PART 2: ONE ON ONE WITH SEASON 3 “DRAG RACE” CONTESTANT CARMEN CARRERA
Part 2 of the interview with Season 3 contestant Carmen Carrera. Here, she dishes for the first time about the other contestants and her life without a wig…
TBP: Lets dish about the contestants. Which contestants are the most different in and out of drag?
Carmen: Venus D-Light is the most different. When she is a boy she is more calm.
Raja is really different too. When she is a girl she is a runway model and then she is just a cool guy.
TBP: What was your first impression when you were reviewing the other contestants? The one who had plastic surgery so she could look more like Madonna seems a little koo koo, which, of course, I adore.
Carmen: I just thought that my biggest roadblock in the competition was that I don’t have breasts. But, again, I think I am the one who you have to look for my penis.
TBP: I love that not having boobs was your biggest challenge. Where do you tuck your stuff?
Carmen: It’s a little bit of a secret. It’s something my drag mother, sister and I are known for. We have a secret way of tucking where it looks really good. We know what we are doing.
In an upcoming episode, the viewers at home will get a tutorial. It’s the Carrera family secret.
TBP: One contestant this season is the boyfriend of a contestant from last season. Did that give her an advantage?
Carmen: I kind of thought that too and said that in the interview. I don’t know how much preparation she could have gotten because the producers don’t give you any time to think about a challenge. There is no rehearsal time.
It’s like, “Good morning, this is what you are doing today… now go.” So you have to bring it all the time.
TBP: Reubenesque contestant Mimi Imfurst has a mini breakdown almost immediately when she tries to make a costume and hilarity ensues. She can’t sew. Didn’t she think to take a sewing class before going on a show where costuming is 25% of the challenges?
Carmen: The show gave us three days notice that we were cast and going to Los Angeles so she didn’t have a lot of time.
For me, you will see my costumes are all in the detail.
TBP: And the tucking, I hear. Smile. Drag Race has a huge straight following in this area. I know people who get together and recap every weekend. Some straight friends text each other during the show to predict who’s going to “sashay away” at the end of the episode.
What do you want people who are less fluent in drag to know about the innerworkings of your dynasty?
Carmen: Just that it’s an art and it’s a character. Appreciate drag like you appreciate a show on Broadway. It’s a character we play. Have fun with it.
TBP: Ru helped bring drag mainstream. I knew her when I worked in radio and she was a DJ in the morning on WKTU. She was fabulous then too but I heard she was a handful.
To me she genuinely seems to enjoy doing the show and cares about you and the other contestants, unlike 99.9% of other reality show hosts.
Carmen: Ru is caring and down to earth. The way she looks on TV is the way she looks in person. She is beyond professional and always there. I left with the best advice from Ru.
TBP: What was that advice?
Carmen: Curling my lashes instead of using fake lashes. Things like that have helped me so much.
TBP: Ah, yes. And finally, your husband – you were civil unionized in New Jersey a year or so ago – what does he think of your performing?
Carmen: My husband was straight for ten years after high school. Now he is with me. He gets so jealous when I am Carmen. When strangers tip me in my butt crack he hates it. He is Latin and you know how Latin guys are.
Also, he is a simple guy. And when it comes to being Carmen, I am crazy and on edge. He doesn’t know about wigs and eyelash glue and costumes. I want him to just get up and not ask me questions. And he is always asking questions. That’s the only time we have any conflict.
TBP: Any of the other contestants have an Asbury Park connection we should know about?
Carmen: Ashley Blake goes down to Asbury Park. I can’t wait to get back there this summer. Hopefully I can perform at Paradise.
TBP: That’s sure to happen.
More “Drag Race”: For The Coaster and TheBPlot’s 2010 interview with Season 2 contestant Mystique, click here.