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NUNN ON ONE DRAG Miz Cracker on being an 'All Star' and using karate
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2020-05-27

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Drag personality Miz Cracker drove into the spotlight by placing fifth on the 10th season of RuPaul's Drag Race. The race continues with the recent announcement that Cracker is a contestant on the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.

Before the persona of Miz Cracker came along, Maxwell Heller was born in Seattle before moving to New York City. Bob the Drag Queen took Cracker under his wing and YouTube videos began spotlighting Heller's humor. The producers of Drag Race noticed, then made Cracker an international sensation from the hit reality show, bringing her brand to a major global audience.

Windy City Times: How does it feel to be on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars?

Miz Cracker: Walking into the All Stars Werk Room, I felt like I finally had a chance to show the world what I can do. I've been waiting and it means so much.

Now it's all about the anticipation. Did I prove myself? Did I defeat my inner demons? It's exciting because I'll find out alongside everyone else.

WCT: What can you tell our readers about All Stars?

MC: Well, of course, I wouldn't want to give anything away, but I think it's safe for me to say that this is an action-packed season.

I'm talking about explosive drama on all sides. Everyone fighting tooth and nail for the crown. There's not a single quiet moment.

WCT: How much more challenging was All Stars compared to a regular season on Drag Race?

MC: When you're on All Stars, you're competing with the best of the best. Every single girl has a superpower. So you have to be at your best, all the time, without ever taking a breath. The battle isn't just on the main stage, it's in the Werk Room, too.

WCT: How was Ricky Martin as a guest judge on All Stars?

MC: Well, of course, Ricky Martin is unbelievably gorgeous. His presence in the room turned everyone into a silly mess.

WCT: Do you speak Spanish?

MC: Let's just say you're going to have to tune in to see!

WCT: Your new tour is traveling all over the world in 2021 after being postponed?

Miz Cracker: Yes. I [had] done Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Finland and Sweden before the pandemic.

WCT: How are fans in other areas of the world compared to the United States?

MC: Much more polite! [Laughs]

WCT: Because they keep their hands to themselves?

MC: Exactly.

WCT: Why do people think they can touch drag queens?

MC: Because we look so soft and touchable. We are padded like furniture so…

WCT: How was putting together the show American Woman?

MC: The show came together because I was in Liverpool doing a meet and greet. I stepped out of line to see who was coming to see me. It was ninety percent women. I realized I was doing my numbers and jokes for gay men like I'm in a gay bar. I'm in the international drag scene and that is not my audience anymore. I needed to make a show for women. I did a bunch of research and this is what came out of that.

It's a show about what we can do to be better allies to women right now.

WCT: Is the Lenny Kravitz song "American Woman" in the show?

MC: No. I left it out of it because I often get introduced by other drag queens who do numbers before the show. I left that number for them to do.

WCT: What songs are you doing?

MC: "God Is a Woman," by Ariana Grande, and "Woman's World," by Cher, launch the show. The songs after that are less literal and explore a huge range of issues.

WCT: Are you talking throughout the show about feminism?

MC: It's not me mansplaining feminism, but I do talk about the mistakes I have made to women and make fun of myself for it. I don't want people to repeat my mistakes.

It's about 50-percent standup comedy, 20-percent stories from my life and the rest is big-energy dance numbers.

WCT: Any special guests for American Woman?

MC: No, there's not because I have this weird thing that none of my sisters share with me. When I do a solo show, I do it alone!

WCT: What new video projects do you have?

MC: We are going to start Review with a Jew again for season 12. Hopefully, we are going to do more Bon Appetit videos because they are part of the Cracker presence in the world.

WCT: Do you have time to work on videos while on the road?

MC: No. I am working all the time on tour. I have a landmark photo series where I take pictures in front of landmarks all over the world. I have done 30 landmarks in the United States. When other people are sleeping on the bus, I get up early, put on makeup and go meet fans. If there is one thing Miz Cracker is, she is a campaigning queen!

WCT: Drag Out The Vote continues to be a big cause for you?

MC: Yes, but I am not a political queen. I am a queen that talks about personal issues from own life. People can read that as political, but it's not. I don't have a political stance to try to get people on one side or the other. I am trying to get people to think about what matters.

I think Drag Out The Vote is a great thing because it's encouraging people to vote, not to vote one way or another. People need to care and just show up.

WCT: Did you learn karate so you could protect yourself in a fight?

MC: Yes, and it was something my dad wanted for me. I started when I was five and I competed internationally until I was 20 years old. I did it for fifteen years about six hours a day. I was a black belt and national gold medalist as well.

WCT: When you were robbed in Dublin, why didn't you use karate on the thief?

MC: I wanted to, but I was in heels! [Laughs] I started off running after the guy, but I had six-inch heels and the cobblestones were so deep that it was all over.

WCT: I went to Dublin recently and had a great time.

MC: Oh, they were so sweet and very apologetic for that happening to me.

WCT: Do you keep in touch with any cast members from your season of Drag Race?

MC: Absolutely. I was just talking to The Vixen yesterday. We talk pretty much every day.

WCT: How do you compare New York drag queens to Chicago drag queens?

MC: New York drag queens will give up any accessory to perform comfortably. In Chicago if they can't move, it's fine. They are going to wear that look.

I think when the two come together, that's when it's beautiful. You will have the looks and the performance at the same time. The two cities really challenge each other in that respect. New York and Chicago are the two drag powerhouses that I love the most.

WCT: What was your takeaway from RuPaul's Drag Race, overall?

MC: Don't be afraid, because fear is going to get in your way. Usually what you are afraid of is not as bad as fear itself. I wanted to let go of being nervous and afraid, so here I am again!

RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars is currently airing on VH1. Miz Cracker's American Woman is currently postponed until winter 2021 with up to date ticket information at Cracker2020.com .


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