RuPaul’s Drag Race Contestant Tempest DuJour
1.How did you get started with Drag?
I was always a fan of drag and would go to local shows. I was that guy in the back who would say “I could do that”. And I always told my students to follow their dreams and live without regret….so I grew some balls and gave it a shot. One of my first public performances was a drag pageant that I entered. There were only two contestants; me, and a queen who had been in the top ten at Miss Gay America several times. I ended up beating her and thought, “hmmm, maybe I’m kind of good at this???”
2. Tell us a little about the application and audition process.
I auditioned 3 times, got very close to being cast once before. The process is a test itself…tons of paperwork and a long list of audition requirements. Once you know that they’re interested in you the process takes months! It included multiple phone interviews, a psychological exam, and then more interviews!
3. Who are your Idols?
My idols have always been unique pop icons and fringe artists. I was an 80’s kid so I had an early obsession with Boy George and Pete Burns from Dead or Alive. I’m also crazy about performance artist Leigh Bowery, and Dolly Parton…larger than life personalities. The great Divine has always been an inspiration and there’s no denying the doors that have been opened by amazing queens like RuPaul and Lady Bunny. And I regularly become a bit obsessed with reality show personalities like Anna Nicole Smith, Big Ang from Mob Wives, and all of the Real Housewives!
4. Where do you see your future in Drag/Performing? What is your ultimate dream venue to perform in?
The size of a venue doesn’t really matter to me, it’s all about the energy from the audience. My strength is on the mic interacting with the audience, so I depend on them as part of my act. I hope to continue to travel as much as possible and have the opportunity to perform outside the U.S, where the fans have always ben so amazing and supportive. I feel like I have so much to give so I’ll keep on painting and throwing on those heels as long as the audiences show up!
5. Have you become friends with any of the Contestants? Is there any “Beef” between you and Kandy Ho?
We have become very close as a cast this season. I like to refer to us as the Sorority of Season Seven. We’ve really depended on each other for support and friendship, especially during the months when we couldn’t speak publicly regarding the show (before the cast was announced). Just as in life with your own friends and family there will be disagreements and bitchy moments, but being the oldest contestant in the history of the show has prepared me for dealing with conflict and disappointment. Kandy Ho and I are friends, she apologized for her ignorance and I think she’s a great gal. Did she say stupid things to me? Yes. Does she regret them? If she has any good sense, yes.
6. Who is your pick for The winner of Season 7?
I definitely have favourites for the winner spot of this season….but there’s now way in hell I’m telling you! I know too much to be unbiased and objective!
7. What are your next goals as a Drag Performer?
My main goals are to keep working, keep performing. Unfortunately I never got to feature my strengths on the show. I would have SLAYED the comedy and acting challenges, so I’m hoping that I will have more chances to do those things professionally. I have A LOT to give and Mama’s ready to share the love! Hopefully I can also continue to help other LGBT folks who have questions regarding adoption and fostering, it’s a very important part of who I am and there aren’t a lot of resources out there to guide people who are interested.
8. Are your kids and Husband supportive of your drag career?
I couldn’t do this without the love and support of my fabulous husband. And my kids think that everybody’s daddy puts on a wig and makeup and leaves at bedtime. Seriously though, my kids think it’s very cool and they definitely get the difference between Papa and Tempest. They’ve seen me perform at Pride events and charity hosting events and they always want to join me on stage. It’s fun for them as well, and they will always be my priority, but I’m so happy that they are exposed to so many different kinds of people.
9. What would be your advice to Drag Queens who are just starting out and want to get to the same level you are at?
To the young or new queens I would say be true to yourself. The biggest mistake I see by newbies is the temptation to copy or imitate someone else’s style or act. There is plenty of room for everyone in drag so find your own voice and what makes you unique and run with it! There’s no easy, quick track to success, you MUST be willing to put in the long hours, rehearsals, and preparation that it takes to be a polished entertainer. You owe it to your audience. Anyone can lip synch a song, but can you really entertain the crowd?
10. If you could change anything from your time on RuPaul’s Drag Race, what would it be and why?
My only regret regarding the show is that I didn’t get the chance to show my greatest strengths. I missed the acting and comedy challenges, and my costumes were FIERCE!!!! Lets be real here, the show is about the art of drag, but the network has a television show to produce. I feel a bit like a sacrificial lamb, and I should never have been up for elimination first. But the love and support I’ve received has been beyond my wildest expectations. I will forever be grateful to RuPaul and the producers for believing in me and giving me a shot.