Interview: Ivy Winters Leaves City Life For Greener Pastures!

Ivy Winters Featured

Image Credit: Creep Magazine

On my birthday this past July, I didn’t want to celebrate or make a big fuss. I wanted to lay low and just chillax at home with some birthday pie (I’m over cake) and watch Hulu. I attended my boyfriend, Anita Buffem‘s drag brunch and afterward was told we were stopping by a new friend’s apartment for drinks. Low and behold, I find myself at Ivy Winters’ apartment that she shared with her partner Keith! Ivy was quite the hostess.  She made us a spread of home made hors d’oeuvres, shook up some cocktails and whisked us all up to her rooftop. My birthday present that summer was making these great new friends…only to sadly have them leave NYC this winter.

Keith and I have formed a bond as the beaus of drag queens and Ivy has become someone I admire. Drag queen, actress, singer, clown, stilt-walker, designer, seamstress, juggler, fire-eater…the phrase ‘jack of all trades’ doesn’t do her justice. She is a visionary and true artist to the core. Nothing about her is run of the mill. On RuPaul’s Drag Race, some queen will use a hot glue gun to piece together a garment as an alternative to sewing. Not Ivy. Ivy would make an entire outfit and her wig out of the hot glue alone!

Ivy is here for the long haul and she has tricks up her sleeve for daaaays! Although she has left NYC, Ivyyyyyyyy Winterrrrrsss is universally here to stay. Leonardo da Vinci said it best, “Ivy is of longevity.”


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Alex: OMG, I just watched episode 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 7! 

Ivy: Don’t tell me anything! I haven’t watched yet!

I won’t! I love that you actually watch the show. Did you watch Season 6 as well?

Oh yeah! I love to watch! You know, I think we have to. We end up working with these girls in the future and I want to know who they are.

Is there anyone on Season 7 that you are intrigued by so far?

Yes. I just met Ginger Minj last week in Des Moines. She came to see the tour. She intrigues me. She told me she’s a singer. She’s got that witty, funny personality. She’s pretty. She’s got great costumes. I think she’s got a lot going for her.

You mentioned the Rupaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons 2015 Condragulations Tour. You’ve been all over! Is it nuts?

It’s been BALLS! It is non stop. We’ve been touring now for a little over a month. We are almost half way done. I mean, it’s been four to five shows a week. Oh my god, my face is killing me! We are having fun though…and a lot of cocktails!

It must be nice having Keith with you on tour. I know he helps you with your act.

Ivy and Keith
Keith and Ivy

It is. He’s been really great. He’s always helping not only me, but all the girls on the tour. He helps with their luggage and bags. He helps get cocktails for everybody. He always makes everyone feel at ease and helps out backstage. I think the girls really like having him on tour with us. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel all over the world doing these shows and I love that we can experience it together.

Where have you traveled that you’ve liked the most and where are you looking forward to going still? 

All the cities have been enjoyable. After a while of being on the bus so much, they all start blending together a bit. I do love being in NY because I lived there for 8 1/2 years. A lot of my friends are there. It will always feel like home. L.A. is nice too. The publicity is great there and it’s exciting to have all the bigwigs come out to the show. In April we get to go to Amsterdam and other places I’ve never been like Manchester, Paris, Iceland, Madrid. All those places I’m really looking forward to.

SEE ALSO: Ivy Winters: Fierce and Fiery!

Soooo, why’d you leave NYC?

I wanted to live someplace close to home in Michigan. Close to where my family lives…where Keith’s family lives. I want to put our money towards a house in a place that is more laid back and easy. We are traveling so much, I really want home to be in a place I can come back to and relax.

I hear ya! Plus you can have so much more space!

Yes! That would help us relax. Our dogs would be able to run in the backyard…and we want chickens and a beehive! Jinkx Monsoon jokes that when Keith and I get married, her present to us is going to be a goat, as long as we name it Jinkx. I’m excited to have more space to be able to create costumes in. I collect so much bullshit to make costumes out of…like for a long time was collecting all those damn toilet paper tubes.

I remember that dress!

Photo Credit: Magnus Hastings

Yes, needless to say, I collect EVERYTHING for costumes. So it will be nice to have the space to do all of that.

What happens after the tour?

Well…hmm…I don’t know what happens after the tour, Alex! It makes me crazy to think about! Its hard to look ahead into the future because so many things are happening right now.

Well, hopefully All Stars 2 is happening and  you’ll be on it!

Oh yeah! I want to. It’s something that I’m always thinking about as far as costume ideas and wondering when I’m gonna have time to make them. You never know when its gonna happen and how much time we’ll have after they let us know. I might end up with only a week to scramble everything together like I did on my season.

Knowing what you know now, how would you prepare differently this time if you are cast in All Stars 2?

Well, you know, it’s funny because even the girls have noticed this. Ever since being on the tour and being surrounded by the girls and Michelle Visage 24/7 for the last month and a half, I’ve been reading people a lot more. To the point that everyone has chimed in on it. It’s something I’m sort of picking up. It’s weird to say, I’ve been picking up how to be mean! Someone was saying that they wanna cry after because it’s unexpected and therefore hurtful…but I always laugh right afterward to let them know I’m just being funny. I think I’m trying to be more vocal in general and would bring that with me this time around.

I want to expand what I’m doing. A lot of the girls that are comfortable on a mic and have one person shows are the ones that are having more opportunities to travel and work. I want to add that element to my show to accompany the fire-eating and stilt-walking. I’m gonna try my darndest, anyway!

That is so great! I’m sure you also still get lots of  inquiries for costume design?

You know, I’ve made a lot of costumes for a lot of the girls. Right now I don’t even have time to make costumes for myself. Hopefully traveling and performing keeps going strong for the next couple of years, but who knows. Drag has changed so much in the last few years. Who knows where it will go five years from now. Costuming is something I’ve always loved doing and can always rely on, especially for creativity. Stilt walking is something I’ve always loved doing also.

Photo Credit: Serichai Traipoom for Creep Magazine

Actually, I’ve been dying to buy arm stilts too. You know how they use in The Lion King for the giraffes? There is this company that makes them and I got a price on them and I was like, oh my god! That’s a car payment! Or a downpayment on a house! Sooo, I’ll have to get back to him because I need to spend that money on those things…and not arm stilts.

You can always break in backstage at the Lion King next time you are in NYC!

Yeah, right! I’ve been talking to Keith about training him to stilt walk. I’d love to just travel around with him doing stilt walking or juggling. He’s getting pretty good at juggling. Just being creative together, unrelated to drag.

I love that! Alright girl! Hope to see you back in the city soon or at least on All Stars 2!

Oh god! I would love it!

SEE ALSO: Watch: Ivy Winters Gets ‘Dragged’ Around New York City for Upcoming Documentary


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For tickets to see Ivy perform live on the Battle of the Seasons tour, visit