The breakout star of RuPaul's Drag Race may be the biggest Orlando-bred talent since Wayne Brady, but Ginger Minj – better known to her Central Floridian friends as actor Josh Eads – hasn't forgotten where she came from. Straight from being embraced on the red carpet by Hollywood's A-list, Minj offered Orlando Weekly this exclusive mile-high interview ahead of her homecoming performance of Crossdresser for Christmas at the Parliament House on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Orlando Weekly: Where are you right now?
Ginger Minj: I'm writing to you from up in the air! I left home the day after Thanksgiving to start my Christmas tour, but I took five days off for the premiere of Dumplin', a movie I did with Jennifer Aniston and Dolly Parton that's now streaming on Netflix. I'm on my way to the U.K. to do Crossdresser for Christmas now!
How has your time touring the world been?
I've been so blessed to work constantly since Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race. The gigs keep getting bigger and better! Aside from Dumplin', I recently voiced one of the main characters in the Netflix animated series Super Drags, as well as several independent films, several albums and constant world tours. My favorite was singing "I Am What I Am" for Harvey Fierstein at the Trailblazer Awards. Truly a life-changing moment.
What was the origin of your "Ginger Minj" drag persona?
Ginger is based on all of the amazing Southern Baptist Church ladies I grew up with. You know the kind: They'll give you the shirt off their back, but read you to filth for not bringing one of your own in the first place. Traveling the world, I've gotten to experience a lot of different types of drag, which always makes me want to try new things! I've gone from Church Lady to Cool Mom!
How do you feel now about RuPaul's Drag Race and the show's fans?
I am forever grateful to the platform Drag Race gave me. Not only did it launch me into drag superstardom, it helped me mend the pieces of my broken life. Because of the show I've been able to reconcile with my father and brothers after 15 years without contact. It has opened the doors for a lot of conversations that needed to happen. I could sit and dwell on the negativity, but what good would that do?
The truth is there is a lot more love than hate, so I choose to embrace that. Drag Race fans are INTENSE, and that's why I love them.
How did you become involved in Super Drags?
Super Drags happened super fast for me! I got a phone call saying the creators of a Brazilian superhero cartoon based a character on me and would like me to do the American dub. I never, in my wildest dreams, ever imagined I would be a superhero. I found two days between the debut of my one-woman Divine show and DragCon NYC, flew to L.A., and laid the track. I'm so proud there are heroes that represent us queer kids.
What's the current status of Truly Divine, the show by Logan Donahoo that you performed at Rochester Fringe?
Our debut was an amazing experience, almost cathartic, being able to pay tribute and walk in the footsteps of my biggest idol. We are working on some expansions for the show and trying to figure out the next best step. We have a lot of offers on the table, but we want to make sure we pick the one that makes the most sense for this story.
What can audiences attending Crossdresser for Christmas expect to see?
Me! And everything that entails. Singing, acting, comedy and maybe a few tears! When I'm on stage, I'm an open book. Every show starts the same way and ends up wherever the audience decides I should take it.
Where can fans find you next?
My next album, Clown Fucker, is due out early next year, and then we hit the road for my third year hosting the World Tour of "Hater's Roast" with Murray and Peter Presents. On top of that, I'm just anxiously awaiting Season Two of Super Drags and my next big Hollywood experience! I've always wanted to be in a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Which Orlando-area venues influenced your career?
Parliament House, Sleuths, Southern Nights and Pulse gave me my footing for and knowledge of drag. Every chance to get on the stage gave me a chance to be better. That's why I always try to find the time to go home and perform whenever I can!
Do you still consider Orlando home?
Orlando will ALWAYS be home for me! CJ and I are always on the road, but any chance to spend a few hours at home is magical. We are theme park junkies. We have annual passes to Disney, Universal and Gatorland. I love our city and I preach its love and legacy everywhere I go. Orlando makes me proud.