Juno Birch on Self-Love, Good Looks, and Bingo Wings
What do you get when you cross a John Waters character, a Stepford Wife, and a member of the Blue Man Group? The answer is Juno Birch. The Manchester-based artist is many things: drag performer, sculptor, illustrator, Instagram phenom, and, according to her, alien. Here, she touches down on Earth just long enough to answer some questions from the writings of Warhol.
ANDY WARHOL: What did you eat for breakfast?
JUNO BIRCH: A cigarette and a cup of coffee.
WARHOL: How did this happen to you?
BIRCH: I’ve always been doing drag without knowing it, so I think that’s why my drag name is my real name. I started performing onstage about three years ago.
WARHOL: Of all the looks you’ve created, do you have a particular favorite?
BIRCH: I love my hot dog costume so much. It’s like a shield from the world, a tent I can hide in.
WARHOL: What was your first job?
BIRCH: Working in a ’50s diner called Rockafellas, and I used to skid along the floors because they wouldn’t let us wear the roller skates for health and safety reasons.
WARHOL: Who was the nicest person you worked for?
BIRCH: I have never worked for anyone because I am a queen.
WARHOL: What’s your favorite movie?
BIRCH: Beetlejuice, Death Becomes Her, Mommie Dearest.
WARHOL: Who are your favorite actors?
BIRCH: Jennifer Coolidge and Danny DeVito.
WARHOL: Do you want to be a rock star?
BIRCH: I’m not sure about rock, but I’m definitely a star—a stunning one.
WARHOL: Do you play an instrument?
BIRCH: No, but I like to pretend that I can.
WARHOL: Do you dream?
BIRCH: Yes, who doesn’t? Sometimes I burst out laughing in the night and sometimes I have nightmares, and apparently I make cartoon ghost sounds.
WARHOL: Showers or baths? Why?
BIRCH: Both! Why not?
WARHOL: Are you a good cook? If so, what’s your specialty?
BIRCH: I like to think so. I have recently perfected sushi rice in my new rice cooker. I usually have it with salmon and broccoli.
WARHOL: What are you reading right now?
BIRCH: I only have books with pictures.
WARHOL: How many tubes of lipstick do you use a day?
BIRCH: I don’t wear makeup. This is all natural beauty, darling.
WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing?
BIRCH: I regret not checking my junk folder. I’ve recently realized there were invites to awards shows and things. I was mortified.
WARHOL: When do you get nervous?
BIRCH: When my cat hunts me and gets ready to pounce.
WARHOL: What do you like in a person?
BIRCH: I like people who don’t take life too seriously.
WARHOL: What do you think about love?
BIRCH: Love is when you want to squeeze something until it can’t breathe anymore. No, I am not a serial killer.
WARHOL: Why can’t it just be magic all the time?
BIRCH: Excuse me?
WARHOL: How many hotels have you been kicked out of?
BIRCH: None, because I am a good girl.
WARHOL: What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever sent you?
BIRCH: Someone once made a Juno doll in its own packaging and everything. Not crazy, but still amazing.
WARHOL: What do you do in your spare time?
BIRCH: I style wigs or play The Sims 2, or watch the jumpiest horror movie I can find.
WARHOL: Are you in love with anyone right now?
BIRCH: Yes, my hairy boyfriend Phil.
WARHOL: Have you ever had your heart broken?
BIRCH: Yes, when I was a teenager, but I soon found the love for myself after I transitioned.
WARHOL: How do you keep your good looks?
BIRCH: Mashed swede, as a face mask, as a nightcap, and in some cases, as a draft excluder.
WARHOL: Do you work out?
BIRCH: Absolutely not. The only exercise I do is when I’m combing a wig. It’s good for tightening these bingo wings.