Stacy Layne Matthews may be best known for being a contestant on season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since her time on the show she has developed into an amazing entertainer with a very sensitive side. Let’s get to know Stacy Layne Matthews a little better.
Stacy: We are in the Turk Islands, The Grand Turk Islands.
Abby: You really rocked your performance the other night on the ship. Did you feel panic when your CD started skipping in front of 1,300 people?
Stacy: Honestly, I am so used to stuff like that happening. I do theater and when you’re live on stage everything can go wrong. You have to be prepared and have a back up plan. You have to trick the audience basically and not let them see your mistakes. My CD was not working so what else can I do to entertain these people? They came here for a show and that is what I do. I decided to show my true talent. Instead of lip syncing to the greatest artists, why not just use your raw talent and sing yourself? That’s what I did.
Abby: What is the name of the song you sang?
Stacy: It was Diamonds by Rhianna.
Abby: You really surprised a lot of people. Even my sister Eileen said, “Stacy just went way up in my book.” You gained our respect because you didn’t give up and turned a bad situation into a memorable one. You really rocked it!
Stacy: What is funny about that song is, maybe 3 weeks ago, I hated it. A lot of drag queens in Texas have done it and it’s haunting me. You hear it all of the time. So tired of hearing it. Then I started listening to it and actually listened to the lyrics. I started practicing it and singing it at the clubs. It is one of my new favorites that I love to hate.
Stacy: Is that a Ouija board?
Abby: Indeed it is.
Stacy: I am very into that stuff. I have a gift.
Abby: What kind of gift?
Stacy: I am a sensitive. I sense things. I can read a lot about people. While growing up I was always really sensitive to peoples emotions and feelings especially if I just met someone. Right away I can sense their aura and their colors and what kind of person they are. I can tell a lot about a person by looking at them. .
Abby: Have you ever done psychic readings for money?
Stacy: I have not. Sometimes I am afraid to tell people what I think about what I get from them. The last time I had read someone I was at work at the club in Texas. This girl kept asking me and saying, “Tell me, tell me, tell me!” I told her that I was not going to tell her because this in not the right time. Finally she begged,” Just tell me! Just tell me!” So I started reading her. The next thing I know she is busting out in tears and calling a cab.
Abby: Do you think that your gift is from your Native American roots?
Abby: Which tribe are you from?
I go ghost hunting with my friend’s landlord. She does the EVP’s and records stuff. We take pictures and just try to capture ghost images.
Abby: I have a freaky photo of Manila Luzon taken here on the ship. It looks like a spirit could be attached to her. It could just be a bad photo…
Stacy: It might be Sahara.
Stacy: What scares you?
Abby: Old age homes. Thinking about what is going to happen to me when I’m older. I’m not afraid about the dying part because I have been told several times I was going to die and I am still here. So that doesn’t scare me at all.
Stacy: It scares me to death.
Stacy: I used to have a phobia about it. I don’t think it’s the dying part. It’s how I’m going to die that scares me. Sometimes I would think about it and have an anxiety attack. That’s how bad it was.
Abby: How about now?
Stacy: I’m going to be honest with you. I was going to say this in the Q&A. After Drag Race I developed depression, anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety. I could just be sitting here watching TV and not thinking about anything and I would have an anxiety attack. It got so bad that my doctors put me on Prozac. One night I was sitting at my house and I was having panic attack after panic attack. The first few that I had were so bad that I thought it was something else. I thought I was going to drop dead. That’s how bad it was. One night I called my friend in Florida and said, “Listen. I don’t know what’s going on with me but I have to get the hell out of here.” So I woke my mama up and told here that I had to go. I booked a flight to Florida at 4AM. I had my friend drive me to the airport and I stayed away for a month. I didn’t tell anybody where I was going.
Abby: Stardom is a funny thing.
Stacy: It is. It’s a lot of pressure. I am just now getting to a place where I can deal with it. That’s one of the reasons why I moved. So much back home reminded me of those feelings. That anxiety. That depression. So I had to get away.
Abby: How are you dealing with it here on the cruise when people just walk up to you?
