Jordan Michaels McCord hasn't won Best Drag King at Georgia Voice's Best of Atlanta awards for nothing. While this killer king (who is better known as Tiffany Phillips in the daylight hours) got a late start to the drag scene, he's more than made up for it. Check him out at MSR and see what he has to say about the scene below.
Where were you born?
Born and lived in Atlanta all my life.
What's your day job?
I am an animal cruelty investigator for a metro police department.
When/how old were you when you first dressed in drag?
I've always been "tomboyish." From grade school on I've been a blue jeans and baseball cap kinda girl. But officially dressing up like a guy with facial hair and binding my chest? 2007.
When/how old were you when you first performed publicly in drag?
I got started late, I was 35!
Do you remember the song you did at the first performance?
One of the first songs I did was The Charlie Daniels Band, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” It was at a country theme night competition at My Sister's Room.
What have you learned about yourself as a performer since then?
I've learned what it takes to entertain a crowd, how important it is to know all of your words to the songs and that the more bling, the better the costume!
What's the hardest thing about being a drag performer?
Picking the right music! Keeping the crowd engaged is really important to me. I love to see everyone's faces and hearing them sing along.
What's your favorite thing about being a drag performer?
I love when people come up to me after a show and tell me how much they enjoyed the performance. I also love all of the up-and-coming drag performers that tell me I have inspired them to work harder on their performances.
Has your being a drag performer had a negative effect on your dating life? If so, how?
Well actually, my last relationship did suffer a little because of it. I got in trouble for not spending enough time with her. My current partner luckily manages the restaurant at My Sister's Room, so she is there a lot. It works out.
What's the biggest misconception about being a drag performer?
That I dress like that all the time, or that I'm transitioning to be a guy. Some people think that its my full-time job.
Have you ever been harassed or physically assaulted for being a drag performer? If so, what happened?
The only thing I can think of is the time I performed "Bombs over Bagdad " by Outkast and a patron in the crowd didn't think my Arabic costume was funny. It was Halloween and I did have a fake bomb strapped to my chest.
What's the most you ever made in one night performing?
In ones, probably like $150. Which I thought was great! And that didn't include my booking pay. My son asked if I was a stripper when I was counting it the next day.
How long does it take you to get dressed and get ready for a performance?
Not super long, like a good 30 to 45 minutes. I wear makeup, but it doesn't take as long as some of the queens I know. Binding my chest is usually done before I get there to save a little time.
How often do you go clothes/accessory shopping?
A week before each upcoming show. Gotta get the costumes on point!
What are your favorite places to shop for drag clothes/accessories?
I'm sure this is you number one answer, but thrift stores of course! Goodwill is my friend! They actually give me a police discount [LAUGHS].
If you had to pick one, what would be your all-time favorite song to perform?
Picking one is hard. Elton is the man, and Prince is such an entertainer! But right now, I'm loving some Ed Sheeran. His acoustic version of Fetty Wap's “Trap Queen” is awesome!
Rate Atlanta drag scene on a scale of 1 to 10.
I would definitely give Atlanta a 10! I think you can go all over Atlanta and enjoy a different variety of drag shows! Dinner, Sunday brunch, late night, campy drag, drag pageants, queens, kings, trans, femme, burlesque. If you're looking for it, Atlanta has it. I just wish drag gings would get a little more recognition. We have some great kings in the ATL!
How much longer do you want to be a drag performer?
I will continue to perform as long as my body can take it!