A GoPride Interview

Austin and Santino

Austin and Santino interview with ChicagoPride.com

Wed. January 5, 2011  by Jerry Nunn

Austin and Santino
On the Road with Austin and Santino wrapped its first season on the Lifetime Channel. GoPride.com caught up with the dynamic duo to hear about past adventures and to find out where are these runway stars now.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Guys! Santino, how is the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race coming along?

A&S: (Santino Rice) It is beyond anything from the past seasons. I am thrilled about it. There a lot of queens that have been around that have decided to do it this time. It was RuPaul's birthday the other day. He's fifty now.

JN: Wow!

A&S: (Austin Scarlett) It's amazing how fabulous he looks.

JN: Are you doing a second season for On the Road?

A&S: (Santino) We don't know yet. It has not been announced officially.

JN: It's interesting to talk to you after the show is over. Were you pleased with how it went?

A&S: (Austin) I was super pleased. We had an incredible producer.

(Santino) Rich Bye.

(Austin) There is no one else that I would do that with.

(Santino) He, Austin and I developed the show. We had been pitching it for years. Finally Lifetime decided to take it on. It was our idea to go through hell camp. The filming of it was trying. Austin and I are not robots. The sound guys change like 3 times, there is an A crew, B crew and C crew. We are working all day.

(Austin) In addition to designing and sewing, just being filmed for that long I don't think any actor would do that. It would be illegal. It is completely against any SAG law.

JN: So long hours…

A&S: (Santino) Very long hours.

(Austin) Technically we should be getting like two or three different unions and wages.

(Santino) We were filming each other.

JN: I saw the flip cam taping of each other.

A&S: (Austin) Yes and we do all of our own hair and makeup.

(Santino) Our own wardrobe.

(Austin) We are the Art Department too.

(Santino) Directors.

JN: Wow, that's a lot. It's very hands on.

A&S: (Austin) Well, that's what you want to do to be involved in something.

(Santino) And the more involved the better. It does take a lot out of you but the only downside of it. The good side is traveling all over to places we would probably never go to. We met all kinds of amazing people and were able to bring this high fashion glamour moment into their lives.

(Austin) We were able to share what we both love so much, the beauty of wonderfully made clothes. Santino and I are so passionate about it. It's like sharing a hobby or a favorite movie. We were able to open their eyes to a whole new world. To be a part of these women's lives was humbling and inspiring. I think as designers so many of us aspire to be able to do.

JN: Jack Mackenroth told me that he had the same idea for a show like yours.

A&S: (Santino) No, never, please.

(Austin) We developed the concept the three of us. It was an evolution. We thought it would be great to work together. We threw the ball around the court a few times and it evolved into what it is now.

(Santino) Networks like to develop an episode and tweak it a little. There was one idea that we would make one of a kind pieces for celebrities. It was going to be a read carpet high-end show. We could still do that. It was more about bringing it to the everyday woman. They have a story to tell. We don't pick the people. They pick themselves. When we come into a town people tell us who would be great for this. It's all word of mouth.

(Austin) There was no casting call to be on the show.

JN: Oh, I didn't know that.

A&S: (Santino) We found the cities first and it usually came between two or three candidates. They all have a big event coming up and have to be personable. That's pretty much how we dictated who we helped.

JN: I like all the behind the scenes.

A&S: (Santino) Both Austin and I come from small towns and we both know what its like to grow up different. We were received so warmly. We wanted to show people to be creative with whatever is in your area and you have at your disposal. Believe in yourself and be the person that you are.

JN: That's a good message.

A&S: (Austin) Most every makeover show is some formulaic mold. They all wind up looking the same at the end of every show. Women need to feel beautiful in their own way. It is not about changing them.

(Santino) Their personality always informs us what it is we are designing. We are not showing up with racks of dresses or anything like that. We design it personally to their specific style.

(Austin) The women are the main inspiration but all the beautiful places that we go as well. A constant source of beauty and inspiration was all a part of the adventure.

Unfortunately the show was not picked up for a second season after this interview. Santino can be spotted on RuPaul's Drag Race this month, visit www.logotv.com for listings and details. This was the third interview to find out what past cast members of Project Runway have been up to. Thanks for reading!

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.