RuPaul may have Drag Race, however she’s no longer the one multi-millionaire within the drag international.
Several years in the past, after spending hours being attentive to a Golden Girls recap podcast whilst caught in a Burning Man visitors jam, two former Drag Race contestants—Alaska and Willam—determined to strike out on their very own. “We were like, ‘Why don’t we do this about Drag Race?’” Alaska says. Soon, the pair had a manufacturer, Big Dipper, and an entire new display: Race Chaser.
They began pitching the podcast to more than a few studios, together with the comedy upstart Forever Dog, the place it sooner or later landed. “Race Chaser was an immediate success,” says CEO Joe Cilio. “We had never seen anything like it. Forever Dog was a young company then, and it was amazing to have a bonafide hit on our hands.” Big Dipper says the podcast’s luck was once affirmation of what he and Race Chaser’s hosts already knew: that “there really was a market for drag fans who wanted to experience the queens in a different, long-form way, and in a more personality-driven way … and in an audio way.”
Fast-forward a few yr and Cilio, seeing Race Chaser’s huge and dependable fan base, began pushing the speculation of Willam and Alaska growing their very own podcast imprint below the Forever Dog umbrella, and that’s how the Moguls Of Media (MOM) Network was once born. MOM introduced right through the primary wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and was once a direct luck. A large number of this is because of its programming, which integrated displays like The Chop with Latrice Royale and Manila Luzon, Very That with Raja and Delta Work, and Sloppy Seconds with Big Dipper and Meatball. “Basically,” says Alaska, “we were like, ‘This has been great. We want to share it with our sisters,’ so we reached out to our very famous drag queen friends, and they said ‘Sure, why not?’”
Pivoting to podcasts represents an important shift on this planet of drag. It’s historically an artwork shape in keeping with reside efficiency and on visible spectacle; podcasting is nearly all the time strictly audio—the performers are infrequently ever noticed. What MOM is doing, then, is taking the inherent abilities drag performers have for charismatic storytelling and entertaining and channeling them into a brand new medium—a need right through the peak of the pandemic, when bars, nightclubs, and theaters have been frequently closed and queens had to in finding different assets of source of revenue. “We were really lucky that we had a podcast because we could stay connected to people even after all of our normal avenues of connecting with our community were completely closed off,” says Alaska. “It definitely got me through the pandemic, and it definitely helped ease things a little bit for a lot of people listening.” The duo additionally leveraged the facility of the pod to boost greater than $120,000 for queer-friendly charities like For The Gworls.
Podcasting additionally helped the MOM queens hook up with their lovers on a deeper degree. “We’re talking for long periods of time, every single week,” says Alaska. “That’s a very intimate, personal way of getting to know someone. Early in my drag career and right after Drag Race, all [fans] got was what I was saying on stage or what I was saying in my music.”
Raja concurs. “There’s a certain freedom and honesty that comes out of a podcast,” she says. “It just feels easier to talk about everything.” Jinkx Monsoon sees her MOM podcast, Hi Jinkx!, as each a spot for candid dialog and a solution to, as she places it, “showcase things that don’t get talked about a lot in our industry,” like how trans performers have redefined their careers after popping out, the variety (or lack thereof) of gender expressions in media, or what it’s love to be an grownup movie big name. “It feels like this fun responsibility,” she says, “or this fun thing that I get to do that can possibly have an impact.”