Sometimes drag can be a way to escape a tough time in someone's life. Sometimes drag can heal a person and give them a reason to keep going even when it seems like they've lost everything. Jessica Manscream is a drag queen from Texas who's character was formed at the lowest of lows.
1. Who is Jessica Manscream?
Jessica Manscream is an intergalactic, punk-alien species that stems of a darker part of who I am. She is the physical representation of a deeper part of my creative and emotional corners of myself.
2. When and why did you begin doing drag?
I always had a fascination with feminine things from as early as I can remember. I used to chop the hair off of my sister's Barbie dolls, thinking I was making them more fierce. I put on lipstick for the first time in California back in 2010, locked away in my barracks room (I was in the US Army at the time) and I remember thinking that I was so fierce. The Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was still very much in effect, and putting on lipstick felt so bad ass and rebellious, to me that was my way of getting my life back then. But that wasn't full drag, and back then Jessica Manscream hadn't made her arrival here on planet earth. When my ex and I broke up I was going through a lot. I was coming back to the state from a year out of the country, I was getting out of the military, I had just went through a very difficult shitty breakup, and I was in a dark --place. I started to escape from reality and from my lonely state of mind, by painting my face. It started off as face painting. Animals, zombie faces, Etc. but then I started to think about drag, and think to myself--who would I be? Who would my drag character be? I tried doing a best fierce, "fishy" face and I was not feeling any sort of fantasy looking in the mirror. Haha, I noticed that I had very interesting and abnormal proportionality to my face. Huge lips. A tiny nose. Big ears. A lazy eye. And thought, this looks like I was pieced together. And that was when I thought that perhaps I looked so...not from this planet that I was an alien race of femme creatures from a far away Galaxy. I started to really throw myself into my drag and learning what worked and what didn't work with my face and that was an escape for me. I would escape my boy life, and enter this galactic planet and find my life. It was therapeutic for me. I think I saw Jessica Manscream, as a fully realized persona in 2014. That was when I arrived on the planet and started her study into the human race.
3. How did you acquire your drag name?
It was a long day at work, and afterwards my friend and I went to a bar for some afternoon libations. Haha over our drinks we were discussing my drag character, who at this point had many temporary names. (Pixie Blue, Monica Temple, etc) but none of them felt authentic and uniquely mine. So my friend and I decided on something that would be a mix of something elegant, and pretty, and then something weird and unheard of. I always thought the name, Jessica, was a beautiful name. So that was decided pretty quickly. Then Manscream came about from our conversation when I told my friend that my alien drag character was so odd and other worldly looking she could make a man scream, but she was also slutty and loved a man's cream. So it's a double play on words. Haha. The moment that I first heard "Manscream" said out loud, I knew that it embodied everything my drag was. It felt right, it sounded right. Loved it!
4. What is something not many people know about you?
Many people who have met me or have been my friend for any amount of time would say that I'm this outgoing, extrovert social butterfly. But not many people know that I'm really just playing it up. I am actually extremely shy and very much a homebody. I like to talk to people and get to know them but I'm always having this internal struggle, worrying if they like me, or if they think I'm too weird, etc. it's always been a problem. I just act very much opposite of that so no one knows.
5. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
I think my biggest accomplishment so far has definitely been working with Hurricane Bianca. The comedy movie that was written and based around RPDR winner, Bianca Del Rio. I got to film with Alyssa Edwards, Joslyn Fox, Shangela, Willam, and Rachel Dretsch from Saturday Night Live. It was an incredible experience. And I'm so glad that I got to be a part of that! It was a surreal experience. I filmed with them and their amazing crew here in Dallas.
6. What is one goal you have set for the future?
One goal that I have set for myself in the future is sort of predictable but I want to fully commit and throw myself into a serious audition for RPDR.
7. Who would you say is your biggest drag influence and why?
My biggest drag influence is a three way mix of Sharon Needles, Alaska Thunderfuck, and Detox Icunt. I think that I am a mixture of their aura, their energy, and would totally kill to borrow their wardrobe! Also, I've had many (more than I can count now) tell me that I look like Sharon Needles in certain looks and beats that I do. Haha I always take it as a compliment.
