Drag King Adam All is the creation of Jen Powell. Jen first performed in drag 12 years ago and since Adam's initial inception has gone on to perform across the UK and now runs a monthly Cabaret Drag King Night in Soho. An advocate of drag and avid suppporter of the emerging Drag King scene, Jen strongly believes in encouraging new Kings and promoting existing talent.
"Adam is my alter ego' explains Jen, 'he has allowed me to embrace aspects of my personality that, since my childhood I had felt forced to ignore. As an andregenous individual and as someone who considers themself to be gender neutral, Adam allows me to embrace my masculinity and through him. I hope to encourage others to do the same and find freedom in expressing who they truly are."
1. What is your artist name?
2. How would you describe what you do?
I am a drag king performance artist
3. How long have you being performing/working?
I have been dressing in drag for events and competitions for 12 years and performing as a drag artist for nearly 5.
4. What has been the highlight of your career to date?
There have been a couple of great highlights so far; being the first drag king to reach the final of Drag Idol, the UK's competition for drag performers for which i got to perform in some amazing legendary venues like The Black Cap; performing at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and becoming a resident at candy Bar Soho and through them this year performing on the womens stage at london Pride this year was really spectacular.
5. Have you worked/performed for/with anyone famous?
Famous on the drag circuit only really, lots of drag queens that I admire greatly
6. If you could perform/work with anyone, who would it be?
I'm really a solo performer, i do include people in sketches and songs sometimes and I've started to introduce Adam's partner, Apple, into my routines.
There aren't really any famous Kings I could look to as a role model but in drag it would be the mother ship, Ru Paul that I would most love to meet and work with.
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
Sausages.... no really ask anyone who knows me. I can't eat enough sausages I'm completely addicted. And new socks. nothing like a brand new pair of warm fluffy socks to make you feel like you've just bought a whole new 3 piece suit.
8. Tell us one secret about yourself.
The most commonly asked question I get is... 'whats in your trousers?' Well, it is whats called a floppy packer, a fake flaccid penis and ball sack designed to sit in the underwear and look and feel realistic (if anyone were to give it a grope....which people invariably do). I used to use socks but I was forever losing one of them and ending the night with a considerably smaller package than I'd started with. I bought it in the US, or rather I asked my sister to order it and send it over for me, so it arrived in time for christmas and I dutifully opened it in front of my family on Christmas day much to my embarrassment, "yes, mum, I got a willy".
9. How and why did you get into this profession?
I started dressing in drag to explore my evident masculinity. At first I considered myself exploring gender identity and looked very hard at transitioning. Although I came to the conclusion that my femininity was as important and as prominent as my masculinity and chose therefore to remain in my birth form, I continued to express my maleness through dressing up and taking on a character.
It wasn't until I had finished uni, returned home and started frequenting the local karaoke nights that it was suggested to me I consider performing. I will give props here to my drag mum Lucinda Lashes who basically gave me a load of backing tracks, a list of do's and don'ts and then manhandled me onto a stage to give my first performance; a half hour showcase of my character and songs as a new artist. I was completely terrified, I'm sure I made loads of mistakes and I don't really remember much about it except that the adrenaline in me was pumping so hard that my vision darkened and I could only really see things that were directly in front of me. I remember the crowd cheering at the end and I remember taking a bow and doing an encore, and I remember I grinned so hard that the next day my face really hurt, and I never looked back.
I've been building the character, banter, dance routines and songs over the years, working my way around venues in Southampton, Brighton and London, working out what it is I really want to say. It's taken a long time to clarify in my own mind the drive I have to perform. It stems from wanting to make people laugh, dance, smile, and branches through a political statement about lad culture and masculine gender stereotypes, to having the ability to express a side of myself that is normally mostly hidden, and most importantly, now with Boi's Night Out, giving women like me, boyish, quiet, made shy by the constant comparisons made between them and conventionally pretty women, a chance to shine, give out performance energy and be god damn beautiful, funny, witty, as good as the queens who strut so confidently, giving a cabaret night life for women who like women who dress like guys.....
But who cares really what's man and what's woman? It's the first thing a stranger will check when they meet you, it's the way we assess mating credentials, it's a bunch of shit. I'm both thanks and I don't need to show off my gentles to all and sundry when i'm walking down the street. :-D
10. When you're not working what do you like to do to chill out?
Drag is my hobby. In real life I'm a decorator and a Joiner. I work long days and run my own business so when I''m chilling out I'm often learning lyrics to a new song, checking out costumes or writing new banter. I like to watch as much cabaret as I can to see whats new on the scene and of course, most of my free time is spent with my wonderful partner who looks after me, promotes me, keeps me smiling, well fed and mostly sane and it's through her and her endless support that I can continue as a performance artist.
Adam All is an all singing, all dancing male impersonator, self confessed breast, obsessed sex pest, and all round cheeky dapper chappy with a greek chic streak. Taking drag cabaret to the barbers for a short back and sides whilst thrusting his way from his London roots all the way down the pub nd round the corner. Living with his long suffering mum, and accompanied by his first girlfriend, Apple Derrieres from Essex, he can charm and alarm with equal appeal. From stadium rock anthems to camp 80s classics and modern pop and indie rock floor fillers (with the occasional show tune) a night on the tiles with this young gent will have you arms up bellowing lyrics you thought you'd forgotten and then questionning your sexuality.
Facebook: Adam All