This vampy, campy comedy queen has dazzled us with a recent barrage of fierce Insta looks, and now she’s about to Christmas Slay us with some holiday digital shows. Deck the Halls with the fabulous Gigi Deetz! [Cover Photo: Jax]
Thotyssey: Hello Gigi! Thanks so much for talking to us on this weirdly beautiful December Sunday! Sadly this is also New York City’s last day of indoor dining for the rest of the year, as we struggle with the latest Corona spike. How much does that suck!?
Gigi Goode: Haha, straight out the gate with the serious questions, Jim! But yes, it sucks. I’m trying to remain cautiously optimistic though, and believe we are going to be on the other side of this soon. 2021 is everyone’s Hot Girl New Year!
Truly though, there is also finally a reason for some optimism! And while we approach the light at the end of the tunnel, you’ve kept yourself busy by presenting some gorgeous looks on Instagram! These are largely items of your own design?
Mostly, yes! I wanted to take my time during quarantine to work on my craft–partly to come out of this looking better than ever, and partly to keep my sanity while working on something creative instead of staring into the void. I talked to my Drag Auntie Lauren Ordair about setting aside some time to work on my sewing skills, and now it’s become a regular activity in our house. Halloween felt like a good time to show off some of the last few months of work!
Those Halloween looks in particular were pretty gagworthy; it’s interesting how campy comedy queens often make good spooky queens as well.
Thanks babes! Halloween is my fav (groundbreaking, I know), so I wanted to celebrate it this year… social distance style. Definitely proud of the work I did!
Where are you from originally, and what were your early artistic / performing interests and skills?
Originally I’m from Dallas, TX. I went to school in Chicago, and then worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for a few years and lived on the ships… so I’ve been all over. I started in musical theater of course, and I realized I was getting more work as a drag character than I was as male characters (this was also when Drag Race was in its infancy, so drag was still a novelty). I think directors were probably using it as a stunt to sell tickets, but I was getting work… so it worked fine for me!
And where did “Gigi Deetz” come from?
“Deetz” comes from the Deetz family in my favorite film, Beetlejuice. And I like that Gigi had two “e” noises to go with the “e” noise in Deetz (there is a word to describe that better, I’m sure). I was watching the movie once while I was visiting family back in Texas, and there’s a scene where Delia is tired of Lydia complaining and tells her she was “miserable in New York City, and [she’s] miserable out here in the sticks,” and I felt so seen. I always look at Gigi as Lydia’s long lost sister or something. Also a lot of Tim Burton’s designs and silhouettes from the 80s and 90s really inspire me when I think of new looks for Gigi.
I love that! Many folks came to know you through some high profile competitions you partook in. Back in 2018 there was the “Yaaas” queer standup comedy competition, where you performed as Gigi!
Doing standup is wild. There is nothing more intimidating than being asked to speak on mic and be funny for 5-10 minutes on your own with no assistance… but it’s very fun! I got asked to participate by a co-worker, and had never done any kind of standup performing of my own material before. I was in a pretty dark place at the time, and thought this was a great way to focus on something positive and try something new.
A lot of the funniest material comes from the darkest places!
You got it! I love a girl (me) with a dark sense of humor.
Iconic was definitely a ton of work, especially going into it immediately after finishing UDP. Creative juices were flowing out of any hole I’ve got, but by the end of it you’re pretty dry. My goals in any of those competitions were to challenge myself, grow and get to know Gigi as a drag performer… and not be eliminated. I think I accomplished those goals, and for that I’m very proud of myself.
How would you describe what the Gigi Deetz experience is like today, for the uninitiated?
Well today I sat at home and watched the All-Stars season of Top Model. But in general, I usually say I’m at my best with an ice coffee and having been mildly inconvenienced–keeps me up and on my toes. The Gigi flavor is comedy, fashion, body positivity… and in this post-Covid body, it’s a lot of me trying to catch my fucking breath. Can I say fucking?
So we just had a Drag Race Season 13 cast announcement… are you excited to see anyone in particular?
I actually think Team New York will be great this year. Also, huge shout-out to our first openly trans contestant Gottmik!
Well, I can’t speak to any specifics! Mostly because I haven’t seen anyone else’s number yet… but also, it’s a surprise you’ll just have to tune in for! What I can say is that it will be more than a typical drag show, and more of a holiday variety special. It will definitely be worth the low cost of a ticket to see a stellar cast shed a little light into a weird holiday season.
Yeah! The show should be a great time. Very “Island of Misfit Toys” via The Polar Express to Halloweentown with Debbie Reynolds. Another great opportunity to see drag from a safe social distance for a low cost!
Anything else we should know?
If anyone needs any looks for the new year or anything else in the foreseeable future, Lauren Ordair and I are open for commission work now!
Everyone get on that! Okay, final question: what is your favorite holiday song?
“River” by Joni Mitchell. That feels right.
Gorgeous! Thank you, Gigi!