The new British drag docu-series ‘Drag Queens of London’ features some of London’s most well-known drag queens. In part eight of our exclusive Q&A series with the queens of the show, we get to know Ruby Wednesday a little better as she spills the tee about herself and the show. Also be sure to check out our previous interviews with Meth, Rosie Beaver, Miss Cairo, Vanity von Glow, Vicki Vivacious, The Very Miss Dusty O and Silver Summers. The final episode of season 1 airs tonight at 10pm GMT on London Live: Freeview 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159 and YouView 8.
Meet Ruby Wednesday – ‘Drag Queens of London’
About ‘Ruby Wednesday’:
Drag name: Ruby Wednesday
Current Location: London
Birthday: 12 June 1991
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Dragaholic: Why did you decide to use the name “Ruby Wednesday”?
Ruby Wednesday: The name Ruby Wednesday comes from an amalgamation of things. If I was born biologically female, my biological Mum was going to use Ruby as my middle name after a relative who also had Ruby as a middle name, though everyone called her Ruby. I took the same idea, using Ruby as the first name, so Ruby Wednesday actually has a birth name as well as a stage name. I chose Wednesday because I was born on a Wednesday and they say that ‘Wednesday‘s child is full of woe’, which explains her miserable demeanour. It’s also a nod to the song ‘Ruby Tuesday’ by The Rolling Stones; that coincides with the kind of punky aesthetic. Finally, an homage to my dear Drag Mother, Meth; she’s my Morticia Addams to my Wednesday Addams.
D: How many years have you been doing drag?
RW: Years? Uhh… Rude. It’s actually only just coming up to one year.
D: Who inspired you to do drag?
RW: I was inspired to do drag through my art practice. I was studying Fine Art and was exploring ideas of portraiture and self-portraiture so I decided to create an alter ego for myself. I’m really into Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing and the way that they transform themselves for their portraiture. I’m also completely in love with the photographs of Andy Warhol in drag. That’s what started it all really and it was Mother, Meth, who pushed me in the right direction and The Familyyy Fierce helped an unimaginable. The first time I saw them all perform, at The Save Rubyyy Jones Revue, I just sat there with my mouth hanging open like “I want to BE them!”
D: How competitive are you?
RW: I never really thought I was that competitive. When I entered the Trannyshack Academy competition, it started to unveil itself a little bit. Well, maybe a little bit more than a little bit. Catch me with a board game or Nintendo then I get pretty competitive. I’m not very good at losing… Yeah, I’m competitive.
D: What are you strongest at in drag: makeup, hair, costume, performance or all of the above?
RW: All of the above. No, sorry, really no. Performance. I used to do a lot of drama and performance at school and used to be the lead singer of a band, so I’m really used to being on stage and I really enjoy myself up there.
D: What is your personality like out of drag?
RW: I don’t really know what my personality is like outside of drag. You’d have to ask my friends and the people who are around me outside of drag really. Ruby Wednesday always looks miserable just because she kind of hates everyone for no apparent reason. I’m not as miserable as she is, less confident maybe. Oh, I don’t know. Take me for a cup of tea and find out for yourself.
D: How long does it take you to get in drag… from start to finish?
RW: I’m easily distracted so it can take a while. If I know what I’m going to do to my face then maybe an hour/hour and a half. Then however long it takes to put clothes on. Average dressing speed, I suppose.
D: Which celebrity/entertainer inspires you?
RW: I’m inspired by a lot of people from a lot of different areas; the artists that I mentioned above amongst others being some. As for entertainers, I’m inspired by people like Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, Marilyn Manson, Amanda Palmer, I don’t know, loads of people for loads of different reasons and from loads of different areas. The entire Familyyy Fierce as well, we inspire each other and it’s really great to sit down with them and talk about ideas we’ve been having and where we want to take stuff. Lady ‘Maxi’ Tena is a really good one to sit down with, her head is always so alive with ideas and wisdom. It’s great to have so much creative support everywhere. Rubyyy Jones is always dedicated to helping the Familyyy whenever she can. We all have our own strengths so we can go to each other for anything.
D: What special talents do you have? (i.e. backflips, splits, firebreathing, etc.)
RW: Special talents? I have a pretty good singing voice, I guess. No one was really expecting it when I cracked it out during Trannyshack Academy. I have a kind of signature movement which kind of looks like a fast-paced contorting of limbs and throwing myself around with a pinch of heart attack or seizure in there for good measure. I like to think that when I perform I fucking perform. I don’t like doing anything half-hearted. I’m working on other talents though, I’m keen to explore different performance styles.
D: Who is your favorite queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race?
RW: It always comes back to Drag Race, doesn’t it? From watching the show, I was totally obsessed with Raja. She’s beautiful in drag and handsome out of drag, I just thought she was the shit, plus she’s a Gemini and has a similar conceptual approach to drag as I do. I loved Manila Luzon, I think mainly because I had a crush on her. I loved Nina Flowers’ look, Milk was fucking amazing and all the queens that challenged ideas of drag. After I started spending time with some of them my ideas changed of them, it was nice to see the people behind the performer, almost enlightening. I supported Raja when she came to The Meth Lab at The Black Cap in Camden and she was fucking lovely. Jujubee is a sweetheart, Latrice Royale is incredible, Laganja Estranja and Alyssa Edwards were a shit load of fun to hang out with. If I could tell myself a year ago that I’d be sitting in Kensington at Bourgeoisie’s house watching Drag Queens of London with Willam and Manila Luzon I would have checked myself in to the Psychiatric Unit; straight up.
D: If you had to choose three adjectives to describe your drag persona, what would they be?
RW: Hateful. Button pushing. Maniac.
D: Do you design and produce your own outfits and costumes?
RW: No, no, no. All of the no. I just throw stuff together because I like it. Usually, five minutes before I have to leave. I made a costume recently but it does need some attention. Wasn’t too bad for a first go though.
D: What can people expect to see from you on the ‘Drag Queens of London’?
RW: They can certainly expect some interesting performances, a lot of integrity, passion and hard work. I think a fair bit of growth as well. We were followed throughout Trannyshack Academy, which was intense to say the very least. Otherwise, it’s all down to editing. So, whatever I’ve been painted to be.
D: Which queen did you enjoy working with the most on the ‘Drag Queens of London’?
RW: I work with these queens all the time. I have a soft spot for all of them, really. Home is where the heart is and my heart is in The Familyyy Fierce, obviously. People think that the whole ‘family’ thing is all performance based but it isn’t. It goes a lot deeper; it’s an emotional attachment. However, we’re all kind of family in the end. Maybe. Who knows?
D: Thank you so much for your time today. Is there anything you’d like to add before we go?
RW: Yeah. Tip your fucking waitress.
Watch ‘Drag Queens of London’ on London Live: Freeview 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159 and YouView 8.