Do you know that song about the pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows and how they just seem to have the best time not caring about negativity but chose to be fabulous and sparkly instead? Well, we have found the real-life incarnation of that song (which will be stuck in your head for the next three days after listening to it, kind of like the chorus of UK Hun?)! It is none other than Jake Dupree, one of the contestants you will be able too see perform on the 7th of March in the Drag Queen Of The Year Pageant! But before Jake brings his sparkle to the competition, we were lucky to chat to him about his unique way of performing in the magical space between drag and boylesque. Furthermore, we get some insights from this real life unicorn about always finding a way to keep the sparkle in your life and dream big, something we all need during these very trying times!
Dragadventures: Hi Jake! Or should we call you Glitter Fantasy? How does a magical unicorn like you fare during a raging global pandemic? Any insider tips on how to maintain the sparkle in your life even when you’re basically prohibited from dancing on rainbows due to anti-Covid-measures?
Jake Dupree: Aw Glitter Fantasy! That was such a fun time, I owe so much to that character and that moment. It really allowed me to come to terms with accepting myself and finding what I actually am passionate about and want to do with my life! During this pandemic I have had to summon every sparkly, magical unicorn power that I have to overcome so much of the darkness. I would like to think I fared pretty well during this truly insane time. 2020 started off with such incredible promise. Within January through the first of March, I went to London to see my boyfriend and to perform and visit there for the first time and then came back to LA and went right into rehearsals for Kinky Boots the musical! When the pandemic really hit, I was so thankful for the time off because I was running nonstop and hustling like no other. I had to get quite creative and put my business mind right to work because I was furloughed from teaching at the gym. I had to make money and started doing my Patreon workout videos. I am proud of myself for finding a way to support myself during all of this. And I think my tips on how to maintain the sparkle in your life is to really find a workout routine that works for you at home. It helps keep people sane and healthy!
DA: On the 7th of March we shall all get a little bit of happiness back via Alaska 5000 and Lola LeCroix’ DQOY pageant that is set to be a unique experience for everyone involved and that is coming back for its second year! How did you react when you got the message that you’re part of the competition? Is there anything special you’re doing to prepare for it, maybe even talk to one of last years’ participants?
JD: I honestly cannot wait for March 7th. The “Drag Queen of the Year” pageant is finally happening, and I couldn’t be more excited for it! I initially applied for it back at the beginning of 2020, and the pageant was supposed to be happening on the Sunday of DragCon weekend in LA. When I got the initial email that I had been selected to compete, I cried! With the space I occupy in the queer performance world, I am sort of in this beautiful space between the drag and boylesque worlds. There are not really any major platforms for me to be able to showcase what I do to a huge audience! When the pageant got postponed for 2020, I was so bummed but knew they would pull some magic and make it happen eventually. CUT TO 2021 and getting the email it was happening digitally made me so happy! It is awesome to have something to look forward to and properly prepare for that now. I have had this folder of look inspirations and the story I want to tell with them for over a year now. It feels too good to be truly comfortable with what I do now and have a really clear and direct vision of what I want to present. I was so excited about the first DQOY pageant because they really are looking for individuals that are doing really unique and interesting things within the drag world. I was too nervous to apply for the first pageant, and I knew so many of the contestants. They all had such amazing things to say about it so I thought why not go for it!
DA:You’ve got so many talents – you’re a dancer, fitness trainer, burlesque performer and of course, a magical unicorn! So, which skill are you most excited about to show off for the competition and what can fans expect to see from you during DQOY?
JD: Well first of all, thank you for saying that! In the past I have heard a lot of people tell me I need to really pick a lane and stick to that. I always knew that my talents and interests would all somehow converge together, and I am a prime example of someone that can make all of it work and work well! I think what I am most excited to show in the competition is my attention to detail and also showing range. I know who I am as a performer and know what I need to do to take it to the next level, and I really feel like I am doing that with what I have created. I think fans can expect me to of course take off my clothes and show a lot of body, but I also wanted to surprise people and show a really beautiful, sophisticated side of myself as well. I take what I do very seriously but I also like to have a lot of fun with it! I have waited for so long to finally do what I am passionate about, and I do not want to waste any opportunity to push myself and continue to radiate that enthusiasm and positivity.
DA: Unfortunately, we are all kind of stuck at home at the moment, since the big old C-word is keeping us from living our lives and being fabulous – we imagine it must be especially hard for performers and artists like you to lose the direct connection with your audiences; what do you miss most about performing and what are you looking forward to doing once it’s safe again to perform face to face?
