The X Change Rate: JoJo & Nico Tortorella

Hot off her historic "RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars" win, Monét X Change brings her very own talk show to BUILD Series. This week, actor Nico Tortorella and singer-songwriter JoJo joined Monét.

Video Transcript


MONET X CHANGE: Hey, world. What's up, universe? It's your girl, Monet. and you're watching "The X Change Rate." Do you know why you shouldn't borrow money from a leprechaun? Because they're always a little short. Yes, I know, it's sizes. What y'all want from me. Writing these jokes is a very tall order. You know? Short? Tall?


Comedy. Oh, my goodness. This past weekend was very-- well, this past week, weekend, whatever, has been super nice weather in the United States. People are feeling fierce, they're feeling free, they're feeling lovely. Central Park looked like a fucking Coachella festival this weekend. It was crazy. I'm like, y'all, social distancing, bitch. Stay your ass six feet away from the next person. They were literally on top of each other like motherfucking sardines.

And Georgia opened up. Texas opened up, and now, well, lucky for us, we have almost 2,500 new cases of coronavirus. And that's just in one week. The symptoms took two weeks to show up. So in the next two weeks, girl, it's probably going to be jumped to 5,000, maybe 10,000 cases. Who knows? Because the United States cannot stay quarantined. I'll have y'all know, in China, they were quarantined for about three, going on four months. I think we could. I think we could do it. I think we have it within us to do. But y'all too thirsty for a little a-a-a-a- action.

I would like to draw attention to the San Diego County man, who wore his klansman pointed a hood to Vons Supermarket. That's not a joke. It's not-- that's not a euphemism. He wore his Klu Klux Klan grand wizard master-- which why is it called the grand wizard? What a stupid fucking name. He wore in his grand wizard thingy to the Vons supermarket. And he looked ridiculous. But you know what? Kudos to Vons for allowing him to take off his robe so he could finish his grocery shopping. Racists need groceries too. Mm-hmm.

The Facebook comments, they're like, oh, guys, we're out of masks and gloves. What else was he supposed to do? He just ordered the next thing he could find. Well, you know, what? Joke's on you, bitch, because Amazon is backed up until motherfucking September. So that means that old Sal had that goddamn hood in the back of his closet from the 1960s when he was parading around the country doing shady shit. But I digress.

Today is going to be a really, really, really, really, really, really, really good show because she's one of my music icons and someone I stand from the day I discovered what a run was, partially because I knew I would never ever do 'em like her. Miss JoJo is here. And also joining us is my super secret celebrity drag daughter, the newest addition to the X Change family tree. All of that is you, AKA, Nico Tortorella.

But first, let's into the game gig. Hit it.


Oh, my god. So yeah, stories this week. This has to be the first story. Because I saw this article, and I literally peed myself because I'm so excited. Rihanna is coming out with a motherfucking documentary, bitch. Mm, mm, mm, mm, mm. Rihanna has a documentary coming out. Amazon bought the documentary for $25 million. [INAUDIBLE] get the [INAUDIBLE].

Yeah. Amazon bought it for $25 million. There's no release date yet, which is a little sad. But at least we know what's coming, bitch. At least we know what's coming. I spent most of my day on YouTube just watching videos of Rihanna put on makeup, watching her walk red carpets, watching her literally look at the camera for 2.4 seconds. I can wait a year, two, five, 18 years, if I have to, for this new Rihanna documentary, OK?

Hey, if Rihanna has proved to us anything, it's that bitch. And she wants us to wait, we going to wait, OK? We still waiting for the motherfucking album, filming me on my 59th birthday. I'll be [INAUDIBLE]. Well, I won't be like that at 50. That's a little crazy. Maybe it's 55. It's called "Rihanna, Volume One," which means there will probably be a volume two, a volume three, a volume four, a volume five. Who knows? And it features over 1,200 hours of footage from Rihanna on the road.

Now, a lot of it was filmed when she was doing the European leg of her tour. And it's by Peter Berg, who is a director, He worked with her on [INAUDIBLE], but [INAUDIBLE] battleships. Yes, battleship was shit. It was the worst fucking thing you ever seen. But Rihanna was still in it. So us Navy peeps, we have to stand regardless. You know what I'm saying?

And yeah. It's fierce. He also did two Serena Williams documentaries and movies. A lot of people like to overlook Rihanna and talk so much shit. But we have to realize, Rihanna is worthy to be praised, OK? She is one of the richest female artists in the world. She is apparently worth $600 million.

Correct me if I'm wrong. But that's more contadas than Beyonce. That's more than Britney Spears. Rihanna is worth a lot of money. She has had 14 number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100s. And she's the first black female to head a fashion luxury house. So Rihanna is doing some big things, honey.

Yes, we've gotten Fenty eyebrows, Fenty blush, Fenty car insurance. The Fenty is on everything. But now we're getting the Fenty movie. And I cannot wait. Let's [INAUDIBLE] our Beyoncé Knowles, and Megan, Thee Stallion. Wait, did you know Megan-- I think I said it on this show before-- she's 5' 10." But she is fierce. That's why they call her the stallion, all right? And Megan be stallion bitch. I'm 5' 10". Me and Megan be somewhat the same height. Anyway, I digress.

Yeah, so if you have been living under a rock, or you don't have the lovely aperture-- sorry-- application. If you don't have the application TikTok, then you have not heard this song. "Savage" is a mega hit on TikTok. Literally, everyone has done the fucking challenge from six-year-old white girls to 95-year-old black woman across the world are savaging.

