Uhmazing: What’s your out-of-drag name?
Jane Smoker: Parker McMullin, but these days’ people are calling me Jane all the time.
Uhmazing: How did you come up with your drag name?
Jane Smoker: I was drunk and smoking on my patio trying to decide on a drag name. At the time Sharon Needles was the it queen so I figured I needed something with a pun and it needed to represent something to do with me, so after a full pack of smokes it came to me. For the longest time people asked why I chose the name Jane cause it sounds old, but once you get the pun it makes sense. It shocks me that some people still don’t get it.
Uhmazing: How would you describe your drag?
Jane Smoker: I would describe it as fluid; I don’t stick to one genre and love experimenting with different styles. Overall, I would describe it as a mix between Hollywood high fashion/strip club tramp/high class hooker with a heart of gold.
Uhmazing: Describe Jane Smoker in one word.
Jane Smoker: Skank
Uhmazing: You look so fit, what’s your secret?
Jane Smoker: Stress!
Uhmazing: How did you start doing drag?
Jane Smoker: I used to go to Apocalypstick at the Cobalt every Sunday with my friends to see Isolde, Peach and the rest of the girls do the show and just loved it. My roommate at the time started doing drag before me as J’Adorie and watching her transform into her character really made me want to try it, but just once (isn’t that what they all say). So I asked Peach and Isolde if I could perform at Apocalypstick and they said yes (blame them for creating a monster). I had a friend do my makeup and did a very theatrical Lindsay Lohan themed performance which people really enjoyed. I had so much fun doing that of course I had to do it again…the rest is history. *You can find the video of my first performance on YouTube if you type in “Lindsay Lohan Drag”
Uhmazing: Do you have a drag mother?
Jane Smoker: For the first two and a half years of my drag career I did not. This November I was honoured to have Jaylene Tyme, who needs no introduction, take me on as a drag mother. Jaylene is so inspiring and elegant and to have her adopt a little floozy like me into her family came as a surprise but was very uplifting to me. She’s been there through my whole drag career from beginning to present and she has always felt like a mother figure, now it’s just official. Being a part of the Tyme legacy, with so many brothers/sisters/aunts/great aunts/grandmothers etc, makes me feel like I am a part of something timeless and so special.
Uhmazing: Do you design and make your own outfits, and where do you get your inspiration from?
Jane Smoker: I don’t necessarily design my outfits but I do see a vision in my head before I put it together and will do whatever it takes to make it come to life. Sewing is something I would like to get better at, but for now it’s mostly just buying what I can find from stores and making the rest/altering pre-existing pieces. I like to think I play a part in keeping the spray paint, gems, glitter and hot glue industries alive.
Uhmazing: How long have you been doing drag? Tell us about your early drag days.
Jane Smoker: Next month will be my 3-year-anniversary of drag and they’ve been the 3 most exciting years of my life. I’ve always been very passionate about fashion and female beauty, but most of all it’s my passion to perform that gets the most fulfilled. I never planned on becoming a drag queen, but by doing so I’ve been given the rare opportunity to perform weekly and to learn so much about the history of drag and also teach others about it. I’ve grown a tremendous amount as a queen since the beginning where I just wanted to be famous. I have such a love for the local community here and if I can do my part to help out, whether it’s fund-raising or simply making people happy, then I’m happy.
My early days in drag were very rare. I used to consider one show a month to be a lot! I did about 5 performances at the Cobalt (and one at Shine Nightclub) before entering the Mr/Miss Cobalt 2013 competition. Since being runner up in that, my career really kicked off. I went on to host my own shows, open for concerts, star in music videos and editorial shoots. I think my success this far as a drag queen can be attributed to constantly pushing my comfort zone further and further. I don’t tend to play in the safe zone for longer than a couple weeks.
Uhmazing: Do you have any drag queens idols?
Jane Smoker: Of course I do! I am very inspired by Alaska 5000, Jodie Harsh, Raja, Raven, Phillipe Blond, Carlotta Gurl, Joan-E and Brooke Candy (she counts as a drag queen, and she would agree).
Uhmazing: What do you consider to be your greatest drag accomplishment (or accomplishments)?
Jane Smoker: There are so many, I feel like I’ve covered a lot of ground in 3 years. If I had to choose I would say opening for one of my favourite rappers Brooke Candy at Fortune Sound Club in 2013, going on tour in Texas with the Spice Gurls Drag Shadow Cast for a week in April 2014, getting booked at Mickys in West Hollywood (coming up soon) and of course winning Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar.
Uhmazing: Congratulations again on winning the much coveted title of “Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar 2015” . What does winning the competition mean to you?
Jane Smoker: Thank you! Winning the competition means the world to me. I had been mentally preparing pretty much since the summer. I knew it was coming and I told myself that, since coming second place in Mr/Miss Cobalt, I would not be satisfied with anything but first place so I worked tirelessly to make it happen. My fire for drag has been lit for a long time but getting that crown with like spraying gasoline onto the fire and has given me so much inspiration to do more and to do better. I want to make the city proud and will give everything I got into being the best I can be: at performing, at throwing events, at giving back to the community and inspiring others. I truly worked harder than I have at anything in a long time, so there’s a little inspiration for the day: Hard work pays off, kids! (Who am I kidding I’m still a kid).