Local drag queen hosts “Drag Me With a Spoon” podcast

Despite the negativity the Covid pandemic brought to millions, it was an opportunity for several to pick up hobbies they had been wanting to start. For Wyatt Otto, a Mankato resident it was learning how to perform in drag and connect with others through a podcast. 

While Otto grew up watching drag races and saw his first drag queen performance in high school, he never thought he would have the opportunity to perform. When Covid hit, he was able to invest a good chunk of time learning the craft.

“All throughout college, I loved drag, but I never got to participate. When the pandemic hit, I was unemployed, classes were online, and I had some unemployment money. I had the money and time, but I couldn’t perform anywhere,” shared Otto. “I spent a whole year practicing makeup, outfits, all of that and when the pandemic lifted, I started doing drag.”

Otto hosts a local podcast called “Drag Me with a Spoon,” a play on the popular 80s phrase, “Ugh, gag me with a spoon!” Otto explained that the podcast came to be when he still wanted to learn drag culture, but was unable to perform for businesses that shut down. 

“[My partner and I] decided to start this podcast where we would review local performers and ask them all their tips about drag because I was new and I wanted to learn so much. I wanted to know how they started, why they wanted to do drag, and advice they would give people,” said Otto.

The podcast is hosted by Otto, also known as Wanda Gag, and his partner, Alec, with the stage name Miss Avo Cado. They open each of their episodes with a discussion on whatever they feel like talking about, usually love or fashion. The latter half of the episodes features various aspects of drag culture, including interviews of drag performers in Minneapolis.

“We have a segment where we feature some of our favorite looks that performers have been posting on Instagram. We just started a new segment that features a local, new performer who just started to be like ‘Hey, look at this cool new performer who just got started.’ After that, we do our interview with our main guest,” shared Otto.

Otto describes the environment at a drag show as, “A night of debacle and raunchiness usually, but filled with so much fun, love and excitement.” 

The versatile art forms he’s witnessed from lip-syncs, dances, and standup has given him respect and appreciation for all performers.

“You get to see all these artists coming together to make a really cool show and it’s full of love and fun,” said Otto. “It’s an art that I don’t think is going anywhere soon. It’s here to stay.”

With a significant drag scene in the Twin Cities, Otto found it important to base the podcast in Mankato to cultivate a strong drag scene. 

“There was nothing here before, but we started planning our shows and because we’ve been performing, more people have started. I figured this would be one of our anchor points with the news of Mankato drag. We have this podcast as well as these cool shows and people are going to take us seriously,” shared Otto. “Venues have been approaching us lately as they have been seeing our success and have been wanting a piece of the pie. It’s been really cool.”

Otto has found success by performing at a variety of venues over the last year, ranging from Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery to The Blue Boat, with an upcoming show at the What’s Up Lounge. 

The feedback Otto has received since beginning their drag career and the podcast has been nothing short of positive. 

“I think people liked it as an opportunity to learn more about fellow performers and we don’t always get to meet each other. You get to find out about these performers and get to know them in a way,” shared Otto. “It’s been helpful in connecting the community together. Being able to see [the drag scene grow] is inspiring a lot of people and making them want to do it.”

Otto’s podcast, “Drag Me With a Spoon,” is available on all streaming platforms. Students can learn more about the drag scene by following “dragmewithaspoon” on Instagram and Facebook or visiting dragmewithaspoon.com.

For those interested in experiencing a drag show, the Minnesota State University, Mankato Student Events Team is hosting a Maverick Drag Night this Saturday in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom from 7 to 10 p.m.

Header Photo: Wyatt Otto, also known as Wanda Gag, is the host of the local podcast “Drag Me with a Spoon” which showcases drag performers in Minnesota.(Courtesy Photo)

Write to: Emma Johnson at emma.johnson.5@mnsu.edu

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