- MATHU ANDERSON
Over the past year, BenDeLaCreme has evolved from a Seattle burlesque star to a beloved contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race to a name-brand talent who just wrapped up an extended run of his solo show Terminally Delightful! in New York City. In advance of the show's return to Seattle, I grilled the man about his life, his art, and his close personal relationship to Our Lord and Savior RuPaul.
First things first—tell me about Terminally Delightful!
It really pulls from everything I've ever done onstage. There are video elements, live song, burlesque dance, and storytelling. Part of the narrative of the show is that Ben- DeLaCreme is grappling with the fact that the boy version of her is also a public entity. She has to learn how to deal with the fact that people know there are two personas inside her body.
Speaking of mindfucks, you hosted live screenings of your episodes of Drag Race at Seattle's Century Ballroom. What was that like, first experiencing the reality-TV distillation of your Drag Race journey in front of an audience watching you watch yourself while also watching you on TV?
It was awesome! Drag Race was an insane experience. It was really an emotional whirlwind, and this sounds hokey, but I've had this incredible sense of support in Seattle, and I knew the place I wanted to be was with those people, in that environment. Hallie Cooperman, the owner of the Century, has been such a supporter of my work. Back when there was no money, she'd say, "You need a space to rehearse? Here's a space to rehearse." So I knew I wanted to be in Seattle, with these people, to thank them for going through this experience with me—not just watching it on Drag Race, but for going through the whole experience, through all the years it took to get to the point where I was ready to try to be on Drag Race.