And Beyoncé jumped on the hottest track that is in quarantine season. And she remixed it. Now, I think the remix is dope. It's fly. She talks about her starring the only fans. She talks about demon hour, which we know Beyoncé has a long checkered history with rumors about her and the Illuminati. I'm like, Beyoncé, don't be talking about no demon time, OK? We just started removing you from the Illuminati. Don't bring your ass back in.

Anyway, the remake the super dope. It's super hot. And they both are from Houston. And they are-- all proceeds for the song are going to charity. The person from the song are all going to charity, which is [INAUDIBLE] probably on COVID-19 relief, or some foundation [INAUDIBLE], I'm pretty sure. And it's dope, dope, dope, dope, dope, dope.

And what was really weird is two days later, there was that Doja Cat and Nicki Minhaj announced they were teaming up for the "Say So" remix. Now, "Say So" is-- I love Doja Cat. She's so fierce. But I have to say, this remix with Nicki. And, I mean, Nicki's [INAUDIBLE], OK? "Hello Good Morning" is one of the greatest rap versus of all time.

This remix was not doing it for me. For some reason, it felt like two different songs. It felt like Nicki just recorded this arbitrary thing, and put it into Doja Cat's song, whereas the "Savage" remix, you can tell Beyoncé was integrating weed into the song. Nicki's was like, Nicki, Doja, done. It was really, really, really weird, and just not the features we're used to hearing from Nicki Minhaj.

But in it, she says this one lyric. It goes-- and people think that it's pointed at Beyoncé because she says-- and Beyoncé's savage. She goes, "if you want to see some real ass, baby, here's your chance." "Say So" remix with Nicki Minhaj comes out two days later says, "why are you talking about who body fake with all them fillers in your face? You just full of hate." Do you think Nicki's coming at Beyoncé? I don't know them to have beef. But maybe Nicki's trying to start some drama, girl, to get us talking because the remix sucks.

Yeah. Oh, oh, that's not even the T. So I don't know if y'all remember years back when Nikki came out as being queer and saying she's bisexual. That was a hot button issue. And then a little bit after that, she was like, nah. I was just staying it to make headlines and be controversial-- whatever. In one of the lyrics in the "Say So" remix, she goes, "tell Mike Jordan send me my retros. Used to be bi, but now I'm just hetero."

Nicki, you know we don't like you queer baiting us, mom. You know we don't like that shit. Maybe she is bi. No, it's 2020. I don't think Nicki would be ashamed or afraid of being bi. I don't think. I think she was just fucking around. And I think that's what it is. So black twitter is lighting her ass up, girl. They're like, Nicki, that's not cool. Don't do that.

But yeah, "Savage" remix, 10 stars. "Say So" remix, eh. I like it without Nicki. Doja was fine on her own. The song is fierce. Doja's rap and in it was cute. Doja didn't need a remix. You know what I mean? Not to say "Savage" needed it, but anything Beyoncé jumps on is fucking hot. So "Savage" work. "Say So," no. "Say So" go.

Now that we're living in isolation, and quarantine, and all the things, I think that lots of companies are finding creative ways to-- oh, I'm drooling-- to prepare for when we finally start seeing and touching each other, like when we're allowed to. So the microshell suit might be a go to party device for the future. There's a picture over here.

LA designer Miguel Risueno inspired to design the suit after he saw the fucking spring breakers down in Florida that were disobeying quarantine, literally the first week that we were supposed to stay home. They were like, no. Fuck that party. And he says it's for music goers. And he designed it with the music industry in mind.

It comes with a ventilation system, but it has added colors to make it look fierce and cool. So it doesn't look like one of those medical suits. And it is conducive to going to the bathroom because it's only for your upper body. It's very like Winnie the Pooh. You know what I mean? It's like a part on-- business on the top and a party downstairs.

Because have you ever wore a onesie, or overalls, and you got to pee? Bitch, you're unhooking things. You're unstrapping things. Your fucking clothes and dragging on the floor. Now your nice little Carhartt jumper thing, it got fucking piss on it. Peeing in a whole bodysuit is a thing. So he eliminated that. It's just from the titties on up. And it might be the wave of the future, girl. Who knows?

And there's also this video of club goers in Germany. they're organizing these big street parties where all the cars come in. And you have to stay in your car. And you're limited to having two adults and one child per vehicle. And they all part, line up in this part, [INAUDIBLE] and you just party like that.

Girl, this is the future of partying. I don't know if I'm here for it. It just sounds whack. That sounds boring. Nothing about that sounds fun. Like, I could see myself doing one, just to like say I did it, and experience it. But who wants to go to a fucking-- imagine going to the formation Beyoncé concert. And you're just sitting there in your car. No. It's so, so, so, white. They're calling it auto discos.

And it's a thing in Germany right now. There's a video of it. See, I don't know how I feel about it. Yeah, that's all the stories we have for today. Again, if you want to talk about a story, you can go ahead and tag, hashtag XER, hashtag X Change Rate. Tag me on twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever. And if it's something fierce, we'll talk about it on the show.

A big pet peeve of mine is a bitch who always whining about something. Lucky for us, Rosé got her stimulus check. And another bottle is on deck with this week's edition of "Wine Crush Wednesdays."


- "Wine Crush Wednesday" hosted by Rosé.

