If 2020 embodied a physical vessel, it’s not unlikely that it would be a dumpster fire. At least, that’s certainly how it’s felt for most of the year. But for drag queen Miz Cracker, she’s taking the opportunity to reflect, and share a little joy with the world through her brand-new podcast “She’s a Woman,” which will debut on Dec. 7. On each episode, she’ll introduce a guest and make sure to add a little positivity to listeners’ days.
But she’s not stopping there. The musical drag sensation of “She’s a Woman” fame — which topped 1 million YouTube views — is on track to release “salty new Jewish holiday bangers” right in time for Hanukkah, appear on the Hulu show “Eater’s Guide to the World,” and announce a summer tour for 2021. Amidst a packed holiday schedule, Miz Cracker carved out some time for a phone call with Between The Lines to talk more about upcoming projects, the importance of positivity and why latkes are the best holiday food.
What are the best late-night food spots the world needs to know about?
I did Empanada Mama’s for “Eater’s Guide to the World,” and it’s just a place that for all drag queens, it’s a home. And it has been since before it burned down the first time (laughs), so it’s such a joy, especially because I’ve been on the road so much, to come home and bring my family of New York queens there and celebrate it with “Eater’s Guide.” It was so great.
What brought you there the first time? Was it the drag community, or did you stumble upon it yourself?
It’s just a traditional spot. It’s open 24 hours a day, so when you finish a show, there’s only one place to go.
And speaking of food, as a non-Jewish Eastern European person, I find it fantastic that one of the first things that pops up on YouTube when you search Miz Cracker is a video of you making latkes.
Don’t latkes make you feel like family and like home?
They’re the best! We have them at every family gathering.
Are you Polish?
Very much so (laughs).
I’m 98% Russian blood and that last tiny bit is Polish (laughs), so I’m Eastern European to the bone.
It definitely does seem, perhaps more than other drag queens, that Miz Cracker is more associated with food online. Why do you think that is?
I mean, especially for me, I was a pickle on season 10 [of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”] for one of the skits, and people think of food when they think of me. Food was kind of pushed into my life and I discovered how much I loved it, so I discovered food through drag.
And speaking of holiday food, you’re set to release some “Jewish holiday bangers” for Hanukkah. Is there a food theme there?
How could I not include a food theme in my holiday bangers? Our album cover might involve some food. I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s definitely going to be some kugel, some latkes, there’s going to be some gefilte fish, some Manischewitz in the music videos and in the videos, so don’t worry. There will be plenty of audio snacks!
I’m also curious about your podcast. What inspired the name, “She’s a Woman”?
I used to look in the mirror when I was getting ready, and when I felt like I had achieved a drag moment I would say, “Oh, she’s a woman!” And one of my friends came up to me and pointed out, “Now I say it in my mirror when I’m going out.” So, it changed from something I said about my drag to a rallying cry (laughs) for me and for women. That’s where it comes from, but the podcast itself is a celebration of women of all kinds and it comes out of me realizing that almost all of my fans and followers are women, and I owe them so much and this podcast is my way of giving back everything that they’ve given me.
What really struck me about the trailer is that you’ll include in each episode a positive news segment. Why did you choose to put that in there?
Well, I am addicted to reading The New York Times and listening to the Times’ podcast, and so I’m constantly inundated with bad news and I was like, “How do I counterbalance this? Why do I keep reading the newspaper if there’s so much negativity?” And I realized it was because there was a kernel of good news every day that helped me get through the day every day. So I said, “I want that in my podcast.” If you’re in the middle of 2020 and it’s a dumpster fire, you can have one little segment per week that gives you a good feeling.
It definitely feels like 2020 has been the dumpster fire to end all dumpster fires.
Yeah! I guess my short answer is: It’s 2020! We’re all depressed. We know things are bad. We might forget that things can be good, and that’s what I want to remind people of.
Can you reveal any guests that you’ll have on?
One of ours is Kimberly Drew; she is an art curator and a writer. We’re going to have Carla Lalli Music, who I’ve worked with before as a chef. We have Jeannine Cook, who is a bookstore owner. One of my favorite things about this podcast is that it’s about everyday incredible people, and we’re not looking to do what a lot of podcasts do, which is reach for the celeb that is getting Twitter mentions right now. We’re like, “Who has an incredible story?” No matter how known or unknown they are, it’s about story.
Debuting a podcast makes a ton of sense now especially because of COVID-19. How has the pandemic disrupted your career as a drag queen?
I mean, I used to travel the world with my co-pilot Katelyn and everything was about what we could do in the outside world. We loved that, but now we’re looking inside at what’s really important to us, and that’s kind of what the podcast came out of, “What’s important to us?” It’s giving back to the people who have given to us. Telling the stories that need to be told and doing what I said that I wanted to do from the beginning, which is showing people drag can do something important and beautiful in the world.
What’s a good piece of news that you heard recently?
A lot of times when you make a friend in the entertainment industry you lose them right away because it’s such a cutthroat world, and a friendship that I forged with Juju on “All Stars 5” has carried through, and we have supported each other through all of this. Through both of us losing our tours and both of us losing our dream, we both were saying to each other, “We’re going to buy a house after all of this is done!” And we’ve sort of seen that dream go away. So, the good news is that despite everything 2020 has tried to do, she can’t kill true friendship.
Follow all of Miz Cracker’s upcoming projects online at mizcracker.com.