RuPaul may need Drag Race, however she’s not the one mogul within the drag world.
A number of years in the past, after spending hours listening to a Golden Girls recap podcast whereas caught in a Burning Man site visitors jam, two former Drag Race contestants—Alaska and Willam—determined to strike out on their very own. “We had been like, ‘Why do not we do that about Drag Race,’” Alaska says. Quickly, the pair had a producer, Big Dipper, and an entire new present: Race Chaser.
They began pitching the podcast round to numerous studios, together with the comedy upstart Forever Dog, the place it will definitely landed. “Race Chaser was a right away success,” says CEO Joe Cilio. “We had by no means seen something prefer it. Ceaselessly Canine was a younger firm then, and it was superb to have a bonafide hit on our arms.” Massive Dipper says the podcast’s success was affirmation of what he and Race Chaser’s hosts already knew: that “there actually was a marketplace for drag followers who needed to expertise the queens in a special, lengthy kind approach, and in a extra persona pushed approach … and in an audio approach.”
Quick ahead a couple of 12 months later and Cilio, seeing Race Chaser’s giant and constant fan base, began pushing the concept of Willam and Alaska creating their very own podcast imprint underneath the Ceaselessly Canine umbrella, and that’s how the Moguls Of Media (MOM) Network was born. MOM launched through the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and was a right away success. Plenty of that is because of its programming, which included exhibits like The Chop with Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon, and Very That with Raja and Delta Work, and Sloppy Seconds with Massive Dipper and Meatball. “Principally,” says Alaska, “we had been like, ‘This has been nice. We need to share it with our sisters,’ so we reached out to our very well-known drag queen associates and so they stated ‘Positive, why not?’”
Pivoting to podcasts represents a big shift on the planet of drag. It is historically an artwork kind primarily based on reside efficiency and on visible spectacle; podcasting is nearly at all times strictly audio—the performers are hardly ever ever seen. What MOM is doing, then, is taking the inherent skills drag performers have for charismatic storytelling and entertaining and channeling them into a brand new medium, one thing that is confirmed to be a necessity through the pandemic, when bars, nightclubs, and theaters had been usually closed and queens wanted to seek out different sources of earnings. “We had been actually fortunate that we had a podcast as a result of we might keep related to folks even in any case of our regular avenues of connecting with our group had been utterly closed off,” says Alaska. “It positively bought me by means of the pandemic, and it positively helped ease issues a bit bit for lots of people listening.” The duo additionally leveraged the ability of the pod to lift greater than $120,000 for queer-friendly charities like For The Gworls.
Podcasting additionally helped the MOM queens join with their followers on a deeper stage. “We’re speaking for lengthy intervals of time, each single week,” says Alaska. “That is a really intimate, private approach of attending to know somebody. Early in my drag profession and proper after Drag Race, all [fans] bought was what I used to be saying on stage or what I used to be saying in my music.”
Raja agrees. “There is a sure freedom and honesty that comes out of a podcast,” she says. “It simply feels simpler to speak about every part.” Jinkx Monsoon sees her MOM podcast, Hi Jinkx!, as each a spot for candid dialog and a approach to, as she places it, “showcase issues that don’t get talked about rather a lot in our business,” like how trans performers have redefined their careers after coming out, the diversity (or lack there of) of gender expressions in media, or what it’s like to be an adult film star. “It seems like this enjoyable accountability,” she says, “or this enjoyable factor that I get to do this can probably have an effect.”