ROSE: Hi, everyone. And welcome back to Wine Crush-- hi. Hi, everyone. And welcome back to "Wine Crush Wednesday," your weekly fix for learning about new and interesting types of vino with me, your hostess, who is missing one nail on this hand already. (SINGING) Rosé. I hope you like my look today. I decided to go for kind of like a something.

We have got to spill the tea. First of all, let's just fucking talk about it. I am fucking gorge. Just fucking look at this. I just really did. I did it. Oops, I did it again. Today, we are going to drink a lovely wine. I decided to go rogue and be unpredictable. And we're going to taste a rosé. So this is Maison Nicholas pinot noir rosé. Now, I don't know what that means because pinot noir is actually a red wine, and rosé is not.

I just want to dive right in. It says 2018, which means that-- you know. So let's go ahead and crack it open. Whoa. This packaging is much easier than last weeks. It's just a screw top, which basically means that we are trash here in this house. It's like, whatever. It's like, you know?

You like my nose highlight, you know? [NONSENSE SOUND] OK, I'm going to do a real taste this time. Tornado. [SLURPING] Now, the disadvantage of rosé is that it will not turn-- oh, that's so fucking good-- will not turn your teeth brown. All right, so cheers to me, of course.

Wow. OK, so I'm definitely getting notes of rosé. I'm feeling notes of a rose-colored wine, notes, such as A flat.


Notes, such as C.


Because that, I am a C cup. And this is a wine cup. And it all ties together. And that's what I love about this series. And I'm hoping we can all do that, get there together.

- (SINGING) We are in this together.

So rosé, obviously, served chilled. A regular fridge temperature is fine, same as white wine. And there might be a specific temperature, but I don't-- who am I? I'm rosé. And I am delicious. It's so nice to just have a glass of yourself. Let's research a little bit. First of all, Maison Nicholas, another French bottle. Of course, France is known for its wines. Maison, being French for Mason, who is actually one of my regulars at my shows. He made a t-shirt with my face on it, and then also told Lemon that he was going to make one of her. And I felt less special. But--

All right, Nicolas, spelled without an H, which is a little bit-- it's like, we just use spell check. This doesn't say anything. Sometimes wines have lovely synapses on them. And I did make up that plural. I don't know if it's right. We're going to check. And if it is, then it's like, oh, cheers to me.

Fun fact. I'm very good at grammar and just syntax. I'm just really good with language in general, but mostly English, because that is the language that I speak. The bar code is 083729007178, which contains sulfates. I don't know what that means. But what I'm going to go ahead and guess is that sulfates are fucking delicious.

So, again, this is a really great wine. If you guys have any questions for me, don't ask. Because I don't really-- I'm kind of busy, and I don't want to talk to anyone. I literally have gained so much weight. And then I put on my pads and this wig. And I was like, oh, no I didn't. [BURP]

I love you guys. I'll see you next week. Thanks for tuning into "Women Crush Wednesday." Oh, my god, "Wine Crush Wednesday." I'm a fucking idiot. You see? Literally, I will see you next week, unless you are blind, in which case, well, I'll see you, but you won't see me at all.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, our first guest blazed onto the scene at just 13 years old, and was popping charts with her power house vocals with the literal voice of an angel. There's not much she can't do. And by the way, when I say angel, I don't mean one of them little baby angels. This boy is slaying dragons, mama. Y'all, please, welcome JoJo.

JOJO: Oh, wow. What an intro. Thank you.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, no. I'm not playing. Your voice is slaying dragons, girl. That sounds like the voice-- like no. This voice is a breath of fire, and it's going to singe your eyebrows and burn all my wigs. You know what I'm saying?

JOJO: Oh, I just love it. Thank you. It's high praise.

MONET X CHANGE: How are you doing, my dear?

JOJO: I'm doing good. I mean I know we're all sick of this shit. But yeah. All things considered, honestly, I'm really blessed. I have everything I need. And my album just came out, and the response has been crazy. So that's been keeping me up a night in a good way, you know?

MONET X CHANGE: OK, let me tell you something. OK, from the time you dropped-- so "Mad Love," big, die hard fan. I have-- I do three drag numbers that I use "Fuck Apologies." I use [INAUDIBLE]. Let me say something. "Mad Love" already was [INAUDIBLE]. And when I heard you come up with this next album, I was like, oh, shit. I cannot wait. The album is so good, so dope. Top three so far. Now, you ready? [INAUDIBLE] "Lonely Hearts," and "Don't Talk Me Down."

JOJO: Ooo, I like these choices. OK.

MONET X CHANGE: Yes. Yes. Yeah, those have been on repeat non-stop since the 1st. How are you feeling about the new project?

JOJO: I feel so happy that it's out from under me, like incubating it, like a friggin' chicken with an egg. I'm going to be sitting, sitting on it like now. It's birthed. It's out. It's not my business anymore. You know what I mean? It's like, that's why I make music, to share it, and to feel so not alone. So I'm glad that we didn't push it back, and that people can now make it a part of their lives. So it feels great.

MONET X CHANGE: Well, now more than ever, especially with quarantine, and everyone being isolated like you, it's just nice to just put on an album that you can listen to from top to bottom, and just like-- and I don't have to press skip. I don't have to press shuffle. You're in the zone, in the vibe, whatever you doing. You're having a little Netflix and chill moment with your boo through Skype.

You know what I mean? Y'all [INAUDIBLE] with the album. It's like that kind of vibe. You know what I'm saying?

JOJO: I love that. Yeah, we're all having to stay flexible with the way that we've lived our lives. But music is still one of those things that is a non-negotiable. We need music to help us through every single moment. And since this album is a lot about I wanted to escape myself-- I wanted to-- in the beginning, that's how it felt. But toward the middle, I got to a place where I was like, I have been in these toxic patterns of relationships. I need to learn how to be by myself.

And I think a lot of us are going through that period of having to face ourselves, whether we wanted to or not. So--

MONET X CHANGE: [INAUDIBLE]. Now, this man in the song, who is-- is this man still in your life, or are you going to find this man? Because you talk about looking for this man. Can we have some tea leaves or something?

JOJO: Oh, of man. Well, no. So my single "Man" that's out right now is really about how I'm not going to settle at this point in my life. I'm 29, I'm about to enter into a new decade, and I really, really dig the woman that I am today. I can't say that. I haven't always felt this way about myself. And I've really worked hard to get to this place.

So I've had my fair share of relationships and stuff like that. But I did write mostly about two relationships on this album. But man is about me. Man is about-- it's all about me. But there's two people that I have in mind though. But no. I'm nobody's woman right now. I'm my own woman and my own man.

MONET X CHANGE: I live for that. Well that's what I want to say. With these new projects you're coming out with, with "Joanna," the lyrics in "Joanna," like you're just being so real and so honest. And I want to read just my favorite line, A, vocally, but the lyrics.

JOJO: Give it to me.

MONET X CHANGE: Speaking of which, where did your acting career go? You were supposed to be somebody. You were supposed to make more money, make us proud. Nobody likes you in Massachusetts. You should just hurry and drop your new shit. Hurry and [INAUDIBLE] shit. Girl, you're--

JOJO: I'm reading myself.

MONET X CHANGE: --fucking real. Reading yourself, girl [INAUDIBLE] back row though. [INAUDIBLE]. Damn.

JOJO: You know, it made me feel way more empowered to say the shit that haters have said. It's not like I'm blind to this shit. It's not like I don't-- it's not like I don't have these deep, dark thoughts about my own self. It's not like I haven't struggled with depression and anxiety and all these things.

And when people is telling you your career is over at 18 and that you should file for bankruptcy or just go pursue something else, I'm like, rich people file for bankruptcy. That's not where I come from. I don't understand. Go do something else? Where? What do I go do? People like to simplify your situation. And they think that they know what they would do if they were in your shoes. You don't know, bitch. You know what I'm saying? You never know what you would do.

So to be honest, that song, Cardi B. inspired me writing that song. Because I love her energy of, yeah, I was a stripper. And yeah, I did this. Yeah, I scammed. Yeah, I did this. You got to own who you are, where you've been, who you are. I'm not ashamed. And nobody can try to use my truth against me. I've already said it. It is what it is.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, girl, I am so-- oh, oh, I just came from church. I feel like I got a religious experience. That's so fucking real. I live, I live, I live, I live. And people say all that because they think-- because they've heard about the stuff that you went through on the blogs. They didn't realize, A, at 13, you are the youngest billboard topping artist, correct?

JOJO: Yeah, youngest artist to have on number one on billboard pop charts. It's crazy. And what a wild way to start this long career that I've already had. I'm not even-- 16 years in, I'm not 30 yet. It's ridiculous. I don't have any-- it's pretty wild.

MONET X CHANGE: And so with all this stuff with Black Rhino-- so for those who don't know, Black Rhino Records was the first record label to sign you. And you went through a really long and tumultuous thing with them, leaving them, because you couldn't release your music. And so where are you at now with Black Rhino? Have you ever reconciled any of that, or is it just done, finito, Warner brothers, fuck all that shit in the past?

JOJO: Oh, I truly, genuinely, wish those people well. And I'm saying those people because there's no reason to call them out by name. They were like family to me. It's unfortunate that those relationships ended because of business, and that I was a casualty of decisions that they made, things that happened with me. Yeah. It definitely all resolved in the past though. And I had to sue and get out.

But there's actually a really-- [INAUDIBLE] did a really good documentary on my story so far. It's just 25 minutes long.

MONET X CHANGE: You know those 1.2 million viewers, I'm about 500,000 of those viewers, right?

JOJO: It was really well done, because it was just like a digestible little explanation of where'd I go, really well.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah, yeah. And then what I think was so great with your decision to-- because you were able to kind of skirt around by still recording all of-- because they don't have the [INAUDIBLE] for them, or you just basically rerecorded your two first albums.

JOJO: So how it works is that publishing is different from a master recording. So and this was all very confusing to me, and still kind of is to this day. So I made new masters, meaning that if I am recording something today in May of 2020, then that creates a new, separate, intellectual property in the computer that is different because we didn't need to create something from scratch.

So I was able to-- yeah-- get around those loopholes. Because I don't own my voice from when I was 13. They do. And they own those recordings because I didn't have access to that. So because my music wasn't available on streaming services, and I felt like my history was low key being erased, I wanted to do something about it. Aliah can't do anything about her catalog that isn't available on streaming services. So I wanted to reclaim my time, and kind of change the narrative, and feel empowered in a situation that really just it took up way too much space in my life.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, 100%. Because let me tell you something. I don't think, as a queer kid, I understand how-- you don't know how your first two albums empowered me. I have so many-- girl, [INAUDIBLE] leave get out comes from the club, they put a fierce ass remix on top of it-- whatever-- and the kids go wild and nuts.

