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Interview: Dax ExclamationPoint! from 'Rupaul's Drag Race'

Written by
Adam Guerino

Dax ExclamationPoint has been at the forefront of both drag and geek circles for years. Recently, her nerd cred has turned to royalty as she's made it onto the eighth season of drag reality TV show competition RuPaul’s Drag Race. In her first video promoting the upcoming season, Dax proclaims that she wants to be “known for cosplay,” and with her upcoming All Geeks: C2E2 Unofficial After Party appearance, she’s well on track. I asked her a few questions about her inspirations, geek interests and dream shows.

Which came first, drag or geek?

Geek, definitely. I grew up reading comics and watching science fiction and superhero movies. That’s what inspired me to start drawing and eventually turn to drag.

What areas of geek culture are you most passionate about?

Mainly comics, really. I go to my local [comic] store at least once a week and spend entirely too much time and money but that’s kind of how fandom goes.

How has drag influenced your geek interests?

Drag has really inspired my geek interests by causing me to look more at character design and details of a costume. Things that look good on a page don’t always translate to real life, so I like to take a lot from the color blocking of a costume and try to integrate symbols and details that are personal to the character. I like to call it "the method acting of drag."

Recently, you cosplayed Storm’s black leather outfit with the yellow lightning bolt from the late ’80s era of X-Men and did your makeup to match Storm’s portrayal from the original artist Marc Silvestri. How often do details like that even get noticed?

Honestly, only people that really read comics and have a good understanding of the chronology of X-Men really get those details. I mean, every artist who draws Storm adds their own thing to it—her Egyptian inspired eyeliner, razor-like cheekbones and red lips are the only things that remain constant. For me, each look has slightly different makeup that goes with it. A lot of times that comes from the music choices/era that I put with each costume.

If you could have any comic book artist design your drag looks, who would you choose and why?

Oh, definitely Kevin Wada or Kris Anka. Kevin Wada knows a thing or seven about couture and how to piece an outfit together. His Storm concepts kill me every time. Kris Anka's shapes and color blocking always make me very happy. He has such an eye for almost understated (but still chic and tactical) costumes. I just can't get enough.

What’s your rule for adapting comics or animation source material to define makeup and costume?

I wouldn’t say I have a "rule," but I always try to get into the head of the character and insert underlying themes into the costume. I'll always add a little bit extra to the costume that suits the character but isn’t necessarily cannon.

What’s your dream show theme? Who’s performing?

My "dream" show theme? I've been obsessed with the soundtrack to the failed (and never released) "Batman: The Musical." I live for Catwoman's song with the Sisters of Mercy sample as the chorus. If I could ever spearhead an entire lip-sync operetta set to that soundtrack, I could die happy. 

Catch Dax ExclamationPoint on the next season RuPaul’s Drag Race, which debuts on Monday, March 7th at 8pm on Logo. You can see her live in Chicago twice in the upcoming weeks: At Metro with her fellow season 8 queens on Wednesday, February 24 and with her fellow geeks at All Geeks: Unofficial After Party on Friday, March 18

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