Cameron Folmar has had a substantial career on Broadway and the best regional theatres in the country. Now, he’s making his debut at the B Street Theatre playing Miss Tracy Mills in The Legend of Georgia McBride, a role he played earlier this year at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill met with the actor to discuss the play, Sacramento, and drag queens.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in the South, but I’ve lived all my adult life, since I was 23, in New York City.
What is your first memory of drag?
My first memory of drag: When I was five or six a second cousin (or some relation) of my dad’s came to visit us in Birmingham, Alabama. I remember he was gorgeous. At the time, it was common for women to wear wigs and my mom, who was in her early 30’s, had a couple. I remember coming down the stairs wearing a brunette wig with a flip and a knee length powder blue dress which, of course, was floor length on me. I sat next to the cousin (or whoever) and asked if he was married. I think I had a leather pocket book over my wrist, as well. He said, “No”, he wasn’t married. And I replied, “Well, I’ll marry you.” Nobody laughed. Everyone was very uncomfortable, including me. And I don’t think I was joking. As absurd as it was, given I was five or six, I think I actually proposed to this man I never met before or since. And I was in drag when I did it… in front of my parents.
You’ve done this show at another theatre. What is it like to do this play a second time?
Ms. Tracy Mills is one of the finest written characters in any play that I have read or seen in a very long time. I played her this past Summer in Minneapolis and I’m so happy to be with her again now. My cast mates here are very different than the actors I played with before and I love them all. It’s a testament to the integrity of the writing that these characters can be personalized in different ways and still work so perfectly. I confess I was worried that I would cling to the way we staged it in the last production, but that has not proved true. The characters are vivid. They are put in specific places with specific tasks and needs… from that point, it’s a paradox, but the variations are infinite.
What’s your initial impression of Sacramento?
My first impression of Sacramento… my hosts. I am staying at the beautiful home of Chris and Julie Smith. They have allowed me to stay here while they are on vacation. The caveat was that I had to feed the cat. Well, the cat’s name is Gracie and we love each other. She cuddles with me every night and she sits on the couch with me every day. I couldn’t have been happier here with her sunning on the doorstep while I water the plants on a Sunday. She is my pal and I shall have to ask if I can visit after I move out. Also, I was and am enchanted with the trees! I was stunned to see palm trees next to Sycamores… Cypress next to Maples… everything grows here! And there hasn’t been a drop of rain since I got here on October 15. How can it be so lush?!
Why is this show relevant in 2018?
This play, at its heart, is universal. It’s about personas. Some are integrated very fluidly… and some spend all their time changing desperately from one to the other. It’s about embracing identity. The hope of crossing over.
Who are some of your drag queen inspirations?
Lipsynka is my very favorite. Incredible. I copy her….
Tonight is the night The Legend of Georgia McBride officially opens. Come see Cameron and the rest of this amazing cast serve some fierce performances. Tickets on sale now.