JOJO: That's so amazing.

MONET X CHANGE: It really empowered a generation of young kids. That's the shit I was listening to when I was 13, 14. My little gay ass in my room, got it on low so nobody [INAUDIBLE].

JOJO: Why do you think it resonated with you? Why do you think it particularly resonated with you?

MONET X CHANGE: I don't know. I just feel like because, yes, you were still young, but you were just speaking with such an authoritative place. And it just felt genuine. And you're the kind of voice that people vibe with. And with the queer community, I feel like a lot of us-- because a lot of us have to grow up really fast. And we don't have-- and we don't have icons that we can look to, because A, we're closeted, and we're scared, and whatever. But your music was just so empowering to us, girl. And we just fucking love you. We love you, love you, love you.

JOJO: Oh, I love you.

MONET X CHANGE: And you did a whole PRIDE run this year, which I thought was so dope. And you were at the PRIDE festival, and you were singing.

JOJO: I'm always at the PRIDE. You can't keep me away from the PRIDE festivals. I love-- I love performing at PRIDE. It's always such a treat for me whenever I see it on my calendar, or whenever an offer comes in. I'm like, oh, my god. This is about to give me so much energy. There is such a beautiful energy at the PRIDE that I've been able to perform at.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah. And then also, what is your connection with "Clover?" Because "Clover" was one of the songs on [INAUDIBLE]. And that's also the name of your record label.

JOJO: Yeah. I have a clover right there on my finger. I have a shamrock. I'm part Irish. I'm from Boston. And that's a big part of Boston's history with the Irish immigrants and everything. And I've always been interested in that part of my lineage, and I started to think about how lucky I am to have the resilience that I've had. It doesn't come from nowhere. You could complate luck and blessings as being very similar things.

And that's what it is about the-- it's about feeling really lucky, and moving forward, And that's it. That's it.

MONET X CHANGE: Love, love, love, love, love. And I also want to say this, because I had my album come out-- whatever. And it was all dope and whatever. But to see you bet a little-- oh, shit. My hair got caught in my lipstick. I love the fact that you go on IG Live, and you really be singing. And you really connect with your fans.

And I think that it's something that a lot of artists take for granted. But hey, a lot of artists can on get up on IG Live and sing because they ain't going to sound like what they're record sound like. But you give it to your fans. And you can tell you're an artist that genuinely love your fans. And as one of your fans, we really fucking love it, and we appreciate that. I just want you to fucking know that.

JOJO: Yeah. Thank you for saying that. Sometimes I'm like, oh, my god. What am I doing? Sometimes you're just like, what am I doing? But really, the answer is I'm just having fun. And YOLO, and yo, we're all locked down. So I want to connect with people. I miss people. So it's kind of a cool way to stay engaged.

MONET X CHANGE: Well, listen, when we are back up in the studios, please, come down, because we normally play crazy fucking games. We have Trevor Jackson [INAUDIBLE] there. And we play really fun, silly games.

JOJO: I want to play games with you. That will be fun.

MONET X CHANGE: I know. But it's so hard to do it through this.

JOJO: I know. We'll do it in person.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah, we'll do it in person, definitely. JoJo, thank you so much for stopping by. Listen, if you-- make sure y'all are streaming, buying JoJo's new motherfucking album. You will not regret it-- so good, no dope. You're [INAUDIBLE].

JOJO: Thank you, my love.

MONET X CHANGE: And I'll talk to you soon, all right?

JOJO: Thank you, Darling. Bye.

MONET X CHANGE: Bye, bye, bye, dear. She is beauty, she's grace, and she's always serving face. Here's some BTS of Miss Universe telling us about our monetary habits.


ZOZIBINI TONZI: Oh, my god. Wow. What would I use for currency if money disappeared? I would probably trade all my shoes for other stuff. I'm trading all my shoes, definitely. My first job was a shop assistant. I think I earned $200 a month. Yeah. I bought myself a cell phone for the first time. I think that was my very biggest purchase. I was very proud of it.

I would put on-- I have so many to put onto that, $200 bill. I would put on Harriet Tubman. I think she is fierce. Frank, pound, dollars, euros, and [INAUDIBLE]. Fabulous shoes. Love.

MONET X CHANGE: Well, we're certainly not getting any younger. Let me waste no time introducing our next guest, because they're a scream. Author of "All Of It Is You," and "The Space Between," actor and activist Nico Tortorella.


MONET X CHANGE: Nico, hello, hello, hello, my dear.

NICO TORTORELLA: Good seeing you here.

MONET X CHANGE: Now you know the inside thing about hello, hello, hello, a little RuPaul's little intro to you in the workroom.

NICO TORTORELLA: I do. I feel like I'm officially part of the family now. It feels good.

MONET X CHANGE: Girl, girl, girl, girl. The most-- it's so hard. It's hard. I say this all the time to all the girls. The girls who have been eliminated [INAUDIBLE] Drag Race is such a hard experience. It is such a crazy thing.

NICO TORTORELLA: I have so much more respect for anyone that has been involved in the show in any capacity. Just the amount that you have to do and accomplish in one day alone, it's mayhem-- mayhem. Wait, can I swear on this show?

MONET X CHANGE: Pussy. Fuck.

NICO TORTORELLA: Bitch, it's fucking mayhem. Shout out Mayhem [INAUDIBLE].

