With a name like Donna Trump, you may be thinking the team at Dragadventures have gone crazy down a dark path. But do not fear we have brought you all a fantastic UK queen you all need to check out, more than a humorous name she is pure comedy, all glamour and is part of the latest Holy Trannity tour. 10’s across the board will see Donna wow the crowds of the UK with a mantra on performing ‘Just chucking on a frock and strut your stuff, you give it all or nothing.’
We talk about the UK drag scene, ‘that’ drag name, the future and much much more! This queen is incredibly funny and an absolute pleasure to interview…..fall in love with Donna Trump!
Dragadventures: Your drag name certainly isn’t your standard run-of-the-mill pun – how did you come up with it and what is peoples’ reaction to it?
Donna Trump: Well originally my drag name was KnickerBockerGloryHole but it was too much of a mouthful really! The name Donna Trump came about before the presidency actually – Me and a group of friends were joking about drag names and we said, Donna Trump. Not just because of that mouldy Wotsit in the White House either – If you say it with a Brummie accent (my native accent) it sound like you have ‘Done A Trump’.
I had reservations at first as my eldest sister is actually called Donna but now I’ve grown to it. It’s definitely confusing when I see my family as when the name Donna is said in the house, me and my sister both respond sometimes!
People’s reaction is usually either of pure laughter or are just horrified thinking I support him – believe me, I do not support him in ANY way!
DA: How did you get into drag and what drag queen in particular impacted your life to becoming a drag queen?
It was always a place I was fascinated to visit whilst studying my degree in Musical Theatre in Manchester. I was very nervous about attending my first one. People that I knew through my degree were not keen on it and I struggled with new experiences straight away.
I attempted to go once and actually stood outside the club terrified of what the unknown was for me and then went home – I didn’t even enter the club! I just went home as I was too scared!
Then came the moment I actually took up the courage to attend and I was mesmerized and enamored by the creativity and beauty within this nightclub space – it was art unfolding before your very eyes. They gave me the opportunity to perform and make my drag debut there and here we are 2 and a half years later!
How can you make me choose?! So many wonderful influences within the scene I was introduced to- each one an inspiration in their own right. But if choices have to be made, then it has to be my drag mother Cheddar Gorgeous – she helped me explore things through different eyes and views and that there are no boundaries in what you can do.
DA: You have a very recognizable drag-aesthetic and we love it! How would you describe yourself and where do you get your inspirations for looks and performances?
DT: Thank you very much! Drag is valid. No matter what form. As long as you justify your choices, why can’t it be drag?
I would describe myself as a child who has been let loose in the toy box – imagination has no bounds and the way you connect things is so bonkers that it makes sense only to the few sometimes! I am very influenced by theatre practitioners such as Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud – causing a reaction, emotion or retaliation is something that is important in my drag.
Politics and animals are key inspirations to my style. George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ was one of my favourite books growing up and loved the idea of using anthropomorphic characters in the animals representing the faults in society because it is enough distance to look at the situation in a fair way but also remain relatable to its audience.
Music is always an inspiration as well – it’s what leads my passion in my routines and performances for sure!
DA: Your home-base is one of the UK’s most famous drag scenes! Where can we find you and your fabulous sisters in Manchester? Also, which of your fellow queens should we check out?
DT: Manchester oh Manchester…It really is a remarkable place! I think on the last count I did there were 80 queens based in Manchester working in some form?! RIDICULOUSLY IMPRESSIVE!
We work all over really! #ManchesterQueens is a hashtag that was created by fellow queen Violet Blonde which helps us all celebrate our work from all the different field and types of drag we have as sometimes we don’t get to see everyone’s work! There are queens that work as hosts, singers, ‘doorwhores’, lipsync artists, dancers, visual artists – a plethora of treats all based around one street!
Artists you should check out is the rest of the Family Gorgeous for sure – each a blend of creativity and individuality!
The list could go on! just type in #ManchesterQueens and you will find many to divulge your teeth in to and praises to sing!
DA: What kind of performance is your favorite to do? Also, if time and money were of no issue, what kind of show would be your dream to perform in?
