There is a new drag duo in town. Hans & Jackie are taking over the stage at Gaukurinn on July the 19th with their brand new show What a mess.
Behind those fabulous drag characters are Hanna Jane Cohen and Thomas Brorsen Smidt which have been performing individually with Drag Súgur in the last months. But who are Hans and Jackie and what is this new show all about? GayIceland contacted Hannah Jane Cohen to find out.
“The show is a variety-esque show centred around the statement, “What A Mess”. Of course, our drag is not messy, is is pristine,” Hannah starts by explaining, but is quick to add: “That said, Jackie has had her fair share of spills on stage including one time she almost took out a table and a monitor with a glass of beer in her hand and I once had to spend two hours scraping cake, baking soda, and Malibu off the Gaukurinn stage post-show… so I guess Jackie is very messy. Life imitates art.”
“I don’t think I understood why I got into drag until a lot later, but for me, it’s sex and therapy in one.”
How did it come about that you and Jackie started working together?
“Jackie and I met because she gave me a wig she was selling, which I then cut and beaded.
We instantly hit it off because both of us secretly like country music, have stammers, and academic degrees related to pornography. Nothing gets people going like porn and not being able to talk. We realised pretty quickly that we are both massively obsessive type A royals who should probably take some Xanax before going on stage. I’m single, btw.
But Jackie would cook dinner and I would eat and we would talk about drag ideas for hours so we decided to make our own show together.”
How and why did you get into drag?
“I have been doing drag for less than a year. Originally it started as a drunken text to Wonda Starr but I decided to follow through with it, which was new in my life. My first drag show went well but the character of Hans wasn’t born fully until a month later, if you can call him (me) a character. I sort of instantly became one of those people who thinks about drag constantly and now 8 months later, I have no eyebrows, but who am I trying to impress?
I don’t think I understood why I got into drag until a lot later, but for me, it’s sex and therapy in one. And occasional people hand you money during it, which rarely happens in sex and therapy, at least for me.”
“… the only people … who care about straight, bi, pan, asexual, whatever people performing drag are people who don’t do drag.”
Tell me about your stage characters, Hans & Jackie, what are they like and what message do they convey to the audience?
“Hans was born of anger. He is both me and an extension of who I want to be. While I don’t have any sort of body dysmorphia, I am obsessed with the edgier side of masculinity. I am an angry, creepy, gross, sexy, weird person and I should probably let that out more in real life. Until then, I’ll just go onstage, cover myself in blood, wear gags, roll on the floor, and occasionally yell meaningless platitudes.
Jackie calls herself a butch comedy queen but her makeup has become super fish in the last few months. She’s a comedy queen though and her ideas for acts are always freaken’ genius, like Anna Nicole Smith. No matter what she does, she kills it. I admire her so much.”
Thomas is a straight guy doing drag, how does straight people entering the drag scene alter people´s conception of the drag scene?
“I think the only people you’ll find who care about straight, bi, pan, asexual, whatever people performing drag are people that don’t do drag. I’ve never heard any drag artist say anything negative about it. Everyone has a desire to make themselves disgusting and dance to Taylor Swift in front of a Hens Party. If you’re Deff Starr, you’ll probably add a jockstrap to that too. I encourage it all.”
Any message for the readers of GayIceland who might be interested in attending the show?
“Remember the album ‘Ultraviolence’ by Lana Del Rey? Of course you do, you’re reading GayIceland. This show will be better.”