MONET X CHANGE: I want to get into this mug. You're giving us a face. You're giving us this-- do you remember that cartoon with Natasha, and Bullwinkle, and the guy with the--

NICO TORTORELLA: Wait, [INAUDIBLE] Natasha and Bullwinkle.

MONET X CHANGE: Rocky and Bullwinkle, the villains, Natasha and her little boyfriend.

NICO TORTORELLA: Oh, I thought you just renamed Rocky to Natasha. Natasha's Rocky's drag name.

MONET X CHANGE: What is the information for this handlebar villain fantasy?

NICO TORTORELLA: I was rocking it a little bit ago. And I've just been growing my beard out in quarantine. I've always wanted a big, bushy fucking beard. And now is the perfect time. And you just add a little zhuzh to the mustache, make it a little more stylized.

MONET X CHANGE: I live, I live, I live. How has quarantine been treating you? Are you doing it in New York? Are you over in LA? Where are you right now?

NICO TORTORELLA: I'm upstate New York. I'm about an hour north, just east of Poughkeepsie. It's been good. I miss working a lot.


NICO TORTORELLA: I'm such a worker bee. And I miss just engagement. And as an actor, you have the ability to somewhat leave who you are and become someone else. And I've been doing it for so long. And I just miss it. I miss being on set.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah. Well, "Younger" is in the seventh season now?

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah. We were supposed to be shooting right now.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, really? So OK. So have you all started with-- and they sent y'all home, or you guys never even got to set?

NICO TORTORELLA: The week that we went into quarantine was our first week of production.


NICO TORTORELLA: There's that. And then also, I'm on the new "Walking Dead." That was supposed to come out in April. And they just pushed that because they couldn't finish everything in post because they were working on-- I don't know-- the last episode just doing sound and some picture correction. And everyone had to leave the studio at Warner Brothers, so they couldn't finish it. So they're just like--

MONET X CHANGE: Word. So that's going to come out next year, or maybe in the fall.


MONET X CHANGE: The fall. Work, work, work. So now, on a younger-- so when you started younger, were you like-- because y'all are nearing "Gray's Anatomy" territory, where y'all-- it's going to be like-- you're going to look up-- it's going to be season 18.

NICO TORTORELLA: Going to be [INAUDIBLE] enough.

MONET X CHANGE: This season on "Older--"


MONET X CHANGE: Such a long-lived show?

NICO TORTORELLA: No, not at all. I was cast as a recurring guest star in the first episode.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, work. I didn't know that.

NICO TORTORELLA: --that my involvement was going to be this heavy. And it was the perfect-- it was the perfect recipe for longevity, right? You had Darren Star, Hilary Duff, Debbi Maser, Sutton Foster, the rest of everybody. And given the success of everything that Darren's ever touched-- right, "Sex And The City, "Beverly Hills," "Melrose Place," et cetera, et cetera, I knew it was going to be successful. But I never imagined it to pop off this hard.

MONET X CHANGE: Well, you know what, bitch? You have Sutton Foster. I [INAUDIBLE] Sutton Foster, one of the greatest motherfucking Tony performances in all of Tony award history. (SINGING) Times have changed. [INAUDIBLE]. Oh, it's so good.

NICO TORTORELLA: I showed up to set the first day. And I didn't who Sutton Foster was.


NICO TORTORELLA: I walk up to her. So what do you do outside of this? She was like, um, I work in theater, primarily.

MONET X CHANGE: She's like, yeah. I'm a stage hand. And you're like, good for you. Good for you.

NICO TORTORELLA: Good for you, bitch. Come to find out she's literally broadway royalty.

MONET X CHANGE: One of the dames of Broadway, you know? And then so [INAUDIBLE]. And you also have [INAUDIBLE]. Nico, I have to tell you, I don't know the craziness that is that show. How did you get wrapped up in [INAUDIBLE] this crazy concept of this show? It's wild.

NICO TORTORELLA: Well, so I play a tattoo artist on "Younger," OK? So I'm in the world. MTV is part of Viacom. TV Land is part of Viacom. I had been in talks with MTV to try to figure out how we could do something together for years. The format worked really well overseas. It's been in England for-- I don't know-- five, six years. And [INAUDIBLE] they were like, hey, do you want to help bring this format over to the states?

And initially, when I got involved, I was trying my hardest not make it super spiteful and revengeful. I was like, we can insert some love, and some queerness into the show in a really beautiful way. And it just fucking like was exactly the same format, ultimately, that it was in England.

And it's one of the hardest jobs I've ever had. Emotionally, it's so draining. We're shooting two or three episodes a day.


NICO TORTORELLA: Six different couples of people all getting tattooed at the same time. And because they're blindfolded, it's this little sensory deprivation tank. And all emotions are heightened exponentially. So you're like-- I wound up just playing Dr. Phil the whole time, constantly trying to mediate.


NICO TORTORELLA: And then also dealing with the Snooki as well, which is [INAUDIBLE].

MONET X CHANGE: So for those of you who don't know, tattoo [INAUDIBLE] is two, or as a couple, or two friends, but people that have a very close relationship. And in a way to kind of get revenge, they gave each other tattoos blindfolded.

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah. It's not just for revenge. There were a couple people that proposed to their significant other. There were a handful of sweet tattoos. But yeah, for the most part, it was just pure nasty.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah. It is ca-ca-ca-ca-ca-crazy.

