ginger Minj Should Have Won RuPaul's Drag Race." How does that make you feel?

GM: It made me feel good—not as good as winning a $100,000 but who wants to be Fantasia Barrino when you can be Jennifer Hudson? With the Oscar and music awards, if I can follow in her footsteps I think I will be all right.

I will also say I am very proud of [winner] Violet Chachki. It the end it really came down to... I would say apples and oranges but it was really bananas and watermelons! It was a coin toss to see who was going to win.

I am happy that I didn't win for the sole reason that it would have put me into a box of what I would have had to do for a year. Instead of putting up more walls, I am kicking the doors down. I am throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks.

John Waters and Harvey Fierstein have professed their love to me, so if they could just write me a movie or a musical where I come back as Divine's long-lost child to avenge her death I think my life will be complete.

I looked up to both of them my entire life. Growing up, Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Polyester and Torch Song Trilogy were the only windows I had into the gay world. I finally played Arnold years ago and, sometimes, there were only two people in the audience. I didn't care and would do all four and half hours of Torch Song Trilogy for them. It formed my life. To get acknowledgement from the two of them is better than any crown, any day!

WCT: With the success of Kinky Boots, I think we need some more drag-queen musicals.

GM: I do too, especially ones I can star in. Good lord, I can't play Billy Porter's role!

Catch the Minj at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., on July 10 at 9 p.m. Visit www.eTix.com or call 800-514-3849 for details .


This article shared 5254 times since Wed Jul 1, 2015
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