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IT'S ALL ABOUT GINGER MINJ
by Herb Sosa

Ginger was actually born by accident (as so many Leesburg, Florida
folks are!) through theatre. As I got older, I started to get offered more
challenging and diverse roles. I eventually landed a job at Sleuths
Mystery Dinner Shows on I-Drive (where I still am 12 years later)
and they required me to play both men and women, often in the
same show! I enjoyed the art of transforming myself and the
challenge of playing these female roles that were so different for me.

I started to get noticed by people from the actual drag community in
Orlando, but had no resources to do "real drag shows". The owner
of Sleuths offered to pay for my wigs, costumes and makeup if
I would just take the name Ginger Minj as an homage to the
theatre. I was poor and desperate to improve my craft, so I said
yes and it just kind of stuck. I based Ginger on all of the loud-mouthed,
salt of the earth, do anything for you but still read you for filth church
ladies that I grew up around. As a shy, quiet little gay boy who was
always afraid to speak his mind for fear of backlash, I was always
envious of these bright, colorful women who said what they wanted,
how they wanted, when they wanted. Even though Joshua is still
that shy little country boy, Ginger has given me the strength and ability
to speak up and be heard.

Ginger has long reigned as The Comedy Queen of The South,
with the pageant titles, including “Miss Gay United States 2013,”
“Miss National Comedy Queen 2012” and others, to prove it.
Originally from Leesburg, Florida – a town so small they didn’t
even have a McDonald’s – she now calls Orlando home.

The self-professed “nicest bitch you’ll ever meet” cites classic
funny ladies Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball as her idols. “Anyone
who can pile three wigs on their head, squeeze their body into a
beaded and rhinestoned gown and serve humor alongside the
glamour is my hero,” says Ginger.

On why she should not be underestimated as a competitor on
season 7 of Logo TV’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Ginger says: “I’m
the whole package! I can sing, I can dance, I can act, I can gab,
and I’m not afraid to adapt myself to any situation. Need me to
rap? Sure. Need me to sing a show tune? Absolutely. Need me
to comfort your sister because her boyfriend just dumped her?
I never liked that bastard, anyway. Need me to perform a Bris?
You’re in luck, I just got a new bagel cutter.”

Ginger’s future career goals, in addition to winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and
the title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” include breaking into a theatrical
comedy career similar to other current plus-sized comedians like Melissa
McCarthy and Rebel Wilson. She’s already got the acting credits. Before
becoming “Ginger Minj,” this talented performer was a child actor starring
in a series of Christian movies and books on tape, and even won a Best
Actor Award for the state of Florida in 2002.

Tell those who have never been to Leesburg, Florida, what it was like growing up there.
It may only be 45 minutes North or Orlando, but it's a totally different world! Stereotypical small town where everybody knows everyone,
the food is fresh & fried, and they roll up the sidewalks at 5pm. Most of my family grew up on the same block and we played with sticks
and rocks, barefoot in the streets. Not quite Norman Rockwell, but there was a lot of love, even if it was sometimes misguided. I was
always the "different" one and knew I didn't quite fit in with everyone else, even though they never went out of their way to make me feel
like an outcast.


You were a child star in Christian movies – how did that happen, and what did you take from that experience?
I grew up doing theatre. From the time I was 6 months old and my mama volunteered me to play the baby in a local production of
"Fiddler On The Roof", it's been my life. I was part of a local children's theatre group that traveled around to different schools, performing
fairy tales and short plays and one day the casting director for a Christian film company based out of Orlando (the big city!) was in the
crowd. He asked me to do a screen test, I did, and the rest was history! It opened up a lot of doors and gave me the credibility I needed
to break into the Orlando theatre scene. Without that experience I would probably still be playing Winnie the Pooh to third graders
somewhere in Lake County!





























Describe the mood at a drag competition – whether a local show or on RuPaul’s DragRace? How has that influenced you as a
performer?
When I first started drag, there was no "Drag Race", our superstars came from pageants. There is an amazing sisterhood in the
pageant scene and it teaches you a lot about discipline and structure, but it can be cutthroat! Everyone laughs and jokes and kikis
beforehand, but the moment the pageant starts they all go into competition mode. It's not meant to be unfriendly, it's not meant to be
rude, you're just taught to put on your blinders and make it to the finish line before anyone else. Then, once the pageant is over, the
newly crowned queen takes all of her sisters out for a drink or to breakfast to celebrate her victory and everyone goes right back to being
friends!

When not on stage (or preparing for it), what do you do, just for you?
Sleep! and hang out with my love, Chris. Being the road so much, I don't typically get much time to do either, and they're both my favorite
things to do! I also love "Dance Moms" ... Probably a little too much!


3 things you NEVER leave home without?
Lip Balm, My Phone and my Ninja Turtle Backpack!


What the world doesn’t know about GINGER is…   
She loves everyone! Even the haters! Meet and Greets are my favorite part of any gig because I get to interact with people from all walks
of life, up close and personal.

What the world doesn’t know about ME personally is….
Joshua is still that shy, quiet little gay boy in the corner who just likes to sing along to Broadway musicals and hardcore female rap!


Describe how Pulse affected you personally, and the Orlando community you call home?
How can I even begin to describe it? There's a huge hole in my heart! Our community is still reeling from the sudden loss of our friends
and family. Not just the loss of those 49 beautiful souls, but the loss of our safe space, a place that was a job to many, a place that
hundreds called "home", and the loss of our God given right to feel free just being ourselves! However, I've always believed that from
darkness comes light, and the most amazing thing to shine through this unnecessary tragedy is the outpouring of love, affection and
solidarity expressed by people all over the world! We see it, we feel it, and we appreciate it!


A must-have beauty tip you need to share right now?
Find the cheapest, thickest clear gloss with a hint of glitter. I love a shiny lip and it makes any color pop!


I'm learning every day! I meet people from all over the world who feel strongly
(one way or another) about what I do, which means my art is affecting people
on an emotional level. I've worked with/met many of my idols: John Waters,
Harvey Fierstein, RuPaul, Maragret Cho & Carnie Wilson (the last two with
whom I recorded diets with on my upcoming album!) I've connected with and
formed legitimate friendships with people from all walks of life and continue to
travel the globe, taking my own personal brand of performance with me! The
biggest lesson I've learned is to throw everything against the wall, see what
sticks, and build from there. Love always wins!


What would you tell a little Christian boy in Leesburg today, with big dreams of glitter & big hair?
Don't be afraid! Through the darkness of ugliness, hatred and bigotry, your light will shine! You ARE good enough, so keep pushing
through. I love you!


When they speak of Ginger Minj… and they DO, what do you hope they will say? Today and 20 years from now?
I bought her first album off of iTunes and I'm still listening to it today! ;-)


What’s next for you, personally & professionally? When will we see you in South Florida again?
There's so much coming up! Aside from AllStars 2, I've got two new off-Broadway shows I'm preparing for, another world tour, a new
television show I'm working on, an independent film, a starring role in a production of "Rocky Horror" in San Antonio, and the release of
my first full length album that is so, so personal and powerful! Stay tuned to
gingerminj.com for updates and info on everything!






































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