DOPE: Meet The ‘Drama Queenz’
When it comes to seeing dating relationships within our community, there aren’t many platforms dedicated to educating and entertaining about our ups and downs. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the hit web series “Drama Queenz,” you’re definitely missing out. The show is a hit comedy web series, now in its third season, about three friends and roommates dealing with life issues, career choices, and dating in New York City.
MUSED had the opportunity to sit down with Troy Valjean Rucker from the “Drama Queenz.” Check out the interview below:
MUSED: How did you guys meet to make this happen?
TROY VALJEAN RUCKER: We’ve know each other literally half our lives, first meeting as teenagers in Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit where we toured and performed together. Years later, we’re all in NYC and wind up living together. We took time out of our very busy schedules to meet in the living room to discuss how to bring this idea to life.
MUSED: Where did the idea come?
RUCKER: The idea for “Drama Queenz” came from something a friend said in passing after visiting our apartment. They said that we were so funny we should put cameras in our apartment and do a reality show. We laughed about it. Then two years later after that meeting in the living room that conversation came back up. We talked about where we were in our lives, what we had done since that time, and how it probably could have been a great reality show considering everything we had experienced. Dane [Joseph], being a playwright, thought that a scripted form of a TV show loosely based on our lives could actually be quite entertaining. By the end of that week we were reading Episode 1 of “Drama Queenz.”
MUSED: Why the name Drama Queenz?
RUCKER: Drama Queenz was the name on the first script Dane showed us. We toyed with the idea of changing the name for some time, but despite what some people may think is blatantly obvious it’s called Drama Queenz because the guys are actors who live in Queens, NY – Astoria to be exact, and the z at the end just makes it a little hipper.
MUSED: How would you describe the current market of black gay web series?
RUCKER: Until “Drama Queenz” I never spent time watching any shows or web series online. But because our show is based on the web, I decided to explore to see what other content is out there to gain knowledge about the market we were now working in. Since then I’ve come across a few black gay web series that are very entertaining and of a very high caliber in quality. In the beginning, I was particularly interested in a couple of the shows shot here in NYC to get a feel for what it was like to produce in this market close to home. To see the work of some shows whose budgets far exceeded ours was a good indication of where we could go in the near future. However, the market for black gay web series is still very tiny in comparison but I am happy there are good examples of great work out there and I only hope for more to come.
MUSED: What are you guys trying to accomplish in your videos?
RUCKER: There is a lot of love in our show, a lot of heart, humor and definitely drama. It’s my hope that what we’ve accomplished is a great deal of satisfaction from our audience in whatever form that may be. The themes, relationships and situations in the show are very identifiable on many different levels. I feel that no matter a person’s race, gender, age or sexual orientation there is something there that everyone can identify with. The show is very universal in that way.
MUSED: Are the experiences documented in the series taking from your life? Where do you get your inspiration?
RUCKER: Some of the experiences on the show are taken from our real lives and from friends or stories we’ve heard. I don’t think that my personal life would be interesting enough on paper that thousands of people would be waiting to tune in and see it played out on screen. So for the sake of drama and comedy and art and a lot of camp, we heighten the situations or completely twist them to make for good entertainment.
MUSED: How would you describe your viewer?
RUCKER: Very, very supportive and loving. I think they get that we’re all about love and laughter, for/about others and ourselves. And it’s amazing to have people like that on our side. We feel incredibly blessed.
MUSED: What’s next for Drama Queenz?
RUCKER: The sky is the limit for Drama Queenz. We will keep working and pushing the way we have been starting nearly 4 years ago and when it’s the right time and opportunity the next chapter will be written.