Stacy: It’s fun. I get tired a little bit because I do have anxiety. It’s not gone. I deal with it because I don’t want to come across the wrong way and say no to the pictures. I know that is what I came here for. I try to put my anxiety to the side so I can deal with it.
Abby: Where did you grow up?
Stacy: A little community called Back Swamp, North Carolina.
Abby: You said that you recently moved?
Stacy: Yes. Four months ago. I decided that I needed a change so I packed all of my bags and moved to San Antonio, Texas.
Abby: Why did you pick San Antonio?
Stacy: Because San Antonio is really big on drag and performers. All of my favorite drag queens live there. They have some of the major pageants in San Antonio and Dallas. Texas is just “The Drag State.”
Abby: Do you prefer pageants to the night clubs?
Stacy: I am used to doing shows. I have only done 2 pageants in my whole lifetime. Miss Fayetteville Unlimited which I won. And then I did Miss North Carolina Unlimited.
Abby: Do you ever sing live at your shows?
Stacy: I do. Not as much as I should. I am very hard on myself when it comes to singing.
I second guess my voice because I don’t feel it is what it should be. I don’t use it as much as I should. Before drag I was doing theater.
Abby: In school or locally?
Stacy: I work with a group called, “Studio One.” Which is a lady called Jeanne Koonce. She is amazing. You kind of look like her actually.
Abby: Are you going to pursue acting?
Stacy: Last year I did an off Broadway show. It was called the HoMo’Nique Show. Have you heard of Mo’Nique, the comedian?
Abby: I sure have. She is an Academy Award winner.
Stacy: I met her in Milwaukee and I opened up for her at Milwaukee Pride Fest. After the show I impersonated her. Of course she saw that. I got an opportunity to portray her in an off Broadway show called the HoMo’Nique Show which is like a mock of her talk show. That was fun but other than that I am actually working on a new TV pilot called Canoa Heights where I play a celebrity drag queen. They are pitching it to different networks. One of the networks is Logo where Drag Race plays.
Abby: Cool. Very exciting. What was your life like before Drag Race?
Stacy: Well before Drag Race I had a regular job. I was working in a fast food restaurant and going to school part time for nursing. I was also the show director at “Club Alias” in Fayetteville. I randomly auditioned for Drag Race.
Abby: Did you just audition one time?
Stacy: I auditioned one time and within a week I was cast and in LA. I had very little time to prepare for it.
Abby: What has happened since the show aired?
Stacy: I have worked with celebrities like Paula Abdul and Carmen Electra. Opening for Mo’Nique was the highlight of my career because she is my inspiration. I appreciate getting the credit that I have wanted all these years. I have been doing drag for 11 years.
Abby: What are your drag essentials?
Stacy: I cannot stand the queen who comes out on stage that does not have nails on or lashes and lip gloss. Those are drag essentials. Oh, and a good girdle.
Abby: I heard that you are an excellent cook. Is that true?
Stacy: I am actually thinking about doing my own home videos and posting them on Youtube of a cooking show.
Abby: What is your favorite dish?
Stacy: I like homemade mashed potatoes and chicken. I take boneless chicken thighs, because they are juicier, season it and dip it in eggs. Then you put bread crumbs on it. Then fry it a little bit just to give it some color and then put it in the oven and bake it with homemade mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, homemade biscuits and string beans.
Abby: So we are going to see you on Logo and Food TV Network!
Stacy: I hope so. That would be amazing. Stacy Layne’s Down Home Cooking.
Abby: Is there anything you want to add?
Stacy: I want to say that I am very appreciative of the experience I have been given. A lot of people watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and they think we all hate each other. In actuality we don’t. We call each other. We hang out. I have at least one of the girls a week in my bar in San Antonio. We all look out for each other.
Abby: It’s a big comradery.
Stacy: Yes. It’s a big misconception.
Abby: Where can people find out more about you?
Stacy: I have a website. The link is www.stacylaynematthews.com. My Twitter account is Stacylmatthews and my Facebook account is: https://www.facebook.com/#!/stacylaynematthews2012?fref=ts.
Abby: I am very interested in seeing you perform again. Thank you Stacy.