DT: My favourite kind of performance to do is one that takes the audience on the journey, whether that’s through emotion, shock, laughter, that’s the ones I love to do. I have never done a death drop and don’t think I ever will. For me, it doesn’t work for my drag. For others, it will. But I believe that’s my favourite. The connection from artiste to audience.
Wow, you’re opening up an oyster there! I would probably like to do a show where major political leaders throughout time are being portrayed as animals throughout the routine. For example, Margaret Thatcher as a Cow for snatching the Milk, Abraham Lincoln as a wolf for sharing his knowledge and beliefs to emancipate slaves after the Civil War.
I’d also like to have a show which showcases the talent of various artists to celebrate powerful expression and individuality in what we can contribute to the world. Gorgeous theatre venue, an experience of welcoming, family, and home for everybody involved. A home for wonderful expression and love.
DA: With rumours of RPDR UK finally happening, would you apply for the show and which challenge would you most definitely slay?
In all honesty, I do not know. It would depend on my mood of when the press release and a casting call was released. I’d probably apply at some point, but maybe not the first year perhaps….. OH, I DON’T KNOW! I like to be led with my gut instinct.
It would be a major platform to showcase what I do and why I do it to people but would it be a fully honest portrayal of the person that I am. Creative control is something that the producers would have a lot of say in rather than yourself. Plus there are some fierce girls out there!
If I was on it, the challenge I’d probably do the best in would be either something acting, lip sync or music based. Lots of people don’t know that I’m a trained musical theatre performer as well so I know how to sing, I just don’t choose to showcase Donna as a singer. I’d be screwed on a designing/sewing challenge though. That’s probably the reason why I wouldn’t apply. I am not as confident in that are as some others and I’d probably struggle with that.
But remember guys, drag queens will know before anybody else if it was happening!
DA: Have you ever had a fangirl moment when working alongside another queen?
DT: I pretty much am a fan of everybody who I have worked with. I have stood on the side of the stage during RuGirls performances that I have worked with and shouted praise at them whilst watching them. And they have done the same back! It’s a 2-way street when you praise someone.
I have been overwhelmed by performances by people I have worked with from Joe Black’s ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’, Victoria Sin’s genius feminist statement performances (who knew making a sandwich could be so entertaining!), Sasha Velour’s ‘Love Song For A Vampire’, Untitled Queen’s ‘You Keep Your Name’.
These are just a handful of performances that I have been lucky enough to watch, see and root for my colleagues and friends. I will fangirl people who get up, look fabulous, express their beauty for all to see.
I think lots of people forget that they are just like every other drag artist on the planet. The only difference is they got to showcase part of themselves on an international scale television show.
DA: You’ll be performing in Holy Trannity’s “10s across the board” – tour this summer. What can we expect from that show format and what aspect are you most excited about? Also, could you maybe give us a sneak peek in what the challenges of putting together such a huge production are since fans might not necessarily be aware of those?
DT: Yes I shall be! I am very excited about it actually! I’ve been concocting some new performances for the tour and want it to be the best that it can be! I’m excited to work with the girls from Season 10 but also be performing in such huge venues. I will be performing in Manchester and London for the tour and will give me chance to showcase what I can do for an audience that has probably never heard my name before.
The show is going to be something else! They are really coming over ready to make a statement to say ‘We are here and this is what we do world.’ I love getting to work with new people – that is the most exciting part for me!
With me, I will create most aspects of my self. I will edit the track, visuals, ask certain lighting – It’s a big job.
It’s not just throw on a frock and strut your stuff -that’s the easy part! You have to give you all or nothing! You want to do a good job and hopefully, audiences will root for their UK based artists as well as their international ones too.
DA: What is next for Donna? Can you share some exciting future projects with us?
DT: Well I have currently been developing a drag show for children entitled ‘Fantabulosa!’ with some Birmingham based Drag Artists – Yshee Black, Ginny Lemon, Lacey Lou, Patrick Archey and Mama Mamba – which is for its premiere in Birmingham soon. We are hoping to tour this at some point next year as well so fingers crossed! If you want it in a town near you, let your local theatre festivals know!