Miss Conception :: Passion and Motivation in Drag
My dear Miss Conception, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself, where you're from, your early childhood, first time in a dress, when you got your start, your big break, etc. Don't leave a rhinestone unturned!
My true name is Shaun Kinkade and I was born in Southern California, but have lived all over the United States. My father was a traveler so we went everywhere, from Michigan to Texas. I spent most of my early childhood in Michigan until we moved back to Hacienda Heights, California my 6th grade year of
My first time in a dress was in 1998 at an underground party. I wasn't actually a drag queen, though, it was more about finding my footing by dabbling in androgyny and color. I actually started performing drag in Florida when I entered my first competition at the Parliament House in Orlando and won.
It was in 2005 while I was hosting Gay Pride in Las Vegas with the L.A. Klub Kids and Bobby Trendy that I got my big break. And in 2006 I became a Las Vegas headliner with my face all over Billboards. I was offered a show at the Harmon Theater in Planet Hollywood, was hostess at Krave Las Vegas, opened for numerous celebrities and even hosted Elton John's birthday party.
What do you feel makes a great drag performer?
Passion and motivation: Anyone can buy a dress and some makeup, don a pair of tits and jewels. But to be good at it, you have to have passion and motivation.
What for you is the best part of being a performer?
The best part to me is the ability to meet and connect with my audience. I love meeting new people and finding things out about them, the diversity of every crowd is amazing to me. It's a joy to gain new fans from the connection you make with them.
The most challenging?
The most challenging thing here in Los Angeles; how oversaturated the drag market is. It's almost like you can walk into Target now and watch a drag show; the novelty is lost and it's taken for granted. We have our loyal fans of course, but it seems that beyond them, people don't look forward to going to a show like before. There are a few of us in the business who do want to bring back the old-fashioned drag and glam show.
What was the inspiration for starting "Icons," the new show at Club Ripples?
"An Evening at La Cage" from Las Vegas. My dream as a child was to be a Vegas star, and while I was there I worked and made friends with many entertainers in the cast. "La Cage" was the best drag show in the industry, truly glamorous and top-of-the-line. I wanted to bring a piece of that to California and having my show at Ripples in Long Beach gives me that chance. It's something different than other shows, I mean who doesn't enjoy seeing iconic illusions from the best queens?
What is the premise of the show? Is there a theme?
The premise is celebrity icons; opening night I hosted the show as Joan Rivers with a cast of celebrity illusionists/impersonators. We have a Disney icons show coming, movie icons, TV icons and Broadway icons - it's all about bringing your favorite stars or childhood memories to life. We will also feature a night for new queens to compete for a paid spot in the show.
My show is always very interactive and it's all about pulling people into the moment. We also love to celebrate anniversaries, bachelorette parties and birthdays!
Our readers want to know: Are drag relationships really like the ones on "RuPaul's Drag Race" or not? Sometimes those ladies have claws!
Yes, absolutely! Of course that show is edited for content and ratings, but in this business it's "dog eat dog." We are the same as anyone else and all want the same thing: To be the best and most relevant.
Personally, I strive very hard to be me, so if someone wants to attack my character, I get defensive just like anyone else. Don't touch my things and I won't break your hand is how I look at it!
Come see my show "Icons" every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. at Ripples Bar in Long Beach. Reservations can be made by calling 562.433.0357. Bring your laughs and celebrations! I would really love it if your readers would "like" me at facebook.com/MissConceptionLosAngeles