Here at DragAdventures, we have had the pleasure of interviewing many queens from the all over the UK and even the United States. However, until now, we have never featured any performers in the Glasgow scene. And to kick things off, we have possibly one of the biggest names in Scotland (and currently branching out across the UK), Rujazzle!
If my memory serves me right, Ru was the first local queen I ever saw perform and since then I’ve been following her, excitement tripling for shows I knew she was performing or hosting at. Rujazzle is a cultured, well-rounded drag artist, delivering stunning looks but effortlessly quick and witty on and offstage, and in my opinion, these are the foundations of a successful performer.
From making it to the top twenty of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Ambassadors in 2015 to being a part of two of Glasgow’s best known weekly drag shows on top of touring the UK and educating followers on the iconic #28DaysofArtHerstory, it’s clear that Rujazzle is a force to be reckoned with.
So, to kick things off in the true Scottish style, here we f*****g go!
DragAdventures: Ru, for the people reading this who have never heard of you before, could you describe your drag in three words?
Rujazzle: My drag is culture, glamour, and stupidity. I love to be inspired by all types of cultural references (a key attribute of any good drag queen) whether high art or pop culture. Being the ultimate blonde bombshell is my truest form, and I love to tell stories in my performances, mostly through silly comedy and parody. As a boy, I’m pretty serious and intellectual, so in my drag, I like being the ‘smart dumb blonde’.
DragAdventures: How old were you when you started doing drag and did you realize what you were doing?
Rujazzle: I suppose it depends how you define the word “drag”, and whether being conscious of the act is essential to the definition. My older sisters used to dress me up in ‘drag’ like a doll, and style my (then) long, blonde curly hair, when I was a toddler, and they were little girls.
I first chose to ‘cross-dress’ for Halloween in 2011, when I was still at High School; my friends and I dressed as the band members of Queen in the music video for ‘I want to break free’. When I went to university in St Andrews, I started doing drag/ dressing up more frequently as I made friends with the weird queers who regularly held themed house parties. I discovered that I loved makeup, creating costumes and outfits, and the art of transformation; performance came much later for me.
I first performed Rujazzle in February 2014, and gradually started going out more in the Glasgow scene during that year. So I suppose 2014, when I was 20, was the year that I properly started drag.
DragAdventures: Your looks are always so creative, what would you say are your main references when trying out a new look?
Rujazzle: It very much varies and depends on the performance. Since I do so many performances and theme based shows these days, the performance comes first, and I base the look around that. When I’m creating just a ‘Rujazzle’ look, for a photoshoot or hosting gigs, I think about vibrant color, fashion and glamour, and drawing inspiration from art and pop culture.
DragAdventures: To date, what is your favorite piece to perform at shows?
Rujazzle: That’s a tricky one to narrow down, but I can think of a couple. One of my most well-received numbers is my ‘Can’t-Do It Alone’ mix, where I’ve combined the Chicago show-tune with various fad dances. But I also have special places in my heart for my Barbie number, my Navy/ Don’t Ask Don’t Tell my Britney Breakdown and my Marie-Antoinette performances. The first song I ever performed was ‘Amazing’ by Hi Fashion, so this will always be a staple of mine.
DragAdventures: Have you ever had a “fangirl” moment while working alongside another performer, who was it?
Rujazzle: I’m such a huge fan of Anna Phylactic and Cheddar Gorgeous so I always get very excited when I get to work with them. They are immensely creative and talented at drag, kind and just generally lovely people.
DragAdventures: What do you think your life would be like if you hadn’t started doing drag?
Rujazzle: I like to think I’d be doing something creative, as it’s the only way my brain really functions. Since childhood, I’ve always been working on projects and creating things, so I think it’s my one true route to happiness.
DragAdventures: In light of recent events, where do you stand with women doing drag, “faux queens”, drag kings, and other performers?
Rujazzle: I think it’s completely ridiculous to assert that drag should be limited to a person’s gender or sexual identity, as the art form inherently subverts these societal tropes. Anyone, can and should be able to do drag.
DragAdventures: Although Drag Race isn’t the be-all and end-all of the drag world if there was a UK version, would you ever consider auditioning? What do you think you would succeed in?
Rujazzle: I actually made top 20 in the UK Drag Race Ambassador Competition in 2015, which was judged by RuPaul (plus Jonathan Ross and Katie Price). So I’m no stranger to RuPaul and the Drag Race Brand. If there was a UK Drag Race, I would absolutely audition. I think it’s a great platform for each queen’s drag to be seen on an international level. Plus I need that drag race booking fee!
DragAdventures: And finally, what are you currently working on? What can we expect to see from Rujazzle in 2018?
Rujazzle: This year I’m really trying to get my name and brand out there, in both the UK and internationally, through various projects and the shows that I’m working on. I really loved doing my #28DaysOfArtHerstory in February, and I do have another month of looks in collaboration with @glasgowqueens on the way, but I can’t reveal much more about it at this stage. Other than that, I’ll be continuing my weekly shows Mothertucker and SUCK, and developing more drag bingo nights around Scotland with CJ Banks, plus I’ll be touring around the UK with Slay Presents on their Drag Race tours. There should also be makeup tutorials, more TV collaborations and merchandise (finally) on the way too!
Please support your local performers and if you enjoyed this interview, follow Rujazzle, get down to some shows and if you ever end up in Glasgow, check out these Mothertucker, Tuesdays at the Polo Lounge and SUCK, Wednesdays at Delmonicas!
If you have fallen in love with Rujazzle after this article (I don’t blame you), here is where to find her online:
Written by Contributor Jen