What inspired you to write Lipstick City?
I wanted to take the opportunity to push myself out f my comfort zone, and I felt like a short fashion film would be an ideal way to showcase my brand and unique vision for Shea Couleé. I have always described myself as equal parts bourgie, and banji. So I wanted to showcase that by playing two characters and weaving them within a narrative that mimics Chicago Queer Nightlife.
Was playing two characters your biggest challenge in production?
Not at all. I have done theatre all my life, and feel very comfortable adapting different characters. Honestly my biggest challenge was balancing being both in front and behind the camera. Those roles are far more parallel than the ones I tackled on screen.
Lipstick City features a lot of Chicago drag queens, including Kim Chi, currently in the top tier of RuPaul's Drag Race. What distinguishes Chicago drag from other cities?
I would say honestly that we have SUCH an amazing and diverse pool of talent with many different intersections throughout. We are conscious of one another as well as being super supportive of one another's individual visions. Everyone you see in the film donated their time to the effort for nothing more than credit, and in some cases not even that. So it's humbling for me to experience being part of a community where everyone is so committed to one another's visions.
What's next for Lipstick City?
We are currently just taking in the response to the film and considering all constructive criticisms. We are interested in public reaction, so that our next steps can optimize the effect of the project.