Heading Out on Tour, Jimbo Promises a Wild Ride with 'Jimbo's Drag Circus'

Steve Duffy READ TIME: 7 MIN.

EDGE: Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Jimbo: My name is Jimbo. I am a clown, a drag queen, a performance artist, and a designer.

EDGE: Congratulations on winning" All Stars 8." What has changed for you?

Jimbo: I don't know what has changed for me. Participating on "Drag Race" is like going through a crazy bootcamp. When I was on "Canada's Drag Race," "UK vs the World," and then ultimately "All Stars 8" it felt like a graduation. After I won "All Stars 8 "and I left the show, I felt like I had finished bootcamp, the Olympics, and the University of Drag. Those experiences taught me a lot about myself and about how I wanted to present myself to the world. Through those opportunities, I was able to really elevate my style and my point of view. I was able to make connections around the world with designers and other performers that I would have never been able to make. I think winning has in some level helped me get on a bigger stage and now I am ready to take on the world with a whole new sense of purpose.

EDGE: The third time is a charm. So, is three is your lucky number now?

Jimbo: At this point in my career, it should be.

Source: Helena Cyr

EDGE: How would you describe your show, "JIMBO's Drag Circus?"

Jimbo: Before coming on "Drag Race," I've worked in film and theater. I wanted to create a show where I can use my background in theater, set design, and performance design, but also merge my drag into it. I love standup comedy and I love Joan Rivers, so essentially, I wanted to invite people into that world. I worked with my friend and set designer Marshall McMahon to help me design the set and we worked with another artist, Cat Dirty, to create a beautiful set. It's been really exciting to create an immersive experience. My friend Andrew Taylor helped write all the music of the songs I will sing. Andrew and I have been writing music together for a few years now, so it's been really cool to collaborate and invite him into this process. I'm also going to do a bunch of characters that I love, and I have created some new ones. It's a wild ride. I think the fans are going to have a good laugh and they're going to see a diverse presentation of characters and drag.

EDGE: Talk about Joan Rivers. What is it about her that you love so much?

Jimbo: I love her voice. I like talking in her voice. Growing up, I watched a lot of Joan Rivers, and so it is something I found that I could do. There's a sort of license that I give myself when I'm Joan to be a little extra shady and a little extra nasty. Joan was allowed to do those things. It allows me, in a playful way, to experiment with going too far, but within an acceptable way. I really love Joan Rivers. I thought she was such an amazing comedian. She was also questionable, and I think that that's what made her one of these polarizing characters in comedy. She is memorable and influenced so many.

EDGE: Is that what you are most excited about sharing with your fans?

Jimbo: I'm most excited to just laugh with everybody. I'm excited to invite people into my brain and world, so they can experience the same things that I experience. Also, this show feels really elevated. I'm working with a cool lighting company named Sigma One. To help continue with the elevation, I'm working with my director and clown coach, Brit Small, to really up my game. I'm collaborating with some really awesome people that I'm really excited to show what my community and friend group can do and help showcase their talents.

Source: Helena Cyr

EDGE: What's the best thing about being on the road?

Jimbo: I love being on the road. I love meeting new people. I love showing my art form. I'm excited to get out there, because I've never done my own one queen show. I'm going to be performing with two backup dancers and my musical accompanist/sidekick, Andrew Taylor. There are going to be a few other players in the show that help when I'm making some quick changes, but for the most part it's going to be me on stage. This is big for me and I'm really excited to present my show to all the fans.

EDGE: As the ringmaster of the circus, who are the three queens you would have to perform in your 3-ring circus?

Jimbo: I would choose Kylie Sonique Love, Crystal Methyd, and my sister Heidi N Closet. Now that is what I call a 3-ring circus.

EDGE: Does drag in Canada face the same challenges as in the US?

Jimbo: There are challenges in certain communities where there's maybe a little bit more of a closed or fearful mentality towards us. Luckily, we have a little bit of a different energy up here in terms of our drag and its reception. I don't feel it's quite as severe as when you're down in the south of the States, and I'm fortunate for that. In certain places there is a lot of work still to be done about inclusivity, acceptance, and celebration of drag as an art form, but not to the extent that's happening down in America. There is always a lot of work to be done. There are some that are working to silence voices and take trans rights away. That is why is important to just keep being visible and keep being queer. We all need to fight for a place to be healthy and happy.

EDGE: What are you hoping your legacy for future drag artists will be?

Jimbo: I hope that my legacy is about my shared expression, shared joy, community, laughter, and about creating a sense of happiness. That's what I love, and it is what I love to share with others. One of the best parts of going to DragCon, in the UK and LA, is all the queens get together and meet the fans. It is a really amazing time where we all get to see each other and create an amazing sense of international community. Not just for us as artists and performers, but for queer people too. Being a part of a community for people to feel safe, welcome, special, and seen is really important to me. I am so lucky to be a part of it.

(For a complete list of dates for "Jimbo's Drag Circus," follow this link.)

by Steve Duffy

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