Two days ago, I slogged about the Season 5 premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race, featuring Seattle starlet Jinkx Monsoon/Jerick Hofer.
In the post, I noted how Jinkx came out as narcoleptic on the episode, and asked "Seattle's premier Jinkx Monsoon historian" Adrian Ryan, "Is Jinkx Monsoon a narcoleptic, is Jerick Hofer a narcoleptic, or neither? (My secret dream is that he's faking it as a hilarious character trait for Jinkx, but let me know what you know.)" Adrian's reply: "oh hell no, he's totes faking it. it cracks me up."
Well, it turns out Adrian Ryan is actually Seattle's premier Jinkx Monsoon fabulist, as I learned when I put the above question—Is Jinkx narcoleptic, is Jerick narcoleptic, or both or neither?—to Mr. Hofer himself. His response:
Jerick is Narcoleptic, so Jinkx is sometimes narcoleptic. It's less of a Jinkx characteristic and more of a, the person who plays Jinkx is narcoleptic....To answer it simply, Yes. Jerick Hoffer has narcolepsy and has since he was 17. My sleep attacks are not fake. They are edited conspicuously on the show, but that's for ratings. Fact of the matter is, that's real.
Oh my God! Would you be up for answering a couple more questions? I'm mostly just interested in what it's like to navigate the world of live performance with the potential for sleep attacks part of your life. The fact is, you do navigate it, incredibly well, full-time, professionally and brilliantly, and that you're doing it with this sleep disorder is amazing and I'd love to know more if you're up for talking about it. (And if you don't care to discuss medical concerns with members of the media, I understand and totally no hard feelings.)
Well, to be honest, my case of narcolepsy is fairly moderate. Only a very small percentage of the narcoleptic community experience ALL the symptoms at an extreme level. A larger portion experience SOME of the symptoms at varying degrees of severity. I manage my specific case by taking naps when I can, natural/homeopathic remedies, nutrition and stress control.
So narcolepsy as a daily obstacle, but a manageable one while my symptom level is at where it's at. But ask anyone in the cast of RENT, whenever I wasn't rehearsing, I was sleeping. Ha ha. (Ben DelaCreme can attest to this as well.)