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We’ve Got The Beat!

July 26, 2017 2:08 pm0 commentsViews: 11
Photo: Magnus Hastings

Photo: Magnus Hastings

A Q&A with Jackie Beat

The rumors are as a legendary as the queen herself. The savagely funny Jackie Beat beat it out of Provincetown so fast she left a spray of salt water taffy wrappers and glitter that was visible across the bay in Plymouth! It’s perhaps the best known premature withdrawal in a town known for anything but, as the drag superstar left town years ago in the dark of night midway through her summer run. But the past is the past, and Jackie is coming back hard with a four-night run at the Post Office Cabaret. She took some time to answer a few questions from her famed Carrie decorated home in Los Angeles about her collaboration with porn star Boomer Banks, winning an equivalent of a porno Oscar for her adult-film screenplay, and why she loves Christmas so much.

Provincetown Magazine: To quote you, “hell has frozen over” and “pigs have flown,” as you swore you’d never return to Provincetown, but here you are. What happened that you left so suddenly, and why did you decide to come back?

Jackie Beat: First of all, pigs will fly when I get on that plane to Ptown! Get it? That’s called self-deprecating humor, honey. Second of all, I should probably just say something bitchy like, “Times are tough!” but the truth is actually quite boring. The truth is, I got a call saying that a performer had to miss four upcoming performances of their run and asking if I could possibly fill in. Now I know this may be hard to believe, since I play a bitch so convincingly on stage, but I’m really quite a softie. It’s true – I have no muscle tone whatsoever! Seriously, that’s all I needed to hear. If someone needs help I always try to jump in and do what I can. Besides, despite the legendary stories, I actually have wonderful memories of Provincetown – hanging out with pals Dina Martina, Jimmy James, and Ryan Landry. The only part that drove me crazy was being away from my precious dogs for such a long stretch. I think I can handle a quick four-night run!

PM: You’re often referred to as “The World’s Biggest Bitch.” That’s quite a competitive title. How do you maintain your status as the bitchiest of them all?

JB: Having worked with and written for some of the most infamous “bitches” in the business—legendary ladies like Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, and Sandra Bernhard—I take that particular title as a compliment. All it means is that I am ruffling some feathers by telling the truth. Not everyone likes to hear the truth. And sometimes I make people laugh at some pretty ugly things that they don’t want to laugh at and that can make them angry. “You just made me burst out laughing over terrorism or a child molester or racism or AIDS!? DAMN YOU!” But that is what we need to laugh at. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to laugh at sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. We, as a species, have only survived thanks in part to our ability to laugh at horrible things. No one would have ever told Joan Rivers she couldn’t tell a Holocaust joke, and I refuse to pretend like what’s going on in the White House these days is normal. Let’s just say if you have irony-poor blood, you may want to sit this one out!

PM: You’re song parodies are the stuff of legend, as they are so brilliant. You’re most recent “I’m Blowing Boomer,” a parody of Banarama’s 1987 hit “I Heard A Rumour” about porn star Boomer Banks, has become as popular as its inspiration. Tell us a bit about working with Boomer and when the idea for this video struck you.

JB: I drive around Los Angeles in my car listening to the ‘70s and ‘80s station on satellite radio, and a song will come on and it will just hit me—across the face, not unlike Boomer’s most-famous feature! I have written thousands of parodies and, to paraphrase Dolly Parton, “Songs are like children… You love them all, but some are just cuter than others!” Working with Boomer was so much fun. I really appreciate people who don’t take themselves too seriously. And literally having his junk in my face was a delight! I think I showed a great deal of restraint. I’m a professional, dammit!

PM: Speaking of porn, last year you wrote your first ever screenplay for a porno, the gay porn horror camp film Scared Stiff! directed by Chi Chi LaRue. How did this project come to be and what was the inspiration for you to write it as a horror flick?

JB: I actually wrote that screenplay a whopping 13 years ago, but it never got around to being made, for one reason or another. Then Chi Chi called asking about it and everything just fell into place. It’s a twisted version of a 1980s horror movie, and it’s really a lot of fun. And I am proud to say I won the Grabby Award for Best Screenplay! Yes, I am an award-winning pornographer now! What with Drag Race and the fact that everyone is a frickin’ drag queen these days, it’s nice to know that I can make money writing witty dialogue for the one segment of the entertainment industry where witty dialogue is literally the least important part of the final product.

PM: You’ve written for a lot of television shows and networks. Is there much of a difference working with the porn industry versus for mainstream entertainment?

JB: Nope… They’re all whores!

PM: Some of your best and most popular work is around Christmas, with your annual holiday shows and seasonal themed parodies. Is it just a chance to make a buck or do you really love Christmas?

JB: Well, I love “The Holidays”—I say that instead of “Christmas” because I don’t want to alienate anyone. I also want everyone’s money… no matter what B.S. they ascribe to around that time of year! The truth is that for someone most famous for writing and singing filthy, unPC song parodies, shattering the reverence of beloved holiday songs is just nirvana for me. And people seem to love having the piss taken out of all those schmaltzy, sickeningly sweet secular songs and classic Christmas carols. It’s just a match made in heaven!

PM: So, now that you’re coming back to Provincetown, what can audiences expect when they come see your show?

JB: A big man-lady in clown makeup sweating profusely? Hey, I told you I only speak the truth! All joking aside, they will see a seasoned professional who only got into this business to make people laugh and escape from their real lives momentarily, singing some hilariously scandalous songs LIVE! I have lots of new material and some of my sick and twisted classics that have only gotten better with age… just like me!

Jackie Beat performs at the Post Office Cabaret, 303 Commercial St., Provincetown, Thursday, July 27 through Sunday, July 30 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets($25) are available at the box office and online at postofficecabaret.com. For more information call 508.487.0006.