On Deviant Undertones, Creating Queer Spaces For Expression And Drag: An Interview With Ruby Knight
Today, we’re happy to introduce you to one of the evening’s artists, Austin-based creative and drag artist Ruby Knight. Knight is a drag performer and creative in Austin, Texas, who currently co-hosts the show SAD GIRLS ONLY (which pops up next at Sahara Lounge on December 17—you can find Ruby Knight on Instagram , and Twitter.)
This interview was conducted by #BBATX Projects and Operations Coordinator, Natalia Rocafuerte.
Q: How would you define your creative practice and approach to drag as a performance?
Ruby Knight: It’s an opportunity to connect with the audience—share a little piece of myself. I often focus on portraying myself as young and playful, but with a dark side, as well. Usually with a deviant undertone, I perform with as much energy as I can, to get a reaction from the crowd and hope they feel something. Whether it’s joy, fear or sorrow, I want to create such a sensation onstage that it translates to the spectator.
Q: What do you look for in creative collaborators?
Ruby Knight: Someone else who understands the importance of details. Of course the big picture will always be important, but I’m a die-hard perfectionist. If you can keep up with not only the vision but making sure all the pieces are just as refined, then we can find a way to blend our ideas. It’s important to come across as mindful and intentional as creatives. So I enjoy fine-tuning the creative process, so the result is even stronger. I work with people who are trying to be as fully realized as I’m trying to be.
Q: What are you looking forward to? in your own career? or perhaps in the industry, at large?
Ruby Knight: I’m looking forward to pushing my own desires deeper into my practice. I’ve only scratched the surface with my love for makeup and fashion. Getting to incorporate music that I love is a great part of drag, too! But I’m realizing that drag is now my medium and I want it to embody all of my obsessions and interests. I think that’s how I can push the boundaries of my drag and drag, in general. I’m thinking of creating new ways to interact with people’s lives. Drag is really limited to a handful of spaces (i.e. bars, clubs), but I’d love to see it in new spaces. Or even become part of our daily spaces, which I’m actually working on hatching right now.
Q: How do you set goals and boundaries for yourself as an artist?
Ruby Knight: Well I’m not the best at setting boundaries, but my goals are usually driven by what’s inspiring me. Sometimes the goal is just the next show I’m performing at. Sometimes the goal is bringing to life a vision and breaking it down into pieces. Like when me and my drag sister, Hentaii, started Violent Fem. That began as us wanting to create a show we had not seen before, but wished was part of the Austin drag scene. Learning how you work is important, too, with others or by yourself. I work best slow and steady and once I figured that out, it became easier to create realistic goals and timelines for myself.
Q: What currently inspires you (could be people, places, things, Instagram accounts—you name it)?
Ruby Knight: Right now, I’m really inspired by @makeupbymario and @gordgeorge on Instagram, Poppy’s new album ‘Am I A Girl?,’ Robyn’s new album ‘Honey,’ Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2019 collection, all things Rihanna and just badass women, in general.
Want to dance all night with Ruby Knight? Head over to Redbull Presents: Equal Axis on Saturday Dec. 15 from 10 PM to 4 AM at 607 Neches St. Austin, Texas. Austin collectives, Unbounded Agency and Thank You For Sweating, have teamed up to create this incomparably unique event featuring local multidisciplinary DJs, performance and visual artists, running the spectrum of humanness. Equal Axis will be host to artistic contributions from POC, queer, gender non-conforming and non-binary creatives as well as allies, using the event as a platform for visibility around queerness through expression, performance, activations and installations, as well as Maya Jane Coles' Texas debut. ALL ARE WELCOME, just be yourself, bring yourself, and your dancing shoes. Tickets are only $10 and available now. Click here.