8. Who is someone you wish to work with in the future?
For fellow queens, I would love to work with Raja Gemini, or Alaska. Not including queens, I would have to say Lady Gaga or modeling a line of designer jackets or something.
9. What is your opinion on Rupaul's Drag Race? Is it helping or hurting the drag community?
I think that RuPaul's Drag Race is helping the drag community immensely. It's bringing drag to every corner of the globe, where there may not be an outlet for people to be exposed to that. I think it's shedding light on a lot of strongly instilled stereotypes, concerning drag queens. I know that I used to hear as a younger guy that drag queens were just transsexuals who were too broke to pay to have their body parts surgically altered. Or that drag queens were just men who had a fetish and got off on putting on a wig and lipstick. When in reality drag queens are so vastly different, even amongst each other. We are all normally, yet weird, in our own ways. It's bringing normalcy to drag and building fanbases for queens. One of my favorite quotes is from Emily Dickinson, "if I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain." and that's how I view RPDR. You hear stories of people who have gone through some tough times and they would get their life, and find some peace and happiness from watching the show, and even if it was just one person that was helped from the show, then it is totally worth it.
10. How do you feel about people in the drag community comparing different queens saying that they look alike?
I think that sometimes people forget that drag is very much an art form. Each queen has their own unique approach and eye for drag when fans, and other people, compare and accuse a queen of ripping off another queen's aesthetic, it's very offensive. We don't all look alike!! Sometimes I think that we forget that underneath all the makeup and hair and lashes that we are all still dudes, we all have the same parts and features on our face. So yeah, I am just waiting for people to get to the point where they're saying that a queen looks like another queen because she has a nose!! I think that it's incredibly offensive to someone's art to call them a look-a-like.
11. What hobbies do you have besides drag?
I am a retro gaming nerd. I love NES, SNES games, N64 games. The old school games are the best. I also love linguistics. I speak Spanish, French, I can read and write Korean, and also Esperanto. More languages to come! Haha. I'm a big text book lover. I love to learn.
12. What is your favorite makeup product to use?
My favorite makeup product to use is such a tough question!! Besides my Makeup Forever Flash Palette, I would have to go with my Mehron Pro Intense Pigment Palettes. They are three sister palettes and they are pressed pigment powders. They're amazing and I use them for everything. Eye shadows. Contouring. Special effects. And so much more. They are super pigmented as they are powdered pigments haha. And they last for so long! If I had to choose just one of the palettes in the set. It would be the Fire Palette. It's bright neon colors and so electric! Love it!
13. What is your favorite and least favorite part about doing drag?
My favorite part about drag is the transformation. I love jamming out to my Radio Manscream playlist that I am constantly adding music to, on Spotify, and slowly transform into my intergalactic space punk bitch self! My least favorite part about doing drag would have to be lashes. I love the way they look, but i am a mess putting them on. I'm starting to get better at it but it's a struggle. I usually put them on last so that I can take my time. But I fucking hate lash application! Luckily I have my good friend, one of the founding members of the Galactic Command of the Planet Of Manscream (my inner circle of close creative friends who inspire and help me), Anya, she helps me apply lashes. I just started copying what she did and it's been a lot easier. But I still hate putting them on haha. Also I hate eyebrows. I don't think eyebrows suit me. I find myself looking in the mirror with my eyebrows blocked out and no drawn on brows thinking, I look so much fiercer without eyebrows. I think eyebrows are too human looking for me. I'm not human, of course!
14. Marry, Kai Kai, Kill...Season 8 cast of RPDR: Kim Chi, Dax ExclamationPoint, Acid Betty.
I would marry Kim Chi. I would Kai Kai Acid Betty...multiple times....multiple times a day, actually. And then I would kill Dax, I'm sorry!! I don't want to! Those are three really hard decisions to make!
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