Thursday, July 23, 2015

Crystal Lubrikunt: Honesty is Beautiful

Photo Credit: Greg Bailey 

Many people know that to be a drag performer, it takes a lot of work, money, and passion. Crystal Lubrikunt takes her work seriously and is anything but a disappointment. At a young age, she already has a positive outlook on life and has had enough experience to become very wise and honest as well. She's very well rounded, down to earth, honest, and will most definitely give you a show that will leave you speechless. 

1. Who is Crystal Lubrikunt? 

A lip sync assassin who enjoys cake, shirley temples, love and cuddles.
But mostly cake. 

2. Where did you get your drag name?

It took a while as I wanted it to come to me, hit me right on my head as I had brainstormed and tried putting it together myself but it came to me one day and it stuck. I just hate it when I perform somewhere that don't want to say my surname... "cunt" shouldn't be seen as a bad word, it's a woman's vagina! We should all worship the Kunt haha! 

3. How long does it take to get into drag?

Back in the day it'd take 2-3 hours but the full transformation for me can be done - if relaxed - 2 hours, but if rushed? I can do it in 30-50minutes at a push. 

4. When and why did you start doing drag?

Growing up I was always aware of drag thanks to my incredible and open-minded mother who went to art school in West London back in the late 70s/early 80s so most things I get up to nowadays is nothing compared to her shenanigans back then. I never thought about doing drag and sometimes would ignorantly reject it: "Nah mate you'll never see me in a dress" "burgh no, not for me!" I loved the greats like Mrs Doubtfire, Priscilla, Too Wong Foo and Lily Savage but would never think about doing it myself. It wasn't until the summer of 2012 where I witness Willam, Detox and Vicky for the first time I grew a little fanatical with drag and then later on that year I performed a mime/lip-sync piece at University and aced it so much that my classmate Jayk really encouraged me to pursue a drag career and yeah at first I was close-minded and ignorant towards it but then, a few weeks later I pursued it with Jayk and a guy in the year above me at University called Alex - both now Rococo Chanel and Lydia L'Scabies - and what started out as a one-off night for LGBT artists, performers and supporters became the House of Grand Parade. We wanted to create a night that abolished stereotypes within and outside of the LGBT community where anyone can come along, be themselves and feel safe whilst watching some #talentlessmen on stage. Never did we even dream we could be where we are today back then, I am incredibly proud of us and our never-ending and exciting journey. 

5. Is your family supportive of what you do?

As stated earlier I have a wonderfully supportive mother who loves Crystal and is proud of her son, and I never take that for granted. I also have an older brother and sister who both support what I do 100% and always enjoy seeing me live my dreams, I'm so-so lucky. Both my parents are divorced so I am much closer with my mother but my Dad was a little shocked, I don't have a massive relationship with him but when I see him I can tell he's not sold 100% with it but he's my Dad and just wants me to be happy and again, I won't and will never take that for granted. It's a huge deal for some people and I totally get that. 

6. What is your favorite style of drag that other queens do?

Although I major in lip-syncing I love a live singer; I love a queen with some killer pipers or a comedy queen. I'd much rather pay to see live queen than a lip-syncer because it's hard to enjoy without getting critical, without thinking about your own craft. I love and crave escapism so I love to go and watch queens/performers who thrive within performance styles I'm not involved with. Personal favourites are my friends Myra Dubois and Virgin Xtravaganzah, the legendary Bianca Del Rio and Coco Peru Brown.

7. What is your opinion of bio queens and drag kings?

A queen is a queen, a king is a king, gender is blurred and I love that, I love them all.

Photo Credit: Mya Cohen

8. What has been your biggest accomplishment?

Oh there have been many... Bloody hell, this is a hard one to answer. 
I think rather than a single accomplishment, I get so emotional and proud whenever I receive messages or comments from baby queens, audience members etc. Telling me how much they enjoyed a performance or how much I inspired them, made their day etc. It's just, there's no feeling like it, it's like getting promoted, that notification that what you're doing is the right thing and people love you for it. It's just... There are no words. 

