The voluptuous vixen most fondly remembered by “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans for her flawless Mo’Nique impersonation on Season 3′s “Snatch Game” segment, Stacy Layne Matthews has been living her truth and living it large! And we all clearly need more of this small town girl who made it big in our lives; even the briefest glimpse of her in the audience of last season’s finale became a red hot meme. Now Stacy is finally delivering, with an exciting new NYC stage show coming to us this weekend that may soon span the nation. We love you, Stacy!
Thotyssey: Hello Stacy, and thank so much for talking to us! Are you home now, or out on the road performing?
I’m home for a couple days. I’m gonna do Easter with the family and spend a few days in rehearsal before heading to New York next week.
And soon enough, you’ll be a part of the Eleganza Tour of Australia with several other RuPaul’s Drag Race girls, right?
The tour is in June, and I’m excited and a little nervous. It’s very far from home, and I hear the flight is killing. But hey, it’s the Land Down Under, so I’m ready to partayyy!
In your small hometown of Back Swamp, North Carolina, you must be revered as a famous goddess since your memorable run in Drag Race’s third season. Is it challenging to be Big Time Famous living in a small town?
Well, to be honest I live in the Bible Belt. I’m respected, but most of my supporters are in surrounding cities where drag is a little more accepted. I’m lucky to have support from most of my family. You can’t win them all [laughs]!
I just learned recently that you are Native American. Do you know many other Native American queens?
Most of my drag friends here are Native American. I’m a part of the Lumbee tribe, which is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi river.
When you ask a typical Drag Race fan to recall your greatest moment on the show, it must be your role as Mo’Nique’s Precious character in the second ever “Snatch Game” segment. It was a pitch perfect performance, in appearance and mannerisms. Did you know that was gonna turn out so well when you finally decided to play her in the sketch?
I would say that my Mo’Nique sketch has to be what people notice the most. I was given the opportunity to work with her in Milwaukee a few years ago….. one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.
It’s been seven years since your time on the show. Looking back now, how positive or negative was this experience to your life and career? Did you wish you lasted longer on the season, or was leaving when you did better for you in the long run?
I wish I could have stayed longer, but you know I had to leave the show and grow in order to be on Season 3 of All-Stars, right? Let’s hope. I need a Henny Do-Over. HENNY!!!!
How has your drag changed since the show?
I feel like I have a better understanding of makeup and drag in general. Traveling the country, I was given the opportunity to work with so many talented queens that taught me so much I didn’t know.
Are you still close with castmates from your season?
I still communicate with them, but with everyone’s schedules we pretty much only get to see each other at places like Rupaul’s DragCon.
A shot of you in the finale audience of Season 8 filming the stage with your phone has become the source of many cute, sassy memes. Did you ever expect that to happen?
Honestly, I didn’t. I was just minding my business… I seen that camera on me out of the corner of my eye but you never know who is watching [laughs]!
You are living your truth as a beautiful trans woman now. Yet Peppermint this season is, in fact, the first contestant who was publicly trans before her season’s filming. Did you feel at the time of your season that viewers–or even some people involved with the show–wouldn’t be accepting of your gender?
I have always felt like a woman. Have I finished my transition? Not at all. I kind of put it on the back burner because there are other personal things I need to focus on on right now. I do know that RuPaul’s Drag Race is all about that transformation from “man” to “woman.” So it wasn’t a topic of discussion, because I didn’t wanna lose that opportunity. So I think Peppermint is very brave, and I just love her for that. HEY PEPPERMINT GIRL.
You were also seeking funding for weight loss surgery a few years ago… where do you stand now with that aspect of your journey?
My weight growing up was never a real issue for me. But since Drag Race, I will admit that I have gained weight. Depression and anxiety will destroy your waist line. But I’m working to get in a better head space so I can tackle this monster, henny. Do I wanna be skinny? Not at all. I just wanna be healthy and live a long life.
I’ve seen several videos of you singing, and your voice is so gorgeously powerful and soulful. Do you think we’ll ever get a record or a single from you?
People keep asking me for music, and I promise they will get it soon. There are just so many things on my to-do list. But I promise you it’s on there.
Let’s talk about the stage show that you’re bringing to the Laurie Beechman Theatre on April 21st & 22nd, From Stacy, With Love… First of all, how long have you been working on it, and where else in the world have you performed it so far?
New York city will be a test run to see how people respond to it, and maybe I’ll turn it into a tour or something. I’ve been working on it a few months. I’ll be bringing my best friend James Clark, who is an amazing musician. He will be playing the piano while I serenade the audience. I do have a surprise guest for the show, but I’ll keep that a secret for now.
What’s the premise of the show? What can we expect?
The show is just a tale of love, and my own personal experiences with it. Relationships. Loss. Happy moments and overcoming pain. A show that lets people know that no matter what you go through in life, you will make it as long as you surround yourself with love and light.
And what might we learn about Stacy from the show?
I’m human. I have felt pain, like most of us have. I have overcome so much. I’m really funny–at least, I think I am. And I love to sing, but I rarely do. But I explain that in the show [laughs]!
Do you think you might be popping into any other spots in town to turn a number or two while you’re here?
Nothing planned so far. I have to save my voice. I can’t go out and have just one drink!
Anything else you wanna discuss?
I’m just so excited to be back in NYC. It’s been such a long time since I was there, and I would love for people to come see the show. Bring your lovers…. the Other Woman, the Side Piece [laughs]… just come! Tickets are available available at SpinCycleNYC, and catch me at DragCon. How bowwwwdahttttt?
Finally: What song should be the theme song of your life?
Probably “Taking Chances” by Celine Dion. Because that’s what it’s all about. Having a good time and being yourself, no matter what the world thinks.
Thank you so much, Stacy!
Stacy Layne Matthews stars in “From Stacy, With Love…” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on Friday, April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd (7pm). Stacy can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.