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Molly Poppinz is a cracker

Molly Poppinz is an avid STUN reader

Ricky Eldridge morphed Molly Poppinz while he was living in Vancouver before COVID struck. He had to move back to Newcastle where she's taken on a life of her own, most recently as a contestant on last year's RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under season 2. Now she's headed for Canberra, writes Danny Corvini.

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When was Molly Poppinz born? 

The persona was born back in 2014 when I was living on the Gold Coast and just started dabbling, then I moved to Canada in 2017 and then that’s when my drag really started. I brought a little small bag of drag, like baby drag stuff and one of my friend’s said, ‘Oh, this is like drag competition’. It was this intense five week drag competition called Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar.. 

You went straight into competition?!

I went straight in! I remember the night of the first performance I was the first one up and I was like, ‘I’ve never performed before’. I made it all the way to the finale, which was good. That competition has seen a lot of Drag Race girls go through it.  

You don’t seem like someone who like gets nervous.

Ah no, I do! I try not to let it show. On Drag Race, I was shitting bricks, but I was like.. keep faith, just don’t let him see you sweat.  

You had a very good rapport with Hannah Conda on Drag Race. What’s your connection from before the show?

Yeah, we were the two little hobbits. She was the only one on the cast that I actually knew. I didn’t know her too well; more of an acquaintance like an internet friend. Walking into the work room and seeing her I was like, ‘I kind of know someone’. Then as all the other girls came in I was like, ‘I don’t know you.. I don’t you know you.. Who are you?’   

How would you describe queer life and community in Newcastle?

We have quite a biggish queer scene. The drag scene, it’s not too big. It’s tricky in Newcastle because we have a thriving community, just nowhere that we can really all just meet up. There is a few different production companies that run events and will take over spaces maybe like, one night a month. So we’ve got little places we can meet where we take over the straight bar for the night and then we scatter.  

Is it a very diverse community?

Yeah, it’s very diverse. We’ve got a lot of drag kings, a lot of non-binary performers, trans performers, a few indigenous, AFAB queens..  

Do you get recognised on the streets?

All the time. I get recognised more out of drag than when I’m in drag! So I think I just have very recognisable face and the mullet gives it away as well. I get noticed in drag too but some people are a bit intimidated when there’s a drag queen. You know, I got the resting bitch paint.  

What does Ricky and Molly have in common?

I feel like Molly’s an extension of Ricky. I can be a little bit introverted when I’m not in drag and then when I’m Molly I can just be fully comfortable in myself. She’s not a character, she’s more an extension of myself. If Ricky’s at a 10 Molly’s at 11.

How would friends describe Ricky?

I’m pretty chill, kind, a good friend, always there to listen and lean on. I can be a bit silly, a bit stupid. So when I’m Molly, it’s just yeah… extra.

What music did you listen to growing up and who were your favourite divas?

Growing up it was like, like Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera.. You know, I’m a ’90s baby. Right now my number one is Taylor Swift. Not many people would really think that about me and they’re shocked when they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re a Swifty?’ I don’t really perform Taylor Swift a lot because she doesn’t really vibe with Molly. Charli XCX, Kim Petras, which are more Molly’s vibe; fun, electro-pop party girl.

Who’s your drag family?

I’ve got two drag mums actually. One is actually from Canberra: Nadya Business. I met her in Canada and then we both had to move back at the same time! But I also had another drag family in Canada who adopted me first. It was Lea Ven Detta and Adam Zapple. They were my drag mum and drag dad and they were the first ones to accept me into the scene in Vancouver and they helped me a lot. Then I kind of just grew and made my own drag family. So I have seven drag children, I’m just popping them out.  

What’s the secret to being a good mother?

The secret to being a good mother is being honest with them! Because that’s how you’re going to help them. Giving them a good compliment sandwich!  

How much of an ordeal is packing all of your looks?

Oh, that is the worst thing about travelling! Drag is heavy and I get so worried every time I go to the airport. I love a big wig. I just feel my most fiercest in a big wig. It makes me look petite. But trying to travel with big wigs and not getting them ruined or crushed is very difficult.  

What do you think you’re not good at?

I can dance, I can move but I’m not good at picking up choreo. I’m not a dancer-dancer. Trying to pick up choreo I’m like, ‘No, I’ve got my own rhythm and my own moves, that no one else does’. Because it’s not intentional, it’s just the way I move! 

What’s your favourite stage to perform on?

When we were on the tour, getting to perform at the Hordern Pavilion was pretty cool. I went to so many concerts there. Like Kesha and Florence and the Machine and Jessie J. I’ve seen so many pop stars on that stage that I idolise. 

Do you enjoy touring?

I love touring. You get to go and live your best life, even if it’s just for a couple of days. Stay booked and blessed! Different weekends, different cities. I absolutely love it.

So we’ve got you coming down to Canberra in March for Fair Day Fresh Out..

Yes, it’s actually going to be on my birthday. So I to celebrate my birthday in Canberra! I was there last year for the Down Under tour. Canberra was like the best show that we did, I think. It was sold out and just the energy.. like the crowd was just giving it to us. You know, drag queens are like Tinkerbell, if we don’t get attention, we die, so the bigger screams we get, we live and we go harder and Canberra just like let us have it. We went out to party at Cube afterwards and we partied hard. Canberra knows how to party. 


Molly Poppinz will be performing this Friday 10 March at Cube and on Saturday 11 March at Fresh Out in Glebe Park, Canberra.