9. Were you ever star struck meeting someone well known in the drag community? Who was it?

I got starstruck meeting and chatting with Raja back in 2013 but after that the Drag Race buzzed faded after doing so many shows with the girls and getting to know and realise they're just chill people like all of us. Even meeting RuPaul this year in London I wasn't too phased by, she's queen but I was very taken back by the fact that at the UK Drag Ambassador competition she didn't even wish the contestants luck or give them words of encouragement backstage, I found that to be real shitty but hey-ho, I've been told she likes to arrive, do her job and go and that's fair enough! Respect... I guess. 

10. Have you ever had a most embarrassing moment during a performance?

Absolutely! Recently at a show our HOGP group and my solo performances were back to back so I had to quick change, tuck and all that jazz in under 3 minutes and I forgot to tuck and was wearing a swimsuit which I reveal mid-way through the act. Lets just say the audience weren't looking at the swimsuit when I revealed it onstage...

Photo Credit: Erin Considine 

11. What is your favorite song to perform to and why?

Look At Me Now by Chris Brown ft Busta Rhymes (skip Lil Wayne's part cos he's just terrible and sounds like an asshole) I love this track because I can lip-sync and keep up with every word Busta spits in his part so it's a showstopper when I unleash it to a crowd but I love it also because it's an open letter to every individual, keyboard warrior out there that's ever tried to forcefully criticise or bully me when doing drag, or even liking guys. I mean, look at me now!

12. What advice do you have for aspiring drag performers?

I get a lot of baby queens, young gay guys, bio girls asking me for advice and tips and I say the same thing each time:

- Be you, don't try to be like anyone else, get inspired but try not to imitate another artists work they're good at. 

- What can you bring to the scene that you feel is missing? 

- Be ready, it's a dog eat dog world, people will have something to say and you best ignore it because if you really want this? You won't care. You better be prepared to do a hell of a lot of free shows before you make a single coin and if you care? You will go for it and success will come if it is meant to be. If I got here alone? With no drag mother, no one helping me out from the start? Just an 18 year old with a drive and want to be better and better? So can you. 

13. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I'm very Taylor Swift about my inspirations; a lot of my experiences inspire my drag and my performances but outside of that I'd say my mother, my drag sisters and every queen, king, man, woman, creature out there that has the guts to go onstage and open their heart inspire me. 

14. Do you think Rupaul's Drag Race has helped or ruined the drag community? Why?

It's definitely gotten me a sh*tload of more gigs with the fandom it's created that craves drag all over, and I am forever thankful for that. The platform RPDR has is incredible and it's wicked to see drag so much in the mainstream of pop culture but the only negative aspect of is the mixed signals the show gives off with the characters on the show and the editing. A lot of young people think that because a certain individual on the show acts a certain way and is entertaining then so should they and it's not the right way to go about life whether you're a queen or not. A lot of the queens on the show are edited to perfection, it's not 100% raw and I am sick of people that are nothing but "read" or "shade" dispensers aka bullies. Real queens out there gigging and making that money don't butcher each other constantly and nobody, no promoter or manager finds it attractive or impressive because the 14 queens that are aired internationally are hamsters within a cage for 2-3 weeks, they are prodded and put through an insane amount of stress so yeah, of course they're gonna be grouchy and bitchy but that is in no way a reflection of the scene  and I wish the show promoted less of the bitchy, unnecessary drama and more realistic sides of the drag world. I wish they had the Viva Glam challenge every series, just more political/health awareness within the show would be wonderful.

15. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be and why?

Other than hate being abolished completely? I wish people would quit assuming stuff they don't know anything about. Assumptions are the mother of all evil, I was brought up with that phrase and was raised to never believe anything until told the factual details or until I experience it myself otherwise it's none of my business. I wish that everyone was a bit more real with themselves and others also, less delusion in the scene and social media. Be real with yourself, be real with your supporters and give yourself the love and respect you deserve and if that means owning up to your own sh*t? So be it! We should all be real to one and other, support, respect and love, nothing better than those 3 things.

16. What is your favorite thing about drag?

That there are no rules and if anyone ever tells you that you're doing it wrong? F**k em'. 

Photo Credit: Erin Considine 

Follow Crystal Lubrikunt:
Twitter: @CrystaLubrikunt
Instagram: @CrystaLubrikunt
Periscope: @CrystaLubrikunt 

The Drag Enthusiast: 
Twitter: @DragEnthusiast
Instagram: @ragingdragaholic 

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