INTERVIEW OF MONICA JEFFERIES
BY: SHANE ELKS
There are drag queens and then there are legends. Monica Jefferies is a legend indeed! This queen has stood the test of time by remaining true to herself and not falling into the stereotypical ways of shadiness. It is rare to find a Queen who has been at the top of her game longer than most and still host a humble quality of wisdom and southern belle charm. You can find Monica at Club Cabaret in Hickory, Central Station and with our new live singing show titled “Broke Down Divas” at Petra's.
SE: On the seventh day they say God rested, but when did he (or she) create Monica Jefferies? We know anything as fabulous as you took an entire day.
MJ: Lol! It was an Easter Sunday. My drag mother Farrha McCrey (RIP), that b*tch, taped me up like a UPS package shipped by FED EX. And yes it did take an entire day.
SE: What is like having a home base in such a deep southern town as Hickory?
MJ: It wasn't very inviting at first. There were a few wanting me to fail but I'm a pretty determined person. Living in the center of the Bible belt, I found my mentor, Mitchell Gold, of Taylorsville, NC. Mitchell was writing a book and asked that I contribute my story to his book called "Crisis”. This gave me the courage and the stage to do what I enjoy. And that is being on stage. Before creating Monica, I was a performer running back and forth from Nashville every week working on a single deal, through Cupid Records.
SE: Do you find the crowds much different when you travel to Charlotte?
MJ: The crowds are always welcoming, no matter where I am. I never meet a stranger. As you well know I'm a big cut up and will say anything!
SE: You are the Queen Bee at the new Central Station. How did that come about?
MJ: Many years ago, before heading to Nashville, I ran the karaoke circuit and I had seen an ad that Eddy ran looking for some one to host karaoke. I've always been one to help others in anyway I can so I met Eddy and we talked and I felt like he was a good guy just trying to build a great place for the Charlotte area. As he told me up front, he wanted a place where every one feels welcome. As we began to learn each other, I fell in love with Eddy and Central Station. I knew if there was anything I could do I was “in”. The thing with Central Station is there are no cliques. Come as you are. Very limited drama (which I love). It’s real, it’s exciting and full of energy just like a Cher concert.
SE: Since I (as Madame Midnight Ruby) began “Broke Down Divas” at Petra's, much interest has been peaked (in what we are doing). Why do you find it that crowds are so shocked that drag queens can actually sing live?
MJ: Well, we as, drag queens, have many talents that are hidden in many venues. I think the show we have at Petra's is a place to let everyone know that we're just not makeup and fake tits with a Broyhill sofa strapped to our *sses. Lol! I am amazed at the guests that can't take their eyes off of the performers at Petra's. It is like they really enjoy the entertaining, not just the art.
SE: Which do you prefer: singing live or lip synching for your life?
MJ: I do both live and lip synching, after all there are a few things I can not sing and my nuts only stretch so far.
SE: Unfortunately the drag world can be shady at times. Why do you feel that a group so boldly ‘out there’ can at the same time be so insecure?
MJ: This is very true, however, if we as a community, as well as a state and nation, would stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and just join in and be supportive (no matter what), we could change things all around us. The best way to stay out of the shade is get out from under the tree.
SE: I am in the world of drag for the love of entertaining and painting. Do you find that a lot of today's queens take them selves too seriously or not seriously enough?
MJ: Again, I think it is up to the entertainer to decide what is best for them. I made a statement in the very beginning, that I may never be the prettiest or the most talented, but would always be the most gracious. If you are having fun, that’s all that matters.
SE: As a truly flawless belle of the south, how do you feel about all the different forms of drag that are being seen today?
MJ: Flawless? Not. But thank you. We all have different likes and desires for our art. If we were all the same, at some point in time it would get very boring. Again, this is an art and all facets are amazing.
SE: What is on the horizon for Monica?
MJ: In December of 2013, Monica will release her very first album entitled “Simply Monica J”.
SE: Fabulous, I will be in line for a copy. Thank you for your time and glitter. (XOXO)
MJ: Thank you so much for the opportunity for this interview. I would like to add a special thanks to Jeff Reeves of Club Caberet for never giving up on me and to Amanda Chandler for always being there. I’d also like to send a thank you to all of my fans and friends and to the new man in my life for always putting up with Jeff AND Monica. (He's more of a queen than I.)