NICO TORTORELLA: I learned so much about people and the way they communicate with each other. Because for whatever reason, we created this little bubble for people to be able to open up to each other in ways that they couldn't necessarily outside of [INAUDIBLE]. So ridiculous. But I got to meet these people from walks of life that I normally wouldn't have interacted with, right? And I got placed smack dab in the middle of their relationship. And I learned more about the human condition working on that than anything I've ever done.

MONET X CHANGE: Well, speaking of the human condition, and communication, and all those things, all of that is [INAUDIBLE] there "RuPaul's Drag Race" debut. How are you feeling? How was your time on the show? What's the tea?

NICO TORTORELLA: There's so much tea. I mean, OK. Look, bottom line, we shot that almost a year ago now, right?


NICO TORTORELLA: And we were under the impression that it was coming out last winter. And it never really did. I never heard anything from World of Wonder. I kept checking in. And they were just kind of like, we don't know. And then quarantine happened. And I got an email being like, hey, it's coming out in two weeks. I was like, oh, shit. I-- it was such an intense experience being there, such an emotional experience. And I have never been more nervous watching myself on television in anything than on that show.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah. Well, so for those who don't know, Nico identifies as non-binary. And you were very vocal about that on the show. You spoke out about that. And you were raising money for trans betterment. Say it again?

NICO TORTORELLA: The Transgender Law Center.

MONET X CHANGE: Yes, Transgender Law Center. And you've got a lot of backlash, a lot of people saying that you were too extra, like you were posing as the thing.

NICO TORTORELLA: Oh, the best comment was Nico Tortorella is the Rachel Dolezal of the LGBTQ community. Girl-- girl, I-- listen, the majority of the response was fucking incredible, right? So happy and proud that I was able to go on that show and raise awareness around something that you know has been lacking in the format for since the beginning, right? There is no question that World of Wonder and RuPaul have done amazing work for the community long before anyone was even fucking talking about it, right?

And I think with the current times, and with everything that's happening, with this administration, and legislation getting passed, anti-trans legislation getting passed across the board, I think that it is more important now than ever that we are having a conversation that is just more inclusive. Drag is not-- in my belief, drag is not just a man dressing up as a woman. There is so much more than that, and so many more seats at the table.

And I went onto that show with the intention of expanding that conversation, right, in the purest way that I could. Yes, girl. It's Drag Race. It's shticky as fuck. I came in, and I was like-- this was a dream come true. I was full fan girling out, you know?


NICO TORTORELLA: And you know that the edit, the producing of it all can sometimes work in your favor and sometimes like fuck with the messaging a little bit. And I think I'm super proud of the way it came out. I think I came off a little bit more of a fan girl than I necessarily would have liked. But I think that's also because they paired me with those two people instead of it being a different version of the show. What are your thoughts?

MONET X CHANGE: Well, yeah. Well, also-- but I will say, people did say stuff about the edits and stuff like that. But I feel like the show did a really good job of showing that you were someone who is for the culture, and you weren't just someone who had never ever experienced drag in any way or shape possible. You were clearly a fan of the show, but also a fan of drag. And I think to show did a really good job of showing that.

And it was just so crazy to me to see people attack you, this non-binary person on "RuPaul's Drag Race" doing the thing, and having conversations, an raising money [INAUDIBLE]. It was just so crazy to see [INAUDIBLE], people taking it on, but flip it and say no, but you don't really care about us. It's like, how does he not care about the community? Well, I thought it was-- you also had someone like Jordan, Jordan who was experiencing everything for the first time, and [INAUDIBLE]. It was this amalgamation of these three, different people, these three different lives kind of coming together to create drag, you know?

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah, for sure. It's unfortunate, some of the response, right? But I think ultimately, with any sort of negative feedback on anything, you have to take it with a grain of salt. And it has so much more to do with what their own experience is, what they're going through in their own lives, what their relationship is to Drag Race, right? Ultimately, it doesn't fucking have anything to do with me. I'm going to keep doing what I do. I'm going to-- I'm going to keep fighting. I'm going to keep having these conversations in spaces that aren't usually having these conversations.

And ultimately, I know that I have been able to position myself in this industry because of the privileges that are allotted to me, because of what I look like, because of my ability to pass assist, to pass as straight. I am able to bring these conversations to people that for the most part would have never have heard them, you know? And I'm just trying to do my part, girl.

MONET X CHANGE: Thank you for recognizing that privilege. I think that is such amazing-- and I think that has lost a lot of people, people who recognize that. Thank you for saying that. That really-- thank you. Oh, my god. I love that. Thank you.

NICO TORTORELLA: I love you. Thank you.

MONET X CHANGE: Yes, yes, yes. Now, are we are we going to get another season of "Love Bomb," because [INAUDIBLE]?

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah, well, so I have been keeping myself busy in quarantine. I started this Instagram live show called "Space Between the Sheets." it's me in bed interviewing other people in bed live on Instagram five days a week, Monday through Friday, noon Eastern Standard Time. Come on, check it out on Instagram.

And it's been really special. It's been like an updated version of "The Love Bomb." I, for the most part, am having conversations with people that aren't celebrities, that don't have large followings, people from all over the world that I'm interested in bringing stories to the table in ways that have never been heard before. And there's just something super human about it. And it's a way that I've been able to stay connected with people. We're going to have to get your ass on pretty soon.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, yeah. Oh, honey, you don't want to see me in bed, girl. The camera lens [INAUDIBLE]

NICO TORTORELLA: Yes. I'm here for it. I'm here for it. You wake up just like this though, right?

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, girl. What are you talking about? Wake up. [INAUDIBLE]. It's a dream. It's a fantasy. Who are some guests that you have coming on? Do you have anyone coming up?

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah. Peppermint's actually coming on, on Thursday.


NICO TORTORELLA: We're going to have a longer, more in-depth conversation on kind of the trans exclusion of "Drag Race," the future of "Drag Race," just kind of the trans agenda in general.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, oh, bitch. That is a must watch. I don't think I've ever heard Peppermint's take on the whole thing. So that will be really dope to hear what she has to say.

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah. I'm excited. Peppermint and I have been super close. And the night that it came out, when certain people started coming for me on the Twitter, I wound up deleting Twitter that night.

MONET X CHANGE: Did you really?

NICO TORTORELLA: Yeah, girl. This is an emotional experience for me. I don't need to see this shit right now. I'm back on. I'm back. She's back on. It was just a--

MONET X CHANGE: Monet, I just had it. [INAUDIBLE]. Well, I'm back now.

NICO TORTORELLA: I'm back on. Well, [INAUDIBLE] actually reached out to me. And she was like, hey, babe. I'm just checking in. I know this can be super tough. And in just a really human way, just checking in on each other, that's what we should be doing in this community. It makes me so sad that there is this, this inner struggle, and this inner fight that exists within our community that is just really toxic, and goes against everything that we actually stand for, right?

A community is supposed to show up for each other, right? That's literally what the word community means. And I'm looking forward to a time where that is more, you know?

MONET X CHANGE: OK, Thursday at noon, Eastern Standard Time.


MONET X CHANGE: Well, actually, now, it's Eastern Daylight Time. I just learned. The fans wrote me on twitter. They're like, Monet, you stupid idiot. Eastern Daylight Time.

NICO TORTORELLA: what? I've never heard that in my entire life.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah, so when the time changes in the spring, it's Eastern Daylight Time. When it comes back in the winter, it's Eastern Standard Time.

NICO TORTORELLA: Girl, I'm still saying Eastern Standard Time.

MONET X CHANGE: In my mind, I was like, oh, it's the standard of what time should be.

NICO TORTORELLA: Exactly. It's the standard.

MONET X CHANGE: But no. I'm just an illiterate fool, and I've been calling it the wrong thing all my life.

NICO TORTORELLA: So you're supposed to say EDT now?


NICO TORTORELLA: No, no, no, no, no.

MONET X CHANGE: Nico, thank you so much for being my guest today. We are looking foreword to-- oh, my god. Also, I don't know if I'm supposed to say. But I've been telling friends about the cartoon that we're doing that I feel like we've been recording for 19 years.

NICO TORTORELLA: Literally, 19 years and. And we talked about it on "Drag Race" too. And they didn't put any of that in.

MONET X CHANGE: Well, you know, also with drag, so much shit gets left on the cutting room floor. [INAUDIBLE]. But yeah. So hopefully, our cartoon comes out soon. And we--

NICO TORTORELLA: Have you been saying the name of it anywhere?

MONET X CHANGE: I haven't seen the name of it. I don't know if we can say the name of it.

NICO TORTORELLA: OK, well, we're on a cartoon together. It's coming out on Nick Junior, I think this fall.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah, this fall. So keep your eyes out for that, and [INAUDIBLE] "The Walking Dead." Yeah?

NICO TORTORELLA: Thank you for just showing up for me on that show in a really incredible way. You were just so supportive. And I know some of those conversations that I was having aren't the easiest to navigate. And I just-- I've always appreciated you. But working with you in that capacity was really special. And my love for you was very strong.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, my god. Listen, you are more than welcome. Don't even thank me. And the last thing I want to say too, is that even when Nico and I were having conversations on "RuPaul's Drag Race," I sometimes would fuck up with pronouns, and I'm also trying to correct my language and fix everything. And no one is perfect. You're not going to get it right all the time. But at least fucking try, I think is the moral of the story.

NICO TORTORELLA: Literally, everyone I know, non-binary people included, fuck up pronouns from time to time. It's not a perfect science, right? We are all transitioning. We are all adjusting. It takes time. And as long as the intention is right, just show up for each other. That's it.

MONET X CHANGE: Yeah. Yeah. Also, you have beautiful teeth.

NICO TORTORELLA: You have beautiful teeth.

MONET X CHANGE: I will lick your teeth. Licking teeth when I kiss someone is my thing. But anyway--


MONET X CHANGE: Yeah. It's weird. It's a little Monet thing. It's weird. It's weird.

NICO TORTORELLA: I love going for just the roof of the mouth a little bit, a little soft little slide.

MONET X CHANGE: Good for you, my dear. Have a good day, safe day. Stay healthy.

NICO TORTORELLA: You too. Bye, honey.

MONET X CHANGE: Oh, and that's our show, ladies and gentlemen. I don't know if y'all can tell, I was sweating during the JoJo interview. I love her so much. And it was a pleasure, pleasure, pleasure having one of my music icons on the show. Oh, I'm sweating. But also, the little hairs on my forward sticking, girl? That's because

Really fun and insightful conversation with Nico Tortorella. I learned some things, and hopefully, you learned some things. And it was super, super, super dope. But, of course, thank you for watching. Thank you for staying with us at home, quarantining with "The X Change Rate." And I'll see y'all next week. Remember to keep your currency in check.