Pit Crew Chronicles: Jason Carter Beyond The Body-ody-ody!

There are lots of things we all hone in on when fawning over the Pit Crew of RuPaul‘s Drag Race. Abs…biceps…package…pecs…package…butt, PACKAGE! You might be asking yourself: how do I get to experience the boy beyond the body?!? I am here to help you!

Jason Carter’s charismatic nature knocks you off your feet form the get-go. He is a former dancer and TV host with a winning smile and fun spirit. What you may not be familiar with is his candor, humble nature, and incredible ability to always remain present.

Drag queens and enthusiasts, I present…JASON CARTER!jason-carter-host

Alex: Obviously, as a member of the pit crew, viewers know you for your body-ody-ody. What do you consider to be one of your best features that viewers may not know about?

Jason: My personality! People don’t often realize that we in the pit crew have personalities…or that we do other things, like I’m a host. I was a dancer. People don’t often realize that we are more than just pretty faces. We have personalities!

On your website, jasonunleashed.com, I saw that you’ve done sooo much TV and web hosting. What have you got going on right now that we can check out?

Right now, I’m hosting the Empire After Show for theStream.TV. You can check that out every week. You can also check out my webisodes online with AfterBuzz TV, which is Maria Menounos’ network that I work with as well. I also host in different places and travel a lot. It keeps me busy!

That’s awesome! I was reading through your blog and I really love your last entry because it had such a positive message about using the word “no”. Can you tell us about that?

Absolutely! Depending on how you grow up, or your background or where you come from…it shapes how you interact with people. I grew up with my parents getting divorced and me being gay, so you end up having a lot of insecurities about yourself, not being confident. You also end up wanting the approval of anyone and everyone because you don’t feel good enough so you think, screw it, as long as I fit in with other people and be what they want me to be, I fit in.

With this vicious cycle, as you go on in life,  you find that you put yourself in situations that you normally wouldn’t put yourself in. You make decisions based on others and you feel unhappy and bitter, like your life isn’t even your own.

I found that sometimes by saying no, you let people know that you do have a backbone, that you are NOT afraid to tell it like it is. That you do deserve better for yourself and are looking out for yourself. To me, that’s been one of the biggest lessons at 35, to feel free to say no if I’m really not feeling it!

That’s great! I’m 39 and have come across that knowledge myself. I realized it was also about not giving all your energy to other people that drain you, and reserving that energy for yourself, to do what YOU need.

Oh, for sure! You said the perfect word, drain. It drains you because you are giving up yourself AND your time. Time, believe it or not, is more valuable than money. You can’t get time back. For me, I was always afraid of hurting people’s feelings, but I’m gonna hurt their feelings more by being a douchebag when I felt miserable. So why not be upfront? Saying no, its like a muscle, you have to work it out. If it’s not innate in your personality, you have to work it out and it gets easier to do. You have to flex that “NO” muscle!

AND then you gain people’s respect!

Yeah, and people look at you like, WOW…and there are people who may not appreciate your new found backbone, but obviously they were never there for you or your best interest to begin with so, BYE FELICIA!

Exactly! Is there someone…a role model who has inspired you as a dancer, as a performer, as a host?

Jason_carterI’m inspired by so many different things. I’m a huge Mariah Carey fan and people always laugh at me when I say that, but at every stage of my life there has been a Mariah album or song. I love her work ethic. I think she’a a smart businesswoman and she always comes back! Also, Oprah! I know thats kind of a cliché, but she reminds me of my mom and I’m very close to my mother who also inspires me. I love strong, powerful people.

I’m inspired by Ru all the time. RuPaul has this amazing magnetic energy. When he speaks to you, you know its with intention and sincerity. He’s such a good natured person with a great aura! I’ve learned a lot about hosting from watching Ru. He has such good diction and a smooth elegance about him. He owns his power. He knows who he is and its very sexy. I want to put those things into my repitoire as a host.

What have you personally taken away from doing Drag Race that you didn’t expect to take away?

One thing I’ve taken away is how important your audience is. Drag Race has become iconic and revolutionary and people are being affected by that. The experience is much more important than the money. I’m not a millionare off of the show, but I get to connect with people across the globe that are kind and funny.  I’ve also learned to be in the moment and to be grateful because what’s hot right now may not be next week. Enjoy the moment!

You mentioned how iconic its become. It must provide such a great platform.

Being on the show has organically caused me to be a really big supporter of the LGBT community. When I make appearances I like to talk about my experience because everyone has their own story about what it feels like to be alone and feel confused. I didn’t come out of the closet until I was 27, thats almost 30! So, I feel it’s my duty to share it and let people know it’s OK to be who you are. I’m gay and I now have a partner of 6 years who I love and adore. He’s my permanent plus one for everything. He’s my best friend.

Thats beautiful! Has your perception of drag changed since being on the show?

It most definitely has. Prior to Drag Race, I didn’t realize that it was a lifestyle. It’s a business. It is a whole subculture of the gay community. I realized how hard these queens work. They bring a character to life and commit to it!

Shangela is one of my favorite drag queens ever. She’s smart. She’s on her hustle. Its a business and she knows her brand and her audience. Laganja Estranja, also. She is one of the best performers I’ve ever seen. They don’t just lip-sync on stage and reach for dollars. They perform! These queens are so talented and their work ethic is paramount. Kennedy Davenport is also amazing! I’m telling you, America! Just wait!

SEE ALSO: Pit Crew Members Discuss Being Objectified by RuPaul’s Drag Race Fans

If you were a drag queen, what would your drag name be?

My drag queen name would be something like…I don’t know….I’ve always liked the word Onyx. So, I’d be Onyx. Something like Onyx Dujour or Onyx Dior. Maybe Diamond Stardust? Something really fun and campy. My drag would be like Too Wong Foo, Wesley Snipes in a dress. They’d be like, that’s a dude in a dress, absolutely not!

They should do a production of Too Wong Foo the stage play with the three of you in the pit crew!

That would be awesome! I would love for them to put us in drag. The tuck might be a problem, but I’m a sport. I’m a team player. I’m all for it!

So, if Onyx were competing in Drag Race, who would she do for Snatch Game?

That’s blowing my mind right now! I would do…Wendy Williams. How you doin’?

That is a good one!

Or no, uh…uh. I would do Whoopi Goldberg…or Nene Leakes! I’m not saying I’d be really good at it, but I’d give it my best!

Jason-Flag-SmileYou are a performer. I have a feeling you’d be great! Lastly, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I see myself hosting a show on a major network, on a panel probably. Being a major television personality and brand. They are so wonderful at World of Wonder and Logo that I would love to be a judge on Drag Race. I think I’d be really good at it. Mostly, I see myself happy…like I am now. Because if you are happy, nothing else matters.

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