Carson Kressley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode, we chat with Emmy Winning TV Star and best-selling author Carson Kressley, most known for his work in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and RuPaul’s Drag Race, and who is also our Pride issue cover boy…on newsstands around the nation and Metrosource.com. Carson comes from an extensive career as a competitor in equestrian events, fashion - having worked for Ralph Lauren for a number of years, and of course, reality TV – in addition to Queer Eye and Drag Race, was seen on How To Look Good Naked, Jeopardy, Celebrity Apprentice, Worst Cooks in America, and of course, Dancing with Stars, just to name a few. As a red carpet maven for the Oscars and Golden Globes, he is no stranger to E! Entertainment or Good Morning America, and the list goes on and on.

We chatted about his early career as an equestrian competitor, wearing Calvin Klein jeans in 4th grade, his role as an activist, what dating app he is on, how to slide into his DMs, the importance of Drag Race, what essentials to include in your closet, the importance of being supportive of other entertainers, his hangout with Cher, and how many tequila sodas it takes to get him to dance well…

Hosted by Alexander Rodriguez

This is metro source minis, the official podcast to Metro source magazine and home of short form interviews with your favorite personalities from the lgbtq world and beyond. Quick, Fun and informative. It's metro source on the go, out in proud since one thousand nine hundred and ninety, out in pround, since one thousand nine hundred and ninety, the year I was born. Just getting this is metro source minis. I'm your host, Alexander Rodriguez, lead writer for Metro Source Magazine and Avid podcaster. So on air personalities like myself and the myriad of other lgbtq newscasters, entertainment show host other podcasters, you name it. Oh to the pioneers who took the leap as out of the closet media personalities before anybody else did. And today I chat with Emmia winning US TV star, Best Selling Arthur Carson Cresley. Of course we know him from Queer I for the straight guy and Rupaul's drag race, who was also our pride issue cover garum on new stands around the nation. Or Metro sourcecom okay, he comes from an extensive career as a competitor in equestrian events, by the way, many years in fashion, having worked for Ralph Lauren for a number of years, and, of course, reality TV. In addition to queer eye and drag race, he was seen on how to look good naked, jeopardy, celebrity apprentice, worst cooks in America and, of course, dancing with the stars, just to name a few. And as a red carpet Maven, he is no stranger to enter payment or good morning America. The list goes on and on and on. Please welcome Carson Crassley. That's me. I've sound like a reality TV ho. I've been all over the play well, you know, but you make it work. So you know, I don't want to get started off to series, but we do have something serious to talk about. All, gay men are supposed to dance, aren't they? What happened on dancing with the stars? You know what they're so I think they're supposed to know how to move. And I will tell you. I did not get that Jeane. So it's okay some of us, you know, we're not fully blessed, and I'm actually very good. If you took me to the club and gave me fourteen Tequila's I'm a fantastic dancer, but when you have to do it in front of like, you know, ten million people on live television and a sparkly pirate outfit, it's more daunting for some reason. You know, it's very it's very difficult to think of you as a shy boy and I know during your interview with Metro storts you were a shy boy. Did you think it was competing in the equestrian events that kind of brought out your personality? Yeah, I was very shy, you know, like all of elementary school I was, you know, the quiet kid and you know, a part of it I will attribute to, you know, maybe being bullied and not being comfortable with who I was as a young adult and a team age. You're in a preteen you know, when you get picked on, you find a coping mechanism. You think, HMM, how I'm going to distract these people so they don't clock me on my Calvin cline jeans in the fourth grade and you develop a sense of humor and a personality as kind of a shield, and I think that's where I got my sense of humor. I was just like, if I can keep people laughing, then they're not going to bully me. So that's, you know, on the ultimate silver lining, I think, because it's been a great help in my career in whether it was showing horses or working for Ralph Lauren or, of course, doing television. Now, did your family kind of have an idea? You know, this young kid is very particular about his jeans as outfits. They must have known early on that you were you're a little different, you were special. Yeah, I mean, I literally have like my kindergarten picture and I have painted nails and like a little paistley shirt on, and it was yeah, I think they kind of got the memo at about age three. Well, you know, people say I woke up like this. You were just born like that. You know,...

...you're born that way. Was the doctor slap my ass and I was like, oh, that's great, and he's a doctor. Doctor. Now, Carson, how come we haven't seen you in a Horse Related Reality TV show? Horses are still a big part of your life? Yeah, I mean I grew up on a horse farm and that's something I've always done and it gave me such a great world view because I got to travel and meet all two kinds of very different people all over the world doing that and and I still do it. I'm actually going to her show tonight in San Diego and I don't know why we haven't done a reality show yet. I did. I have a farm in Pennsylvania and I've done a bunch of shows. They're for food network and animal planet and antiques road show. We haven't done something specifically on horses, but I am hopefully producing something in the very near future about the incredibly competitive and wacky world of equestrian competitions. So stay on the lookout. You know, if it's not out there, you got to make it happen. So I'm trying to do that myself. That's exactly right. In my mind, I imagine this waiting for guffment style, like mockumentary. Almost I made I would be there. Yeah, maybe that are a little bit of dance MOMS thrown in. You know, good to see, I believe, Miller whee lad herself in the crowd of horses. Now, Carson, we see you on every TV show imaginable. I feel like. We feel like we really know you and that you're kind of ours, so to speak. We look at your social media. It's very positive it's colorful, it's, as see, very on point and branded. But is there a private side to you that you choose to keep off camera? No, not really. I mean I think sometimes my family know. Sometimes when I either have them on a TV show or in my social media, they're like, oh, we didn't sign up for this, we don't want to do this, so I kind of keep them wherever they feel comfortable. But as far as me and my life, it's pretty open. You know, you can see all the details on instagram or twitter or facebook or grinder or scrub. Are you really on grinder? What's that? Are you really on grinder? No, I'm not on that, but I might be on some other ones, as I am, you know, a single lady. Yeah, it's because you're so busy, you know, and that's another question I wanted to ask you. You continually are are in the public eye, continually doing shows and of course we know with drag race and Queer I, you've also become a spokesperson for the Lgbtq community. Do you feel that your personal life, your personal journey, has had to take a back seat? Such as you, you are a single guy, you're busy. It's hard to pin you down? Well, it's actually not that hard to pin me down, but I am busy. Yeah, I mean I think everybody has to, you know, learn how to balance, you know, work and family and their love relationships. And certainly being busy has been a blessing and I love it. And I think, you know, everything is about timing and I think now I'm ready to, you know, find somebody and settle down. You know, I'm not getting any younger and but you know, I'm not mad about any of it. I think it's all meant to be. You know, it's all fate and timing and when it's supposed to happen, it will happen. Okay. So I have to know if somebody was gonna slide into your DM's, you know, to you know, to woo you, so to speak. What kind of DM would what kind of DM would you be responding to first? Oh Gosh, that's a good question. I think somebody WHO's actually done their homework and, instead of just saying Suck Bro, you...

...know, comments on something like I saw your show on e and I thought it was really good, or I love the picture you posted of your wars or whatever. Just, you know, you have to kind of make an effort, not that big of an effort, but just a small one. Yeah, of course, of course, because if your rules in prominent LGBTQ media projects, you have become the spokesperson, this role model for the community. It kind of came with the job. It's not like you filled out an application to be an activist. How have you grown into that role and how has that aspect changed your life? For me, it's very organic. I just do me. You know, ever since Queer I people were saying, you know, what are you out there promoting? What are you trying to do? Episode? I'm just living authentically and happens to be on reality. Tell a vision and for a lot of people that is that visibility and that authenticity is a very powerful combination because, you know, literally I would you know, seventeen years ago, when queer eye for the Strait that came out, I would be traveling somewhere and I'd be in an airport and people will be like, I never knew any gay people and never a medic quer person. I was like what, have you never been on an airplane? Have you never had your hair highlighted? Certainly you've met the gays before and it was that sense of visibility and seeing you as a person and not as a poster child really changes people's minds and attitudes and they say, well, you're a lot more like me than I realized and you seem like a great person. Why shouldn't you be able to adopt or get married or all those things? So it helps push equality forward. I, you know, try to keep it casual and just, you know, do my thing. I do feel very strongly about supporting LGBTQ youth and I've worked for a long time with Cindy lapper on the true colors united. You're the host. You were her M see. Yeah, we do a concert every year. We raise a lot of money because unfortunately, gay kids, Queer kids tend to be at a much higher risk for homelessness because they are still getting turned away by their families or, you know, certain faith based shelters may turn them away. So it's a real problem and cindy want to tackle it and a bunch of US got together and it's been almost, I think, twenty years and we've done some great work and past some great legislation and we're making sure that lgbtq kids have a voice and are seen and are hopefully not subject to homelessness, because it's a totally fixable problem. Well, and on behalf of the shy, you know, gay kids growing up. I was once shy, believe it or not. You know, seeing people identified with in the media, it just shapes a life. So thank you. Thank you very much for that. When you saw the casting call for a show called Queer Eye, we know Bravo was some small cable network that people are like what, and then to have a show that the title actually is like we're queer, like there's no secret Europe. was that a weird casting call to get and what made you respond to that, because you really kind of had to come out to the world. Yeah, I mean there really wasn't. I didn't even know there was a casting call and I didn't even know what casting calls were, and it was so serendipitous and I, like, I totally believe in fate and destiny, because I shouldn't have even known about this show. I work for Ralph Lauren. I was a fashion stylist. I didn't work in the television space, but one of my producers at Ralph Lauren said, Oh, I heard about this show. It's going to be on Bravo and I was like, what's that? An on stick cooking spray? And she said no, you should go and try out for it. So I just I literally went downtown in Chelsea in the city and took casting place where they did like Domino's pizza commercials and Sharman and I went into a room and they...

...showed me a tape of a straight dine. They said what do you think? And they were, you know, a bunch of other contenders and they were very earnest and talked about building bridges between our communities and I thought that was lovely. But when they got to me, I was like listen, the guys hot. Can we just get him out of the pleaded Khakis and get rid of mullet and he'll be a total smoke shell. Let's do this. And they're like okay, we like your attitude, and I think that was it. I think they were like okay, we're going to hire you. And then we made a pilot in two thousand and two and again I didn't think anything was really going to happen. And then by two thousand and three, NBC Universal had purchased Bravo they loved queer eye. They want to make it the centerpiece of their rebranded network and the rest is her story. Now explain to me your time at Ralph Loren you work there for a number of years and you really worked behind the scenes in a number of ways. Described to me what the fashion world was like at that time. Well, it was very exciting and you know, I do think in New York there was a heyday of American designers and of course it started with Halston and bill blast and and Kline and and then, you know, and new generation took over in the s and that was really like, you know, power and excess and Glamor and and fun and fashion, and those were, you know, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren and Donna Karen, and working with Ralph was fantastic. I did not have a fashion degree. I have a degree in finance and our history and I just knew I wanted to work for either Ralph or Calvin and I moved to New York City and I got myself an interview and I got myself a job being Ralph's brothers Assistant. And it was just like the devil where's product. It was high stress and pressure, but everyone was really nice, unlike the devil's product. Yeah, and I really flourished there. I loved it. I love the brand, I love the culture, I love the people there, and it was the time when Ralph Lauren was going public, so it was a very exciting time. It was a big company. I think there was eight thousand people working there then and and we did amazing, fun things. You know. I I would eventually started styling all of the ad campaigns and photoshoots. So I was, you know, going to Peru in the summer to find snow to do a holiday ad with a bunch of gorgeous models and some Samoyan puppies, and, you know, going to the islands in the winter and shooting father's Day campaigns and working with, you know, Patrick to Marshall Yea and just great photographers of every kind, and going to Milan and styling runway show was at the plazzo and sneaking off to see the Dulchan Gabana show or sneaking off to see Versacchi or go to the Versacchi. I tell Ya, it was a really fun time. Now, are you going to play yourself in the miniseries about Ralph Lauren. Is there a miniseries? Now? I'm just joking because we had Houstin, so you know all of the designs are going to get there. Are you going to play yourself or who would you pick to play you? Let's see, I would probably I don't know if someone who looks a lot likely, maybe Zac Fron, you know. Okay, yeah, although he's like daddied out now, so I know, I know, you'd have to slim down daddy than I am right now. We see you never get involved in social media drama, a drama, celebrity gossip. You know you're very Sassy, but it's never hurtful or malicious towards other celebrities and you've been around everybody. I think it's become a rarity in lgbtq entertainment business because everybody wants to get that laugh or that retweet and it often comes from putting somebody down or being sassy towards somebody. Where do you get that positive and supportive attitude? Um? Well, first of all, I just think we're one big happy...

...community and we need to support each other. So taking down somebody never feels good, you know, and I'm a big believer of, you know, not laughing at somebody, but laughing with somebody. So I try to frame all of my humor in that way. You know, it's never meant to be derogatory. Is Meant to be, you know, observatory or funny and hopefully we can laugh together. And honestly, I'm just not that into all of the twitter, you know, back and forth. I just don't have the time for that. I'm of course I'm busy shopping and, you know, make writing horse shows and right horses. Did you ever think that drag race was going to become as big as it has become? Um, yes, I think so. You know, I always knew it was a great show and was a fan from the very, very early days and I've been doing it now for I think this is seven or eight years. Wow. And we have group Paul and we have amazing drag queens and that is a recipe for success and I think certainly it's. It's more successful than I think anybody could imagine and but it's you know, it's a great show. The time is right for it. We have a great leader, we have the most amazing producers and crew and we have incredible queens that give us new life every season. So it's a very exciting show to be a part of. I'm thrilled with its success and, just like we are. I for the straight guy having Emmy's and all of that. It's all wonderful and having a hit show is fantastic, but when someone comes up to you on the street and says, oh, because of clear I was able to come out to my family and my life was so much easier, thank you, or because of drag race, somebody in, you know, some tiny country somewhere, we're gay, being gay is probably illegal. They get to see people living their best life and being authentic and being celebrated for that, and I think it, you know, is can be incredibly inspirational and say, listen, there's a whole world out there for you. Just hang on and you know we will love and celebrate you. And I love that you said that because I know as the show's become bigger, there's people that say, you know, drag has become too commercial, it's getting too big, but that big voice is telling the stories that so that need to be told, and I really feel that we've incorporated more of the backstory political and social movement rather than just a reality competition show. So I'm glad that it has a bigger voice. Yeah, exactly. Now, WHO's more apt to be late to set? Massage Ross Matthews or Rupaul or you? Oh Gosh, it's probably me. I mean, let's see, I mean, yeah, it's probably me. I hate being early because I feel like I'm you know, I feel like I'm wasting time and what that could even doing something. Yeah, I try to get their right on time. So I'm literally like, you know, working from the clock backwards. was like, Oh, it's twenty nine minutes to the studio, I betterly been twenty nine and a half minutes. There's any issues on the way that I'm in trouble? Yeah, with lock don't need much makeup. No, you don't. You, I mean you, you are a flower than you. Now I have to know all of the celebrities you've met, all the shows you've done this whole career, you know, and it's in a relatively short time. You know, we talked about Queer I've been so many years ago, but in terms of the expanse of what you done in that time, it's pretty pretty impressive and I don't know when you sleep. But from all of that time, all this experiences, what is one of the craziest stories that you're like, Oh God, that memory, that that was crazy, that was in I have a good one. Yeah, I have been doing Showbiz for about twenty years, and...

...that's like dog years, like it's more like twenty four years or something. But one year and I'm a big share fan. I think she's fantastic and she had a movie coming out. This is like twenty years ago. Was the faily brothers was called stuck on you, and there was a party and it was in New York and you get invited to these things and I entered this big kind of like nightclub and as I walk through the doors, magically I got you babe started playing, and then as I entered the room whom they were booths lining it and a dance for in the center, and I looked across the sea of people and in the distance I saw a share at a booth and she was like making eye contact with me, and I'm like what me, and then she was like this, and I was like what, I'm being beckoned by share, and then I walked over to where you and I was like, Oh, my God, I can't believe this happening, and I got you. Babe is playing and it was very carmic and I felt like we were supposed to be together and she was lovely and a fan and delightful and, you know, I had was talking to her about like old sonny and share shows and some of the costumes and Bob Mackie and we were just, you know, I was like wait, we might get married. And the next day I was going to go interview her for US weekly and I went to her hotel and I was like, what do I wear for share? And I wore Roberta pavali snake skin and python pants with purple whipstitching and a pink Tuxedo shirt. Understand, understood, understand. And then I was in Brazil and I had one of those necklaces that has like the Jesus and the Mary on both sides, called a scop you lock Apuler, Yep, and I went there and I was interviewing her in her hotel room, like at the Carlisle or something, and she had a sweat suit on and she had like a do rag, like a Kerchip or a Bandana on her hair and her assistant went into the other bedroom of the suite and we sat down and started doing her interview and it was going great and then at the end to love that neck blush and I was like, Oh my God, you're here, take it, and I took it off my head and I was standing above her and I was trying to put it on her and they don't open up. They're actually pretty annoying and they're made of the finest little gold chain that gets tangled. So I'm trying to put it over her hair and her kerchief and it's getting stuck and like things are moving and she's like Oh, and then as I'm huvering over her, the assistant is coming out and she's like are you assaulting share? No, I'm just trying to get the nicklace on the so it was like the assistant was freaking out. Well, you know, it was fine. And then, I don't know, it was like two weeks later, my phone rang. I was in New York at my kitchen table paying bills and it was like an unknown number and I was like, I hate answering those, but I also hate getting the voicemail and then having to call them back. So I was like hello, and it was like Oh ord and I was like oh my share, and it was share and she was like I just want to thank you for the beautiful medallions. I wore them on a hike and now they're next to my bed and I was like, I can't believe share just called me on my don so that's a pretty amazing story for a little gay boy from Allan Town. Well, you know, she's going to be getting a biopic. It was just announced for the same producers who did Mama Mia. So maybe that'll be a scene and once again you'll be playing yourself. Yeah, maybe I better get my team on that. It's I'm so as we mentioned, your very on point with you outfits, your looks, Your charm. What do you say to somebody? What advice do you have or words of encouragement you have for somebody from the LGBTQ community who doesn't ascribe to all of that? They may feel outside of the picture of what a fabulous gay men looks like. Well, I mean everybody can define their own version of fabulosity and everybody has great style. They just have to find it, and I think it's you know, you don't have to fit in and be like, you know what you think of fabulous game and is you just do your version...

...of you. And I've always whether it was quear I for the straight guy, or have a looked good naked or get a room that we just did on Bravo, it's always about helping people tap into what they love and how can they express that in the best possible way. So that's what I would tell people. You know, have a style role model. Sometimes you have to study a little bit. Like I'm terrible at math, so I would need to study that if I wanted to be good at it. Same thing with you know how you dress and present yourself. If that's not your natural kind of inclination, you need to study it a little bit, but it will come and it's so worth it, because I believe more than anything that you know your clothes or your arm or your clothes or what you go out into the world with, and it could really affect how you feel and make you much happier and more successful when you're doing it right for you. I love that. All right, this last one is for social medium. We did the stereo stuff for the article. So tell me what are the must haves that every gay men should have in their closet. Oh Gosh, I mean I mean for most people and not for everybody. I think nowadays you need like a chic track pants that's not a sweat pant. It's more tailored, lighter fabric almost looks a little Dressy, a great sneaker, a great blue blazer, a perfect white button down, fantastic jeans. We all live in Denim. You absolutely have to have great jeans and that's really it. And then you fill it in with all the other things. And I always say, you know, invest in great pieces, that Blue Blazer, that suit, those great brown lace up brogues or whatever, and then have fun with the other stuff. Get stuff at Zara and HM and discount places and mix it in with the higher quality stuff, and that keeps it really fresh. You don't have to spend money on your good quality basics, like your jeans and your Blazers, and then seasonally you have fun with these, you know, more disposable brands to keep it fresh. I could talk to you all day. Thank you so much for joining us today. Tell everyone where you want. We want them to find you. Follow you, slide into your DM's at yes, you can find me at Carson Crestley on Facebook, instagram, twitter and scruff. I think people would recognize you. Do you? Do people ever be like that? Can't be you, it must be a catfish. They're like, is that? Is that YOU ELLEN DEGENERES? It's no, I don't have my actual picture up their right away. They've got it, you know, they got to do a little reading first and then they can find me. All right. Well, I'm on scrub too, so I'll be looking okay, all right, will fit me, Carson. Thank you. Thank you so much, and for everybody, go get the issue, the pride issue of Metro source, on newstands across the nation and, of course, at Metro Sourcecom Carson, you are a scholar and a gentleman. Thank you so much. I'll see you soon, Boppun, at the horse show. That has been my chat with the cover boy, Carson Crestli. You can read my indepth article. Like I said, we talked a lot more about behind the scenes from drag race, also from Queer I. and that's our episode. I'm your host and lead writer from Metro source out Sander Rodriguez. You can find me on Instagram at Alexander is on air. Until next time, stay true and do you boom. Having that, has been another metro source mini like, share and subscribe on your favorite podcast player and check out the latest issue of Metro Sports magazine on newstands or online at Metro sourcecom. Follow us on Facebook, instagram at natural source and on twitter at Metro course man. Until next time, they fast.

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