Abby: I’ve been looking forward to this Milan. Your drag sister, Sahara Davenport said some nice things about you in our interview. You know she’s rooting for you and Jiggly, her New York girls.
Milan: Thanks Abby. Sahara is a classy lady.
Abby: Well let’s just jump right in with you telling us about your roots. Where were you born?
Milan: I was born in Jersey City, NJ but I left at a young age and moved to the Upper Lower Class of Florence, SC. We weren’t the poorest but we didn’t eat the finest cheese either! My mom was a single parent so it was difficult at times but we always pulled through. I spent most of my life there till I attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.
Abby: Now you live in New York?
Milan: Yes. New York City -“The Big Apple” of course. I couldn’t be anywhere else, other than the South. It is the Mecca of entertainment and embodies all the artistic abilities that an artist would want.
Abby: As an actor have you had a favorite gig?
Milan: My favorite gig I’d say so far would be doing “Hairspray” on Broadway. Truly, it was a dream come true. I always said I’d be on Broadway one day. To show up at work for a wonderful show with a wonderful message like “Hairspray” was a true blessing. I don’t think I’ve hit my favorite one yet though. There’s still so much more to do! SNL would be pretty awesome. And a one-man show about my life ala Sammy Davis meets RuPaul.
Abby: You’re also known for writing parodies. Which has been your favorite?
Milan: My Miss Cleo parody is probably my favorite because I had one hour to do it all. I co-wrote and produced it and did it all in one take. http://youtu.be/QZnyrp__CNU
Abby: The Miss Cleo video has well over a million hits. Pretty impressive!
Are you single, involved or married? If not married would you ever get married?
Milan: I am currently dating someone. I hope to get married and have a dog. I want what every girl wants too but I’ll take a white pantsuit with very long coattails.
Abby: Milan, how do you stay in shape?
Milan: Dancing like I don’t care to James Brown. Best workout ever! My mom says when she was pregnant with me, she’d go dancing. So every time I hear a good disco beat, I want to do a kick.
Abby: I used to get stage fright. How about you?
Milan: Yes. Usually when it involves getting on a runway and being judged by legendary people while being watched by millions! It’s a hit or miss for me at times. I love to perform for people so sometimes I get nervous because I generally just want to be my best when I step out on stage.
Abby: How does your family feel about you doing drag?
Milan: My mother borrows my wigs. It’s all theatre to them. They fully accept what I do because they know that it is theatre for me. My mom is one of my biggest fans. I think my sister is even bigger. She always wants an outfit from me!
Abby: What was your funniest experience buying women’s clothes/shoes?
Milan: When I told a Victoria’s Secret rep I was buying bras and panties for my “sister.”
It’s always funny to see the store rep watching you looking at women’s clothing. I come up with the best scenarios when I feel uncomfortable, but “my sister” is the best. Sometimes the girlfriend line works unless they have a “gaydar.” Then they look at me like, “Uh-huh…”
Abby: Who has been your biggest drag inspiration and why?
Milan: My mom because she IS the biggest drag queen I know. She was always and still is so well put together. She looked like Donna Summer and Jody Watley, whom I impersonate at times, and she always matched everything. She had an arsenal of wigs and she was a manager at L’egg’s hosiery so you know she had some gams! She looked GAM good!
Abby: What was the scariest thing that ever happened to you while in drag?
Milan: Walking past a Baptist church IN FULL DRAG after leaving an after-hours club. Church folks don’t play that boo. Major side-eye. Some people don’t realize I am just trying to do my job and entertain people. Once on the set of American Gangster, I was playing a crack-head transvestite in the Bronx and a group of guys kept heckling all the “girls” even though we were actors and I couldn’t keep my mouth shut talking back to them defending not only us but transgendered women in general. Luckily security was there.
Abby: What celebrity would you like to see in drag?
Milan: From the House of Congressional Realness…President Obama! I find President Obama incredibly sexy but I think he’d make a cute woman. Besides, until we have a female in the presidency, why not dress him up?
Abby: What was your favorite moment from any of the previous seasons of RPDR?
Milan: Jessica Wild’s tipsy delivery of her favorite drink Absolut Acai. I think Jessica Wild is one of the sweetest people I met on the show. Her smile shows her heart and I just loved that she was having such a tipsy good time.
Abby: Who did you want to win RPDR from season 1, 2 and 3?
Milan: Michelle Visage Hands Down! She is THE Drag Queen on the show. She embodies all the fierceness we all want and she does it with those “smizing eyes” that could cut glass. Cache never looked so good either!
Abby: What is RuPaul’s Drag Race like?
Milan: RuPaul’s Drag Race is like expensive crack. It’s a rollercoaster! There are so many challenges to face and all the while you have to come correct with your “A” game and look stunning too! You really have to have your sh*t together. There are so many wonderful things, and getting to meet Ru is a dream come true.
Abby: What is your favorite drag expression?”
Milan: “Bitch please. I can’t be bothered.” I love this because I find it hilarious to say the word “bitch.” I don’t see it in the “general sense of reference.” It just sounds fun to me.
Abby: What are your biggest pet peeves?
Milan: Prejudice, bigotry and ignorance. I find it sad when people don’t take the time to educate themselves about something that makes them uncomfortable. I respect the opinions of those I don’t agree with on issues and I try to see their side or understand their thought process but sometimes it’s just ridiculous. I will never understand why gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry, why health insurance isn’t free and why our education system is faltering. People need to love more, open their minds, be respectful of the differences and stop being driven by their own financial desires. We all need love and the children of our future should be free to be, have excellent schooling and have insurance.
Abby: Would you please let us know where we can see you live and how we can get up to date information on you?
Milan: Wherever there’s a club that wants me. So tell every club to book me! I’d honestly say check out my website: www.dwaynemilan.com for postings on my upcoming events page or check my Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/dwayneismilan I hop around all over NYC when I’m not on the road. It works best for my schedule regarding my acting during the day.
Abby: Thank you so much!
I hope your career really takes off in the direction you want it to go.
Photo used with permission.
Photo Credit: Mathu Andersen