She’ll be celebrating her first drag anniversary in just a few weeks, but this queen has already accomplished amazing things in this city: a spot in this year’s prestigious “So You Think You Can Drag” competition, guest appearances in venues all over the city, a new pageant package in the works… and her own weekly show! Let’s get to know the talented singing queen Clarice DuBois before every bitch wants a piece of her!
Thotyssey: Hi Clarice! So, have you done any Christmas shopping yet?
Clarice DuBois: I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping yet. I’m one of the worst procrastinators when it comes to that [laughs]. I’m usually out on Christmas Eve looking for a final present.
Oh me too gurl! Christmas morning if I can help it! So, have you had a New York Christmas yet?
Yeah, I love New York during Christmas! I love the Christmas markets and ice skating at Bryant Park!
And do you like those little Christmas villages filled with over-priced artisan crap that pop up in all the parks? (I do!)
Yaass! I can’t afford any of it, but I usually get a hot chocolate from one of the stands and look through everything.
So okay, lots of stuff to talk about, but we better start at the beginning. Where’s your hometown, and what kind of kid were you?
I’m from Ellicott City, Maryland. It’s a suburb about 15 minutes from Baltimore. As a kid, I was really into singing and theater. I was in choirs and doing musicals since I was about 6 years old.
Was your family supportive of your endeavors?
They were always really supportive. My parents were always there to drive me to rehearsals, and they came to every show I had with flowers.
Aw nice! So, did you create Clarice after you came to NYC, or before?
She started when I was at home in Maryland. I went to school here in New York, and lived here for about 5 years. When I moved back home last August, I started getting really interested in makeup and costuming. And eventually started creating Clarice.
What were your drag intentions? Did you always want to get out there and perform as Clarice?
I’ve always loved telling stories, that’s what really drew me into acting and the arts in general. But in theatre, I wasn’t really able to tell the stories that I wanted to be telling. I’ve found a lot more creative freedom by doing drag. I’m able to create stories, both serious and silly, and tell them how I want!
Meaning, stories about your life?
Some stories I take from my life. But I also like telling other peoples’ stories, or from movies and plays. What I find fun is being able to take these stories and make them about my own experiences.
So would you say then that Clarice is more than a heightened version of you… she’s more like a character, with these back stories?
I think you could definitely say that. The more I perform as Clarice, the more she’s started to take on a life of her own.
That’s interesting! When did you first perform as her in front of an audience?
The first was for a Christmas show in Baltimore, almost a year ago. My Dragaversary is on December 12th!
Happy Almost Dragaversary! And did you come back to live in NYC looking for gigs as Clarice, or did something else motivate you?
Drag was definitely a part of it. But, to be honest, this spring I decided that I was not going to turn 24 and be living with my parents in Maryland. So I called some friends from school, found a place to live, and moved here about a month later. I kinda just figured things out from there!
Good for you! So, how did “So You Think You Can Drag?” come to your attention, and what motivated you to try out?
I actually first found out about SYTYCD when [host] Paige Turner posted the audition notice. I started looking into it, and found all of the recap videos from past seasons on YouTube. I really liked the idea of having a space to try out new material and get critiqued on it.
Did you know or meet any of the other contestants before the competition? You all get along so famously now!
I very briefly met Adriana and Vicky before the competition, but I wasn’t friends with any of the girls until it all started. It’s kinda crazy to think of, because I consider them all to be my sisters now!
Overall, how did you enjoy the experience… and were you very disappointed to be part of the first cut?
I had a really great time! I made a lot of friends, and I’m really grateful to have been part of the season. Of course I was disappointed, but I think everything happens for a reason. While the rest of the girls were still in the competition, I was getting out there, and guesting, and securing my first weekly show! So, I think it all worked out!
It’s true, you were all over the place while the competition was continuing. I saw you guest performed for
Marti Gould Cummings’ shows quite a bit. How did you two bond?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Marti. I think she’s hilarious and endlessly entertaining. I was really drawn to her because she’s such a genuinely good person. I started going to her shows a lot, and we talked afterwards. She’s given me a lot of advice that I’m really grateful for.
And another queen you’re about to share the stage with, this time on a weekly basis: Blake Deadly! Did you two pursue getting a show together, or did it just work out that way?
I actually met Blake when she was guesting at one of Marti’s shows this summer, and we’ve been pretty inseparable ever since–for better or worse [laughs]. We have one of those friendships where we constantly read each other. But we both understand that it comes from a place of love and respect.
We thought it would be really fun to use that dynamic to entertain an audience. So, we came up with the idea for a show based around that relationship, and started pitching it!
It’s gonna be a lot of fun! Blake and I are gonna read each other to filth while talking about politics, theater, and pop culture. There’s gonna be live singing, lip syncing (sometimes both at the same time), and games.
Werk. Anything else to report?
Oh, congratulations! Do you have your package all planned out yet?
I just sat down last night and started planning the first few weeks. I’m excited, it should be a lot of fun!
My plan is to stay as actively and visibly queer as I can. It’s gonna be a tough four years, but if we can show Trump that we stand together as a community, and won’t be taken down easily, I think we can make it through. We are stronger together. We have to keep Trump and this Republican congress accountable for their actions. And remember to vote in 2018 and 2020!
Cheers to that, Clarice! Thanks so much, and stay Nasty!
Clarice DuBois co-hosts “Nasty Women” with Blake Deadly at Vodka Soda / Bottoms Up on Monday nights (10pm) beginning December 5th. She will compete in The Ultimate Drag Pageant at the West End beginning December 14th. Clarice can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube.