Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Happy New Year!
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK started two weeks ago, are you watching? We certainly are.
Let’s rewind to October 2020 when Kirstie, our resident tattoo artist and owner of KTREW Tattoo studio mentioned the idea of filming an instructional video on covid-19 safety instructions for our customers. Last year (2020), was a very difficult year and all of us scrambled to adapt to the pandemic, one way or another. In order to make the tattoo studio Covid secure, big adjustments were made in how we operate, both physically and mentally.
We knew it was going to be overwhelming to introduce the drastic changes to our customers via a document alone, so Kirstie came up with the idea to deliver it in an alternative and entertaining way. Now some of us are guilty of disappearing for an hour or two down the YouTube or Facebook video abyss (including myself), so an instructional video was a no-brainer.
Kirstie was already set on whom she wanted to star in the video and my god did she choose the best person! The star I speak of is none other than Ginny Lemon! Kirstie spoke of how she loved Ginny Lemon’s wacky style, love of tattoos and was already a fan way before they blew up on social media and obviously joined the cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK season two. More importantly, we wanted to support the LGBTQ+ community, a community we're super proud to be part of. Prior to filming, we spoke with Ginny Lemon via Zoom, which was already nerve-racking, as in pits were sweaty, mom’s spaghetti but they were laid-back, super down to earth and made us both feel at ease. We couldn’t wait to start filming......then Lockdown 2.0 struck and we had no choice but to close the tattoo studio for a month and delay the filming until December, booooo!
A month later, the day finally arrived.
December 6, 2020
12:00pm - We’re super nervous heading down to KTREW Tattoo studio. We know we have to make the most of the time we have with Ginny Lemon today to shoot what we need. There’s no script, just a storyboard and Ginny's improvisational skills. I’m so nervous that I’m checking to make sure that my camera’s working every two minutes! As an amateur videographer, this is my first proper video shoot, other than the 3,000 videos of my dog on my phone so I’m bricking it!
12.30pm - Ginny Lemon arrives, looking fabulous in their outfit. They sit down, and start chatting over a cup of tea and some biscuits. They show genuine interest in us and as a business. They're super bubbly, quick-witted, funny, kind and really genuine. Ginny finishes their cup of tea, gets up and says “Alright then shall we do this?” My heart starts to race as I pick up my camera and then I overhear them say “Don’t worry, I’m a one take wonder”. We all giggle as we make our way down to start filming.
12.45pm - We’re outside, it’s raining and cold. Yes it’s your typical British weather and we should be used to it but we’re not and we complain about it ALL THE TIME. Not once do I hear Ginny complain though. They weren't kidding about the ‘one take wonder’ either. I ask them to do a funny scene, they make it a hundred times funnier. We’re filming at lightning speed, all thanks to their acting and improvisation skills and they nail every scene perfectly.
1.40pm - We’re filming the last few scenes and Ginny’s energy is still at 110%. I’m blown away at how fast and enjoyable the process is and as the filming comes to an end, I’m in awe, they made my anxiety disappear.
2:30pm - We sit down one last time to chat. Ginny speaks candidly about how the pandemic has affected the entertainment business, specifically drag queens in the LGBTQ+ community and generally how they're coping with it all. They also talk about supporting small businesses in Birmingham, recognising the impact of the pandemic on local businesses.
(The filming had gone so well that this is the only blooper footage we have!)
Long after we had filmed and edited our covid instructions video, Kirstie came across a RuPaul's Drag Race UK promo picture of Ginny Lemon on Instagram! She tried to call me whilst I was in the supermarket buying Richmond vegan sausages (not an Ad but they’re mothereffing delicious, go try), to break the news! Kirstie was ecstatic to say the least! She’s a massive fan of the show and the person she’s admired for awhile had ended up on her favourite tv programme. January 14th couldn’t come any sooner! We simply couldn’t have predicted that they were about to become a global icon in a matter of weeks! I’m personally glad I wasn’t aware that they were going to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK at the time as that would’ve made me too nervous to film!
So what was working with Ginny Lemon like?
It was a lot of fun! Time flew by so fast and before we knew it, it was over. The only difficult part about working with Ginny was trying not to laugh so much whilst filming! Ginny is hilarious so trying to keep the camera very still whilst laughing is trés difficile! We had such a great time and feel so lucky to have worked with them. We would like to thank Ginny Lemon for starring in our video and supporting KTREW Tattoo studio during this difficult time.
If ever you get the chance to work with Ginny, count yourself lucky. They're an entertainer with a strong work ethic and a beautiful personality to boot. In Ginny Lemon's words, "Fancy a slice?!", we highly recommend that you go get that slice.
We hope that you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed making it. We hope to see you all again soon but for now, stay safe. Thank you for watching!
If you would like to view our tattoo portfolio, please head over to our gallery
If you haven’t tuned in yet to see RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season two, it’s on BBC Three every Thursday at 7pm. Now, sashay away...