Monét X Change is used to being in frightening situations, she does co-host a podcast with Lady Bunny after all. But in the Huluween Dragstravaganza, Monét is truly living in a horror movie when she — along with her drag sister Ginger Minj — gets stuck inside an old television set, and the only way to escape is by hosting a classic Halloween special.
In addition to Monét and Ginger, the spooky variety show special features musical numbers, comedy sketches, and plenty of familiar faces from the world of drag, including Mo Heart, Jujubee, Manila Luzon, Lady Bunny, Jackie Beat, Selene Luna, Landon Cider, and Mario Diaz.
Monét spoke with Logo about all things Halloween including what it was like filming the Dragstravaganza, if she believes in ghosts, and where she lands on candy corn.
I've had "The Big Opening" stuck in my head ever since I watched the number. What can fans expect from the Dragstravaganza? What's in store?
I think fans can expect really well-written sketches and really well-written and produced music. I think that oftentimes, what we see in some competition shows, sometimes they leave a little to be desired, and that's not shade. Jackie Beat was on the writing team for this, and anyone who has ever been to a Jackie Beat show knows, she is so funny, and she knows drag through and through, and that really comes through in a lot of the sketches and on the songs that she was a part of.
I am so proud to be part of the Huluween Dragstravaganza. It is one of the first of its kind, and it was birthed because Lady Bunny and I were on our podcast, Ebony and Irony, and Bunny was ranting as she does, because she's older and has a lot of complaints about a lot of things. And then I went on a rant about these big platforms like Netflix and Hulu, I was like, "They'll never, ever spend the money on drag queens and have us be the focus. We will always be the background character."
And Hulu was like, "Really? You got a lot to say. Here you go," and they came at us with this amazing opportunity to be a part of this Dragstravaganza. And they took care of us the whole time through, and everyone's voices were heard. When people had critiques of things, they were so willing to change, that it felt authentic and real, so I think fans can expect a very fun, authentic dance experience.
I'm getting Rocky Horror vibes. What was the vibe on set?
The vibe on set was no frills. The vibe was very, very effervescent. Everyone was just really all about just making the best content. And also, when you get more than three drag queens in one space at a time, it's going to be chaos, but Hulu was very good at making it organized chaos, and everyone was together helping each other learn the choreo.
And if someone had a little thing about a scene, "Oh, girl. Try saying the line this way," the other person would listen. It wasn't a maxi challenge. It felt like coworkers coming together to make a really dope experience.
Was this your first time working with Ginger Minj?
We've done tours together, but I don't think we've ever done a TV-film situation together. Ginger is a constant professional. She is always on time, she's always going to know her lines. Everyone who's ever worked with Ginger, that is always what's just said about Ginger. She's always professional, always shows up, and she's always ready to work.
And this was no different this time. Ginger was really great to work with. We really vibed together. We were on some teams where we could improvise the lines a little bit to make them feel more ourselves. We did that. And it's always a pleasure working with Ginger. I have no bad things to say about Ginger, besides the way she smells. Everything else, I love.
So I wanted to ask about some spooky season stuff. Do you like horror movies? Are you a horror queen?
I like spooky movies. One of my favorite scary movies of all time is The Strangers because it feels like something that could happen to any one of us. One time I did a gig in Lynchburg, Virginia, and I was at an Airbnb, and The Strangers could have happened to me. You know what I mean? I like scary movies that are often, "based on true stories." But I love horror, I love a gory movie. I love chopped-up limbs.
What about supernatural stuff? Do you believe in ghosts or UFOs?
Okay. You know what? I have evolved a lot on the supernatural and extraterrestrial over the past couple years. I used to be a really, really big believer in ghosts, but now, I don't know. I just feel like if ghosts were here, a lot of them would be so disgruntled. They would've made their presence known to us mere mortals. I mean, the amount of ghosts that are probably so pissed off, we would know. And you see all these ghost hunter shows, they have 97 seasons, and bitch, we ain't never seen a single ghost? How in 97 seasons of Searching for Bigfoot, we ain't never seen no Bigfoot?
But on that token, I do believe in aliens. Aliens are 1000% out there. Extraterrestrials, they have to be. There's no way in all the galaxies, all the planets, all the stars, there's no way that we are the most intelligent life form. And in the way that we are treating our planet and treating each other, we are definitely not the smartest life form out there. So I feel like there are aliens out there, and to them, we're just some ant farm in the middle of the Serengeti. They're like, "We're not going to bother them. They're not smart enough, they can't do anything," and they're observing us. They be plucking us out one by one to study us, and we just don't know. I believe aliens are out there, for sure.
Have you ever had a supernatural experience, either with ghosts or UFOs?
No. I feel like I have been taken up by an alien, but I talk too much that they put me back, and then they did the Men in Black thing, so I don't remember it. But I feel like that may have happened to me, and I just don't know. I really do.
Drag queens travel a lot, have you ever stayed at a haunted hotel?
Well, there was one time, I forget the name of the hotel, but it's the most bombed hotel in Belfast. It's the most bombed hotel in the world, so I was staying there, and some people say it's haunted because there are a lot of spirits there. It was September 2019 for my one-woman show, I was doing my tour in the U.K., and the faucet in my room was one of those automatic ones. The faucet in my room kept on going off. Every seven minutes, it would just go off throughout the night. But I was like, "Girl, there is some ghost that's in here trying to wash their hands," and it was freaking me out. I wanted to change rooms, but the hotel was sold out, so I couldn't. It was just this random faucet that would go off every seven minutes.
Since you're in drag year-round, do you take Halloween off from dressing up?
I like Halloween a lot. I'm a New York City kid, and New York City has that big Halloween parade every year. I don't know why I've never been to the Halloween parade. People say it's one of the best ones. People put on these crazy costumes, these really elaborate costumes, but I've never been.
But that being said, I'm not a particular go-out-on-Halloween person. I think it's because for most of my adult life, I've been doing drag, and I'm literally getting in hair and makeup six days a week, so Halloween's my day off, but if I had kids, I would definitely let them trick or treat, but I've never, ever been trick or treating in my life...
So you never dressed up for Halloween as a kid?
Never. Not once. But my kids definitely will, and let me tell you something. I will hire designers to ensure that my kids have the best costumes on the block. I can't wait. Full drag.
Where do you fall on candy corn? Are you a fan?
Absolutely not. People who pretend like candy corn is good candy, I am so disappointed in you. I cannot believe that you're perpetuating this lie that candy corn is good or tastes good. Candy corn is so gross. I do not mess with candy corn, and anyone who does, I can't trust your judgment.
Wow. Go off.
Yeah. I have very strong feelings about candy corn.
Well, then what Halloween candy do you go for?
The basics. Give me that CVS, Rite Aid, mixed bag of candy, the one with the Crunch, the one with Butterfinger, and the one with Hershey. I like the basics for candy.
Yeah, real candy. Not that candy corn mess. You don't even know how they make candy corn.
It's a mystery.
It's a myth!
The Huluween Dragstravaganza is available now on Hulu.