We can think of no better way to kick off our 2021 Teafluencer series than by bringing you a breath of fresh air. Miz Cracker is a drag queen, writer and comedienne who launched her drag career in 2011 while participating in marches for marriage equality in Times Square. She now tours the world with her one-woman shows, delights fans on her YouTube channel, lectures on drag at top universities, cooks withBon Appetit, writes for national publications and is a social media influencer. She describes herself as a “woman’s lifestyle brand” and is a vocal advocate for women’s rights. And while she may be one of the funniest people we know, she’s also a serious Harney tea fan who we were thrilled to have participate in our This Is Tea video. Get a glimpse inside the life of this amazing artist and tea lover.
Harney: Tell us a little about you. Where are you from, educational background, where you live, family, etc.
Miz Cracker: I live and work in New York, but I’m originally from Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks. Which may explain my love of tea and coffee. I was raised by my mother to love art and making things. And that’s why I live my life the way I do today.
Harney: So, when did the idea of becoming a drag queen occur? Was it something you’d thought about for a long time?
Miz Cracker: I never wanted to be a drag queen. The idea came to me by accident when a friend of mine forced me to try drag on a random winter Saturday. As soon as I saw my drag self in the mirror, it was over.
Harney: Where did Miz Cracker come from? The name, the personality, all of who you are when you’re Miz Cracker?
Miz Cracker: My name is Miz Cracker, originally Brianna Cracker after my favorite snack—brie on a cracker. And my personality in drag is just me—exactly as I am—except a little bit louder. Okay, a lot louder.
Harney: How did you feel the first time you dressed in drag and went onstage?
Miz Cracker: The first time I went on stage in drag, it was a mess. I danced so hard, the stuffing fell out of my bra and my dress unzipped all the way down in the back. It was so bad, I felt determined to do better next time.
Harney: And was it hard to learn how to be graceful in high heels?
Miz Cracker: It’s very hard to be graceful in high heels—if you don’t have the right fit. A lot of people don’t realize that walking in heels is all about having the perfect size for your foot—not too big, not too small. Double check!
Harney: You were in the top five on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Ten, and a finalist on RPDR’s All Stars. How did you end up being on the show, and how did it change your life?
Miz Cracker: I ended up on Drag Race because I made a very simple audition tape on my iPhone. Production value isn’t everything, folks! And since the show, I’ve been able to see the entire world on tour. It’s totally changed me.
Harney: What do you love the most about what you do?
Miz Cracker: My favorite part of drag is bringing joy to people on the street. Before almost every show, I get into drag early and walk around town to meet friends and fans. I love seeing the looks on people’s faces.
Harney: In the drag queen community, “drag families” are often formed. Can you tell us about that tradition, and share with us about your drag family?
Miz Cracker: In the drag community, the queen who teaches you the most about drag is your “drag mother.” My drag mother is the queen who first put me in drag, Bob the Drag Queen, winner of RPDR Season 8. She taught me so much of what I know about pushing yourself to become truly great.
Harney: It only takes a couple minutes of hearing you talk to realize that you are incredibly funny. Where did you get your infectious sense of humor?
Miz Cracker: My sense of humor really just comes from my sister. When we were kids, we never fought. Instead, we had little wars with words and traded insults. That’s the same energy that I bring to the stage today.
Harney: You’re very proud of your Jewish heritage and incorporate it into your shows, as well as your web show, Review with a Jew. Why is it important to you to showcase your heritage, and what kind of reaction do you receive?
Miz Cracker: People have reacted so warmly to my celebration of Jewish heritage. That’s so important to me—because I want everyone to look into their family history and find things to be proud of, especially if you’re part of a community that has overcome great obstacles.
Harney: In addition to your drag queen shows, you also write for Slate magazine as well as ArtForum, Vice and GQ. What topics do you like to write about?
Miz Cracker: I write about literally anything that comes to mind—art history, relationship advice, my own story. My main goal is to make complicated issues easier to relate to. Some writers try to make things so difficult… and I’m just not here for that.
Harney: You also cook with Bon Apetit and have over a million followers on Instagram and Twitter. But probably most importantly, you are a staunch advocate for women’s rights, having marched for marriage equality and countless other activities, including your latest show, American Woman, where you discuss how drag queens and gay men can become better allies to women at a time when feminism is more important than ever. How did these issues become central to you, and why do you think it’s important to be an advocate?
Miz Cracker: I always say that I care about personal issuesjust as much as I care about political ones. All the issues I discuss in my work have touched my life personally. For example, I care deeply about the relationship between queer men and women of all kinds because I am a queer man who owes everything he has to the women who raised him.
Harney: Who inspires you? Who would you like to inspire?
Miz Cracker: I am inspired by incredible women from all walks of life. So I hope my work inspires and fuels young women to feel powerful, important and destined for greatness.
Harney: We know you love tea because you did us the great honor of participating in our This Is Tea video. If you have any downtime when you’re not performing, writing, lecturing, cooking or advocating, what do you like to do? And does it involve tea?
Miz Cracker: It absolutely involves tea. When I need to unwind, I like to get out some craft popsicle sticks and glue together model houses. It’s detailed and tedious work—which is where my soothing cup of Harney tea comes in.
Harney: Do you have any favorite flavors or types of Harney & Sons tea, or anything on your list you’ve been dying to try?
Miz Cracker: I love love love my Harney Peppermint Herbal tea. It’s honestly part of my daily schedule.
Harney: Final question: you had a show called Coffee with Cracker. When can we expect to see Tea with Cracker?
Miz Cracker: As soon as that sponsorship check arrives in the mail! Ha ha!
Since we had the opportunity to get together with Miz Cracker in person, I sat down and asked some additional questions. Check out the video below!
We hope you enjoyed reading Miz Cracker’s interview as much as we enjoyed talking with her and capturing her passionate spirit, beauty and spunk! You can take a deeper dive into Miz Cracker’s fascinating life by checking her out onwebsite,Instagram,Twitter andYouTube. We totally appreciate the time she took to talk with us (and we’ll have to think about that sponsorship!). All photography was provided by Miz Cracker, shot by Gingerb3ardMen at the House of Oyo in Brooklyn. Fashion provided by Celestino Couture.
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