INTERVIEW

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Kitty Scott-Claus:"I look back at the stuff that I did on the runway now and I’m like, you know what I’m so proud of absolutely everything I did." 

Bronte Evans | 26/04/2022

Kitty Scott-Claus is a British drag performer who sky-rocketed into our lives through RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Season 3. Kitty had an outlandish Snatch Game serving Gemma Collins realness and did not miss a beat, it was a meme fantasy with the quotations down to perfection. Kitty is one of London’s best-known and cherished drag queens who brings the glamour, glitz and giggles. She came to slay and to stay, she was warm, hard-working and unique when sashaying onto our screens and into the legendary ‘werkroom’.

 

Kitty had a fantastic season, we wanted to know how she had been doing since the show had aired. “I’ve been brilliant, thank you, I’ve just come off tour. I just love working and I love what I do so honestly, it doesn’t feel like I’m working ever. It feels like if I’m not in drag and everything, I’m not working. It’s was sad though after COVID and lockdowns and not being able to work for so long. So it’s just amazing to be working and in demand. And I’ve been pinching myself every day!’

 

Everyone’s voyage through life is hugely different and complex, we had to know what Kitty’s journey has been like and how she first got into the wonderful world of Drag. “Do you know what, so I started Drag about five years ago and obviously, I dabbled a bit before and I was like, oh my god that would be fun. The reason I started doing it seriously was that my best friend was a Drag Queen and they got free drinks, I might sound jealous, I could do that and get attention from boys and free drinks! What’s not to love? Sign me up!” she laughs “And then here we are five years later, runner up on Ru Pauls Drag Race. It has been amazing.”

 

“I just had the best time doing it. When we filmed it we were in lockdown, we had to make sure that we were in isolation for 10 days before filming. By the time we got around to filming, it was like ‘oh my god, we’re with other people’ and I remember the first lip-syncs, it was the tops and the bottoms that week, it was like being in a club because like the music’s pumping, people are dancing, we’re at the back like cheering them on and the lights are going. It was just incredible. It’s the best night out and we get to do it every week.”

 

Kitty opened up about what it was like being on the show during a lockdown. It was hard for many of us to find focus at this time, let alone when you’re staring in the UK’s newest most treasured programme. Kitty used this time to thrive. “Because of lockdown there was no like nightlife, there was nothing for so long. Afterwards, I was trying to go into a show like how are we going to do this and preparing for it in a lockdown. This is the thing people ask us, how was it being in Drag Race in the lockdown?  I don’t know what it’s like to be in a drag race out of the lockdown. It’s just normal. There was added pressure because all the shops were shut. I couldn’t pop out and get my nails, and I couldn’t go and get my nude underwear from Primark. The fabric shops were closed and everything had to be imported, that was all an add on stress, just another layer on top.

I feel like I’m the biggest poster girl for Drag Race now, I’ve had the best time even getting ready for the show. I know it’s so stressful. Every day, it was like, I’ve got to go for this fitting and then I come home and I’ve got to make this, this and that. And then I’ve got to buy this makeup and this lipstick and more. Even just doing all that it was nice hustling and focussing on a project. Because of the lockdown, there was nothing else to do.”

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Kitty has a uniqueness and fierce flare, we asked if being on Drag Race impacted her image and if it elevated her identity. Kitty replies, “I remember when I started struggling, I always had a very clear idea of who Kitty was and what I wanted to do with aesthetics and the looks, I was always one for big blonde hair and big boobs.  Pink, that’s my colour, think Barbie and Elle Woods. But going on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, it just makes you elevate everything because he has such an eye it’s like you’re under a microscope. The rest of the world is looking at you and thinking -why has she done this? Why has she picked this up? I remember everything had to be so perfect.

 

Because before I would just go to my previous look, I buy a little dress, a suit, put a couple of rhinestones on it and it is done and good. I’ve made a look. Now, this is the thing, I’ve heard Ru say when the Drag Race is over you’ve got to make your own Drag Race. You’ve got to just keep it going, keep the momentum going and keep upping and like topping yourself because you just want to be the best that you can be.

 

I look back at the stuff that I did on the runway now and I’m like, you know what I’m so proud of absolutely everything I did. But there are little things that if I could go back I would do; I would cut that a bit shorter, I’d make it a bit longer, you see it through different eyes after going through it. For me at least it gave me an even more defined and definite version of who Kitty is and what the look is.”

