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By the time this interview is read, Ivy Winters from this season’s RuPaul Drag Race will have already performed twice at the Bunk House. The amazing thing about Ivy is she is a “real” performer. She makes her own clothes, her makeup is flawless, she eats fire, juggles and can be found on stilts. She is up for Miss Congeniality this year, and she certainly deserves to win.

So Ivy, you’re from a small town in Michigan?
I’m from a small town in Michigan, that is correct.

What was it like growing up there?
Oh, I loved it. Any chance I have to go back I try to. I grew up in the smallest town in Fenwick, Michigan. All there was in town was a post office.  There were chickens on my street, no gas station; you had to drive 20 minutes to get to a little town with stores. But it was so beautiful. I loved it. I don’t think I would ever leave New York, but I love going back home.  It’s just relaxing.

When’s the first time you put on a pair of heels?
The first time I put on a pair of heels was when I was 18, and I first started doing drag.

Who do you get your drag inspirations from?
I get it from all of my friends. As for celebrities, I love David Bowie. I love a lot of old school female singers: Ella Fitzgerald, I love the Andrew Sisters. That whole time period I get a lot of inspiration from.  I get a lot of inspiration from the circus and, like, everyday things. It’s everywhere for me.

So I was wondering, where you learned all of your circus acts from?
Actually, when I was like 8 years old I saw clowns juggle. It was super impressive to me, so I just practiced, learned off YouTube videos, read books, anything to do with the circus I was addicted to, and everything I do I taught myself.

Even eating fire?
Yeah. I just watched a bunch of safety videos and practiced in my parents’ house.

That’s scary!
I’ll bring that if you allow it in your club.

So you were actually a clown?
I grew up to be a clown for 8 ½ years. Performing and being a clown was so much fun. It brought joy to families and kids. I love kids. When I started doing drag it was very similar. I was putting on a face to entertain adults.

So you’re up for Miss Congeniality this season for Drag Race.
I am, yeah. It’s like a really big honor to be in the running for that.

Yes, and everybody reading this, please vote for Ivy Winters.
Ahhh, thank you!

How surprised were you when Jinkx Monsoon admitted to having a crush on you during the show?
Uh huh. I was sitting watching the episode for the first time, and that was the first time I heard about it. I was shocked.  I love Jinkx. We’re not dating; I have a boyfriend. But we stay in contact.

Ivy, can you tell me what wound up happening when the Catholic Church tried to shut your brunches down? I know you staged a protest.  What went on?
We had a good turnout of people. Everything was resolved before the march. It was kind of confusing because I thought there was more actually going on than what was actually happening, but it was kind of good to all get together and have fun.  There were a couple of cops out, but we didn’t hear from the church.  You know, the first time I heard what was going on it was kind of disappointing to me, because I grew up in the Catholic Church. I went to a private Catholic School, I was an alter boy for years, and it’s just sad to me to see something like that happening, especially in NYC.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself working for a major costume company.  I’ll still be performing.  I love drag, and it’s something I have to do, but I really want to make costumes for either film or theater. I see myself doing that.

Any advice for new queens?
I always tell beginning queens that want to get better or learn new tricks to constantly watch girls paint their faces. Be creative, stand out, be outside the box.  Definitely watch. It’s always helpful learning different makeup techniques and just practice. It’s a lot of fun.

By the time this interview is read, Ivy Winters from this season’s RuPaul Drag Race will have already performed twice at the Bunk House. The amazing thing about Ivy is she is a “real” performer. She makes her own clothes, her makeup is flawless, she eats fire, juggles and can be found on stilts. She is up for Miss Congeniality this year, and she certainly deserves to win.

So Ivy, you’re from a small town in Michigan?
I’m from a small town in Michigan, that is correct.

What was it like growing up there?
Oh, I loved it. Any chance I have to go back I try to. I grew up in the smallest town in Fenwick, Michigan. All there was in town was a post office.  There were chickens on my street, no gas station; you had to drive 20 minutes to get to a little town with stores. But it was so beautiful. I loved it. I don’t think I would ever leave New York, but I love going back home.  It’s just relaxing.

When’s the first time you put on a pair of heels?
The first time I put on a pair of heels was when I was 18, and I first started doing drag.

Who do you get your drag inspirations from?
I get it from all of my friends. As for celebrities, I love David Bowie. I love a lot of old school female singers: Ella Fitzgerald, I love the Andrew Sisters. That whole time period I get a lot of inspiration from.  I get a lot of inspiration from the circus and, like, everyday things. It’s everywhere for me.

So I was wondering, where you learned all of your circus acts from?
Actually, when I was like 8 years old I saw clowns juggle. It was super impressive to me, so I just practiced, learned off YouTube videos, read books, anything to do with the circus I was addicted to, and everything I do I taught myself.

Even eating fire?
Yeah. I just watched a bunch of safety videos and practiced in my parents’ house.

That’s scary!
I’ll bring that if you allow it in your club.

So you were actually a clown?
I grew up to be a clown for 8 ½ years. Performing and being a clown was so much fun. It brought joy to families and kids. I love kids. When I started doing drag it was very similar. I was putting on a face to entertain adults.

So you’re up for Miss Congeniality this season for Drag Race.
I am, yeah. It’s like a really big honor to be in the running for that.

Yes, and everybody reading this, please vote for Ivy Winters.
Ahhh, thank you!

How surprised were you when Jinkx Monsoon admitted to having a crush on you during the show?
Uh huh. I was sitting watching the episode for the first time, and that was the first time I heard about it. I was shocked.  I love Jinkx. We’re not dating; I have a boyfriend. But we stay in contact.

Ivy, can you tell me what wound up happening when the Catholic Church tried to shut your brunches down? I know you staged a protest.  What went on?
We had a good turnout of people. Everything was resolved before the march. It was kind of confusing because I thought there was more actually going on than what was actually happening, but it was kind of good to all get together and have fun.  There were a couple of cops out, but we didn’t hear from the church.  You know, the first time I heard what was going on it was kind of disappointing to me, because I grew up in the Catholic Church. I went to a private Catholic School, I was an alter boy for years, and it’s just sad to me to see something like that happening, especially in NYC.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself working for a major costume company.  I’ll still be performing.  I love drag, and it’s something I have to do, but I really want to make costumes for either film or theater. I see myself doing that.

Any advice for new queens?
I always tell beginning queens that want to get better or learn new tricks to constantly watch girls paint their faces. Be creative, stand out, be outside the box.  Definitely watch. It’s always helpful learning different makeup techniques and just practice. It’s a lot of fun.

///BY eileen shapiro the bUnk house

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