JD: I miss performing so much. As I said for the previous question, I am truly living in my bliss getting to do what I do now. Performing the way I do has been such a dream that I never thought would become a reality. I would be on such a high every week from getting to perform so when that is gone and cannot happen because of covid it really hurt me. I still will have these random moments of watching dance videos or other performance videos and will just shed a few tears because of how much I love it and miss it. However, I do love the digital performance space and social media because I get to connect with an amazing audience that might not ever get to see me perform live. It is such an exciting thing for that to be able to happen because of digital performances!
I honestly cannot wait till we can all perform again for live audiences! I think we will all witness even more incredible moments because all this time away has made us appreciate live performances so much more!
DA: Speaking of performing in front of massive crowds – you’ve not only been a part of one of our fave musicals, you also know how to seduce your audience with intricate burlesque performances – how would you describe a Jake Dupree performance to someone who has never watched you before and what is your favorite part of performing? Anything special still on your ‘performance bucket list’?
JD: I would describe a performance of mine as this really beautiful blurred line between masculinity and femininity, strength and softness, and old Hollywood glamour mixed androgyny and a little bit of danger! I want my performances to be physically impressive, and I want people to be aroused and curious. When I perform, it feels like I am a superhero or a witch. It is honestly such an intoxicating moment for me. I feel so free and empowered and confident and beautiful. My favorite part of performing is just letting go and being present in the space that I am in right then. I want to exude this confident and alluring energy.
I really would love to do my own touring show. I want to be the first gender fluid person to play Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway. I would LOVE to perform at the Crazy Horse in Paris! I keep a constantly updating goal list in my phone. It is important for me to dream big!
DA: We must admit that we absolutely love the Kinky Boots musical and might or might not have seen it more than one time in the UK already because we couldn’t get enough of Lola and her fabulous red boots! What was your favorite part of performing in the musical and do you have a favorite song?
JD: I am so happy y’all love that musical too! It was my favorite experience doing a musical ever! I think my favorite part of performing in Kinky Boots is that it combines everything that I love. I loved getting to do drag and singing and dancing and tumbling in heels. My favorite number to do was “Sex Is In The Heel,” and I loved “Everybody Say Yeah!”
DA: Kinky Boots does not only have a banging soundtrack, it also transmits the most empowering message of just being yourself and don’t give into society’s expectations – you yourself are no stranger to having people on the internet share their (unwanted) opinions about you and your persona…For example, when you set social media on fire with photos in a gorgeous lingerie set and suddenly got comments from all kinds of people, supportive, but also attacking you for just being yourself…How do you deal with the negativity that seems to always come out on social media?
JD: I LOVE the message of Kinky Boots. I think it is an awesome way for audiences to hear and understand that people who they might think would be different from them are not different from them at all. I have had to deal with a lot of negative comments from social media. I realize I am doing things that some people have never seen before, but I wish that they would think before they type something mean to someone they do not even know. I am just trying to live my life to the fullest and be happy! I feel sorry for them that they will probably never get to feel the freedom and joy that I feel from allowing myself to do what I am doing. I make the conscious decision to choose joy. It can be a lot of work to do that!
DA: Speaking of favorite songs, what are your top 3 songs that always put a smile on your face, maybe even if you’re in the middle of one of your hardcore workouts (go watch Jake’s POPsugar workouts, everyone!)?
JD: My top three favorite songs that always put a smile on my face are “C’est La Vie” by B’Witched, “Come See About Me” by The Supremes, and “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton!
DA: Let’s play a quick round of WWGF do, shall we? What would Glitter Fantasy do if … suddenly, there was a law prohibiting all glitter from the earth? ..if we were only allowed to wear dark colors? …they suddenly found themselves back in the 80s?
JD: I wish I could answer for Glitter Fantasy, but that bitch won’t return my calls. If they did answer though, GF would say glitter is a lifestyle. A world without glitter would be such a dark place! Glitter Fantasy only sees the world in designer rose-colored glasses. GF loves to wear pink and sparkles! Over the past few years of our ex-President, GF lived by the quote, “Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed.” And I think if GF was in the 1980s, they would wear only neon and dance to Whitney Houston constantly!
DA: And to end off this interview on a sparkly, positive note – what does 2021 hold for you? Any chance you can call upon your magical unicorn powers to save us from going quarantine-crazy and give us a sneak peak into your plans for this year?
JD: For me I think 2021 is going to continue to challenge me and allow me to get even more creative in finding ways to push myself. 2020 brought so much change and was so dark; however it also brought a lot of good. It brought a lot of exciting and new opportunities to me and for that I am very thankful. There are things that I would never have done or thought I could do, but now I realize that I can do all of those things. I think we all have learned how truly precious our lives are, and we can never take that for granted. I am going to continue to live my life to the fullest, and I want everyone to go after what they really want!
Be sure to follow Jake on the following social media and Patreon: