“Perfect Queens” or the drag queens phenomenon on NRJ 12
Perfect Queens is a new show airing on NRJ 12 that aims to highlight the drag queen phenomenon. The format of this show mixes entertainment, cabaret show and individual interviews with each drag to discover their journey and confessions. Le Filip, Tonya and Coco Ricard agreed to answer our questions during an interview.
Since drag is basically a political and militant artistic act, does the fact that it’s becoming trendy and popular today worry you? Or, on the contrary, do you find it positive and encouraging?
Philip: “It’s positive and encouraging to see people’s interest sparked when talking about art, especially politicized art. Of course, it can also lead to misunderstanding, fear, distrust and people who disagree with our cause. (…)”
Tonya : “Drag has always existed (…). David Bowie loved drag and was inspired by the New York drag queens, which is how he created his character Zeggy. (…) Bowie captured the essence of drag. For my part, I make a distinction between activism and the artistic aspect of drag. As an artist, I created the phenomenon of drag in France in 1995, when it didn’t exist in the country. We’ve allowed drag into straight clubs where it was previously shunned and ostracized. What has changed is that the drag movement is now being publicized on television.”
Coco Ricard : “(…) one wonders whether that really brings more understanding and vitality into society. But overall I think it’s beneficial because drag is more accepted and people have a better understanding of what we’re doing. (…)”
From what age can you become a drag queen ?
The Philip : “I would have liked to have started dragging later in my life. I started when I was 18, which was pretty early. (…) In hindsight, I might have taken a little more time to pursue this passion. (…) I think you can start dragging at any age. (…) However, I am not in favor of seeing 8-year-old drag queens (…)”.
Tonya : “I am convinced that you can dress up at any age, because dressing up is part of life. It allows you to want to be someone else, to look like someone else, to get out of yourself to come back to it better. Disguises offer people the opportunity to express themselves and to get out of isolation, to find a new family (…)”.
Coco Ricard “I believe you can get into the world of drag at almost any age, but it’s in the middle of the night where a lot of the trauma of the LGBT community can be addressed. So you have to be aware of the issues of sex, drugs, HIV, etc., while you’re of the right age to talk about it (…), you have to have reached a certain level of maturity.”
How do I effectively find a drag name?
The Philip : “My drag name is Le Filip, but since my real name is Philippe, I’m not the ideal person to offer advice on choosing a drag name. (…). In reality, there are no hard and fast rules for choosing a drag name. »
Tonya : “It is important to start with yourself and choose a name that represents you. The name must have a part of our personality. (…)”
Coco Ricard : “Finding the stage name for Drag can take some time as it is an important element in constructing your character and the image you want to convey as an artist (…) I chose the name Coco Ricard because I Coming from the south of France (…), I admired strong bimbos women, called “cagoles” in the south. I wanted to honor this social aspect (…) and create a connection to my region of origin.”
things not to be said Indent when she leaves the stage ?
The Philip : something like: “What is that blue light? Oh no, it’s your beard. And don’t do, “Don’t touch the hair. Don’t touch a drag queen at all. »
Tonya “Since I’m a drag girl who sings on stage, it’s more like, ‘You sang out of tune.’ »
Coco Ricard “I think it depends on where the criticism is coming from. If it’s constructive, you have to be open enough to embrace it. However, I think some downplay how difficult drag work can be. (…). It requires unlimited creativity (…) to create a character, a silhouette, to do makeup, to be funny… All this requires a lot of skill (…), it’s better not to criticize.”
Your favorite queer (lgbt) character?
The Philip : “Female Trouble by John Waters and all other films by this director.”
Tonya : “Lil Nas X I saw at the MTV Awards. He’s totally insane and gets a little queer. It’s hyper commercial and the aesthetic is still there. With him, vulgarity disappears to give life to art. I felt that the music, which embraces itself, lacked an odd character. Because it’s good to be in charge and to be in the crowd, but when you set the pace yourself, it gets interesting.”
Coco Ricard : “Madame Sarfati played by Elie Kakou. I grew up with this extraordinary performance and different from the others. She plays with the norms of the genre, pushing them to their limits, destroying them and transforming them. The character of the old woman from Nice in a dress with pink feathers is more than a real personality. With drag we transcend conventions by crossing boundaries and deconstructing stereotypes. We draw inspiration from real characters with a satirical and humorous approach.
” You are the queen but if you had to choose from all of them Queens that’s what you find the most unbelievable thing that would be queen from my heart? And why ?
The Philip : “(…) Alaska Thunderfuck is one of my favorites. She is in the show Drag Race in the United States. However, if I had to choose one source of inspiration, it would be Divine by John Waters. His style is punk, funny, gritty, countercultural and edgy, especially for his time.”
Tonya : “I particularly like Muse’s Soa because she embodies an explosive modernity. She says things boldly while performing with perfection on stage. She represents the essence of today’s drag (…)”.
Coco Ricard : “The drag queens of Nice caught my eye because they present themselves as different from the others. The Nice stage maintains a tradition of handover between generations, which is reflected in very professional and spectacular performances with an obvious love for the stage.”
Why did you take part in this show?
The Philip : “I took part in this show because it is a television format that presents the art of drag. It’s amazing to have shows like Drag Race and Perfect Queen on NRJ 12. You see a drag artist on stage, but also behind the scenes without it being about the competition.”
Tonya : “I bridge the gap between the old and the young generation of drag queens! I think it’s wise to give each of them a voice so they can share their sensitivity, their experience and their passion, be it in makeup, fashion, cinema, singing or pantomime. I like this diversity and that’s why I agreed to participate in this show. A lot of talented people were invited (…).”
Coco Ricard : “I agreed because it was an opportunity to showcase the art of drag and what drag queens do to the general public during prime time. I realized that there weren’t very many of us in France. So I saw this as an opportunity to showcase my talents as well as those of all comedy queens. “.