Under The Wig with Juno Birch: The rise of the online queens
24 June 2021, 15:56 | Updated: 28 June 2021, 12:29
Yes, that's happening!
For Pride month, PopBuzz is going 'Under The Wig' with drag queen Yshee Black to chat with four very different - but equally iconic - drag artists to explore the UK drag scene. In our final episode, Yshee meets alien queen and internet sensation Juno Birch.
Juno was propelled into online superstardom following her appearance in Vogue's Extreme Beauty series, which introduced the world to Juno's distinctive style of drag, which she describes as a "confused alien being who has fallen down onto the earth...trying to disguise myself among the human race."
From there, support from famous admirers like Trixie Mattel and Jennifer Coolidge helped Juno become an A-List name in the drag world. Juno has since gone on to launch an incredibly successful YouTube career and proved to be the exception to the rule, that a drag artist can become a global superstar without the exposure of reality shows like RuPaul's Drag Race.
In the excerpt below, Juno talks about the differences between herself out of drag and her online persona, the origins of her highly-addictive catchphrases, and Juno spills the tea on her forthcoming world tour Attack of the Stunning (tickets available now!)
Hit play on the video at the top of this page to watch the full interview and catch up with all our Under The Wig interviews on the links below.
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YSHEE BLACK: Is there any difference between online Juno and offline Juno?
JUNO BIRCH: Yes, I am an absolute fucking nightmare to live with. I do admit I'm very dramatic. And I do have major panics and diva moments at home over the smallest things, but I don't really do that online. I try to contain myself a little bit when I'm on video. I'm a worrier. And also, I get a bit giddy, I need to calm down. I don't know how Phil [Juno's partner] copes with me. Honestly, I don't know how he copes with that.
YSHEE: I've been wondering myself to be fair. Now we need to discuss your catchphrases, because that's been a few, aka, 'Yes, that's happening' and 'Stunning'. And they've taken on a life of their own. Was it deliberate or was it an accident?
JUNO: Absolute accident. The 'stunning' thing has been going on for ages now. The reason that happened was because when I did that Vogue video, I was a little bit nervous because I had 15 people in my tiny little flat, and I had to talk on camera and I hadn't done YouTube videos yet. So, I wasn't used to talking on camera and every time I didn't really know what to say I was just like, 'Stunning!' And I just kept saying it and the crew were constantly taking the piss because I just kept repeating the same word over again. And then in the edit, they were like, we're just gonna go with it and we're gonna put as many 'stunnings' in as we can. And then after that everybody was like, is this all that she says? [laughs]
I think 'Yes, that's happening!' is something I've always said, even out of drag. I feel a bit like if I'm not in control of what I'm doing, and people are telling me what to do, I just have to switch off and go, 'Yes, that's happening'. Just let it happen. Go with the flow and don't worry. And that's kind of what I've always said.
YSHEE: And do people shout it at you in the street? Are they like 'Yes, that's happening! STUNNING!'
JUNO: Yeah, it's nice, you know, when you just pop into Boots, and you walk out the house and someone calls you stunning. Yes, I know. Thank you very much.
YSHEE: I'm proud of you, Miss Juno Birch. Very proud because you have a world tour coming up soon.
JUNO: Yes, I do I do. If someone who said to me, what is your goal in life? It is to do a world tour.
YSHEE: Is there any place that you're really excited to go to?
JUNO: Well, so the tour is called Attack of the Stunning, and I'm going to be invading cities all around the world. In April 2022, we're doing the UK. In May 2022, we're going to Australia, which I'm really, really excited about. And then in June 2022, we're doing all the US. But the dates for the US are being announced at the end of this month. A lot of people have been messaging me and saying 'when when when when when when?' and so forth, [so it's] end of June, this month. I've done shows here and there all the time but this is a special thing. This is a show that we've put together and written.
YSHEE: That's amazing. I'm very excited. But does this mean that you won't be doing loads of online stuff while you're touring?
JUNO: Possibly, I don't know. You might've notice I've not done a YouTube video in ages. It's for a few reasons. Number one, I'm an absolute diva. [Number two] It is just too hot in this room. Number three, I'm performing on stage [again], so I need to prepare for all that kind of stuff. And there's other things going on that I can't talk about yet, but that I've been working on that. But I do want to get back to playing Sims. I really do. I just need to find a bit of time.