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Friday, June 19, 2015

I AM YOUR QUEEN: MuthaChucka

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge MUTHACHUCKA
  • MuthaChucka

Welcome to I AM YOUR QUEEN, a Pride Month series on the Exhibitionist that introduces San Francisco's drag royalty to their loyal subjects.

MuthaChucka's greatest drag moment happened a few months ago at Honey Mahogany’s show at the Midnight Sun.

"I started performing my first number and this little black woman came running up to the stage jumping up and down and shouting, 'That’s my song! That’s my song!' Being the consummate professional that I am, I continued to perform the number as I realized the little black woman was Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and the song I was performing, 'Stranger to My Happiness' was indeed her latest single.

"We hung out and took photos after. I have been performing her songs for years ('100 Days, 100 Nights' is one of my favorite numbers of all time!) and it was thrilling to be able to do one of her songs for her."

click to enlarge With Sharon Jones - MUTHACHUCKA
  • MuthaChucka
  • With Sharon Jones

What name(s) do you perform under?


Where do you perform?

Midnight Sun, The Stud, The Edge, Oasis among many others in San Francisco and around the world.

How long have you done drag?

My first drag performance was in 1976 at the local CYO Talent Show, lip-synching to Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be” in my mother’s nylon bathrobe over balloon boobs in a wig I found on her closet door. (Irony?)

Does your MuthaChucka have a back story?

My life is her backstory

Do you have a theater/performance background?

Not unless you count sex in the balcony [wink emoticon].  

Is realness important to you? Genderfuck? Something else?

I have experimented with many different forms of drag, makeup and performance and I find they all have their time and place. The things that are important to me about drag are to have fun, and to be entertaining or enlightening — or both.

When you were starting out, what was the biggest hurdle?

Since I don’t have a theater or performance background I think the biggest hurdles for me were the glossary of terms used on the stage and learning how what worked on stage as it was not necessarily what I pictured in my head.

click to enlarge MUTHACHUCKA
  • MuthaChucka
What do you love most about drag?

Not to be too Pollyanna on this, but really I love the art of it all. The creative experience. I make my own dresses about 80 percent of the time from my own designs. I style my wigs. I do my own makeup. I come up with the concept or treatment and script. Sometimes I mix the music. I make the related video content if there is any. I bring it all together, to life on stage. I love the entire process. The free drinks don’t suck, either.

Have you had any trouble with Facebook's "real" names policy?

I was forced to use my given name for a period. I have not been able to find friends who were forced to change theirs to their given names (which I don’t even know for many drag queens — we use our drag names in and out of drag).

Personally, I think if this is over money or marketing, what difference does my name make? If you’re contacting me through what you’ve learned from Facebook, whatever you’re marketing is going to be as appealing to Mutha as it is to me. We’re the same person. If it’s not about money or marketing, then why do they care? They have my contact info which they’ve already shared with the NSA — who else needs to know?

What's your day job?

I’ve been a secretary in San Francisco for 23 years, for three great employers, all of whom knew me and worked with me as MuthaChucka to varying degrees: Levi Strauss, Charles Schwab, and Salesforce.

Does your mother know?

They follow me on social media and my mom who is an avid knitter has made garments for MuthaChucka. They ask me about it every time we speak.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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