We got back at it again this week with the one-and-only Clare Successfully – a definitive member of Scotland’s scene of colorful and electric drag performers.
This self-professed out-of-the-box queen gives it her all on stage, and it shows. All heart, not only did Clare give us the inside scoop, we also got a peek behind the curtain at all the cringiest on-stage moments, the inspiration behind the drag name, and even some top 3 drag favorites.
If you find yourself lucky enough to be located in or near the Scottish drag scene, this is one performer you won’t want to miss, and it’s one performer that will leave you gagging. Find out more about this unique and eclectic artist and what makes them tick in this week’s “Werkin’ It Out“.
Werkin’ It Out with Clare Successfully
1. What inspired you to start doing drag?
While I was a fan of a couple of queens (particularly Coco Peru) beforehand, I’m one of the many who watched RuPaul’s Drag Race and realised that drag was a much more diverse art form than I initially understood. Queens like Milk and Vivacious on Season 6 particularly stood out to me – they inspired me to try out drag and do something more out of the box with it.
2. If you were stranded on an island – and had to pick 3 other drag artists to take with you – who would they be?
First I would pick Frans Gender because she would probably have hot dogs smuggled in her bra for snacks. Sasha Velour because I’m absolutely dying to meet her one day and I’ll take any opportunity! And Havana Meltdown because I would need someone to talk shit with all day to pass the time.
3. What country haven’t you visited (that you’d love to)?
The USA! I’ve been to plenty of Europe and Australia but am yet to visit the states. So many amazing cities there that I need to get to and meet a bunch of pals I’ve made through social media. Whenever I manage to go I should try to plan a mini-tour.
4. What the 1 song you’ve always wanted to perform live or what’s your favorite song to perform live?
My favourite song to perform is O Superman by Laurie Anderson – it’s one of the few numbers I’ve ever fully choreographed and it was the turning point for me to start pushing my performances to be as out of the box as my looks are. I had wanted to do something like it for the longest time.
For songs I havent done yet, I have numbers planned (that I can’t execute in any of my usual venues) for ‘Lifeline’ by Imogen Heap and ‘Is It Cold In the Water?’ by SOPHIE.
5. Tell us more about your regular shows. Where’s your “home bar”?
I don’t have a residency anywhere (as of now!) but I mostly tend to perform at Trigger which is a weekly show at AXM in Glasgow. The crowd there is amazing and it was where I started off.
I also love performing at Drag-Opticon in Glasgow and Glamoor in Edinburgh when I can – the crowds there are always down for my more theatrical or weird and artsy numbers. Some of my ideas don’t work as well in night clubs so I save them for these kinds of shows.
6. What your craziest party trick or on-stage gag?
I don’t really have a party trick that I can think of but for gags on stage I love an unexpectedly UV makeup look, or going pure filth for the shock factor.
Hypersexuality during performance is something I like to play into because I think it’s important to remember that more ‘sleazy’ sex practices were and are a prominent part of gay history – even if we aren’t all into that. I mean, we would wear yellow handkerchiefs in our pockets to let strangers know if we wanted to be pissed on! It’s possible to abolish myths and assumptions that the general public have about lgbt+ people without erasing these things.
7. How’d you get your drag name? Is there a story behind it?
People always assume it’s a pun on Claire’s Accessories which would be absolutely awful.
In reality, it’s because I was trying to think of a drag name when I graduated from University and I got my graduation letter. They forgot to change the name on the template so my letter read: ‘This is to confirm that Clare successfully completed the above degree…’! It felt right to take it and run with it.
8. If you weren’t doing drag, what would you be doing?
Well my day job is that I’m a case handler for a bank. I do a bunch of boring data stuff. I would probably just be doing that by week and then socialising even less at the weekends. Maybe I would have moved back to Liverpool as drag is really what kept me in Scotland – the scene here is insane in the best way.
9. If you could click your fingers and have one thing done for you every day, what would it be and why?
Checking and replying to my Grindr messages. I love all of the pretty men on there but I can just never be bothered with the apps. I accidentally ghost people all the time.
10. What is the wackiest, weirdest or most cringeworthy thing that’s ever happened while you were performing?
Wackiest would probably be me and Frans stimulating head with vegan hot dogs and squirting ketchup over each other.
Most cringeworthy would absolutely be one of the many times I’ve fallen over.
You can keep up with all of Clare’s latest gigs in the app – which is now available on Android an iOS. Miss last week’s interview? Find it here. Artist that wants to be featured? Get in touch. You could be the next amazing drag master to be featured in Werkin’ It Out!