 

A captivating aspect of Drag Race for fans is overseeing the Queens unite together and watch friendships blossom. We see the cast slowly open up and share their personal stories and deepest secrets. We asked Kitty about the friendships she made on the show. “There are people that you get naturally drawn towards. I’m so close with Ella Vaday, I talk about her every single day. She is my bestie and I love her. We’ve known each other before the show, we spoke online at times. She hadn’t been doing drag that long, but we were in similar circles-the musical theatre circle. Yeah. We were friends of friends. Do you know what I mean?

 

Being in that environment and going through all that, it’s the most incredible experience and no one else in the world will know what it’s like to go through that. With Krystal, I’m 10 years older than her, we would never normally be friends and in the outside world. It’s such an age gap but because we were in that environment, it brings you together, and we’re so close as a top three of the top four.”

 

Because of its incredibly diverse audience, Drag Race is well known for highlighting important social issues, especially those affecting the LGBTIQA+ community to new and incredibly sympathetic audiences. “It opens the conversation for people to have moments of vulnerability. Obviously, it’s television and only a portion of what we talk about actually goes out. I remember a conversation where we spoke about consent. I felt really passionate about it because I’ve had experiences where I’ve not given consent, and I liked him, he was quite outgoing, but I’m not very touchy-feely, I’m not very like a PDA person. So I’m so glad that that conversation has been brought to the mainstream and the public and the now consensus is that it is sexy to ask for consent.”

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Kitty opened up on Drag Race UK and showed a vulnerable side to viewers and has kindly continued that conversation here with us, delving into topics of self-worth and body image. “I’ve never had depression. I’ve always had quite good mental health but growing up (I grew up doing musical theatre), I went to drama school, and you grow up being told you need to get this part or you’re not good enough. It’s taken me so long to realise I am good enough. And what makes me different, is my greatest power because there are so many people out there who also feel like that and that they aren’t good enough as well. I know, RuPaul says that “if you can’t love yourself how the hell are you going to love somebody else ‘’ and that is so true. It’s such a powerful message that you need to love yourself because you are fantastic the way you are. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone’s got a bit of a tummy, everyone’s arm wiggles and it is what it is, that’s what makes you beautiful! The things that you’re insecure about are what make you gorgeous.

 

‘I’m the biggest believer in fake it till you make it. So I would be like, whatever, I’m gonna be this part and I’m gonna be funny. And I know I can make everyone in this room laugh and they can’t because they’re skinny, not villainizing skinny people” she adds quickly “It’s learning to accept your gifts and your talents and thinking, you know what, they might look amazing in a bikini, but I know I can stick on a couple of pairs of tights and a hip pad and I can make people laugh. I make people smile. It’s about learning the things that make you special that’s the most important thing.

 

I remember episode one thinking ‘omg we’re walking the runway’ and it’s so high pressure. I just thought I have to pretend like ‘i’m not fazed by this. This isn’t gonna faze me but inside myself, I felt like oh my god I’m about to walk in front of Ru and Michelle. It’s such a huge moment but I had to think you’ve got this, put on a smile, you know who you are and just go and have the best time. When I was coming off like I wanted to do it again!”

 

UK has quickly become one of the most successful jewels the Drag Race franchise has seen, with fans around the world tuning in every week to watch the queens take on well-loved challenges while sprinkling in that classic British charm. We asked what the response has been to this series from fans and viewers. “I remember thinking when we were filming it that this is so mad because of the cost of everything that goes on and you know the ins and outs. It was funny to think that in like six months, the entire world is going to be so engrossed in every little detail of what goes on in these four walls. The reception has been so, so lovely. Everyone has been so sweet, so kind and I’m so grateful to World of Wonder and the BBC for even just putting me on the show. I feel like the biggest competition is just being on the show in the first place.

 

I’m not competitive with other people at all. Even on the first day I just felt like they can do what they want, I’m just here to be me. In the words of the GC I’m here to enjoy myself and I’m not getting involved. I’m competitive within myself though.”

 

We couldn’t let Kitty go without asking if she could spill a little bit of tea about her upcoming project, Death Drop - A Dragatha Christie Murder-Mystery hitting the West End this month, in which she stars alongside Drag Race legend JuJuBee.  “It’s at the Criterion Theatre open March until the end of April. I’m so excited about it, as I said before, I trained in musical theatre and I worked in musical theatre before Drag Race. So now it feels so full circle to me, back to my roots.”

 

You can get tickets to see the enchanting Kitty Scott-Claus in Death Drop now for a seven-week run, with tickets starting at £22.

 

Words: Bronte Evans

Photography:Kitty Scott-Claus Press